I hasten to add - for those of you who may be worried that we're wasting away - that we have not stopped cooking, or wanting to write about our foodie times. It's just that work and The Big And Exciting Project (which will be revealed and explained in more detail and with much squeaking in a future post) have kept us annoyingly busy.
This busyness has meant we've been honing our selection of quick and simple 'throw-it-in-a-pan-and-fling-it-down-your-throat' recipes, which frequently tend to be not very interesting. Every now and again though, we find one that surprises us.
I must confess that I am usually of the opinion that if a recipe calls for a load of spices/ truly bizarre vegetables / green tea powder that costs more than gold etc, then I'm likely to pass it by, or put a post-it on it for a rainy day. However, a quick stock check of our 'miscellaneous and slightly odd ingredients' shelf shows that we've built up quite an arsenal over time, and our spice rack, chillis and sauces selection is now something to be rather proud of. So this recipe was really very easy, and was do-able on a very wet Wednesday night using entirely stuff we had in the cupboards and the fridge. I do love it when things come together like that. It always feels so tidy!
The coating on the chicken kept it lovely and moist, and also added an extra stickiness to the sauce. Not only is it quick and easy, it's also pretty good for you as well, and will definitely be put on the 'arghit'salreadynineoclockandwe'venoteatenandwe'vebothgotamillionthingstodo' list. Near the top of said list, actually.
In fact, I may make it for dinner tonight.
Wednesday Night Stress-buster Chicken
Adapted from a recipe for lemon chicken from ocado.com
I tweaked the levels of sugar, soy and chilli to give my version extra spice and saltiness. I also used a mix of lemon and lime juice, rather than solely lemon, as it gave the green beans some added zing (and because I appear to have bought enough limes to last until 2014...)
2 skinless chicken breast fillets
1 heaped tbsp cornflour
70ml chicken stock
1 lemon (juiced)
1 lime (juiced)
2 heaped tsps caster sugar
2 tsps dark soy sauce
2 tsps Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp groundnut oil
1/2 tsp chilli oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 dried birdseye chillies, chopped and seeds retained.
Enough dried noodles for 2
Fine green beans, topped and tailed.
1. Separate the egg white from the yolk. It's only the white you'll need for this recipe.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir the cornflour into the egg white, and mix until the mixture is smooth and frothy.
3. Dice the chicken into thin strips, and add them to the egg and flour mixture.
4. Stir well, so that all the chicken is nicely coated, then cover and leave in the fridge for 30 mins.
5. In a jug, mix together the lemon and lime juice with the stock, soy sauce, wine and sugar.
6. Heat the oils in a heavy-bottomed pan or wok. Add the chopped garlic and stir until it's fragrance hits your nose.
7. Add the chicken pieces to the hot pan. Don't tip them in all at once, or they'll stick together and cook unevenly. Put them in a few pieces at a time and keep stirring as you add them to make sure they're not sticking or burning. Then add the chopped chillies and stir again.
8. Stir fry the chicken for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, then pour over the lemon and stock mixture.
9. Steam the beans over a pan of boiling water.
10. Bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and got nice and sticky.
11. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then add them to the chicken with the steamed beans.
12. Stir everything together and serve.