Doireann’s Crispy Chicken and Vegetables in a sweet and sticky sauce.

Sticky Chicken (18)

Over the years I haven’t really had much luck with internet recipes – said the woman with recipes on the internet – I look at some of them, go – eyeroll – ‘that’s never going to work’ and move on.

And that’s fine – until one pulls you in, and you think ‘hmmm, yes, now there’s a possibility’.  That false optimism lasting until the moment after the expensive ingredients have been committed, and it dawns that this is – yet again – a disaster in the making!

I’ve taken a break from Internet recipes; for ‘break’ read: never going there again…

However – you knew that ‘however’ was coming, didn’t you? – I follow a select band of people on Instagram who appear to me to know what they’re talking about, food-wise, and when this recipe appeared a few days ago, I looked at it, read it all, and thought: ‘Saturday Evening Dinner’.

And so, dear reader, it came to pass that Mr Saturday Night and I had a delicious new recipe for dinner yesterday evening, and I really must share it with you all..

First of all, may I introduce you to someone I’ve never met, who lives in *checks phone* Cork. Or Tipperary. Anyway, she’s a chef (explains a lot, really) and is called @doireanns_kitchen on Instagram. Go on, and give her a follow! Thank you Doireann, for a delicious recipe.. here’s my extended edition of it..

Sticky Chicken (19)

I think that much of this recipe could be prepared ahead of time, so that the ‘making the dinner’ part of it merely requires little more than bringing everything together. I’m referring to the blanched vegetables, the chicken, and the sauce ingredients. And that’s actually quite a lot – well most of it really – when you think about it..


  • A large saucepan
  • A sieve
  • a large, fairly deep frying pan
  • 2 med-large bowls
  • a measuring jug
  • Kitchen roll
  • a large shallow baking tray, with a sheet of Baking parchment on it
  • A pair of food tongs


For the crispy Chicken:

  • one chicken breast per person – skin removed, and cut into strips 2-3 inches long and 1/2 an inch wide.                                                       Sticky Chicken (9)
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 50g plain flour
  • A tablespoon of Sesame seeds
  • Oil for frying – I used Sunflower oil


  •  1 teaspoon of Shaoxing wine
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Soya sauce


  • Your choice of vegetables – I used two different peppers in thin strips, and onion in crescents and a carrot in julienne strips. See notes for other variations.
  • Basmati Rice, to serve

And for the sauce:                                                        Sticky Chicken (6)

  • 1 tsp Chili flakes
  • half a green chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced.
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine
  • 120ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of regular Soy sauce
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of dark brown sugar – I used Muscovado
  • 2 tablespoons of Sweet Chilli sauce
  • ½ tablespoon of cornflour, dissolved in 2 tbsps. water.


  • Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Then refresh, rinse in cold water, and drain them. They will be reheated later on.
  • Prepare the chicken.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and add the chicken. It doesn’t look as if there’s enough, but there is. It doesn’t need to marinate forever either – 10-15 minutes is fine.
  • Put the sauce ingredients into  a large jug, mix well, and leave to one side.
  • Mix the cornflour and plain flour together in a medium-large bowl.
  • Toss the chicken pieces into the cornflour mix and coat well on each side.
  • Heat the oven to 120°Fan, and put a lined baking tray in to heat
  • Heat ½inch/2cms of oil in the pan to medium-hot.

Sticky Chicken (10)

  • Fry the chicken in batches until cooked, crisp and a light golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan. As the pieces cook, drain them on kitchen paper, then put them on the tray in the oven. ** See NOTES for reheating  the chicken later on if required**

Sticky Chicken (15)

  • When all the chicken has been cooked, dispose of the fat in the pan safely, wipe it well then add a tablespoon of oil and heat it up.
  • You should put the rice on to cook about now.
  • Throw in the chilled vegetables and stir around for a minute or two, then add the contents of  the Sauce jug, and stir around until it’s all well heated up.

Sticky Chicken (12)

  • Add about half of the cornflour/water mixture and stir in. Add more if needed.
  • Add in the chicken pieces and baste with the sauce.
  • Serve immediately with Basmati rice


  • To prepare ahead: Cook the chicken as described in the recipe, then allow it to cool. Keep ii chilled until you’re ready to cook it. Then heat the oven to 180°Fan, add the chicken in a single layer on the baking tray and cook until everything is hot and crispy – about 10 minutes. Put the rice on to cook as you start to reheat the vegetables. Follow the rest of the recipe to complete.
  • If the sauce gets too thick when you add the cornflour/water mixture, just loosen it with some boiling water.
  • Other vegetables that you can use would be Peas, French beans, sugarsnap peas or mangetouts, broccoli.. etc etc..

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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