Chinese honey roast chicken with a cucumber, chilli and peanut Asian salad

Last night, left alone in the house, I decided I’d order in a Chinese takeaway. After some deliberation, however, I opted to cook something and post a recipe because as this comes to you (by the very clever wordpress scheduled post function) I will be nearing Oban with my girlfriend and her family in order to catch a ferry tomorrow morning at 7am bound for Tiree. Oban, coincidentaly has a fantastic chippy if you’re ever up that way called the George Street Fish and Chip Shop, where we will be eating tonight.

Instead of ordering Chinese, I thought I’d make something Asian inspired and, given that I was alone and needed some entertainment, decided I’d head to the local wine/beer shop and try to match a few nice beers to the meal. I nipped up to Lidl to see what they had (I’m a firm believer in local produce and Lidl is less than a mile away) and ended up with some chicken legs, a lime, some herbs, peanuts and a cucumber. It was like ready steady cook. On the way back I nipped into said wine/beer shop: Appellation Wines (who do a seriously vast array of beers for the real connoisseur) and had a chat with the guys there about what I planned to cook.

Enough waffle! I ended up cooking Chinese honey roast chicken legs with a cucumber, peanut and chilli salad.

Chinese honey roast chicken with a cucumber, chilli and peanut Asian salad

Chinese honey roast chicken with a cucumber, chilli and peanut Asian salad

To go with the meal I was recommended a Porter and a Weisbier, both of which were sublimely matched, and chose myself a bottle of Hardcore IPA by Brewdog as a wee renegade bottle (mainly because it was a binend cheapo and, being a massive fan of Punk IPA, I just fancied it). Here’s the recipe. It’s decidedly rough because that’s how the meal came to fruition but I promise it’s good.

  • For the Chicken:
  1. Two chicken legs (skin on… please!)
  2. Two tbsp of vegetable oil
  3. Two tsp of Chinese five spice
  4. Two pinches of sea salt
  5. Two tbsp of chilli bean paste (this is optional but can be found in all Chinese supermarkets and is totally worth the trip)
  6. Two tbsp of runny honey
  • For the salad:
  1. One whole cucumber (halfed, peeled, cored and chopped into 5mm slices)
  2. Handful of dry roasted peanuts
  3. Two chillies (more if, like me, you like a bit of burn)
  4. Large handful of fresh Coriander chopped
  5. The same of mint
  6. Three tbsp of rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar will do grand)
  7. One and a half tbsp of Thai fish sauce (or soy)
  8. Juice of half a lime
  9. Two tsp of palm sugar (caster will do)
  • Method:
  1. Rub vegetable oil, salt and five spice into each leg and pop on a roasting tray in the oven (200C/400F/gas mark 6) for 25 mins)
  2. Whilst the chicken is roasting away, combine ingredients 1 – 5 of the salad in a bowl and mix through.
  3. Take ingredients 6-9 of the salad and mix well in a jar. This will be the dressing.
  4. After 25 mins, remove the chicken from the oven, baste with the cooking fat, spread a tbsp of chilli bean paste on each (making sure not to put a chickeny spoon back in the jar) and return to the oven for 20 mins.
  5. At this stage you could put on some basmati rice.
  6. Five mins before the end of cooking, add a few handfuls of peas to the rice and drizzle a tbsp of honey over the chicken before returning to the oven.

You’re done! plate up and serve with one of the amazing beers suggested below. If you’d prefer wine: I’d go for something with a wee bit of sweetness rather than an all out dry white like Sauvignon. Try a chenin blanc or even an un-oaked chardonnay to compliment rather than stand-up-to the strong flavours.

The beers:

Ayr Brewing - Rabbie's Porter (4.3%)

Ayr Brewing – Rabbie’s Porter (4.3%)

Karg Murnau - Helles Hefe-Weisbier (5%)

Karg Murnau – Helles Hefe-Weisbier (5%)

And a wee one which I drank after and enjoyed thoroughly:

Brew Dog - Hardcore IPA (9.2%)

Brew Dog – Hardcore IPA (9.2%)


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