Oklava chilli chicken

  • serves 4
  • Easy

So addictively good that it’s been given the title of ‘chicken crack’ by its fans, this recipe from Shoreditch’s Oklava is a must-try



  • chicken 1, jointed into 8 pieces
  • olive oil
  • fresh breadcrumbs 200g
  • za’atar 3 tbsp
  • sumac 1 tbsp
  • sesame seeds 1 tbsp
  • dark brown soft sugar 150g
  • garlic 4 cloves, finely chopped
  • red chillies 2, seeded and finely chopped
  • cider vinegar 100ml
  • egg yolk 1
  • Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp
  • lime 1, plus wedges to serve
  • cider vinegar 1 tsp
  • caster sugar 1 tsp
  • sunflower oil 200ml


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. To make the crumb, tip the breadcrumbs onto a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Mix with the za’atar, sumac and sesame seeds and season.

  • Step 2

    To make the glaze, put the sugar and 2 tbsp water in a pan over a medium heat, stir to dissolve the sugar, then simmer until it starts to caramelise, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chillies and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the vinegar, stir, and reduce until it resembles a syrupy sauce. Allow to cool.

  • Step 3

    Put the egg yolk, mustard, lime zest and juice, vinegar and sugar into a jug and blitz using a stick blender. Drizzle in the sunflower oil, with the blender on, until the mayo has emulsified. Season. Cover and chill.

  • Step 4

    Heat the grill to medium. Coat the chicken pieces in 2 tbsp oil and season. Grill the chicken for 20 minutes, turning a few times until the skin is turning golden. Take the chicken from the grill and brush each piece liberally with the cooled glaze, using about half the glaze. If it has thickened too much when cooled, just reheat it slightly to loosen.

  • Step 5

    Put the chicken back under the grill for 5 minutes, then glaze again. Grill for a further 5-10 minutes or until the skin is crisp and sticky, and the chicken is cooked through. Keep your eye on it when the glaze is on, as the sugar can burn. Reduce the heat of the grill and turn the chicken if it starts to catch.

  • Step 6

    Using tongs, roll each piece of hot chicken in the crumbs. Put the mayo in little bowls and serve while the chicken is crisp and hot, with wedges of lime if you like.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 55
  • Carbs 75.1g
  • Protein 56.3g
  • Fat 58.7g
  • Salt 1.2g
  • Saturates 10.5g
  • Fibre 0.4g