Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

This easy, no-stir supper coats organic chicken thighs and drumsticks in a tangy sauce made with honey, tamari and a sharp splash of balsamic vinegar. Baked with tender veg and served with warm spinachy rice.


  • 2 chicken thighs & 2 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tsp China 5 spice
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive, sunflower or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 40g honey
  • 50g tamari
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 carrots
  • 150g white basmati rice
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 50g baby leaf spinach

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 45 mins

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1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Pop the chicken thighs and drumsticks into a large roasting tin or ovenproof dish. Sprinkle 2 tsp China 5 spice and a pinch of salt over the chicken, and drizzle over 1 tbsp oil. Rub the oil and spices into the chicken. Slide the tin into the oven and roast for 15 mins.
2. While the chicken roasts, fill and boil your kettle. Pour 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, the honey and tamari into a large bowl or jug. Add 200ml boiling water and stir to mix. Set aside.
3. Trim and peel the red onion, then slice it into 6-8 wedges. Halve the red pepper and scoop out the seeds and white pith. Slice the pepper into thick batons. Trim and peel the carrots, then slice them into 1cm-thick rounds.
4. When the chicken has roasted for 15 mins, take it out of oven. Arrange the onion, pepper and carrots around the chicken. Pour over the sweet and sour sauce. Return the tin to the oven for 30 mins. The chicken should be golden brown and cooked through – no pink flesh if you slice into the chicken thigh – and the veg will be tender.
5. While the chicken bakes, rinse the rice under cold water and tip it into a small pan. Add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and very gently simmer for 8 mins till all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
6. When the rice has absorbed the water and is cooked, take it off the heat. Add ¾ of the spinach to the pan, then clamp the lid back on. Set aside for 5-10 mins to steam – the spinach will wilt and the rice will finish cooking.
7. Fork the wilted spinach through the rice, then divide between 2 warm plates. Add the remaining spinach to the chicken and stir to wilt it, then spoon the chicken, spinach and sauce over the rice and serve.
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