Spicy sticky chicken

“Chicken legs are much cheaper than the breasts, but they’re not a second-rate choice. It’s easy to get thigh meat beautifully tender, and the flavour is a bit stronger than breast too, so they can handle the spices in this recipe, which has a similar kind of punchy flavour dynamic to good jerk chicken. ”

Spicy sticky chicken


3 fresh red chillies
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 large plum tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh coriander
4 large free-range chicken legs, skin on
olive oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon crumbled dried curry leaves
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
fat-free natural yoghurt


  1. Halve the chillies (deseed if you like), peel and finely slice the onions, then peel and crush the garlic. Quarter the plum tomatoes, and pick the coriander leaves.
  2. Rub the chicken legs all over with a drizzle of oil and the garam masala, then transfer to a large non-stick ovenproof pan.
  3. Add another drizzle of oil and fry the chicken over a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lovely and dark golden all over. Be brave and let it get really nice and dark – it will make such a difference to the end result if you get it right at this stage. Drain off any excess fat.
  4. At this point, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  5. Next, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, chillies, onion and garlic to the chicken. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and white wine vinegar.

    Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone.
  6. Pop the pan on the hob and reduce the liquid until sticky. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with the cooling yoghurt. Delicious with rice or couscous, and a crisp, refreshing salad.

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