Chicken thighs, when cooked in an appropriate fashion, are almost certainly the juiciest and most succulent parts of the bird. They can be roasted, grilled, poached or even fried but it is also possible to combine two or more of these procedures to great effect. Breadcrumbs afford additional texture and crunch to chicken thighs and when these breadcrumbs are firstly combined with a tasty sauce, the flavor enhancements can be considerable.

Chinese BBQ Sauce Breaded Chicken Thighs with Fried Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chinese BBQ sauce breaded chicken thighs served on a bed of fried rice

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • ½ cup (3 or 4 ounces) basmati or long grain rice
  • Salt
  • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounce foil sachet Chinese BBQ sauce
  • Milk as required
  • 2 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Washing Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Rice is washed through a fine sieve

Put the rice in to a fine sieve and wash it under running cold water to get rid of the excess starch and any powdered grains. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil before carefully adding the rice. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Simmer for ten minutes before draining through a sieve at your sink.

Boiled Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Boiled rice is spread out on a plate ready to be covered and left to cool

Spread the rice out on a large dinner plate, cover and leave to cool completely. Note that cooked rice can safely be left at room temperature for up to an hour but if leaving it any longer, it should go in to the fridge.

Breadcrumbs and Sauce
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fresh breadcrumbs and Chinese BBQ sauce

To make the breadcrumbs, simply put two or three slices of couple of days old bread in to your food processor and pulse until crumbed. Add the breadcrumbs to a mixing bowl along with the BBQ sauce.

Breadcrumb Batter
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Breadcrumbs batter is ready for coating chicken thighs


Stir the sauce in to the breadcrumbs, very slowly adding a little milk at a time until you have a thick combination that will coat the chicken thighs.

Frying Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chicken thighs are coated in breadcrumb sauce and added to frying pan

Pour two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil in to a large non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium to high heat. Dip the chicken thighs in the breadcrumb sauce to fully coat and lay them in the frying pan. Leave them alone to fry for ten minutes.

Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5.

Turned Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chicken thighs are turned to fry on their second sides

Turn the chicken thighs with cooking tongs and fry for a further ten minutes on their second sides.

Resting Chicken Thighs
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Roast chicken thighs are left to rest

Lift the thighs to an appropriate tray and roast in your oven for fifteen minutes. When done, transfer them to a wire rack and let them rest for ten minutes.

Frying Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Rice is fried in chicken juices and sauce residue

The cooled rice should be fried in the same pan as the chicken thighs to soak up all the juices. Fry over a high heat for two to three minutes.

Fried Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fried rice is plated as a bed for the chicken thighs

Spread the rice out on a serving plate to serve as a bed for the chicken.

Plated Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chicken thighs are laid on fried rice bed

Lift the chicken thighs on to the rice and serve.

Alternative Recipe: Chinese BBQ Sauce Chicken Fried Rice

Chinese BBQ Sauce Chicken Fried Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chinese BBQ sauce flavored chicken fried rice

This recipe is an alternative way of using broadly the same ingredients to different effect.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 4 ounce sachet Chinese BBQ sauce
  • ½ small onion
  • ½ cup basmati or long grain rice
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Light soy sauce
  • 1 small to medium tomato
  • 2 inch piece English/hothouse cucumber


Skinned Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Skin is removed from chicken thighs

Peel the skin from the chicken thighs. This is a lot easier to do than you may imagine and the skin should come away cleanly in one piece in each instance.

Thighs in Sauce
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Thighs and onion are added to BBQ sauce

Pour the BBQ sauce in to a large glass or stone bowl. Add the chicken thighs along with two-thirds of the onion half, cut in to slices. Stir the thighs and onion through the sauce, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate for a minimum half hour.

Oven Ready Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Oven ready thighs in sauce

Preheat your oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Add the chicken thighs, onion and sauce to a casserole dish and put the lid on. Cook in the oven for thirty minutes.

While the chicken thighs are cooking, prepare the rice exactly as described in the principal recipe above and set aside to cool.

Casseroled Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Casseroled thighs should be covered and left to cool

Lift the cooked chicken thighs from the sauce with tongs or a slotted spoon to a plate. Cover and allow to cool completely.

Thigh Meat
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Thigh meat is plucked from bones

When the thighs have cooled, pick the meat from the bones in small bite sized pieces. The bones can be discarded.

Frying Onion
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Onion is firstly fried until softened

Slice the remaining piece of onion and fry over a gentle heat in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil until the strands are just softened.

Frying Rice and Onion
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Rice is fried with softened onion

Add the rice to the pan and turn up the heat to high. Stir fry for an initial minute to heat through.

Chicken added to Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chicken meat is added to frying rice

The pieces of chicken should be added to the pan next. Stir fry for a further minute or so.

Soy Sauce added to Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Splash of light soy sauce is added to frying rice

Add a generous splash of light soy sauce to the rice and stir through. This is optional but does add a significant amount of extra flavor.

Tomato and Cucumber added to Rice
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chopped tomato and cucumber are added to chicken fried rice

Wash the tomato and cucumber in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Chop the tomato in to six segments. Cut the cucumber piece in half along its length before slicing in to crescent shaped pieces. Add the tomato and cucumber to the rice, stir through and leave for ten seconds or so to heat through. Spoon the rice on to a plate to serve.