Sweet and sour chicken

chinese chickwn

We went to the zoo this morning, and on the way out Bert was counting on his fingers all the animals he’d seen. ‘One, tiger. Two, pinguin. Three, tiger. Five, tiger.’

Basically, we liked the tiger.

This is a zoo selfie because I forgot to take a picture of Bert eating the chicken.

Serves 3-4

For the sauce:

100ml Chinese rice vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 table spoon dark brown sugar

1 tin of pineapple and the juice

4 star anise

1 dessert spoon tamarind (optional)

4 small carrots, cut into batons

1 red pepper, chopped into bitesized pieces

For the chicken:

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bitesized pieces

240g self raising flour

50g cornflour and more to dust

200ml tap water

200ml sparkling water

Sunflower oil to fry

Put the pineapple and its juice, the sugar and honey, the vinegar and the star anise (and the tamarind, if you have it) in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the veg for the last 10 or so minutes, depending on how crunchy you like it; a little more if you like it soft. Remove the star anise before serving.

Whisk together the two types of flour, the water and sparkling water to make the batter. Dust the chicken in cornflour and then coat it in batter. Fry it in sunflower oil in a deep pan at 180 degrees for about five minutes, till it puffs up and goes golden. Serve with rice.

Do not make the mistake of frying it in a deep fat fryer unless you fancy dancing around the kitchen, swearing as you try to dislodge the welded-on chicken from the metal basket.

Advertisements

Little pineapple upside down cakes

pineapplecake

Tonight I had a flushed, tired, whinging toddler on my hands and no pudding planned. But sometimes everyone needs something sweet. The whole thing took 20 minutes, 15 of which were oven time. Five of those 15 were taken up with spoon licking.

The quantities are in ounces because the maths, dividing down from four times the quantity, was so much easier.

The quality of the picture is because a toddler soaked my phone in spit and cake batter.

Makes 3 muffin sized cakes

1 egg

2 ounces of self raising flour

2 ounces of soft butter

2 ounces of golden caster sugar

A few chunks of pineapple

Put the egg, flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and mix till smooth and whippy. Butter three holes of a muffin tin, layer a few chunks of pineapple in the bottom and top with batter.

Cook at 180 degrees (or on a grid shelf on the bottom of the Aga roasting oven) for 15 minutes.

I ate 2.5 of the three.