A freezer-friendly recipe from Neven Maguire.


Serves 4

Prep 20 mins

Cook 30 mins

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 chicken fillets, cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy and ginger sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 1 small ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • 100g sugar snap peas, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the rice:

  • 200g basmati rice
  • A small knob of butter


Don't call the takeaway – cook your own sweet and sour chicken using lots of veg and a fresh pineapple. Swap the chicken for pork or prawns if you prefer. Use this method to cook basmati rice and get perfect, fluffy results every time.

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and cook the chicken cubes for 3–4 minutes, until just starting to colour. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, then tip in the onion and peppers and sauté for another minute or two.
  2. Add the tomatoes along with the sugar, soy and ginger sauce, vinegar and sweet chilli sauce. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the rice in a sieve and put in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in 400ml of water, add a good pinch of salt and the butter and bring to the boil – this will take about 8 minutes. Whisk the rice in the pan to make sure it's well distributed. Put the lid on, turn the heat down as low as possible and simmer gently for 8 minutes, then whisk briefly again, remove the pan from the heat and cover with the lid, leaving it to steam until needed.
  4. Stir the cornflour mixture into the sweet and sour chicken, then add the pineapple, sugar snap peas and spring onions. cover again and simmer for 5 minutes, until nicely thickened. Season to taste. the sweet and sour chicken and the cooked rice can be covered with cling film and kept in the fridge or frozen.
  5. To serve, spoon the basmati rice into bowls with the sweet and sour chicken and scatter over the sesame seeds.