Chilli Garlic & Honey Chicken with Rice

This dish has been a favourite in my family for many years. It is based on a recipe from a Vietnamese cookbook, but it actually reminds me more of Chinese cuisine. It doesn’t have the tangy balance of sweet, sour and salty that you would expect from a lot of Vietnamese food, but rather an intense emhasis on the three ingredients in the name: garlic, honey and chilli. Muffy and I like to use a lot of garlic when we make this, and it’s sort of become the dish we make when one of us feels like we might be coming down with something. It’s very quick and easy to prepare, and delicious all year round.

Garlic is a thing of beauty

I like to use some vegetables when I make this, but that is up to you. Carrots work particularly well with the sweetness of the honey, and I also like adding red capsicum. Other good options would include broccoli, snow peas, water chestnuts or even bamboo shoots. Go for vegetables that are firm and crisp and can be cooked quickly; I would avoid watery things like cabbage, tomatoes or celery.

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Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fried Rice

Fried rice is perfect for using up leftover rice, vegetables and meat you might have in your fridge. In fact, it’s the only time I really make it. Last night on MasterChef the contestants made fried rice in a challenge, so I was feeling a little inspired. I also had heaps of coconut rice left over from a few days ago and some other things I wanted to use up, so fried rice was an obvious choice.

In addition to the pre-cooked rice, I ended up using:

  • garlic
  • red onion
  • spring onion
  • shallots
  • red pepper
  • carrot
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • corn
  • chicken

Really you can use whatever you want, in any quantities, but it’s best to have a source of protein or two plus a good selection of flavoursome vegetables.

Ideally you should use peanut or sesame oil for frying as they add a nice flavour, but any oil is fine really. Get the wok or pan really hot before adding the rice, and maintain a high temperature whilst frying. I fried the chicken, garlic, onions and shallots separately first and then added them after the rice. I used a little fish sauce, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and curry powder towards the end, but it’s important not to add too much.

I haven’t made a lot of fried rice but I’m getting better at it. Next time I think I’ll use Chinese sausage or barbecued pork for the meat and maybe some bacon too. I’d also like to boost the flavour a bit more with some ginger, and perhaps some shao hsing wine or vinegar, and a little sugar to balance out the flavours. I might replace the fish sauce with oyster sauce as well.

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm  Comments (4)  
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