Devilled chicken is a British favourite that was an extremely popular way of cooking meat and spicing up the leftovers for another meal.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are marinated in a traditional devilling sauce, that is made from store cupboard ingredients, for an easy and tasty dinner.
The spicy, sweet and sour chicken is then grilled or barbecued and is kept deliciously moist by the marinade.
Of course, there are lots of other meats that can be devilled too!
This is an old fashioned cooking term which means to prepare meat, poultry or fish with sharp, hot seasonings before grilling or roasting.
According to Dr Kitchener, who was a British optician, telescope maker and cook, devil sauces seem to be aimed at men in the 1800s.
He wrote a book called the 'Cook's Oracle', which was popular in the UK and the US, where he wrote:
'Every man must have experienced that when he has got deep into his third bottle.... his stomach is seized with a certain craving which seems to demand a stimulant.'
Devilling was also a popular way of serving up leftover roast meat, by smothering it in hot sauce and reheating it.
Alongside his love of devilled sauces, he also used to invent new sauces, such as 'wow wow' sauce, which is a mustard and ketchup based spicy sauce with pickled walnuts.
For this recipe, I have used the traditional ingredients, which are still readily available today, so that it is a dish that can be made without special ingredients.
However, there are so many spicy sauces available to tweek this recipe, so there are plenty of ideas for variations too.
Of course, if you like devilled chicken, you can try this sauce on other meats too.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Extremely simple to make.
- Can be used on any meat, fish or vegetables.
- Easy to customise.
- Store cupboard ingredients.
- Budget friendly for using leftovers.
💙 Save this recipe for later
Did you know? When you see the 💙on the right hand side, you can bookmark the page to save it for later, or share it too.
- Chicken - boneless and skinless chicken thighs for ease. Thighs have much more flavour than breasts.
- Cayenne pepper - dried cayenne pepper powder. This has a medium
- Mustard - traditionally dried mustard powder is used, such as Colman's.
- Tomato sauce - this has a sweetness, as well as colour and flavour.
- Salt - flaked sea salt, cooking or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Chutney - mango chutney for texture and sweetness.
- Worcester sauce - for piquancy.
- Oil - vegetable or olive oil.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- pastry brush
- grill pan or griddle pan
- sharp knife
- chopping board
Put the marinade ingredients into a small bowl and mix.
Trim any remaining excess fat from the chicken.
Make two or three slits in the chicken.
💭 Top Tip
- Putting slits into the meat will mean that the marinade can penetrate the chicken easily for extra flavour.
Put the chicken thighs in a bowl and cover with the marinade using the pastry brush.
Cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for an hour, or longer if you have time.
Place the marinated chicken thighs on a grill rack.
⏲️ Grilling Time
Preheat the grill to medium and grill for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and grill for another 5 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
I like to grill until there are a few darker patches, where the sugar has caramelised!
🥗 Side Dishes
Serve with a simple salad in the summer or all year round with some of these side dishes.
- Honey Roast Chantenay Carrots
- Leeks in White Sauce
- Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips
- Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Yorkshire Pudding
- Roast Savoy Cabbage
- Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese
- Roasted Green Beans and Carrots
- Roasted Long Stem Broccoli
- Roasted Swede Chips
- Cayenne pepper - use medium chilli powder.
- Worcester sauce - try mushroom ketchup or balsamic vinegar.
- Mustard powder - use English mustard from a jar or try Dijon or wholegrain mustard.
- Mango chutney - try an apple chutney or other sweet variety.
- Chicken - use bone in chicken thighs or drumstick but cook in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4 for 35 -40 minutes until piping hot throughout.
- Spices - swap the ketchup for sriracha, tomato purée, Franks sauce
- Barbecues - try this sauce on sausages, burgers and pork chops too.
- Leftovers - marinate cold roast meats in the sauce then transfer to a heatproof dish, cover with foil and heat in the oven.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and store leftover devilled chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days. Delicious in sandwiches or salads.
- Freezer - pack into containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- To reheat - eat cold or add to stir fries, curries or jacket potatoes for an easy meal.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare the chicken in the marinade and leave in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
More poultry recipes
- Coronation Chicken
- Turkey and Ham Pie
- Spatchcock Duck
- Roast Pigeon
- Pheasant Breast with Wild Mushroom Sauce
- Pheasant and Vension Casserole
- Pastry brush
- grill pan or griddle pan
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 3 tablespoon tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon mango chutney
- 2 teaspoon Worcester sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Put the marinade ingredients into a small bowl and mix.
- Trim any remaining excess fat from the chicken.
- Make two or three slits in the chicken.
- Put the chicken thighs in a bowl and cover with the marinade using the pastry brush.
- Cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for an hour, or longer if you have time.
- Place the marinated chicken thighs on a grill rack.
- Preheat the grill to medium and grill for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over and grill for another 5 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
Do you have a question or did you make the recipe?
Please leave a rating as it helps other readers to discover the dish. Your name and email are required to avoid spam comments; they are never used for any purpose or shared with third parties
However, due to spam comments, I do have to moderate each one, so don't worry if you cannot see your comment immediately. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can.
This is one flavor packed chicken. My family is going to love it!
Such a delicious recipe and so easy to make too. I already added it to my weeknight recipes rotation!
I made this the other night and it was a hit with my family! The kids asked for seconds!
I’m always looking for new exciting chicken recipes, and this one looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it tonight!
I love the sweet and spicy combo on this chicken!
This chicken looks so juicy and good. I'm making it tonight and cannot wait!!
Looks soft, moist and juicy and flavorful. Sounds quick and easy to make as well. Best for Dinner time.
This is one of my favourite ways to cook with chicken. So much amazing flavour.
I've never tried devilled meats before, but I have to say that I'm a fan! So many different flavors - sweet and savory at the same time. Delicious!
I love that you can marinate the chicken ahead of time and make it later. It makes it really easy for food prepping on the weekend. Yummy!
This devilled chicken looks really appetizing and easy to make. Delicious with rice or vegetables. Thanks for sharing 🙂