greet the new year and encounter happiness: honey and ginger roasted chicken thighs for Chinese New Year

sticky Chinese-style honey and ginger chicken thighs

Chinese New Year begins on 10 February this year. I already know what I'll be cooking. (It's Sunday, so I shall be roasting pork, but in a Chinese style rather than in a more traditional British way). But if you haven't thought about celebrating, but feel like something savoury, succulent, sweet and spicy; where you probably have half of the store cupboard ingredients, then this could be the recipe for you. Roast some chicken thighs in a sweet, sticky marinade of honey, garlic and ginger and say hello to the Year of the Snake.

I can’t speak for this recipe’s authenticity, but chicken is often served at New Year, because no matter how poor you are, most people can afford a chicken (especially now since no-one is buying horsemeat burgers from Tescos!) Uncut noodles are often served at New Year, as they represent long life and longevity. But last year, I served mine with rice. I have no idea what that means!

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy


8 x chicken thighs
2-3cm fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
3-4 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 x red chilli, finely sliced
5 tbsp dark soy sauce
5-6 tbsp honey (runny works best)
1 tbsp rice or cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 x cinnamon stick
2 x star anise
5-6 x spring onions, chopped or shredded (to serve)
stir fried noodles or rice with vegetables to serve
chilli dipping sauce


  1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl - ginger, garlic, chilli, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, cinnamon stick and star anise.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and turn over in the marinade to ensure the chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
  4. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a roasting tray, reserving the marinade.fan180°C/gas 6. Roast for 20 minutes, basting with the marinade after 10 minutes.After 20 minutes, turn the chicken thighs over and brush with marinade. Roast for another 20 minutes, basting after 10 minutes.Serve with stir-fried rice or noodles and Chinese chilli dipping sauce.


  • Brilliant with a crisp salad of finely sliced red and white cabbage, carrots, a handful of chopped herbs (such as coriander, Vietnamese mint, garden mint, chives and Thai basil), crushed roasted peanuts with a dressing of the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and sugar to taste (at least 1 tablespoon).


Petra said...

it looks delicious! chicken thighs is a great cut and I love the sound of your sticky sauce!
Happy Chinese New year!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Aw thank you. There is definitely much more flavour in thighs and these are great, not just for new year. And a happy new year to you too! :)

Emily Blair said...

Hi there. Have just discovered your blog from reading The Guardian Word of Mouth food blog.

Just wanted to say that I love what you're doing. The recipes, the writing (it really makes me smile) and your photos. Keep up the good work!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Emily - thank you so much. Sitting here with a silly grin on my face!

Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand said...

Lots of sticky goodness on show here Rachel. Hope you are enjoying the CNY festivities.