Home > Ethical Consumption, Food, Provenance, Wine > Chikin Biznis: Chinese chicken salad

Chikin Biznis: Chinese chicken salad

Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4

Light 'n healthy Chinese chicken salad, quick and easy to prepare

And so we come to end of four into one makes three, with the final meal made from the two plump chicken breasts from the free range chicken you jointed three weeks ago.

I chose to do a Chinese chicken salad, but of course you could just as easily do a stir fry of some sort.

The point is that two such plump breasts constitute about 300 to 350g of protein, more than enough for a family of four, if augmented by vegetables and a suitable starch.

This chicken salad started life in one of my recipe books, then took a variety of twists and turns a before emerging as something barely recognisable in the original. Not because I was being contrary, but because I added new ingredients, and substituted others which I couldn’t get my hands on.

It is very simple to make, and is perfect picnic food, so it is likely to become a firm favourite for the upcoming series of sunset concerts at the Helderberg Nature Reserve, the majority of which we like to go to.

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

2 plump (300-350g) free range chicken breasts: trim off any fat, and slice thinly lengthwise, rather than across the grain.

1 medium red pepper: deseeded and finely sliced.

2 carrots: peeled and sliced into matchsticks.

250g mini corn spears: yes, I know they’re pricey, but they are so tasty. Cut them into pieces about 5mm wide, at an angle.

250g Zucchini (baby marrow): topped and tailed, and quartered lengthwise.

Fresh chives: a few to garnish.

6tbsp peanut oil: or any oil such as Canola, grape-seed or flax-seed that has a high smoke point.

500g egg noodles: the thing I love about Chinese noodles is that most of them can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

1tsp sesame oil

(Marinade)

2tbsp light soya sauce

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp sesame seed

(Sauce)

2tsp rice wine vinegar

3tbsp light soya sauce

1tsp chilli oil: if you have no chilli oil, make some for next time, by putting a couple of Thai chillies or Cayenne chillies in a 250ml bottle of olive oil, and store in a dark cool place for a month or so. For this dish, chop a small red chilli and steep it in 1tbsp of olive oil for about two hours.

Method

Mix the marinade ingredients, and pour over the sliced chicken in a bowl. Mix gently to ensure it is well coated. Cover and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes to steep.

Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside covered.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package instructions, and drain them thoroughly. Set aside covered.

Heat a medium wok until it starts to smoke, and add 2tbsp of peanut oil.

Stir fry the chicken in small batches, until it is done through and just beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside to cool.

Re-heat the wok, and add a further 2tbsp of peanut oil. Add all the vegetables, and stir fry over a high heat for about 3-4 minutes. They should just begin to soften, but still be crispy. Set aside to cool.

Wipe out the wok, and add reheat it. Add 2tbsp of peanut oil then toss in the cooked noodles and stir fry them about 4-5 minutes, moving them constantly to avoid sticking.

Drizzle 1tsp of sesame oil over the noodles and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Divide the noodles between four plates or bowls, followed by the vegetables and the chicken. Drizzle with the sauce, and garnish with chopped chives. Enjoy!

Wine match

I had the pleasure the other day of witnessing David Higgs of Rust en Vrede being honoured with the top global wine tourism award for 2009, and to eat his fabulous food. He paired the 2008 Grande Provence Chardonnay with his Leg of Organic Chicken “En Sous Vide” with Gnocchi, Artichokes and a Garlic and Lemon Puree. The memory of the wine lingered long enough for me to match it with this dish when I made it the following day for lunch.

Peach and pear perfume on the nose, underpinned by sumptuous citrus notes.

The fruit follows onto the palate, which is broad and creamy, with butterscotch and vanilla undertones.

The finish is long and elegant, and the mouthfeel is rich and creamy.

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