Asian Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Here is what I call a family pleaser. This recipe contains all the elements of a perfect Chinese recipe; Sweet, sour, salty with just the right amount of spiciness. It can accommodate so many different meats ; from chicken thighs, chicken wings to ribs or pork fillet. If you have an InstantPot or a pressure cooker, dinner can be ready in 30 minutes. Enough time to make a rice or accompanying vegetables. We serve this dish with Jasmine rice, for which we double the recipe and make a beautiful fried rice the following day. I usually use chicken thighs which has a richer taste than chicken breast which can be a little dry. Let the meat rest a few minutes before serving or better, grill it for a few minutes to give the chicken a crispy texture.
On InstantPot, for busy families, this is a wonderful kitchen addition to your series of pots and pans. I have several pressure cookers with I use all the time. The beauty of pressure cookers is you can prepare side dishes, vegetables and accompaniments in so little time. I steam potatoes in 5 minutes or other vegetables in only a few minutes. They vary in sizes and shapes and I keep two small ones and a larger one for when we entertain a larger group. They can be intimidating at first, but they are now safer than ever and manufacturers provide wonderful recipes as well. Several great chefs and food writers have created wonderful recipes and not only for cheap cuts of meat. Melissa Clark for one, created a wonderful cookbook called Food in an Instant. Lorna Sass is another chef who has created several cookbooks and is considered an expert in the field. Do not fear, invest in a pressure cooker, you will not regret it.

6 Chicken Thighs
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Vinegar -White, Apple, Cider or red wine vinegar will work
1/2 Cup Honey
2/3 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
3 Garlic cloves finely minced
2 cm Ginger finely minced
4 Tablespoons Water
Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Using your pressure cooker or regular saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and when it starts to smoke, stir in the chicken thighs and brown them until crispy on all sides, on medium heat. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the meat and set aside on a plate.
Whilst the meat is browning, in a small bowl, mix all the other ingredients until well combined.
Adding a little vegetable oil, saute the garlic and ginger for a few minutes and add the chicken back along with the sauce. Mix well and place the pressure cooker cover. Bring it to high level and when it starts to boil, bring it down to the minimum setting.
Cook the meat for 15 minutes at low temperature.
Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and place in on a plate or better, on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Brush some of the sauce over the chicken and grill for a 3-4 minutes, until crispy. Turn them over and repeat the same exercise.
Take about 1/2 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the corn starch to dilute it. Pour it back into the pot and mix well. Bring the sauce to a boil whilst mixing until the sauce starts to thicken. I keep the sauce quite liquid as it can get quite thick when it cools down.

TIP DU JOUR : If you do not have a pressure cooker; use a baking dish and cook the chicken thighs in the oven at 180 Celsius for 45 minutes. Using a knife, you can check the meat if the liquid comes out clear. You can then grill the meat for a few minutes for a nice crispy finish !
You can also use a regular saucepan with a lid on and cook on the stovetop for also 45 minutes, at medium heat / boil.

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