Roasted chicken salad + barbecue sauce dressing

Many of you guys know that I really look up to Donal Skehan and he inspires me to cook, to travel and to generally be a good human being.

I had written him a letter a few years back and his dear wife Sophie (who is so amazing and so gorgeous!) was kind enough to reply. It was just the sort of push I needed at that moment and kept me going.

I’ll probably share that letter a little later. Hehe. Get it? Letter later? No? (-_-)

Donal had made this sticky chicken salad a few days back and it’s generally one of his favourites! I decided to do my own version of the salad and see how it turned out.DSC_0027 (2)-01

10 mins prep | 1-2 hours marinating time| 1-hour cooking time

Ingredients to serve 2-3 people:

  • 2 chicken thigh and leg pieces (the thighs and the leg should be attached for the recipe, ask your butcher to not cut them into smaller bits. We want to cook with as much bone as possible for the max flavour).
  • 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 and a half tablespoon of soy sauce (light or dark)
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (rice/red wine/cider/regular vinegar will also do)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small head of lettuce, torn roughly with hands
  • A large handful of baby spinach leaves
  • A small bunch of mustard greens or any pungent leafy vegetable
  • 3-4 cherry small ripe tomatoes or 7-8 cherry tomatoes
  • A small onion sliced thinly

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (rice/red wine/cider/regular vinegar will also do)
  • 2 tablespoons chilli oil (regular olive oil will also do, just add 2-3 chillies in)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey (depending on your taste of the sauce, I like it quite sweet)


In a large marinating pan or bowl, add your washed and dried chicken pieces. Remember to remove the water thoroughly. I usually wash my chicken an hour before prep, pat it dry with a paper napkin and let it sit in the fridge till I am ready to marinate.

Using a small knife, make cuts into the flesh of the chicken for the marinade to seep through. Season with some salt and pepper and rub it well. Combine the sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar and honey in a bowl and pour over the chicken.

Rubber gloves are recommended for the next step! Using your hand, massage the pieces with the marinating mix and ensure that they get a fair coating throughout.

Cover the bowl with a plastic roll to seal completely and let it rest for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the chicken pieces on a well-greased baking tray and cover with half of the remaining marinade from the bowl. Bake for 25 mins and then turn them over, cover with the leftover marinade and bake another 25 mins.

The chicken should have nice brown bits on the top from the caramelisation of the honey and soy sauce. If not, crank the oven up and broil for another 5 mins, keeping a watchful eye.

Let the chicken cool as you start working on the sauce.

In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and bring it up to heat. As soon as the mixture develops bubbles and starts to get frothy, start swirling the pan around. The sauce will start to combine and reduce to a soft, sticky consistency. Taste check and adjust the salt or sweetness as needed. Remove from heat and let it rest in a bowl.

Next, slice the tomatoes and onions into small pieces as instructed. Tear the lettuce and mustard greens by hand. Leave the baby spinach leaves whole, but pluck out the hard stems if any. Add them to a large salad bowl.

Using a sharp knife, detach the chicken thighs from the legs and start removing the meat from the bones. This should be fairly easy with the meat literally falling off the bone. That’s the magic of a good marinade!

Chop the chicken into smaller pieces and add them to the salad bowl. Combine using wooden spoons or by hand. Top with as much dressing as your liking.

Serve with some toasted croutons and you’re all set. Happy cooking!

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