Dark Beer-marinated Chicken Thighs with Onion Jam

Martin Blunos' sticky chicken drumsticks are ideal for the barbecue, served up with onion jam, mixed leaves and a sweet onion dressing
By Martin Blunos
Dark Beer-marinated Chicken Thighs with Onion Jam
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 4 hrs marinating time
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 ml British ale
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves plucked
  • 1 small bunches basil, chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • mixed leaves, to serve

For the onion dressing and onion jam

  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for dressing
  • 100 ml water
  • salt andfreshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice only


1. Whisk the mustard, treacle, sugar, lemon juice, pepper and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the ale, garlic and herbs.

2. Slash the chicken thighs through to the bone in several places with a sharp knife. Place the thighs into the ale marinade and put in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Turn in the liquid from time to time.

3. While the chicken is marinating, make the onion dressing and onion jam; mix the onions with the caster sugar and salt, and leave to stand for about 4 hours.

4. Carefully strain off the onion juice and reserve.

5. Put the onions in a pan with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and 100ml of water. Cook gently to make a soft and pulpy jam. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

6. For the dressing, mix the onion juice with enough olive oil to make a dressing. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

7. Heat a griddle pan or barbecue and preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Drain and dry the chicken pieces, brush with a little olive oil and cook on all sides until golden and branded. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until cooked right through.

8. To serve, place a spoonful of the onion jam on each plate, top with two chicken thighs. Dress the mix of leaves and serve along side the thighs.

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