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Sticky Chicken – only 3 ingredients, I promise!

Posted on July 19, 2010 by in Chicken

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I have various recipes for sticky chicken because on Fridays we eat finger food and for my children finger food would not be the same without Sticky chicken. Many years ago there was a big craze for cooking chicken in all kinds of liquid. Fruit juice and Coke are the ones I remember vividly.
I think I tried the Coke version once, but it was nothing to jump up and down about. When a friend told me a while ago about this crazy recipe to cook chicken in Coke, I was not impressed at all. She did tell me the secret though…….
Last year some time, I tried cooking chicken in fruit juice again and it was quite a hit around my table. My family named it Sweet and Sour Chicken and since then that is the version of Sweet and Sour Chicken that we use even though I will score 0 for authenticity. No sign of soy, ginger, garlic or any typical Chinese spice, but it works for my family.  Cooking Chicken in Coke and expect to get sticky chicken….. No Ways! I was not convinced, but I am a sucker for not giving up so  I gave it one last shot!
What makes this recipe even more amazing is that the recipe calls for 3 ingredients people 1…..2…..3! How easy is that? Are you daring enough to try? I guarantee you sticky chicken!

Sticky Chicken


8 pieces of chicken – thighs and drumsticks
2 tins of Coke
1/2 cup soy sauce

Place the chicken pieces in a heavy based pot. Pour the Coke and soy over the top, cover with a lid and cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove the lid and lower the heat. Cook the chicken slowly, turning the pieces every now and then.  The sauce will reduce down to a stick consistency. Serve with Mashed potatoes and some greens.
If you want to add some salt, you are most welcome, but we do not. The soy provides enough salt to this dish.

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55 Responses to “Sticky Chicken – only 3 ingredients, I promise!”

  1. Juliana 19 July 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Nina, great chicken recipe…love the idea of only 3 ingredients…simple and tasty…have to try it 🙂

  2. Rhyleysgranny 20 July 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I never thought coke would perform like that. What a great simple dish. Of course you know I will be trying it. Off to the freezer to see if I have some chicken.

    • Petro van Wyk 17 September 2017 at 10:10 am #

      off to see if i have coke 🙂

  3. Koek! 20 July 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Those chicken pieces DO look gorgeously sticky! Yum. And only three ingredients gets a BIG thumbs up…

  4. Juno 20 July 2010 at 11:36 am #

    I love a simple recipe with few ingredients, and this one ticks all the boxes Nina! x

  5. Peter M 20 July 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Yep, you delivered…just 3 ingredients. I seen coke with pork recipes, sounds good with chicken as well.

  6. Marisa 20 July 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I don't know if it's just because I'm hungry, but I had to stop myself from licking the screen. Oh the perils of blog surfing just before lunch!

  7. bellini valli 20 July 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    How easy is that Nina!!!!

  8. MIMI 20 July 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Nina, I have been using your recipes for a while now, and just love your easy way of cooking, thank you sooo much I am a big fan!!

  9. elly 21 July 2010 at 2:59 am #

    I am all about easy, quick, but delicious dishes lately, Nina. This chicken looks so great with the sauce oozing all over. Yum.

  10. PinkPolkaDot 21 July 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    I have never cooked chicken in coke!! Will definitely try this! Stunning pics.

  11. Amy B. @ Foodista 22 July 2010 at 5:36 am #

    Hey, love this recipe! ingredients are so simple, i might actually try this tonight 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I wanna share this to my friends in Foodista too if you don;t mind. Just add the foodista widget for chicken drumsticks at the end of this post, and that should do it! Keep em coming, im subbing. 🙂 Cheers, amy from australia

  12. Colleen 22 July 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Chicken in coke is always a winner with my family and the bonus is it really is this simple. Beautiful photies Nina as always :o) Was SO great to spend some cooking time with you this week xxxxx

  13. Sam 3 August 2010 at 7:07 am #

    I have never cooked with coke, but have heard it can do wonderous things. I do like the sound if it with chicken.

  14. Kevin 5 August 2010 at 2:55 am #

    You can't get much simple than three ingredients and it looks really good! I have not tried cooking with coke yet.

  15. Anonymous 30 August 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I made this on friday past and boy was it yum! my son of three easily scoffed down two of these drumsticks

  16. agasthian 19 October 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    This simple chicken recipe sounds great. Will have to try it, for it's simplicity, yet mouth watering ! would probably add some crushed garlic, just for the extra flavour, mmm

  17. Ingrid 14 December 2010 at 12:26 am #

    With only 3 ingredients…I can handle this one! haha

  18. Lizette 10 February 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    This is really delicious. My family loves it. I've tried Coke chicken before but this is the first recipe that hasn't flopped! Thank you Nina.

  19. Anonymous 6 September 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    What can I use in the place of soy sauce? My child is very allergic to soy

  20. Anonymous 16 January 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my husband and he had 3 helpings! It really is delicious and easy to make!
    Thanks Nina!

  21. Jenni 22 December 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    My verdict…although it was very tasty, there was too much sauce and it didn’t get sticky, so next time I will use only one can of Coke, plus I may also add a little fresh ginger and garlic.

    • Sean 19 February 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Jenni,
      After you take the lid off the pot you must let the sauce reduce to a sticky consistency. It takes a little bit of time but it definitely works.

  22. Heather 7 January 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Awesome recipe…and couldn’t believe how easy it was. Thanks so much. I would love to try it with diet coke but I don’t suppose it would work; guessing that the sugar is what caremelises to make the sticky sauce?

    • nerinatimm 8 January 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      So glad you liked it…..sugar free will not work I’m afraid!!!

