Sweet and sour delight

This flavourful chicken dish is a wonderful marriage of honey with lemon. — Sunpix by The Simple Housewife
Deboned chicken thighs make the ideal meat for this dish. — Sunpix by The Simple Housewife
The ingredients to make the sweet and sour sauce. — Sunpix by The Simple Housewife

THIS recipe was inspired by a combination of two dishes commonly served in Chinese restaurants – lemon chicken, and sweet and sour pork.

One evening, I wanted to make a quick dinner using deboned chicken thighs. I had opted to bake them, but wondered how to flavour them.

Since I had some lemon in my fridge, I decided to make a variation of lemon chicken.

However, my family doesn’t quite like the tangy flavour of lemon sauce, so I thought adding some honey would give it a sweet-sour flavour instead.

Honey and lemon make wonderful partners in both food and drink, and I was quite sure the chicken would turn out to our satisfaction.

As it is my personal preference to avoid battering and deep-frying the meat, I baked the chicken, then broiled it at the end to brown and crisp the skin a little.

I am sure if you decide to batter and fry the chicken, it would turn out good too.

If you have some leftover sauce, you could also use it as a dip for finger food such as nuggets and fish fingers, or drizzle it over fried fish.

BAKED CHICKEN WITH HONEY LEMON SAUCE

Ingredients (serves 3)

► 3 pieces chicken thigh with skin, deboned
► 3 tbs rice wine
► 2 tbs cooking oil
► 1 tbs soy sauce
► Spring onions or parsley, chopped (for garnishing)

For sauce
► 5 cloves garlic, minced
► 1 tbs cooking oil
► 3 tbs honey, or more to taste
► Juice from half a lemon
► 1½ tsp corn starch, mixed with a little water
► 1 tbs soy sauce
► 1/3 cup water

Method
1. Place chicken thighs on a baking dish. Marinate the chicken thighs with the rice wine, cooking oil and soy sauce for at least half an hour.
2. Bake covered with foil in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
3. Remove chicken from oven and discard the foil. Place chicken in another baking dish and return to oven in broiler mode for eight minutes, or until skin is golden brown.
4. Pour the liquid from the earlier baking dish into a bowl. Add in the honey, soy sauce, water and lemon juice. Mix well.
5. Heat the cooking oil and saute the garlic till aromatic.
6. Add in the liquid mixture and stir to combine.
8. Add the corn starch solution, bring to a boil and then simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.
9. To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with spring onions or chopped parsley.
10. Serve it hot with rice or potatoes, and vegetables of your choice.