Despite my stating I do not like chillies and find it frustrating and annoying when chefs insist on adding it or some other fiery spice to a dish, I do occasionally enjoy a sweet chilli dipping sauce and always have a bottle in the fridge. My husband isn’t that adventurous so I was more than a little surprised when he suggested I make sweet chilli chicken for our Sunday lunch this week and that we would lookout for a jar of cook-in sauce at our local supermarket. Apart from a sweet-and-sour sauce, I wasn’t aware there was a sweet chilli one. We looked but never found. I then recalled I had eaten salmon teriyaki a few days previously whilst out to lunch and wondered if I could adapt that recipe for chicken and decided to give it a go. It worked. The chicken was delicious and my husband approved, saying we would certainly have it again. A simple recipe, one that needs little preparation and few ingredients, and like most of my recipes, there is no need for precise weighing of quantities, all my measurements are approximate. It’s all about a matter of personal taste and if you like garlic, you can add that as well.
2 chicken breasts, diced (although you could use skinned/boned thighs)
2cm fresh or frozen root ginger, peeled and grated.
1 small red onion thinly sliced (optional or you could use a white onion or diced spring onion)
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs sweet chilli sauce
1 tbs honey
1 tsp sesame oil
Zest and juice of a lime or lemon
Place chicken into casserole dish (preferably one with a lid) and add in all the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly, ensuring chicken is coated with the sauce. Cover with clingfilm and/or casserole dish lid and allow to marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Before cooking, turn the mixture over a few times in dish. If there is too much liquid, stir in some slaked cornflour or after cooking, stir through some instant thickening granules (wonderful stuff I wouldn’t be without in the store cupboard!)
Cover with lid or tinfoil and cook in oven at approx 180 fan or equivalent for approx 35-40 mins until chicken is cooked.
Serve with accompaniments and garnish of your choice. Perhaps sprinkle some sesame seeds and/or sliced spring onion, or even sliced red chilli, if that is your want.
I served mine simply with basmati rice and cooked runner beans picked fresh that morning from our garden. Mash potatoes or pasta would serve equally well.