Flavorful and tender rhubarb chicken, a savory rhubarb dish to celebrate spring. Tender chicken thighs and an amazing sweet and sour sauce.
Have you ever tried a savory rhubarb recipe? You definitely should! Start with this rhubarb chicken, once you had this, you will be willing to try anything made with rhubarb! Like, for instance, this chicken rhubarb curry, this rhubarb fish curry or this amazing rhubarb soup with omelet and bacon.
A rhubarb recipe again, I can't help it, I like it so much, and now is the time to eat it. In a few weeks, it will all be over... Of course, you can easily freeze it and enjoy it the whole year but still, I like it better fresh and eaten at the right time.
What can I say about this recipe? The sauce was unbelievable! I loved the tender chicken pieces inside and everything else, but the sauce was the killer. Actually I could have eaten the sauce as it was, just mopping it up with bread, and not really miss the chicken... A sweet and sour, spicy due to a large amount of black pepper, delightful sauce.
Tips for making the rhubarb sauce
- You can use whole chicken quarters/legs, which you can divide at the joint.
- Or you can buy already separated thighs and drumsticks.
- I prefer to skin the chicken parts whenever making a stew or curry, I don't like the floppy skin.
- When adding the black pepper to the sauce, start with 1 tablespoon of it, then add up to 2 tablespoons according to your taste.
- I used about 1 ½ tablespoon and didn't find the sauce too hot, it was just right for me, and there was no complaint about it being too hot from the children either. It probably depends a lot on the sort of black pepper you use.
- The chicken parts need to simmer very slowly for a longer time, about 1 ¼ hours. That will make them incredibly tender and flavorful.
Step by step
- Slice the onions and the garlic.
- Peel and chop the rhubarb. Use the peel to make Rhubarb Syrup, for instance.
- Fry the meat parts on one side, turn and cook on the other side.
- Fry the onions and the garlic.
- Stir in the pepper and turmeric.
- Add the tomatoes.
- Now add the rhubarb, honey and lime juice.
- Add the stock and stir well.
- Return the meat to the pot.
- Bring to a boil.
- Simmer, uncovered for 1 ¼ hour.
- We had the rhubarb chicken with rice this time, but baguette or crusty white bread are also great for mopping up that delicious, sweet, and tangy rhubarb sauce.
More savory rhubarb recipes:
Rhubarb Soup - An easy to make soup – tangy, aromatic and topped with bacon omelet.
Chicken Green Curry - A very flavorsome chicken green curry coconut milk, raisins, and apples.
Rhubarb Fish Curry - A special kind of curry with fish, rhubarb and bananas. It might sound strange, but it really works.
Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce
- 10 oz red onions
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 4 skinless chicken thighs
- 4 skinless chicken drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons roughly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 can 400 g/ 14 oz chopped tomatoes
- 5 tablespoons honey more to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 lb rhubarb
- 3 cups chicken stock
- fine sea salt
- Preparations: Halve the red onions and slice them thinly. Slice the garlic cloves thinly as well. Skin the chicken and divide the chicken legs at the joint, if necessary. Clean and peel the rhubarb, then chop it into small pieces.
- Fry chicken: Heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed or nonstick pot and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes per side. Don't try to move the chicken pieces during the first 5 minutes, the meat will stick to the pan. Once it is browned, you will be able to turn it easily. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
- Cook vegetables: Fry the onions and garlic without adding any extra oil to the pan for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add a splash of water, if the onions start to stick. Add the pepper and turmeric and fry shortly while stirring all the time. Add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Simmer: Add the honey, lime juice, and chopped rhubarb. Return the chicken back to the pan and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer on medium-low heat and uncovered for about 1 ¼ hour, stirring from time to time.
- Adjust the taste with salt and maybe more honey or lime juice if you find that necessary.
Emily Wilson says
Fantastic dish! Halved the chicken stock and only used 3T-ish of honey. Had over couscous with minced herb medley to great effect.
So happy to read this, Emily. 🙂 Couscous sounds great!
Made this tonight and it was really lovely. This was my first time cooking rhubarb and I was thrilled to find a savoury recipe. Made it exactly as written and served over broccoli rice. Delicious!
I am so happy to hear it, Roxanne. Thank you for writing. I am looking forward to the fresh rhubarb so I can make it again.
Are you using diced or crushed tomatoes? I used diced tomatoes because that's what we call chopped tomatoes where I live, but the photo looks like you're using crushed.
Hi Jennifer. It doesn't really matter that much, use what you have. I normally use chopped/diced tomatoes for this recipe, the cubes are pretty small. Sometimes I use canned whole tomatoes which I crush myself with the hand directly in the pot.
@Adina, thanks for answering. Made this last night and my 16-year-old, who is super picky, ate 3 drumsticks. That's amazing because he doesn't eat onions, tomato (except in sauce form) or rhubarb (ever).
I am so glad to hear it, Jennifer. My kids love this too. 🙂
I am very confused by the good reviews. I made the recipe as written. I questioned the Tablespoon or more of pepper but put it in (1 Tbsp) as directed. We were very disappointed with the results. The pepper overpowered the rhubarb, lime, onion, garlic and everything else. We are having a bumper crop of rhubarb so I will try it again but cut back to a teaspoon of pepper. We can always add more later.
That sounds ok, I hope it works for you better that way.
@Marcia, if you are using finely ground pepper, instead of roughly ground, 1tbsp ends up being a lot more pepper.
Hi, I have someone who is using your recipe and got to a point where she had browned everything and made the sauce but had to leave to run errands. She's hoping she can transfer this into the stove later to finish the dish. She was hoping she could put it in the oven at 350 or 375. Is it possible?
We actually told her to put it in a crockpot and simmer it there.
Hi Jennifer. Only saw the comment now. I hope it worked with the crockpot.
Excellent dish and wonderful to have something different to do with rhubarb!
I used fresh tomatoes with a dollop of tomato paste and think it still worked fabulously. A friend who found the pepper a little intense, added a little plain yoghurt to good effect. We are both going to make this again. Thank you Adina 🙂
Thank you for the feedback! 🙂
This was great, made the curry then added with grilled chicken and Tifu as we are a divided house.
Sounds great, Julie. Thank you for the feedback.
turned out great, was tired of just using rhubarb in pies and getting loads right now. modifications I made:
– added a bit of creole seasoning when frying the onions
– squirt of sriracha during the simmer
- white wine/cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken the sauce up
– served over coconut brown rice
Thank you for the feedback, Jim. It sounds great.
Can I use frozen rhubarb? Can't wait to try this!!
Hi Kim. I never did, but I think it's ok.
Delicious! I used 2 chicken breasts instead of thighs and drumsticks. I T of pepper was plenty for us. For step 4, I used my electric pressure cooker, and it turned out more like soup. My guess is that there is evaporation that takes place when cooking on the stove, which doesn't occur in a pressure cooker. We added some cooked rice, and it was great. When I make it again, I will probably reduce the amount of chicken stock to 2 cups.
My family really enjoyed the flavours in this recipe but after only 30 minutes of simmering the chicken was falling apart. Will definitely make it again with less stock and probably leave the rhubarb in larger pieces so there is still some texture. The rhubarb, honey, lime and turmeric combination is really tasty!!
Yummy. Didn't peel the rhubarb as we never have. Excellent thanks for sharing.
Sally Wilkins says
Is it really ten onions?? Seems like a lot for 4-6 servings? Looking forward to trying this tomorrow.
Hi Sally. Not 10 onions but 10 oz or 300 g onions, those would be 2-3 onions depending on their size. Happy cooking!