The easy chicken dish that'll be a family favourite, and 3 ways to use the leftovers for lunch.

My brother is from another mother. These are his thighs. Not hers. And actually they’re chicken thighs, but this is his recipe.

He made this when we had a weekend away at a sleepy little surf town and reconnected with family. Sometime in the afternoon between beers, naked toddler sprinkler dashing and snoozes, the grill was fired up. 

It’s one of those recipes you can make early or late, for now or tomorrow. Or just because it’s a beach holiday and the grill must go on. 

Ever since this glorious moment in time it has become a go-to weeknight saviour at our house because of its simplicity. The quantity of ingredients make it memorable too. It's only 4, plus a lime and herbs, so you got this.

Now, in my cookbook I VERY jokingly instructed people to grill this chicken on an Airbnb BBQ rather than your own because the stick and burn level is pretty intense. The humour was lost on some and I can only imagine these people have had sticky burnt stuff left in all manner of locations for them to clean up. 

So, what are the options if you don’t have a BBQ or are just not interested in the cleanup? There are many, and you should not miss out because of a reluctance to deal with charred toffee! 

Here are three cooking methods for the chicken.

1. Pan fry. 

Seems obvious I know, however you miss out on that direct heat crisp from the flame. A brilliant tip to get that extra texture is to place the chicken into a nonstick pan, top with a piece of baking paper and then place another fry pan or saucepan onto the paper and squish the chicken down. 


Have you ever heard of brick chicken? It’s kind of like that - pressure forcing the flesh to make as much contact with the pan/heat as possible. Also because it's kind of like a lid, it keeps lots of the moisture in too. 

You will have a second pan to wash, yes, (the baking paper is only mildly protective and is more about the chicken than the pan) but it won’t be the same level as a flame and sugar licked grill plate. 

In a hot pan, it’s about five minutes a side with the press down. You’ll also have to cook in batches. 

2. Grill/Broil. 

Growing up, we didn’t have a BBQ. We had an outdoor fire, but that’s a whole other story that involves young hippy parents and a sense of adventure. Actually, I am not sure how many people did. Thinking about it now it feels like a new norm. Or at least it wasn’t a weeknight thing. 

Everything that we now grill was done under the GRILLER! Chops, chicken, I can’t think what else but just whatever else we ate. Crank it up. Line a tray with foil, place the chicken on the foil and slide it under the heat. Then watch it like a hawk. Turn once little bits are charring. The problem here is I can’t possibly give you a timeframe. 

Grillers/broilers seem to have been completely abandoned when it comes to standard operating processes. They are individual rogues. Mine sometimes likes to be open, but others do not.


But if you work yours out, once you’ve flipped it and are confident the chook is cooked, you simply chuck the foil out and the entire cleanup is done. 

3. BBQ.

The only downside to the BBQ is you MUST remember to go back and turn it off!

Either way you do it, the flavour is so delicious it supersedes (or rather lets you forget) the effort of a cleanup and you’ll be bound to do it again! 

Image: Supplied/Lucy Tweed


Now, onto the recipe...

Sticky Chicken.

Serves: 4.

The plan here is to double up and save time later, so while you are making the effort, do just that. Double it!


  • 1⁄2 cup (125 ml) sweet chilli sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) chicken thigh fillets, excess fat removed 
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked 
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked  


1. Combine the chilli sauce, soy and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then leave to marinate for 30 minutes.                        

2. Heat a large chargrill pan over high heat, or the grill plate on a barbecue. Add the chicken and grill for 5 minutes on each side until cooked through with excellent char lines. 

4. During the last 5 minutes or so, add the lime halves, cut-side down, and let them soften and heat through.

5. Roughly chop the herbs on a bread board.

6. Arrange the chicken on the herbs and allow to rest briefly, heating and slightly wilting the herbs.

7. Carve the chicken into fat slices and serve with the charred limes 

8. Serve with rice and greens.  

Image: Supplied/Lucy Tweed


Some super quick lunch leftovers ideas:

1. Sticky slices are perfect rolled into a wrap with some lettuce and mayo. 

2. Despite the classically Asian flavours, the chicken is perfect with a really fresh iceberg lettuce, dill, spring onion and fetta salad with a sprinkle of white vinegar and oil. 

3. Or if you still have rice and greens, chop the greens and the chicken up small and toss it together in a frypan with an egg for the quickest fried rice.

Lucy Tweed is a Sydney-based food stylist and the creator of Every Night of the Week, an Instagram account full of recipes for people who don't like recipes. For more of that, follow her here.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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