Shimmering, golden and sticky, honey soy chicken thighs are a seriously beautiful thing. Roasted chicken is glazed with mirin, soy and honey then paired up with some spring vegetables for a really tasty and healthy asian broth.
Whilst the spring sun has returned and is firing up the front of our house at this very moment, the allotment is still really bare with almost nothing growing on it. What does remain however is a rather lovely row of Swiss chards that in spite of the regular battering of frost, are vibrant and glowing. The bright pink and yellow stems really lift this simple chicken soup. As well as tasting really good, they look beautiful and made the job of photographing this dish so much easier! I’m still brand new to growing my own, but Swiss chards are a bit of a god send to be honest. They took zero effort to grow and they just keep on coming all winter long. Be sure to give them a try if you’re after some fool-proof veggies to grow when nothing else will.
The asian broth for these honey soy chicken thighs is as simple as it gets. Tasty chicken stock is flavoured with ginger lime and chilli, but the really delicious part is the flavour of star anise – it adds such a warming flavour to this simple chicken soup, instantly making it feel much more special. Typically, a broth like this would be loaded up with rice noodles, but low carb chicken recipes and noodles don’t go particularly well together, so instead I sliced up long ribbons of spring greens to bulk out the soup and give it an extra health boost. I also toned down the honey and mirin a touch, to cut the carbs a little more. The original recipe came from the wonderful Nigel Slater, so a great big thank you to him for sharing it.
Ingredients 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 2 tsps honey 2 tsps mirin 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin on 800ml chicken stock 3cm ginger, peeled & thinly sliced 1tbsp lime juice 1/2 a birds eye chilli, finely sliced A large handful of spring greens, thinly sliced A large handful of rainbow chard, sliced
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F.
Mix the soy, honey & mirin together and pour into a roasting tray. Add chicken thighs and turn in mixture until coated. Roast for 25 minutes. Whilst cooking, give the thighs an occasional turn in the mixture.
In a saucepan, warm the stock, lime, ginger, star anise & chilli. Once simmering add the greens and chard and cook for a minute or two.
Divide the leaves between two bowls and ladle over the stock. Slice the chicken and add to the bowls. Low carb chicken recipes don’t get much easier.
Is mirin gluten free?
This question has cropped up a few times, genuine mirin is gluten free and is made from fermented rice. If gluten is an issue for you, pick up some Kikkoman tamari soy sauce too, as that is gluten free where most soy sauces are not.