From mother’s loving hands

Baked chilli chicken drumettes

My family are absolute chicken fiends. We have red meat maybe once or twice a week, and lots of seafood and fish, but for some reason chicken tends to appear on the dinner table only about once a month. However, when it does, it’s usually done so in a ridiculously tasty way courtesy of my mother’s tendency towards time-consuming but delicious meal preparations.

I once asked her why she bothered with the extra steps in her recipes, which appeared to me to be tedious and without merit, but she offhandedly replied that she didn’t care how long the preparation took as well as the fact that though I couldn’t see the point to her extended steps, that I’d surely notice the difference in the dishes when she left them out! In this particular dish, the milk marinade absolutely baffled me till my mother explained that it helped the make the chicken stay moist during the cooking, as well as helping to remove any ‘chickeny’ smell from the meat!

Baked chilli chicken drumettes

I think that a lot of her cooking methods come from the food preparation methods used in Korean cuisine. Anyone who has tried making something such as kimchi, mandu or miyok guk will be able to tell you that most Korean mains are not exactly the easiest dishes in the world to make. They usually consist of various components and the sauces and preparation are fiddly and time-consuming, but the end results are dishes with robust but balanced flavours, making those who try a well-prepared meal hooked and hungry for more!

You probably have recipes for some kind of baked chicken drumstick dish, and with the prep time required for this recipe I can’t convince you to try it. All I can say is that you should give it a shot…and if you have a recipe that beats it, send it over to me and I’ll give it a try 😉

Baked chilli chicken drumettes

Baked Sweet & Spicy Soy Chicken

1.5kg chicken drumettes, trimmed of fat
2L milk
2 medium onions, pureed
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup kecap manis *
2/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup dried chilli flakes
1/4 cup water

* Kecap manis is a thick, sweet soy sauce commonly used in Indonesian cooking. You should be able to find it in any Asian grocery store

1. Mix together the milk, onion puree, crushed garlic, salt, sugar and pepper, then taste and add more sugar/salt/pepper as required (it should be ‘fresh’ from the onion, garlicky, sweet with just a hint of a kick from the pepper). Submerge the chicken in the milk mix, cover it and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.

2. The next day, remove the chicken from milk marinade and drain for about an hour. While chicken is draining, mix together the kecap manis, sweet chilli sauce, dried chilli flakes and the water, then when the chicken has drained, mix it through the fresh marinade, then pack it tightly into a plastic container with the marinade and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge (or, at the very least for about 2-3 hours).

3. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, and place chicken in a baking tray with the marinade poured over the top. Cover with a piece of foil and bake for 30 minutes.

4. At the 30 minute mark, remove the foil and turn the chicken pieces over, then cover again and bake for another 30 minutes. 10 minutes before removing from the oven, remove the foil to help the chicken take on a little extra colour.

5. Remove from the oven, serve with a rice and a side of Asian-inspired salad (for which I’ll put up a recipe another time) and enjoy a delicious dinner :)

[tags]chicken, poultry, baked, recipes, food, Asian, Korean cuisine, family recipes[/tags]


  1. Sharleen says:

    This looks really good, but would it be okay to leave out the chili sauce and powder? My family is not a fan of chili. :/

    • Sharleen, leaving out the chilli flakes is fine but leaving out the sweet chilli sauce would remove one half of the flavour from this dish and turn it into something entirely different, therefore I don’t recommend it.

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