Chicken in sweet & sour

Chicken in sweet & sour

This chicken recipe is all about control –Jamie Oliver specifies in his opinion regarding this Chinese cuisine specialty. How can you start cooking it? First of all, let the chicken stick to the pan at the start of the cooking so it develops a barbecue vibe, then stop the process by adding the liquid and letting it cook through to get soft and lovely.

The flavors you’ll find here are not only sweet and sour but spicy as well. A perfect smell because of those Chinese five-spice powder and jasmine tea. Five-spice powder includes a spice mixture of five spices, used primarily in Chinese cuisine but also used in other Asian and Arabic cookery. Five spice may be used with fatty meats such as pork, duck or goose. It is used as a spice rub for chicken, duck, pork and seafood, in red cooking recipes, or added to the breading for fried foods. Five spice is used in recipes for Cantonese roasted duck, as well as beef stew. If you’ll see the ingredients mentioned it is obvious that chicken in sweet & sour is a super healthy dish.


  • 4 free-range chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 6 ripe plums
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • 300 g free-range medium egg noodles
  • 200 g sugar-snap peas or mangetout
  • 125 g baby spinach
  • 1 jasmine tea bag
  • ¼ of a bunch of fresh mixed soft herbs
  • 1 lime

Cooking method

Put the chicken and five-spice in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss together.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the chicken, skin-side down and cook for 5 minutes, then throw in the whole chilli.

Peel and add the ginger, trim and add 4 spring onions, along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle over the honey and fry until dark, golden and sticky.

When it’s all looking good, add the whole plums, vinegar, soy and a little sesame oil to stop everything from sticking. Put the lid on, reduce the heat and let it cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Remove the lid and allow the liquid to reduce and get sticky, then transfer everything to a board. Let it all cool a little, then shred the chicken and return it to the pan, discarding the bones.

On a board, chop up the plums and garlic (discarding the stones and skin), the chilli and remaining spring onions, mixing to create a kind of hot chopped salad. Discard the ginger, then scrape it all back into the pan with the chicken.

Place the noodles, sugar-snap peas or mangetout, spinach and tea bag in a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes then discard the tea bag.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the noodles and veg to the pan with the chicken. Use a little cooking liquid to loosen the sauce, then toss it all together.

Pick and roughly chop the herbs, then sprinkle on top. Serve with wedges of lime for squeezing over.

The chicken in sweet & sour is now ready for being served.


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