Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Giving a meal from the distant past a 'Little Thumbs Up': Chicken Pineapple
I can't really say that I led a particularly adventurous culinary childhood as my dad was, shall we say, conservative in the food he liked to eat. He still is, though now, in his mid sixties, he is getting a little more adventurous and in recent years has tried both garlic bread AND pizza and thought they were okay. So, I was brought up on good, solid, traditional British food and that was fine. British food is really nice. I defy anyone not to be gratified by eating fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. Yum, frankly.
However, the meeting of my first boyfriend at 17 meant that a different set of tastes opened up to me, in the shape of actually buying Chinese food from the chippy! Who knew?! Anytime we went to the chippy it was for chips and all those numbers and exotic sounding dishes on the board behind the counter were for other people. In the spirit of impressing me, maybe, and me impressing him by acting like I knew anything about it, my boyfriend bought chicken pineapple and fried rice to take home to eat and we shared it in his parents' front room, watching 'Lethal Weapon'. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Romantic.
Anyway, that boyfriend has long gone but my love for chicken pineapple still remains. So much so that when I was musing about cooking chicken pineapple for the family and in so doing, this blog post, Phill reminded me that this was the dish I ordered from the chippy the evening of our first date. And to be honest it was the first thing I thought about when I read that Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen at My Little favourite DIY were starting the Little Thumbs Up blog hop and that the first ingredient was pineapple. Any excuse to recreate the dish for my children.
The recipe I am using is one that I found on Food.com which I have altered a little to suit my tastes and store cupboard. And as well as being healthy, it is lightening quick to make and I have to wonder to myself why I don't stir fry more often, especially on work nights where I crash through the door at 5pm with a mind and body lacking interest and two kids who are ravenous. Get the wok out, Stella!
Anyway, here we are - the recipe, with my adaptions in red:
Chicken Pineapple, adapted from the recipe on Food.com
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad generously!
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I use rice wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2 inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
A handful each of baby corn and mange tout (or whatever stir fry veg you like)
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained, reserve 1/4 cup juice (If you are in a world of metric, or British, I use a 227g tin of pineapple chunks)
Mix first 7 ingredients with reserved 1/4 cup pineapple juice in small bowl to create a sauce that you will add towards the end of cooking.
In large frying pan or wok, stir-fry chicken in hot oil 5 minutes. (I like mine to colour quite a lot to create a bit of chicken-y crust but each to their own)
Add your vegetables and then stir-fry 4 more minutes.
Stir in the pineapple and sauce and heat through. I also have a bit of a taste of the sauce to see if it requires any more seasoning.
Serve over rice with a sprinkling of coriander, if you like.