Saturday, 29 October 2016

There are two types of weekend cooks; the ones who love to spend a good portion of the day chopping, peeling, marinating and lovingly preparing food for those lovely slow days or, there are people like me, who cook quick and easy meals through the week and don't necessarily want to spend Saturday or Sunday thinking about 'what's for dinner' on yet another night of the week. However, in the interest of saving money, we've banned ourselves from takeaways for a while, so we adapted one of our favourite recipes to make something a little naughty for the weekend.

The recipe for the chicken marinade is taken from Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals - please do make the recipe in the book, it's one of my ultimate favourites; the chicken is served with a spicy noodle salad, scooped up into little lettuce gem cups. It's healthy, super-quick (30 minutes, obv) and all-around delicious - it always gets a thumbs up when friends come round.

For the chicken
Chicken thighs - you could also use breasts, it's up to you, but I'm definitely a juicy thigh girl!
3tbsp peanut butter
Handful coriander
2 - 3 garlic cloves, peeled
Small piece of ginger, peeled
1 birdseye chilli
Soy sauce

For the sesame slaw
Half a head of red cabbage
Sesame oil

For the pickled cucumbers
Half a cucumber
50ml vinegar
Whole peppercorns

To serve
Brioche buns (now available at Tesco, yippee!)
Sweet potato fries

For the pickled cucumbers, finely slice the cucumbers lengthways and place in a jar with the vinegar, topped up with water until they are covered, and a generous helping each of salt, sugar and peppercorns. I like them slightly sweet and sharp, so generally add a bit more sugar and vinegar. Set aside for at least half an hour.

Heat the oven to 190C. Cut the sweet potatoes into thick wedges, coat with olive oil, salt and paprika and roast for 40 minutes or until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.

In a small hand blender (or you can chop, if you don't have one), blend together the coriander, garlic cloves, ginger, chilli and the zest from the lime. Add the peanut butter, lime juice and a few tablespoons of soy sauce nd mix together until you get a smooth paste - if it's too sticky, add more liquid, whether that be lime juice, soy sauce or you can just use water. Taste as you go - everyone has a personal preference, but we like ours spicy! Generously coat the chicken thighs and set aside.

For the slaw, finely shred the cabbage and coriander. Mix in a dollop of mayonnaise - a little goes a long way - with a few drops of sesame oil and lots of lime and sea salt.

Grill the chicken until cooked through and crispy - you should get lots of lovely 'crumbly' bits of the peanut butter mixture around the sides of the pan. Now you're ready to serve! Toast the buns and layer up with slaw, pickles and chicken. If you like extra spice and tang, I would definitely go the sriracha route and a bit of extra mayonnaise never goes amiss!

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