20 January 2012

Donna Hay's Sticky Chinese Chicken

Until this week, I'd never heard of Donna Hay. Doing a bit of research, though, gave me a kazillion 'hits' to touch base on ...  from Donna Hay's General Store to the Donna Hay magazine, to numerous news and blog posts on Donna and her bright, crisp, stylish presentation of everything from pasta to potholders! She is, apparently, a media sensation Down Under ... cut from the same bolt as Martha Stewart, perhaps? Her background is squarely in the area of food styling and editing, as she spent her young professional life as food editor at marie clare. Since her early success and exposure, she has been savvy enough to develop a brand and market it to the max. Nothing wrong with that! This past year she stepped into the world of television when she began her fast, fresh, simple. lifestyle show. With an accompanying cookbook release, her star continues to rise.

I am making a fast, fresh, and simple batch of chicken legs today. While Donna's recipe is at its most basic, I did little things to enhance the spices and assure that the meat would absorb as much flavour as possible before I popped it into the oven. I also doubled the amount of sauce so that the legs were almost covered as they marinated.

Donna Hay's Sticky Chinese Chicken


1 small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ tsp five spice powder
3 star anise
1 tbsp. brown sugar
½ c. soy sauce
1 c. chicken stock
¼ c. oyster sauce
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

Steamed rice, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200° C (390° F). Place the ginger, garlice, five spice, star anise, soy, stock, and oyster sauce in a small bowl and whisk until well-combined. Place the chicken in an oven-proof dish, pour over te ginger mixture, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Serve over rice. Serves 6.


First and foremost, I used only chicken legs because they were a.) on sale this week b.) bigger than those boney little wings and c.) a uniform size for consistent cooking.

1. I steeped the spices in the hot chicken stock for about ten minutes before I added the soy and oyster sauces.

2. I poked the chicken all over to ensure that the marinade was absorbed.

3. I marinated the chicken legs all afternoon ... about four hours. Periodically, I flipped the legs to get even soak time.

4.  I placed the legs in a roaster pan without crowding them and roasted them uncovered, brushing them with the marinade several times while they roasted. Oh! And I roasted them for only 35 to 45 minutes ... if you use bigger pieces, plan accordingly.

These legs were ab-so-lute-ly killah as any hick at heart would say ... and I'm shrugging guiltily, here. Make the rice because it's the perfect softly-flavoured foil to these legs. I also like the idea of using only one chicken part, as the chicken cooks uniformly and you don't have to worry about the little pieces getting dry while the breast pieces come up to speed.

And finally ... Silent Bob and I decided that the marinade would be ab-so-lute-ly killah if we made a rack of spareribs .... we're drooling already.

Thank you, Donna Hay! Nice to meet you!


  1. Donna Hay is my favourite Game Changer so far. I always have her magazine gracing my table. This chicken dish does sound delicious with its sticky coating.

  2. I'm doing this - oh it looks so welcoming. I have fallen in love with her ability to do classic, simple and packed with flavor.

  3. Oh, I bet the flavor of that chicken was outstanding. I'm definitely doing these...such a nice dish for this cold weather we've been having! Nice job!

  4. i've heard of Donna Hay but never seen her recipes... this chicken looks very very good and I will be adding it to my chicken rep... totally brilliant xx

  5. I would love to have Donna Hay's style! This looks great.

  6. This dish sounds delicious, and I love your change to make more sauce!

  7. Star anise is one spice I have to order or at least wait for a trip "to the city." But by the looks of this it would be worth it. Donna Hay must be a very interesting woman

  8. I like the simplicity of Donna Hay's recipes and I love the modifications you made to make sure this chicken was extra flavorful!

  9. Those look delicious, Susan! The marinade sounds perfect and these would be gobbled down in no time at my house!

  10. I' never heard of her either. The chicken legs look so yummy. This is an easy recipe too. Once you make the marinade the rest of the recipe takes care of itself. This is a keeper for sure. If I weren't so sick I would be making this tomorrow for the Pats game.

  11. I've never heard of her! I'm sure she'll be on the Martha show in the near future! The recipe looks very good and easy to make! Thanks and enjoy the snow!

  12. I bet that oyster sauce really did make it fabulously sticky...YUM!

  13. What a lovely dish. This definitely will be one that I try in the days ahead. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary


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