A Glug of Oil

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Jamie Oliver Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Jamie Oliver recipe for Pot-roasted Sweet and Sour Chicken is from back in the days of The Naked Chef, and it is a keeper.

If you give it a go which I hope you do, I'm sure you'll love it just as much as we do.

Pot-Roast Sweet and Sour Chicken

Pot Roast Chicken Jamie Oliver

Whatever you do though, don't leave out the fennel seeds as they really make this dish.

Also, it's important to crush them as the recipes say because this will release their flavour into the dish.

I first made this back in April 2008 and if you could see my original photo you'd have a fit, it was the most dreadful photo ever!😨

Remember I didn't have a fancy camera and used to use my mobile phone but we're not talking an iPhone or anything remotely as fancy.

I'd only started this blog at the end of the month before. No recipe card, no 'print recipe' button. Nope, nothing like that.

But since it's almost March 2020 when this blog will be 12 years there are so many poorly written posts with awful photos that if I removed them all it'd be only half the blog it is now.

When making a recipe that requires a lot of ingredients, I find it's worth looking out for a food discount code over at Top Vouchers Codes.

What are Fennel seeds?

Fennel seeds are a dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only more on the green side than brown.

They have an aniseed flavour and a warm, sweet aroma and are used in spice mixes such as Chinese five spice and Indian five spice, find out how to make Panch Phoran.

Back to the Pot-Roasted Sweet and Sour Chicken. Cook this and your kitchen will smell amazing but more importantly is, everyone will love it.

My Top Tip for Serving

I've found the best plan when making this is not to fuss about keeping it warm since to remove the hot chicken from the bone would require asbestos hands!

So instead all I do is remove the chicken from the roasting dish and onto a big plate and wait for the chicken to cool.

Remove the peppers, onion, chillies and pineapple from the roasting pan, and put half of them into a glass, or any microwaveable dish, and put the other half of them into a blender.

Drain the little juice that the chicken has left on the plate and add to a blender and make the sauce as instructed in the recipe, and put it into a small saucepan ready for later.

Now you can take the chicken from the bones keeping it in biggish pieces.

Put the chicken pieces into the same microwavable dish as the peppers and pineapple etc. 

Move the chicken to one side of the dish to separate them from each other, only because it will be easier to serve. Cover with cling-film and put a couple of holes in the film ready for later.

With that lot done you can have a clear-up. Nothing worse than eating dinner knowing the kitchen is looking like a bomb site!

To Serve

When you're ready and the rice you're serving it with is almost done, reheat the sauce in the saucepan.

Pop the chicken and veg into a microwave (still covered in cling-film but with a couple of holes in it) and set to high power for 3 minutes or so. 

I'll leave the exact time for you to judge since microwaves vary so much.

Pot-roast sweet and sour chicken ready for the oven

As you can see from my photo you want to cut the veg into fairly biggish pieces. I love this recipe for how you can just bung it all in one pot and into the oven.

Pot-roasted Sweet and Sour Chicken - Jamie Oliver

Yield: 4-6
Author: Jan Bennett
Jamie Oliver Sweet and Sour Chicken

Jamie Oliver Sweet and Sour Chicken

If you want to cook for two people as I did, just use a smaller chicken and halve the rest of the ingredients. Please see my post to find out how to make this so much easier when serving.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 2 H & 10 MTotal time: 2 H & 20 M


  • 2 kg whole chicken
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 2 red chillies - medium-hot ones
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 4 red onions
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 4-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven 190c/375F/Gas5
  1. You will need a casserole dish large enough for the chicken to sit on top of all the vegetables and pineapple. You will also need a food processor.
  2. Crush the fennel seeds. Cut the stalk off the top of the chillies. Snap them in half.
  3. Peel the pineapple and cut it into large chunks.
  4. Cut the red onions and peppers into quarters and put them into a cold casserole dish.
  5. Add the chillies, pineapple and crushed fennel seeds. Drizzle the lot with 2 glugs of olive oil (approx. 2 tablespoons).
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it a good stir to coat everything well.
  7. Chop the parsley, leaves and all and grate the ginger, leaving the skin on.
  8. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with the parsley and ginger.
  9. Place the stuffed chicken on top of the veg and pineapple and pat it with a little oil.
  10. Cook in the middle of a pre-heated oven until the chicken is cooked - about 2 hours.
  11. **Please note cooking time is APROX - please read the label on the chicken.
  12. The chicken is only cooked when the juices run clear and you can easily pull the bone from the thighs.
  13. When cooked, remove the chicken and drain away most of the cooking juices from the pan and discard.
  14. Remove the chicken from the bone and put it onto serving plates. Now remove half of the vegetables and half of the pineapple and put with the chicken and keep warm.
  15. Put the remaining vegetables and pineapple from the pan into a food processor with the sugar and balsamic vinegar.
  16. Correct the seasoning with a little salt and pepper - if needed. Blend for just a few seconds to make a lovely sauce. 
  17. Pour over the sauce over the chicken and serve with plain boiled rice.
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