Caramel Chicken

It’s not always Italian food that comes out of my kitchen and there are times when I really crave some different flavours.  This sticky chicken recipe definitely hits the spot and it’s also super easy to prepare.  I am sure you can substitute the chicken for other meats, and I was thinking today that it would work well with ribs.  It reminds me a little of a sticky BBQ pork rib recipe my mother would make for us from her Chinese cooking repertoire.

I will include the full recipe, but I usually do not add the garlic.  Alberto isn’t a garlic fan, so it’s just easier to omit it. If I were to add garlic though, I wouldn’t add the 8 cloves the recipe calls for but add maybe 2 at the most.  This cooks best in a heavy based pot and luckily I have my Le Creuset pot which works perfectly. (Nothing would stop you finishing off this recipe in the oven actually).

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Caramel Chicken

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.2kg Chicken pieces. Skin On, (preferably bone-in legs & thighs)
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 70g (1/3 Cup) brown sugar (I use dark muscovado)
  • 60mls rice vinegar
  • 3cm fresh ginger peeled and sliced thinly.  (I freeze my ginger and this makes slicing it very thin really easy if you do it while it’s still frozen.)
  • 250ml chicken broth
  • 60mls soy sauce
  • fresh basil & fresh chilli to garnish
  1. Heat oil in large heavy based pot over medium high heat.
  2. Work in batches if necessary, and add chicken pieces skin side down. Cook until skin is golden brown and crisp, then transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Add garlic to pot, and cook stirring often until golden. Remove from pot, and put aside with chicken. Pour off fat from pot.
  4. Return pot to heat, and add 125ml water, and using a wooden spoon, scrape away any brown bits.
  5. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens.
  6. Add vinegar carefully.  If sugar crystallizes, continue stirring until sugar dissolves again.
  7. Add ginger, broth, and soy sauce. Add chicken pieces back into pot, skin side up. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to cook on simmer for about 30min.
  8. Remove chicken pieces from pot, and bring liquid back to a boil.  Cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce and thicken.  Return chicken to pot, and coat with sweet thickened sauce.
  9. Serve with white rice, and sprinkle freshly torn basil on top.  Serve with some fresh chilli peppers if you like a little heat.

**This recipe would work well with pork, but the flavours of the sauce would also be delicious with salmon steaks.  Obviously the cooking time with salmon would be different.  I would prepare the sauce, reducing it down, and add the salmon steaks at the end, so as to cook them through gently  & quickly, avoiding that they overcook.