Saturday, November 3, 2012

You can't cook?---of course you can!--chicken, pineapple and cashew nuts

So you have three people coming to dinner and you want to impress them. ‘But I’m a useless cook,’ you say. You can either cook it all in a crockpot/slow cooker or use a stir-fry method. Don’t be afraid to substitute if you don’t have an ingredient.
I say---bullcrap---you can, if you can read and you’re reading this!
OK---get these ingredients---you don’t have to be exact, but if you are still a bit wobbly about proceeding, stick to my quantities.
1)    About 300-400 grams of skinless/boneless chicken breast. (Get it while it’s on special and freeze it because it’s actually easier to slice when it’s partially thawed. Slice the chicken and marinade in the fridge with the following:
2)    1 tablespoon of soya sauce (any type), big teaspoon (or less for the ‘don’t like it too hot brigade’), of chilli paste, same of garlic and ginger, a generous teaspoon of sesame oil and a tablespoon of white vinegar (any vinegar is fine).
3)    Place the mixture in a plastic bag and stick it all in the fridge. Make sure the bags not leaking.  You can leave it to marinade all day if you’re off to work or you can use the slow cooker way from here.
When you are ready to cook, fry off some onions (one’s fine) in a little oil, and then add the chicken mixture, Stir-fry until you are sure the chicken is cooked. Use a hot wok or fry pan! I’m pretty sure it should cook in less than ten minutes if you have sliced the chicken thinly. If you are using the slow cooker, it will only need 3-4 hours max on Med-High. (We use a timer for that. The chicken won’t go off in that marinade---you can always turn it on when you get home and cook on high for 3 hours---if you can wait that long) Always check to see if the chicken is cooked by taking a piece out and making sure it’s cooked all the way through. You don’t need guests ringing you the next day, saying they had a ‘rough night with their best friend --- the toilet.’
Before serving (with rice and any green veggie) add some pineapple chunks (not the NZ icon pineapple lumps! ---MMMM I wonder if they would work?) Add the cashew nuts. You can thicken the mixture if it is a bit too runny. Use corn flour in a slurry---start with half a teaspoon mixed with a little water. You can always do it again if it is still too thin.
As with anything I cook, you can vary and add what you like.
Now--- was that too hard? If it was, then you really can’t cook!