Honey soy chicken (really easy)


John McDouall Stuart
Feb 8, 2014
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Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia

This is one of the easiest and tastiest meals I make. I cooked it in the back yard over a fire, then brought it inside because it was so windy.

1-2kg chicken drumsticks
1/4 to 1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup of honey
Enough water to half cover the chicken (leaving half exposed to the heat so it browns)

You can brown the chicken first then add the other ingredients, or just throw it all in together and cook.
The chicken can even start out frozen, which is good, because it's safer to have frozen chicken in the bush than thawed.

I never measure the ingredients, its quite forgiving. I do however often try to slightly under-do it initially, in terms of the honey and soy. You can add more later, but can't take it away.
Once the chicken is pretty much cooked you can taste the sauce to see if it needs more honey or soy.

It's best to heat mostly from the top so the chicken that's not submerged browns. Turning them to get all sides browned.
I tend to wait until the exposed chicken skin is quite dark, with a bit of that tasty bbq style charring.
The water should mostly evaporate leaving a thick rich honey soy sauce.

I cooked it with greens this time but it goes really well with pasta too. Even better with both.

Optional other ingredients:
- garlic
- diced onion
- onion soup mix
- onion powder
- chilli
- sweet chilli sauce (it can replace some of the sweetness of the honey, and add a hint of chilli)
- vegemite (it can replace some of the soy flavor)
- chicken/vegie stock (it can replace some of the saltiness of the soy, and broaden the flavor of the sauce)
- corn flour (if the sauce needs thickening)
You could also throw in other sweet vegetables like carrots, etc. to add more flavor, and boost the nutritional diversity of the meal.

If you have no honey you could probably just use the other sweet ingredients for a similar effect. Maybe even a dash of sugar if you need to (but using only sugar and no other sweet ingredients I think might not be as nice, because sugar doesn't have much flavor, but it's worth a try).

If you have no soy sauce you might be able to get away with using other sources of salt for a similar effect, but it may not be quite as good.
Vegemite however is a very good soy sauce substitute, at least in small doses. I wouldn't be surprised if it tasted good with no soy sauce, and only vegemite as the salt source, however I've never tried that. I have used vegemite in cooking though in place of soy sauce, stock, and salt, albeit in dishes where the soy sauce wasn't the dominant flavor as it is in honey soy.

If the flavor is too strong add some water and corn flour to dilute the flavor slightly. If it's too weak add more honey and soy.

Once cooked and reduced the chicken should be falling off the bone.

One major benefit of this meal is that honey and soy sauce can be kept forever (pretty much) at room temperature. So you could keep some in your kit and try the same recipe with other types of meat that you catch in the field.
If you need to ration the honey and soy (ie. long term wilderness trip) then you could get away with using just small amounts. The flavor won't be so rich but it should still be tasty.
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