4 March 2017

Sticky Hoisin chicken and red pepper with onion rice

Well, this one wasn't supposed to be like this at all.  However, the Chinese chicken traybake that I'd originally intended to make just wouldn't have suited our different requirements, so I bailed out at the last minute and made this up instead.  I think it turned into a very definite win.

As such, I can't give you chapter and verse as to how the recipe came about - I just made it up on the fly!  However, I will tell you that I was very impressed with myself for running two pots that required so much watching over and stirring, without burning either of them.  LOL  I must be improving!

Everyone loved this recipe and hubby even went so far as to declare it delicious and say that he was missing his deep fried King Prawn balls with sweet & sour sauce and prawn crackers that we normally have with a Chinese takeaway.  So that is high praise indeed.

If you're not used to juggling two pans, both of which require your attention, you can always just make plain boiled rice or alternatively buy a bag of egg fried rice from the supermarket to go with it.  However, it really isn't a difficult thing to get the two pans working well and fortuitously the action does seem to alternate from pan to pan!

As for any Cook's Tips, well the most important one is to ensure you have all your a-chopping and a-peeling done before anything hits a hot pan.  Getting a mise en place together in this way is worth dividends when you're cooking Chinese food as you really don't have time to stop and chop a pepper as you go!

It really is worth the 45 minutes of fairly intense cooking action involved in this one, to hear the admiring plaudits from your family as they tuck in happily.  So, onwards to the recipe!


Ingredients :

For the chicken :

1 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts, sliced
sea salt
ground black pepper
1 bunch spring onions, sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 red chilli, chopped
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
4 white mushrooms, sliced
200ml hot water
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce.

For the rice :

2 individual tbsp olive oil
2 medium eggs, lightly mixed
0.5 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
sea salt
ground black pepper
1 large brown onion, chopped
200g white rice (I used Basmati), rinsed until the water runs clear
400ml good chicken stock
200g petit pois.

Method :

Begin by heating one tbsp of the olive oil for the rice in a wok set over a moderate heat.  Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of black pepper and half a tsp of Chinese five spice powder.  Whip lightly with a fork.  Once the oil is hot, pour the egg into the wok and cook until an omelette has formed.  Ensure the egg is solid (you can flip the omelette over if you wish) and remove to a warmed plate and reserve.

Next, place 1 tbsp olive oil into both the wok (for the chicken) and a deep saucepan (for the rice).  Heat the wok over a hot heat and the saucepan over a moderate heat.  Once they are both hot, add the chicken to the wok and the brown onion to the saucepan, including a pinch of sea salt & black pepper to both.

Cook the chicken until it begins to caramelise, then turn and cook again until it again begins to caramelise.  It is not necessary to cook the chicken through at this stage, but it should have two golden sides, at least, after which remove from the pan and set aside somewhere warm.

Cook the onion until transparent and softened and just beginning to caramelise.

While the onion is cooking in the saucepan, add the spring onions, garlic, chilli and five spice to the wok and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the red pepper and white mushrooms to the wok and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the water, cover the wok and bring to a boil.

In the meantime and while the water is coming to a boil in the wok, add the rinsed rice to the onion in the saucepan and stir to combine.  Add the chicken stock and cover the saucepan, bringing the contents to a gentle boil.  Allow the rice to cook approximately half way and add the petit pois.  Cook the rice until just al dente, after which turn off the heat, leave the lid on and allow the rice to steam until the chicken is ready.

Going back to the wok, uncover it and add the hoisin sauce, honey and soy sauce.  Stir through and bring to a frisky boil.  Re-introduce the chicken and stir through.  You are now just waiting for the liquid to reduce in the pan, to a sticky, coating sauce.  It's up to you how far you take it, I suggest you taste it as it reduces and stop when you're satisfied with the flavour and texture.

Finally, chop the omelette into small pieces and stir into the rice.

Serve onto warmed plates.  You can set aside some of the green parts of the spring onion and a few chilli slices for garnish, if you wish.

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