Tag Archives: Lemon Recipes

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….

Lemon Drizzle Baby Shower Cupcakes

Last Friday night after work we had a bit of a ‘do for a girl who is leaving in a couple of weeks, as well as a baby shower for another who is heading off on maternity leave.  as I have done for baby showers in years past, I agreed to make a batch of baby themed cupcakes for the occasion.  I actually had to make them on Wednesday night as I had my first wedding dress fitting on the Thursday so I had to choose a cake that would stay relatively moist (sorry) by the time Friday night rolled around.  Due to the baby boy cupcake cases I had being white and pale blue, I thought the obvious chocolatey choice would be too dark and hence would show through the cases so I settled on a much more baby-friendly lemon drizzle – a family favourite with a lemony syrup to keep the sponge tasting fresher for longer.

You will need:

250g salted butter, at room temperature

250g golden caster sugar for the cakes plus 150g for the drizzle

3 large eggs

250g self-raising flour

2 tablespoons double cream

3 unwaxed lemons

For the buttercream:

200g salted butter, at room temperature

400g icing sugar

zest of one unwaxed lemon

4 tbsp double cream

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

blue food colouring (optional)

appropriate sprinkles

additional decorations or cupcake picks

 

baby shower cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 160c fan, with the shelves nice and low so that you can slide your pan into the centre of the oven.  Weigh out the butter and give it a good old whisk up with an electric whisk (or a wooden spoon if necessary).  It helps if the butter is at room temperature but you don’t want it to be melting.

baking recipes  2. Add the sugar…
how to make cupcakes  3. …and whisk it up again.  Give it a few minutes to allow the ingredients to combine and become really soft and fluffy.  Next, crack in and combine the eggs one at a time.cupcake recipe  4.Whisk again for a good 5 minutes or so until the batter is really light and fluffy.  This is your best chance of achieving an aerated batter.  how to make cupcake batter  5. Carefully fold in the flour until everything is just combined (too much mixing and you’ll end up with hard, dry cakes). Then add the zest and juice of one lemon, plus 2 tablespoons of the double cream.  Mix until just combined.

lemony cupcake recipe6. Set out 12 cupcake cases into a 12 hole muffin tray and fill each case about 2/3 full.  This is quite a generous recipe so I actually had enough batter left for another 2 full-sized cakes and a half-sized chef’s perk morsel, although you may wish to divide the extra batter between the 12 cases for extra large cakes.  Some people like to use an ice cream scoop to get their portion sizes nice and even but I generally just freestyle it and risk my eye judgement being a little off.

how to make cupcakes. Slide the tray into the oven for around 20 minutes, or until risen, slightly golden and springy to the touch.

These are the cases I used, by the way – I bought them a couple of years ago at a local cake shop, but you can find them all sorts of places, including the good old interweb, or just use plain blue if you can’t find baby themed ones.  Of course, you can make these cakes for any occasion, just change up the decoration.  They’d be lovely for Easter actually.

baby boy cupcakes
8. Meanwhile, add the juice of 1 lemon and the zest of 2 lemons to the rest of the caster sugar and mix well. This is your drizzle. lemon drizzle recipe

lemon cupcake recipe

9. When the cakes have cooled to being just warm to the touch, pierce holes into the top of each cake with a cocktail stick then gentle drizzle a few teaspoons of the drizzle mixture onto each cake, giving it time to soak in. If you go too quickly it might slide right off again.

lemon drizzle cupcakes

10. Whilst you’re allowing the cakes to cool to room temperature, you can prepare the butter icing.

cupcake icing recipe

11. Weigh out the butter and whisk it up until soft then add the icing sugar, zest of one lemon and 4 tablespoons of double cream along with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract. To avoid the sugar clouding up too much, you might want to start mixing everything together with a spoon, or grab a clean tea towel to drape over the mixer and bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.

easy buttercream recipe

12. Add a few drops of food colouring if desired

blue buttercream recipe

Then spoon into a piping bag (or you can freestyle with a spoon or knife and get spreading).

how to decorate cupcakes

13. Pipe even swirls onto each cake starting from the outside, working inward to a peak.

cupcake recipes

14. Sprinkle on your chosen sprinkles – I used pale blue, green, white and yellow sugar coated chocolate beans (like mini smarties) from the supermarket.    baby shower cupcake recipes

If you’re feeling extra creative (or flush) top with homemade cupcake picks or fondant decorations, or buy some sugar decorations form a local cake shop.  There’s a DIY instructional on my blog as to how I made the cupcake picks.

baby shower cakes

Now you’re all set for your shower or party!