Sweet & sour bbq chicken recipe

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Sweet and sour bbq chicken recipe


Serves 5

  • 10 chicken drumsticks


For the marinade:

  • 3 teaspoons runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon


For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 slices of pineapple, core removed and finely chopped
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • A good grind of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced


Prep time: 25 minutes plus 30 minutes – 8 hours marinading time
Cooking time: 40 – 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes plus marinading time

Sweet & sour bbq chicken recipe

When I first created this recipe, I had wanted to make it a traybake with the chicken cooked on top of the rice and the sauce spooned over the top and all baked together for an easy-stress-free meal. But then one of my children was going through a picky phase (as children often are!) so I thought it would be best to separate the ingredients. That way, everyone could have as much or little of each component as they liked. And eating this way works if your family has different likes or needs as well. It simplifies meals and means that you are essentially only creating one ‘theme’. For vegetarian or vegan options for example, simply fry off some tofu or paneer and serve alongside the basmati rice and sweet and sour sauce.


In a small bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients until it’s a smooth sauce. Place the chicken drumsticks in a flat layer in non-metallic bowl. Pour over the marinade and massage in well with your hands. Wash your hand thoroughly. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes – 8 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature and light your bbq.

Once the bbq is at temperature place the chicken drumsticks on the griddle and cook for 40-45 minutes, turning regularly.

The drumsticks are cooked when the skin and flesh will start to come away from the thinner end and the juices run clear.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Place the chopped onion and rapeseed oil in a medium sized saucepan. Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the yellow peppers and garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, dark brown sugar, white wine vinegar, tomato puree and chopped pineapple. Season well with salt and pepper.

Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until thick, stirring from time to time to stop it from catching.

In a small bowl, add the teaspoon of cornflour along with a teaspoon of the tomato sauce. Stir well to create a paste. Stir the paste back into the sauce and simmer until thick and glossy. This is lovely hot or cold.

Serve with rice, greens and the delicious sweet and sour sauce. I like to sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves and spring onions at the end, however when we are eating as a family I keep them separate so that Jase and I can help ourselves as the children won’t eat spring onions!




Because of the honey in the marinade, the chicken drumsticks will naturally char when you cook them on the bbq. They’ll be crispy on the outside and succulent and tender on the inside.”

  • JENNY Fenton
    Posted at 20:09h, 11 May

    We cooked this tonight on the hob. Chicken pieces instead of drumsticks. It was delicious. It was also easy despite being quite a long recipe list.

  • Annabel Gonifas
    Posted at 15:30h, 12 May

    Fantastic! Great to use chicken pieces instead of drumsticks. You’re so right, the ingredients list does look quite long but it is easy to throw together. Brilliant, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it.

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