Billy's Cola Chicken

by | Oct 4, 2012 | 15 comments

Billy's Cola Chicken


Billy Law's time-pressed, budget conscious student recipe has become my family's go-to recipe over the past few weeks. I skip th one hour marinating process, frugally devoting only 10 minutes. In less than half an hour, I have a piping hot Chinese chicken recipe that would put my local takeaway to shame. I am making this for the fourth time in 2 weeks tonight and like every other night I have made it, I hope there are leftovers so I can photograph it the next sad. That doesn't happen. So, Thank You Billy!!  

We never drink coke, well maybe once or twice a year when we are  hot and bothered at the zoo and the vending machine will only dish out a coke or at the local sausage sizzle when caution is chucked aside for once. We are more the organic lemonade or fruit drink kind of people, something lighter and more soothing. So I traipsed off to the shops and bought back a six pack of cola. The cola tenderizes the meat and creates a rich caramel sauce for the dish. If you can buy a bottle of good quality peanut oil, use only that when you cook most Asian dishes (a word of wisdom by Bar H maestro Hamish Ingham), the depth of flavour is amazing. If you like more heat in your dish, by all means amp up the chili quantity. I only use half a red chili to keep it kid friendly. Taste when done cooking because you might need to add a tiny amount of salt if the soy sauce you have used is not salty enough. This dish deserves to be ladled onto steamed rice in a bowl and tucked in hungrily while you are crashed out on the couch watching the latest episode of Dexter with your feet up. 





(adapted from Have You Eaten?)

A fast, cheap Asian chicken dish that is made interesting by the use of cola for the sauce and comes from the coffers of Masterchef alumni Billy Law.

Preparation Time - 20 Minutes
Cooking Time - 20 Minutes
Makes - To Serve 4


500g boneless chicken pieces
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 small red chili, finely sliced
handful of toasted cashewnuts
handful of sliced spring onions
2 tablespoons peanut (or vegetable) oil
300ml bottle of cola



Combine chicken in a bowl with 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and cornflour. Mix well, cover and marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes (or an hour if you have the time).

Heat oil in a wok on high. Add the chicken and sauté for a few minutes until browned all over. Add the ginger, garlic and chili. Sauté for another minute. Add the soy sauces and cola. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is slightly thick.

Remove from heat, top with toasted cashewnuts and spring onions. Serve hot with steamed rice.




Note - Lead photo was taken on my iPhone 4s



Find More Recipes By CategoryChicken Main Course Poultry



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Simone

    O my god this is just too funny!! I recently posted the exact same recipe from Billy's book and totally loved it too!! Def gonna be a repeat recipe in this household.. So quick, simple and tasty...
    And then you mention Dexter; our most favorite of favorite series. We just finished season 6 so a long and frustrating wait begins again....;) I just thought it was very funny that we both love the cola chicken AND Dexter...;)

    • Sneh

      Kindred spirits indeed! This recipe is everything a quick no fuss family meal should be, plus my boys eat it with gusto, that alone gives it a big tick! Dexter season 7 aired on Sep 30? Is it not on yet where you are at? The first episode was great and I can't wait for the entire season to unfold. Definitely our favourite along with Homeland and Game Of Thrones 🙂

  2. Amanda

    I'm loving the sound of this one-pan dinner...less to clean up, especially you want something quick and easy. Though I disagree with your last sentence. Surely you should be watching Community or Parks and Recreation instead? 😛

  3. Christine @ Cooking Crusade

    Haha wow I never would have thought to include Cola in my cooking but you have me pretty convinced, this looks great!

    I loved that first ep of Dexter the other night. Seriously dying for the next one!!!

  4. Kiran @

    Bravo! Even your iphone click is so exceptional 🙂

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Scrumptious, I will have to try this!

  6. Nic@diningwithastud

    I'd love to try this with tofu. Haha re Dexter - the new season is back 😀 YAY!

  7. Rosa

    Although I dislike Cola, I'd love to try this scrumptious looking dish!



  8. chinmayie @ love food eat

    This looks interesting! I have made chocolate cake with cola in it but chicken with cola! wow!

  9. Kankana

    I saw the recipe in Simone's blog and read it 'chola' and did the same mistake here until I read the whole post 🙂 Silly me!
    I didn't know you are a Dexter Fan too!!

  10. SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa)

    How cool! I've seen recipes for whole chickens or hams cooked in cola, but never anything with this mix of flavours. Looks delicious!

  11. Zirkie

    It looks and sounds delicious!!

  12. Colette @ JFF!

    Cola? And so easy. I'm putting this on the menu for tonight!

  13. muppy

    we are not coke drinkers and so have never tried one of the ever increasing cola recipes you hear of, but you have totally sold me on this one - definitely going to try it!

  14. Dyfed @ Celtnet Recipes Blog

    I tried an American recipe with turkey and cola many moons ago. But then I lost my collection of recipe notes and have been looking for that recipe (or something really close) ever since. This recipe looks fantastic. Wonder if it would work with pork?

    Thanks for posting it.


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