This way of cooking chicken began life in my life when I first sent it to a friend with the subject line: could be good? Looks dead simple, let me know.
Happening by, a few evenings later, I noticed he’d printed out the email, and, in pencil, scrawled over in capitals, “Excellent! No comments to make”, with every inch of white space then filled with comments.
Over a decade later it is still one of the most requested dishes. The secret is in the dark treacle, or molasses as it is variously known. They are the same thing – treacle is more used in Britain and molasses in north America.
The soy is also important, and in terms of what goes well with this you can very successfully go down the ‘asian’ route with stir fried vegetables and Chinese noodles. But it works just as well with rice and broccoli.
If you want to ring the changes you can experiment with adding mustard, or lemon juice. Alternatively, substitute maple syrup for molasses.
Here’s what to do:
Serves – 2
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 tbsps rich thick soy sauce
- 250g-350g/8-12 oz chicken thigh fillets (boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
- 1 tbsp dark molasses or treacle (or maple syrup)
- tbsp Herbes de Provence
- pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, mix in half the soy sauce to coat each piece, and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut it in half. Finely chop one half, and thinly slice the other. Add to the saucepan and fry gently, until just turning golden – this will take about fifteen minutes.
- Add the molasses and the rest of the soy sauce and the chicken, the herbes de Provence and the Urfa pepper flakes, and stir all well together. Bring it all to a simmer. Cover and cook, still simmering and stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.