Monday, February 10, 2014

Sticky Chicken Chinese Noodles

When the Save with Jamie book came out just before Christmas, and well before the launch of the accompanying TV show here in Australia, I was adamant I was not buying yet another Jamie book.  I love Jamie's approach to cooking in that he doesn't try to be too fancy, and has the aim of getting people to get into their kitchens and cook instead of buying take-away or eating out all the time.  He has shown me some techniques that I use all the time eg separating eggs using your hands, smashing garlic with the back of a knife to help peel and crush it, and making a really simple stir fry sauce that I make off the top of my head.  However, I was not convinced that Jamie deserved more shelf space in my house.

Then the TV show hit our screens, and he got me again!  The food that he made looked so amazing that I went and bought the book after episode 2.  I liked that he showed how you could turn a roast into umpteen different things using the leftovers - and the little pork buns in episode 2 had my mouth watering and looked so simple.  I was sold.  I am not sure that the savings information works quite so well here, as things are notoriously expensive, but the recipes themselves are tasty and easy, making them worthy just for that reason.

For a group, I had to make pickled carrot, so I wanted an Asian dish to go with it.   While Save with Jamie is fresh on the bookshelf, I thumbed through it for an appropriate recipe.  My eyes alighted on Sticky Chicken Chinese Noodles on p102, and I was away. 

This dish involves a bit of vegetable chopping, but all up doesn't take long.  I made this dish on a stinking hot (41 degree Celsius) day when I was understandably really tired, and while keeping half an eye on the TV, yet still finished making it in around the  45 minutes quoted (which includes time to "marinade" the chicken, which you could skip if you wanted to and save another 15 minutes).

Because of the crazy weather here, it seems that pineapple crops have been affected, so I couldn't buy pineapple rings.  Instead, I bought the only tin of pineapple left in the supermarket, being a tin of crushed pineapple.  I am sure it did the trick flavour-wise, despite having a textural difference.  I used thin hokkien noodles (egg noodles) instead of rice noodles because I already had them in the pantry, and I just plum forgot to use the lime juice.  I also could not buy black beans for love or money, so I used a tin of red kidney beans that I already had instead.  No matter - I enjoyed the resulting dish, although I didn't love it. 

The flavour of the vegetables and noodles is rather unusual, as the stir fry sauce used with the noodles and vegetables is comprised of pineapple pieces, pineapple juice and soy sauce, giving a "sweet and sour" effect.    I did love the Chinese five spice and honey glazed chicken, and the pan-fried beans were a revelation.  I would possibly make this again if the mood took me, and of course, the individual components of the dish could be made separately with other items.

As I mentioned earlier, this dish is really easy to make.  You take four chicken thighs (free of skin and bone), and coat them with a dusting of Chinese five spice powder, salt and pepper.  You let that sit for 15 minutes to let the flavours get into the chicken, and in the meantime, you can chop the veges.

The chicken is subsequently pan fried in a little oil, and a tablespoon of honey is drizzled over it in the last minute or so of cooking time to glaze the chicken.  The chicken is then taken out of the pan and set aside.

Cook your rice noodles in accordance with the instructions.  (I just used a small packet of thin hokkien noodles soaked in boiling water for a minute to separate them.)

Drain a 400g tin of black beans, and mix them with a teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder and a little olive oil.  Pan fry them until they go crispy and burst from their skins.

Mix together a 227g can of pineapple rings that have been cubed, together with their juice, and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and white wine vinegar.  Mix in a tablespoon of cornflour and set aside.

Chop up finely 2 cloves of garlic, an onion, half a wombok and a carrot.  Pan fry these in a little oil for around two minutes, then add the drained noodles and the pineapple sauce, and cook until the vegetables are well coated, then remove from the heat. 

Plate up so that everyone gets some of everything and add a squeeze of lime - serves 4.


Kari said...

I'm glad you're enjoying Jamie's new book. I liked his new show too, but we've prioritised the backlog of 15 minute meals over the 'save' ones!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I can imagine seeing the tv show would definitely reel you in. He's the only tv cook that my husband watches!