  23. Kathy 11 January 2013 at 7:31 am #

    havent had this chicken in a very long time (not since I was a kid)…as an adult Girl Scout one of the ways the girls like their chicken is when we roast a whole chicken on an opened can of Coke (the ingredients for that is salt pepper and olive oil…not counting the coke or chicken.

    • nerinatimm 11 January 2013 at 8:08 am #

      I still get so much feedback from people about this recipe…… seems as if the simplest things in life is still best!

  24. Sussexmum 6 August 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    This looks great,I’m going to try it tonight, I have a question though: roughly how long do you cook for after removing the lid for the first 30-40mins? Another 10mins? 20mins? 30mins?

    • nerinatimm 6 August 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      It is difficult to say, some pots differ in size and also the heat differs, make a cup of coffee and stand and wait rather than having it burn! There is lots of sugar in the cola, so beware of burning! Enjoy!

      • Sussexmum 6 August 2013 at 4:07 pm #

        Ok thank you I’ll give it a go, been shopping and have everything needed now.
        Will report back tomorrow!

        • Sussexmum 6 August 2013 at 11:07 pm #

          It turned out just like the picture 🙂
          Was yummy, however the soy was a bit overpowering for me and was all I could taste. I’ll try again with maybe half the amount- was probably me putting too much in!
          Anyway, thank you!

          • nerinatimm 7 August 2013 at 3:24 pm #

            Awesome, so glad you liked it……

  25. kayla 6 August 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I’m trying it tommow I cannot wait

  26. Mandie 6 September 2013 at 10:38 am #

    My mom used to make this for us when we were kids, but she added ground ginger. I made it last night with fresh ginger. So good! Even better if you eat it with your hands.

  27. Wendy from Georgia 3 November 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Nina, this looks amazing! I want to try it so badly, but am wondering if there is a way to make it with boneless, skinless chicken breast? I just bought a big family pack of chicken breast and I live alone…so it’s only me eating (and okay, I give my two little mini dachshunds little tid bits as they love my cooking!)
    I will most definitely cut the recipe in half, and try it with some chicken legs and thighs the next time I go shopping…but I really want to try some tonight with the breast. Any help or comments would be great!

  28. Jessie 13 November 2013 at 8:01 am #

    I will definitely try this !! looks yummylicious!! Please share with us your other 123 step of cooking ! Simply amazing !

  29. Moeg Geploeg 13 March 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Nou kyk, net die regte resep vir ‘n man wat self moet kook…….het dit gedoen….dit is f@kk!n heerlik. 10/10

    • Jan 30 May 2020 at 7:47 pm #

      Ek hoop so. Is besig om dit in n potjie te maak.

      • nerinatimm 1 June 2020 at 7:30 am #

        Laat my bietjie weet of dit vir julle lekker was.

  30. Tiffany Kwan 15 April 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I made this tonight and it was WAY too salty. I think the next time I made it I’ll have to use a different pan (the pot I used didn’t reduce the sauce properly) and halve the soy sauce. I added some maple syrup (since it was too salty), cayenne pepper and garlic and it was fantastic! My husband loved it.

  31. Nic Venter 28 June 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    I tried it this evening following your advice except I reduced it in a large stir fry non-stick pan and used a thick soy sauce..all I can say is that it was AMAZING. My wife’s comment was “it’s orgasmic” and my 3 yr old son demolished his wings. Thanks

  32. Geoff 1 July 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Cooked this one tonight, added garlic onion and cooked in a pot slightly too small, easily done remove the chook allow to crisp and sticky up on an oven tray while further reducing the sauce worked treat. The simple things truly work well.

  33. ayesha 18 July 2014 at 11:33 am #

    I love this recipe! We’ve actually been using it in our family since my grandmother was a young wife, although we use ginger and garlic as well.

    • nerinatimm 21 July 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Good recipes always survives the age test, thx for the visit!

  34. Pablodeablo 14 December 2014 at 7:05 am #

    They have the same idea in china with Duck give it a try add same as above but with 1 small jar of orange marmalade

  35. stacy broyier 7 February 2016 at 2:01 am #

    I’m wondering what is a “tin of coke”? Is that the same as a can of coke?

    • nerinatimm 10 February 2016 at 8:46 am #

      It is indeed a can of Coke – 340 ml

    • Anton 11 January 2018 at 5:43 pm #

      Made it last night for family! Was very proud of myself for having the patience to wait for the sauce to reduce. If your very picky eater of a teenage son flows with double compliments, you silently thank Nina for this gem of a recipe and pretend that it was all you!!! Even wanted to know if we can’t make wings tonight using the same recipe! Thanks for a great page Nina.

      • nerinatimm 16 January 2018 at 5:16 am #

        Thank you Anton, that is such good news!Thank you for visiting my site and trying out new recipes!

  36. Nina 14 February 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Tried this today for the first time!! And boy my husband and his friends could not get enough…will definitely add this to my recipe book. Thanks a mill.

  37. Vettie 19 March 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    I am trying it now
    …my wife no confidence on her trying husband…Now I hope for the magic will leave a after comment.

  38. Anton 10 January 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    Just put my offering to the fam tonight in the pot. Added some ginger, garlic and grated 1 chilli into it. Holding thumbs! Thanks Nina

    • nerinatimm 16 January 2018 at 5:17 am #

      I will certainly try your additions next time. Thank you for sharing them!

  39. Anton 11 January 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    Made it last night for family! Was very proud of myself for having the patience to wait for the sauce to reduce. If your very picky eater of a teenage son flows with double compliments, you silently thank Nina for this gem of a recipe and pretend that it was all you!!! Even wanted to know if we can’t make wings tonight using the same recipe! Thanks for a great page Nina.

  40. Craig 1 October 2018 at 9:50 pm #

    Luv the idea,but no honey for stickyness, maybe the coke gives enough sweetness, will try , thank

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