Easy baked chicken portions in black bean sauce – great for a Chinese style meal, or a fresh twist on Sunday lunch.
When I was growing up there was a time when Sunday lunch every week was roast chicken. The way the smell permeated through the house was just magic. Now I simply don’t have time to do a full roast chicken dinner every week, but a chicken dinner on a Sunday still has a certain magic to it.
Some flavours just seem to resonate ‘autumn’ to me, and black bean sauce is one of them – I once made a Pheasant and Black Bean Stir Fry. This time it’s not a stir fry though – it’s a Sunday dinner. The sauce keeps the chicken portions moist and provides a nice ‘gravy’ effect.
Make Your Own Black Bean Sauce!
My sauce recipe is adapted from an old Chinese cookbook my Granny passed on to me, a Mulberry Editions book called ‘Chinese Cooking’ from 1993. I’d always thought Chinese sauces would be really hard to make myself and bought them in a jar, or cooked fairly plain stir fries, before this book took away the magic. If you have a Chinese supermarket near you the preserved black beans don’t cost much more than a jar of sauce and last forever.
Easy Baked Chicken Portions
The key to this meal is wedging the portions into the dish so the dish is full. I used three chicken thighs and four drumsticks – I’m sure it would work with whole legs, or breasts. We eat a lot of leg meat as we prefer to buy free range, and you get more for your money that way. The sauce nearly covers the chicken, keeping it moist and meaning if you leave it in a bit longer for extra tenderness it doesn’t dry out. Yum!
I’ve served these with a mash made from potatoes, purple sweet potatoes and parsinps and some steamed veg – if you prefer you can use vegetable chow mein or fried rice to make a more Chinese style meal. If speed really is the essence pick a side dish with no peeling.
10 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 4 tbsp preseved black beans
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 chicken thighs and four drumsticks
- Heat the oven to gas mark 8/230C/450F.
- First make the sauce. Place the black beans in a small bowl and crush them with the back of a spoon.
- Mix in the cornflour, soy sauce and garlic powder thoroughly and give the beans another squash with the spoon.
- Stir this paste into 600ml (2.5 cups) of freshly boiled water.
- Place the chicken portions into a dish that's a snug fit in one layer.
- Pour the sauce over, spreading out any clumps of black beans.
- Place the dish in the preheated oven for an hour, turning the chicken pieces once roughly half way through cooking.
- Check the chicken is cooked all the way through before serving.