Posts Tagged ‘pineapple’

…or the dish that’s going to harm our relationship with our favourite Chinese takeaway!

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Egg Fried Rice

Sweet and sour chicken is a bit of a favourite of Rob’s; throughout university he spent many an evening with a jar of Uncle Ben’s and since discovering the joys of cooking from scratch has always intended to give it a go properly. Personally, I’m not really a fan – I find the sauce can often be leaning too far to the sour side and, let’s be honest, it can look rather radioactive at times! When Rob suggested trying it for dinner I could have just let him go ahead and made myself some pasta, but I was feeling lazy and as he was easily convinced to throw some egg fried rice into the bargain I thought I’d take the risk. Very glad I did, it was absolutely delicious!

We’ve made chicken chow mein before but, while it was very nice, the lack of takeaway greasiness actually felt like a bit of a shame! With tonight’s sweet and sour chicken though it was a completely different story. The freshness of the ingredients really lifted this; chunky pieces of tender chicken breast, crunchy peppers, juicy pineapple (okay, that was from a tin) and perfect egg fried rice.

The sweet and sour chicken was adaptation from Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook (an adaptation in so much as we didn’t have all the ingredients!) while the egg fried rice was just something Rob had filed into his head at some point!

Sweet and sour chicken with egg fried rice
Serves 2
Prep time: 20 mins (plus 30 mins for marinating)
Cooking time: 25 mins (you can reduce this by cooking the chicken and rice simultaneously – we have only one wok!)

For the chicken:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (diced – approx. 300g total)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 small can (227g net) pineapple chunks in juice (drained and juice reserved)
1 tbsp cornflour
1.5 tbsp groundnut oil
1/2 green pepper (seeded and cut into chunky pieces)
1/2 red pepper (seeded and cut into chunky pieces)
1 medium white onion (cut into chunky pieces)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
salt and pepper

For the rice:
1/2 cup (approx. 90g) basmati rice
1 medium egg
a handful of frozen peas (defrosted)
groundnut oil
salt and pepper

If, like us, you intend to cook the sweet and sour chicken before the egg fried rice, preheat the oven to low temperature so the chicken can be kept warm.

1. Prepare the marinade by mixing the soy sauce with a teaspoon of the pineapple juice. Stir in the chicken pieces until they’re well-coated, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Cook the rice using whatever method works best for you and set aside.
3. Make the remaining pineapple juice up to 150ml with water, stir in the cornflour and set aside.
4. Heat the oil (for the chicken) in a wok, add the chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until golden all over. Lift out and set aside.
5. Add the peppers and onion to the wok and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
6. Add the pineapple juice/cornflour mix and ketchup and cook for a few minutes until thickened.
7. Return the chicken to the wock along with the pineapple chunks and heat through. Season and then transfer to a ovenproof dish and keep warm in the preheated oven.
8. Clean the wok (or get another one!) and add a generous amount of oil (you can add more later if necessary). Bring to a medium heat (you don’t want to burn the egg!).
9. Beat the egg and add it to the wok. Allow the egg to cook for a couple of minutes until it resembles a small omelette.
10. Stir the rice and peas into the egg, breaking up the cooked egg in the process. Cook for 3-4 minutes, continually stirring.
11. Serve up the rice with the chicken and enjoy!

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Thursday evening’s dinner (I know, this is a slightly belated write up!) saw me attempt a recipe I’d been drawn to from a stunning photo on Tastespotting, an Indonesian Chicken Salad from Kayotic Kitchen and I would urge you to go and look at Kay’s wonderful photos of this dish rather than just my sorry attempt!

Indonesian Chicken Salad

I have to admit, I hadn’t properly read this recipe through before starting (I was far too distracted by the photography) and ended up getting myself into a bit of a fluster as a result. I flattened the chicken which Rob then griddled for me whilst I boiled some Jersey Royals and prepared the rest of the salad ingredients (p.s. I used tinned pineapple!). Because of our bad timing, we ended up having to run the potatoes under cold water to ensure they’d cool down in time to prevent us eating far too late! I also went wrong with the dressing, leaving out both ginger and lime. I added the ginger at the end, but somehow our lime had gone missing so we had to make do with a little lemon juice. I definitely didn’t get something right with the dressing as it was still very thick and sticky, making it really difficult to distribute through the salad which resulted in lumps of dressing in some places, none in others, and lots of mauled salad ingredients!

Taste-wise, I really enjoyed it at first, but then went off it about halfway through my portion – I couldn’t tell you why though. However, the recipe makes enough for four so I felt inclined to take some to work on Friday for lunch and then I really did enjoy it. Perhaps it was the stress of getting things wrong in preparation that took away from the flavour that first evening.

I think we will try this one again, it’s certainly a very different combination of ingredients and flavours to what we’d usually put together and makes for a very summery dish (although with all that peanut butter, I doubt it’s particularly light!).

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