Sweet honey chicken

This works beautifully well asa dinner party dish or on a celebration table, in particular for Rosh Hashanah, given its sweet notes and honey.


My husband’s Israeli cousin Michal shared this recipe with me when I was in MasterChef. She is a very gifted cook with an effortless, down-to-earth style that’s reflected in her hospitality. Having been fortunate enough to have sat as a guest at her table,I knew I could trust her. This is an adaptation of her recipe, and while it didn’tmake the MasterChef table for fear of its simplicity.


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
  • Place the chicken, skin-side up, on a baking tray and arrange the shallots and sweet potato wedges around the chicken.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and pour over the top, ensuring that everything is well covered. Season generously with salt and black pepper, then tuck in the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  • Cover the tray with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the oven up to 200°C/180°C fan and remove the foil.
  • Add the dates and give all the ingredients around the chicken a good stir in the sauce, then cook, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is nicely golden and everything has slightly caramelized.
  • Serve the chicken over a bowl of rice or couscous with lots of the sauce, scattered with the flaked almonds to garnish.

6 skin-on chicken leg joints or 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or a mixture of thighs and drumsticks

12 shallots, peeled but left whole

3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges

2 bay leaves

5 sprigs of thyme

12 Medjool dates, pitted

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rice or couscous, to serve

50g toasted flaked almonds, to garnish

For the sauce

6 tbsp  clear honey

6 tbsp  soy sauce

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp  olive oil

2cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp ground coriander

300ml red wine

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