Tag Archives: What should I have for dinner?

Akis’ Sticky Lemon Chicken

For this week’s recipe tester, we’re all about Akis’ Sticky Lemon Chicken.  If you haven’t come across Akis Petretzikis yet, he has a brilliant YouTube channel which has been given alot of publicity by Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube network. His recipes are pretty simple, and not always authentic, but generally they look pretty tasty, and he’s a joy to watch.  Akis is Greek, which is brilliant for spreading the word about Greek food, and also means he has a rather entertaining accent (particularly when he’s talking about mash (-ed potato). Anyways, we love his channel and jumped on there for some supper inspiration the other day.  I read a few of the recipe titles out to Charles and it was this Sticky Lemon Chicken which he chose.

Whilst this was technically approached in the same way as my stab at Nigel Slater’s Lemon Curd, I actually made quite a few changes to the basic recipe, as the amount of soy sauce Akis used looked to be both far too salty and ridiculously unhealthy, and cutting that down meant we needed to add more honey to balance out the flavours.  Also, we used skinless and boneless chicken thighs instead of breast due to the amount of time the sauce would need to simmer to reduce (and we didn’t want the meat to dry out or become tough), and I also wanted to add some vegetables to make it feel a bit more like a Chinese takeaway.  That said, I would have added a chopped pepper had the idea occurred to me sooner!  The lemon slices look pretty in the finished dish, but they were far too bitter for me to actually eat!  Charles munched his way through all but the very ends seemingly happily – it’s up to you if you fancy trying them!

Akis’ Sticky Lemon Chicken

Akis’ Sticky Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 5-6 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Thumb sized piece ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 lemons
  • 80ml or so dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • Basmati or wholegrain rice to serve

Instructions

  1. Trim the chicken thighs and cut them into reasonably large chunks - large enough that you have to half them to eat them elegantly! Set this aside and wash your chopping board well or grab a new one.
  2. Grate the garlic and ginger, slice the onion, peel and cut the carrot into quarter discs.
  3. Slice the lemons into rounds and get the groundnut oil heating up in a large frying pan or wok.
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the lemon slices flat in the pan and brown them on both sides.
  5. The juice should start to seep out and the edges of the lemon slices should caramelise. Remove these from the pan and set aside.
  6. Turn the heat down a little and then add in the onion and carrot and fry these off until they are well on their way to becoming cooked.
  7. Add the garlic and ginger, being careful not to let either of those burn. Cook out for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Next, you can fry off the chicken. Try to get some decent colour on it by turning the heat back up. You may wish to add a touch more oil if things are starting to stick.
  9. Now get your rice cooking, as it will likely need around 15 minutes to be ready to serve up alongside the main event.
  10. Once the chicken is nicely sealed and coloured, add the vegetables and lemons back into the pan.
  11. Pour in the soy sauce and honey, and mix everything together. The lemons will continue to flavour and add juice to the sauce, so keep tasting it as it reduces down to make sure you're happy with the flavour balance. You may need to add more soy sauce or honey depending on your taste and how sour the lemons are.
  12. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a sticky sort of syrup and the chicken is cooked through. Taste again before serving and gobble it up, feeling virtuous for resisting that takeaway!
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Excitingly, this was made entirely in our new kitchen, and we’re pretty pleased with the natural lighting and backdrop around the hob area.  The splashback was temporary at the time and is now almost finished.  Unfortunately, the finished dish is pretty dark and unappetising looking but it really was delicious!

Why not try some of our Asian inspired recipes, such as our Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken, Mango Prawns or Steak and Soba?  Now I really want stir fried beef….

Turkey Bolognese

So you want to eat healthily but you also want to eat well? Hmm…..I give you turkey bolognese. No, it’s not dry, and no, it’s not bland. Trust me. Even my Mum likes it and she won’t eat anything that looks or feels even vaguely healthy. We’re not talking superfoods here, but we are talking lean protein, plenty of vegetables and some punchy herbs and spices for good measure. What’s more, it hides any sweetness wholewheat spaghetti comes with so it actually tastes really quite luxurious even if you bring the calories and carbs down to the minimum.
Turkey Bolgnese RecipeTo make a large batch of this light but meaty sauce, you will need:

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

3cm fresh ginger

3 carrots

1 red pepper

Olive oil

3 tsp tomato purée

100ml red wine

1 packet turkey thigh mince

1 packet turkey breast mince

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cans plum tomatoes

1 jar passata

1 Knorr beef stock pot

1 punnet chestnut mushrooms (closed up or button will work as will)

1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Splash Worcestershire Sauce

Splash balsamic vinegar

A few leaves of fresh basil and parsley (if you have them!)

Salt and black pepper

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe 1. Finely chop the onion, carrots and pepper (although I prefer to keep the pepper pieces sort of bite-sized) and grate the garlic and ginger.  Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a medium heat.  Chuck in the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and transparent.  Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat – the garlic will burn!  Next, add the carrots and pepper and continue to cook out, stirring every now and again.  The idea is to soften the veg so that it becomes part of the sauce, not to brown it.  Add the tomato puree, stir it in and keep cooking it all out.  When it’s starting to turn dry, Add the red wine and let this simmer, steaming off the alcohol and any harsh taste.
Recipes using Turkey Mince2. Grab your largest frying pan, add a little oil and turn the heat up to the max.  Brown off the turkey mince, a few handfuls at a time to prevent overcrowding and lowering of the temperature, letting it turn golden brown before turning.  This stuff will kick off quite a bit of water and fat, so keep some kitchen roll handy to mop up any liquid if it looks like the mince is starting to boil rather than brown.  When it’s nicely brown on both sides, add to the saucepan, dry off the pan, then brown the next batch.  It may seem a little odd to use a combination of turkey breast and thigh meat, but I think it gives the perfect amount of fat balance to keep things moist without over greasing the pudding.
Pasta Sauce Recipes  3.  Stir the mince into the vegetables, add the tinned tomatoes and some of the passata – you may need more or less of this depending on the overall balance of mince and veg to sauce, bearing in mind that it will reduce during cooking.Spaghetti Bolognese Recipes  4. Add the beef stock pot and stir in – this can take some time and effort to distribute evenly but it really helps to round out the flavour.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, then the dried spices and herbs, lemon juice and sugar and stir.  Put a lid on and leave alone to simmer (check the temperature) for around half an hour.  Recipes using Chestnut Mushrooms

5. Cut the grotty stalk ends off the mushrooms then slice them, bearing in mind that they will cook down a bit in the sauce. Add to the sauce, stir in, and cook out for another half hour or so, stirring every now and then.  You’ll notice that the sauce has already started to deepen in colour. Oh and if your saucepan isn’t big enough to take everthing, you can just as happily split the sauce into two saucepans, just remember to split any extra ingredients between both.
How do you make Spaghetti Bolognese?

6. Put the lids on and cook out for at least another half an hour to 40 minutes before serving, but ideally as long as possible.  Taste, adjust the seasoning and then add the fresh herbs before stirring through a final time.  Serve with some perfectly cooked pasta (not necessarily spaghetti!), green veg or salad and maybe even some garlic bread.  Grate a little fresh parmesan over the top if you have some -a little goes a long way if you’re counting calories.  This batch fed me for two suppers, and my parents for one, with a large freezer bag going in the freezer, so I’d day it would feed 6 people easily.

Best Ever Spag Bol Recipe

Buon Appetito!
Low Fat Spag Bol