Sunday 9 December 2012
Sticky, Sweet & Spicy + Loads of work (to do on the blog)
Great news: I have done an immense amount of cooking this weekend which means I have tons to write about. Bad news: It's midnight and I work in the morning. So I won't be able to write about all of it before I go to bed. However, I will have more to write about tomorrow. In the meantime, it would be my pleasure to share a culinary experience that was my privilege to have last night (Saturday). A good friend and I prepared a late night meal with bold Asian flavours. I had seen a video of Jamie Oliver preparing a recipe with chicken thighs, Chinese five spice and honey. It caught my attention so much that I had to try it for myself. As a side dish we did a quick fry up of some fresh and aromatic vegetables. This dish was a beauty.
We began with some chicken thighs that we separated between sheets of wax paper and flattened to a uniform thickness. Then a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper (to taste) and a generous contribution of dry Chinese Five spice (a blend of Szechuan pepper, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seeds). Both sides of the meat got a good coating.
We got a good sear on all the sides of the chicken thighs. Not only does this intensify all the flavours but creates a sensational texture.
Once seared we placed the chicken on a large tray and baked for 20 minutes to cook through.
While the thighs were baking, we did a quick sautee of some fresh veg. We threw in the white parts of scallions, green pepper, red chilies and garlic into a wok and let them sizzle for a couple of minutes. Then we added the green parts of scallions and snow peas then sauteed for a couple more minutes. For the last minute of cooking I added a handful of refreshing bean sprouts and stirred that around. Right at the end I added a little swig of toasted sesame oil and gave everything a toss in the wok.
We removed the veg from the wok and set aside. Then we removed the chicken from the oven and threw in the hot wok with two heaping tablespoons of some gorgeous New Zealand honey that I got at St Lawrence Market. The hot honey adds both a sweet and sticky accent to the seared and savoury Asian profile. A big thank you to Jamie Oliver for inspiring this creation.
This low carb, full flavour meal was light in calories and bold in attitude. It was truly best when sliced thinly and then eaten together with the sauteed, spicy vegetables. The balance in textures was a real pleasure and the flavours cooperated perfectly together. Be sure to try this one for yourselves. Even though this was a Saturday night feast, it would work great as a weeknight, on-the-go supper sure to satisfy and impress.
Be happy and stay fed,
PS: As promised, much more to come!