You don’t have to use Diet Coke to make the barbecue sauce for this recipe; if you don’t mind the sugar, ordinary full-fat will do instead. And of course, I have priced mine as supermarket own brand saccharine sticky cola, because that’s my jam. Serve with rice, chips, a buttered bun, or slaw – however you like. (For vegan and vegetarian readers, this recipe was first published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014. The same sauce works brilliantly with a large flat mushroom, and when I have got around to uploading my back catalogue, I will do that recipe too! For now, just scroll past and mutter rude things about me, if you must.)

Serves 2 from 54p each (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients.)

2 tbsp oil, 3p (97p/1l, Asda)

4 chicken thighs or drums, 73p (£2.20/12 drumsticks, Asda)

300ml cola, 3p (17p/2l, Smart Price at Asda)

400g chopped tomatoes, 30p (30p/400g, Everyday Value at Tesco)

1/4 tsp mustard, <1p (34p/200g, Smartprice English mustard, Asda)

a few sprigs of fresh parsley, to serve

First put the oil into a saucepan and pop the chicken in, skin side down. Bring to a medium heat to brown for 10 minutes, turning halfway through to seal the other side. Then pour the Diet Coke over the chicken and crank up to a high heat to bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for a few minutes.

Pour over the chopped tomatoes, add the mustard, reduce the heat to medium and stir well to mix the sauce. Cook for 30 minutes on a low to medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the heat. Serve with lashings of the sweet, sticky sauce and some parsley sprinkled over.

TIP: Replace the cola with a fizzy orange drink or a natural orange juice for a sweet, fruity sauce similar to sweet and sour.

“Diet-Coke Chicken” is from my first book, A Girl Called Jack.

Diet-Coke Chicken recipe by Jack Monroe

Diet-Coke Chicken recipe by Jack Monroe. Photography by Susan Bell.

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