Beware the dinner guests when you have chicken

Mom ended up having a tiny dinner party tonight with a few of her friends, in celebration of Mother’s Day tomorrow and their mothers all being in South Korea or having passed on. Now, whilst I love nearly all of my mother’s cooking, some dishes are a bit of a headache to eat – tonight’s is an example – a chilli korean broth/stew with chinese cabbage, crud-loads of potatos and very odd cuts of beef which are a little reminiscent of ox-tail but more difficult to eat with less rewards. Another problem is that after the bones have been boiled for this amount of time, they tend to fall apart which means many mouthfuls result in pulling bits of bone out of your mouth. Nyergh. Don’t get me wrong, the flavours are great, but it’s a time-consuming dish to eat when you want something easy.

So, I decided to make my own dinner of sweet and sour chicken drumettes – I’d bought some drumettes the other day, and after removing all the skin and fat and rinsing them, stuck them in the freezer till I could think up a sauce.

Sweet and Sour Oven-Baked Chicken Pieces


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 – 1 cup caster sugar
2 thai chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tsp ground garlic
1 heaped tsp corn starch

1 cup plain flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1.5 kg chicken cuts (wingetts, drumsticks, drumettes – make sure they have been trimmed of skin and fat)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then coat the chicken and Coat chicken flour, then fry till they are deep brown all over.

3. Mix up the water, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chillies, ginger, garlic and corn starch.

4. Place fried chicken in a baking tray, then pour the sauce over, using a soup ladle to make sure that each chicken piece is soaked through.

5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes and giving them another bath in the sauce.

By the time they’ve finished cooking, you have a thick, sticky sauce which is divine. So divine, in fact, that my mom’s friends were pestering me throughout the cooking process, and then proceeded to steal half the drumettes. Some more were stolen off me by my sister and her friend, and my brother and his friends, and in the end I had 4 drumettes for dinner. Pooey. But man oh man, were they GOOD!

Now, let me tell you something about Korean women from Korea. They fascinate me, they’re these loud, hysterical creatures who are quite interesting to observe. Now, almost every kitchen in Korea has an oven…but the oven does not get used. Ever. Korean women do NOT know how to bake, relying on their neighbourhood bakery for all the baked sweet-goods they require – they don’t understand the concept of a baked savoury good, and hence are puzzled by things such as frittatas and SANDWICHES!!! My mother’s friends all immigrated to Australia in their adulthood, and since they are friends with my mother, have sampled many of my baked/cooked goods, exclaiming surprise when I announce that ANYONE can make these things, you do not have to be a Cordon Bleu certified patissier.

At any rate, after they finished my chicken (this is after they’ve had the dinner served by mom), they begged me to make something “sweet in the oven”. At this stage it was midnight and I’d run out of energy, so I made some more of the financiers as they were quick, easy, and impressive.

Those disappeared too – but I did manage to snare one for myself before my siblings and their friends stormed down the stairs and back up again with hands full of these golden delights.

Now, it’s always a compliment when the food I make is wolfed down…but next time my mother has guests, I think I’ll make sure to eat before they arrive! For a dinner party that isn’t even mine, that was a lot of work for very little food for me! :(

[tags]chicken, marinade, sauce, baking, drumsticks[/tags]


  1. Dear Ellie,
    I made this delicious chicken for my family last night and it was a resounding hit. It tastes alot like terriyaki chicken with a sour note in the palate. This is going on the regular list.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment, Sue :) I actually haven’t made this in quite some time, so seeing this comment has spurred me into action and I’ll be making it for the family dinner tomorrow night!

  3. Made this chicken for my boys. It was yummy. I added
    a lot more chillies and did not use all the sauce as it was way too much. When I cook it again , I will make only half the quantity of sauce. A definate keeper.

    • This recipe does indeed make a lot of sauce – but I think I lose a lot of mine as I’m so obsessively basting the chicken when making this dish as I want there to be as much flavour as possible :)

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