A couple of my friends are in the midst of a ‘takeaway overload’ as their kitchen is out of action while it undergoes a reno. While I can appreciate this is annoying because they love cooking and are generally health-loving chaps, I’ve seen the plans for their new kitchen and if I’m honest I feel way more envious than pitiful about their current situation. Alas, ever looking for a good reason to cook for people I love, to give Jon & Gelly a night off from folded menus and plastic containers, I offered a home cooked meal. Their request was: “comfort and home cooking is all we crave”.
After seeing Jamie Oliver cook this meal on telly a couple of nights ago, I thought this combo would be appropriate considering the weather at the moment is quite literally ‘hot and cold’. As with many of Jamie’s recipes, I like that this is kind of a ‘DIY’ meal, where your guests put their own curry together, and use the prawn crackers as spoons for the salad. I’ve made a couple of changes to simplify Jamie’s recipe as I thought some of it was a bit unnecessary but I’ve pasted a link to his recipe below.
- 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings – skin on, bone in
- salt & pepper
- 2 large tablespoons runny honey
- 1 small bunch of radishes with leaves – washed
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 Chinese cabbage
- 1 small bunch of coriander
- 1 medium red chilli – stalk removed
- a 2cm piece of fresh ginger – grated
- juice from 2 limes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp any vinegar
- a 2cm piece of fresh ginger
- 1 medium fresh red chilli (stalk removed)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (centre stems removed)
- a bunch of fresh coriander
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 stick of lemongrass (outer leaves removed) and chopped into chunks
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 300ml chicken stock
- small bunch green beans – chopped into inch pieces
- 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- lime juice
- tamari sauce
- a couple of bags of take-away prawn crackers (omit if you’re eating paleo)
- sweet chilli sauce (omit if you’re eating paleo)
- small bunch Asian greens (whatever looks fresh – baby bok choy or choy sum)
- small packet bean shoots
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Prep: As there are a lot of ingredients, get all your ingredients and equipment out and ready.
- Chicken: Heat large non-stick pan up to medium-high heat, add the chicken pieces and season with salt & pepper. Cook for around 15-20 mins, turning every minute or so. (If using a non-stick pan there’s no need to add any oil as the fat from the skin renders down.)
- Asian salad: While the chicken is cooking (remember to keep coming back to it to turn every now and then), cut all the veges for the salad into pieces that you can feed into the shoot of your food processor then shred them all. Tip into a large serving bowl, add the ginger, pour over the lime juice, vinegar & sesame oil and give it a good mix. It’s done put it aside.
- Curry: Put your saucepan on a medium heat. In a small food processor (or rinse out the one you just used for the salad and remove the ‘slicing’ blade – just use normal processing blade) add all the ingredients up to and including the olive oil and blitz until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Put curry paste into the hot saucepan. Stir for a couple of minutes to start cooking the paste, then add the chicken stock, coconut milk and beans. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer and thicken a little.
- Chicken: Drain off oil from the pan, drizzle the honey over the chicken then turn the pieces a few times to coat them. Turn the heat off and let the chicken cool down a little, then shred/pull the chicken apart with forks, chop them into smaller (bite-sized) pieces and put in a serving dish
- Garnishes: Rip up the Asian greens and put in a bowl with the bean shoots. Put the rice crackers in a bowl, and in a small bowl add a little sweet chilli. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the Asian salad and in the sweet chilli.
- Curry: taste the curry (it should have reduced down and thickened a little by now) and add Tamari for saltiness and lime for sourness until you’re happy with it. (I found about 2 Tbsp of Tamari and 1 Tbsp of lime juice suited my taste).
- To serve: Divide curry into 4 soup bowls, give to guests for them to add their own chicken and Asian greens/bean shoots for crunch. The best way to eat the salad is to grab a prawn cracker, dip it in the sweet chilli then use it as a spoon to hoe into the cool salad.