My son Owen takes the Jamie approach to cooking – a slurp of this, a glug of that – it’s never very precise but the results are always delicious. His Sticky Chicken is a family favourite. Even the most fussy kids will beg for more. The first secret, as far as I can tell, is that you must combine sweet, sour, salty and peppery ingredients. The second secret is that it must be cooked slowly and foil-covered for the first 40 minutes. The third secret is that it uses ingredients that we are all likely to have in our cupboards. Prep time is blessedly short – only as long as it takes to assemble the ingredients. You can cook it straightaway but it definitely benefits from a few hours to marinate in the fridge. This recipe works best with thighs or drumsticks rather than with fillets. If you do use fillets, shorten the cooking time.
This goes well with roast vegetables, rice, pitta bread or salads.
For the marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon garlic puree
1 tablespoon runny honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground paprika
Black pepper, salt
Chicken joints depending on appetite, eg two thighs, 4 drumsticks, skinned
Make the marinade by combining all the ingredients, whisking well. Use your hands to work it into all the nooks and crannies of the skinned meat. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
Heat the oven to 150 degrees c.
Lay the chicken out on a non-stick roasting tray with space between the pieces. Cover tightly with foil and let it cook for 40 minutes. Remove and discard the foil and check how done the chicken seems. There may be a lot of liquid at this point. If so, spoon it over the meat. Raise the oven temperature to 190 degrees C. Put the uncovered chicken back in for another 20-30 minutes. Check frequently for doneness.
Let it rest for a few minutes then serve with whatever you fancy.