Usually I am way to ponsy to be going around making up names like Freaky Sticky Chicky for dishes, but this time round, the name really does suit the dish. It started with another mid-week dinner with limited veg, 4 thawed chicken thighs and idea burn-out. My expectations were so low, I didn’t even bother taking pictures for the blog, and that says a LOT. Never-the-less I bring you my twist on sweet and sour chicken with a bit of luck, and a generous pinch of salt.
The stuff I had in the house…
4 Condemning Chicken Thighs
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Red Lonely Bell Pepper
A single dollop of Apricot jam
A hand-full of prunes and dried apricots
1/2 of a whole lemon
2 minute noodles (1 pack per tummy)
Roasted out of date sesame seeds
How it happened…
I washed the chicken and trimmed off the excess fat before patting it dry, then I seered it in canola oil dressed with crushed garlic. Next I “discarded” the smoky oil and neearly burnt garlic and plomped the browned thighs in a clean pan with roughly chopped onion, sliced bell pepperand put it to boil with about a cup (although I could never be sure) of boiling water. Then I added a roughly estimated amount of sesame oil and soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper and a handsome helping of dried chilli flakes. By this time I was still under the impression that I was going to create a dish inspired by Korean cuisine…
While the grub was boiling I ransacked the fridge for something sweet and added the left-over apricot jam from Sunday’s breakfast and added the roughly chopped dried fruit. I always claim to be able to season my food by smell. To the discontent of Chef Ramsay, I’m sure, I rarely taste my food before it’s on my plate. So far it’s stood me in good stead. I could smell the sauce smelled a little wild. The sesame oil was just way too overpowering and when I tasted, it was kind of OK, but something was really missing. And that’s about when my darling friend and neighbour called out lemon. In came the juice and suddenly the wild sesame was gone. I ditched the rice idea, and instead boiled some noodles for a minute before straining it and popping it in with the chicken and allowing it to fry before serving it with my freshly roasted sesame seeds and a little tomato cucumber and grape salad… and Bob’s your uncle, you have an accidentally delicious sweet and sour chicken minus the messy batter and sinful deep fryer. The name was created by my house-mate who is almost always suspicious of my cooking, nearly always brave enough to try it, and absolutely always brutally honest of how it tastes.