Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Happy and healthy in a random way! One Pot Chinese Chicken
There are several ways in which this recipe makes me happy. Firstly, it's quick and to be honest the way things are going with what I seem to have to achieve from the point of falling in through the door of an evening and flopping into bed, something that can be cooked and dished up in double fast time makes me very happy. Secondly, 'one pot' - a phrase I am also happy to hear, although it's a little disingenuous here as if you want anything else with this lovely chicken then you are likely to need at least another pot, but the phrase 'one pot' suggests something with a low level of faff which is bound to make this occasionally lazy chef very happy indeed. Thirdly, and most importantly considering the premise of this month's Random Recipe Challenge, hosted by Belleau Kitchen, this meal is fresh, light and healthy but certainly not lacking in taste. Happy. Happy. Happy.
Recipes that make you healthy and happy was this month's random recipe challenge. My randomness happened by way of collecting together the cookery books that suggested healthiness, vitality, the horrible 'd' word and books that are meant to feed kids healthily and happily. I'll be honest, that amounted to about eight books altogether and the resulting random choice could have turned into some kind of salad nightmare but luckily a blind shuffle and a bit of 'dip dip do' resulted in the winner being 'Fat Girl Slim', a book by Ruth Watson, a book full of interesting recipes and the 'Sod It' chapter at the back where you can eradicate all your good work by making and then eating an amazing chocolate mousse recipe. Sometimes a 'sod it' moment is a good thing.
But the winner of the random recipe in this book was 'One Pot Chinese Chicken' which luckily I had the ingredients for, save the additional steamed vegetables which are an addition of mine. My only adaptation was that I only had 400g of chicken thighs and I kept the sauce quantity the same as for the 600g as stipulated in the original recipe, for around here we like our meals just a bit saucy. I also marinated the chicken for a little longer than suggested as I got busy making packed lunches and so on and therefore I got distracted. But it was okay.
Oh. one more thing to be happy about. Lola and Finn loved this, and that makes this recipe a keeper!
One Pot Chinese Chicken, adapted from 'Fat Girl Slim' by Ruth Watson
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad.
600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 400g - see above)
1 level tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce, divided
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
a handful of fresh basil (I decided on coriander instead)
Cut the chicken into bitesize chunks and place in a non reactive bowl. Toss with the cornflour, the sesame oil and one tablespoon of the soy sauce. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat up a wok or large frying pan over a medium high flame and add the groundnut or vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, put in the chicken and stir fry for about 3 - 4 minutes, or until just cooked. Scoop out the chicken and discard most of the oil left before placing the pan back on the heat and returning the chicken to the pan.
At this point, add the rest of the ingredients, including the one remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, but don't add the basil (coriander) until the last minute.
Cook for a further five minutes or so, stirring the chicken around in the thickening sauce. Once ready, sprinkle with coriander.
The original recipe gives a 'more' and 'less' option, for those who are strictly dieting and those who are not. You can serve this with steamed rice to bulk the meal out, as I did, or you can just serve with steamed vegetables, which I nearly did, but I kept the rice too, for life would be dull without carbs!