What I’m going to give you here are the bones of the recipe – you need to add some stock if you’re cooking it on the stove-top and maybe if you’re slow-cooking it. I don’t add any more chilli than is in my fancy-bought-at-a-market garam marsala because 5,000 children mean 5,000 variants of chilli tolerance, so by all means, add away.
Anyway, it’s delicious and really very straight forward. Get to it. Make your #everyfuckingnight a winner.
1 kg chicken (I have used thigh fillets in a stove-top version and three marylands in a pressure-cooked version)
1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp ground cumin
For the sauce
115 g butter
2 yellow onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
(If cooking on the stove-top ⅔ cup chicken stock)
1 ½ cups cream or sour cream or yoghurt
3 tbsp almond meal
Smoosh everything together and marinate for as long as you've got - at least a couple of hours
If you like you can brown the chicken but really, who has the time or energy for such nonsense
Melt the butter and add the onions. Saute for a couple of minutes
Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
Add the chicken AND all the marinade If using a slow cooker put the lid on and set on high for, I don't know, four hours? Or low for eight? It's impossible to destroy food in a slow cooker, you know your machine, do what you think best. Add a splosh of stock if you so wish but I find I always over water things in the slow cooker In the pressure cooker, on highest setting for 45 minutes for marylands, 30 for chicken with no bones On the stove add the stock and simmer for about 30 minutes
Once cooked, add the almond meal and cream and cook for another 10 minutes or so In the pressure cooker I take the chicken out, set the machine to reduce, add the meal and cream and reduce for 15 mins. (Just stir through yoghurt at the very end in this case otherwise it will split.)
Serve with fresh coriander, chutney and cucumber raita
This is a firm family favourite, of course it is, it involves deep frying, but the chicken is so so tasty I can see past the painfulness of cleaning up post fry.
Although, I read it somewhere that the trick with deep frying at home is to do it in a really deep saucepan so your stovetop and surrounds don’t end up slicked with oil and they were right! You still get splatter but nothing like what I was getting using a wok.
So my main suggestions here are to make sure you use the right flour for dusting – sweet potato/potato/tapioca flour is what you’re looking for. Keep the bits of chicken nice and small so you can pop them in your mouth. Marinate the chicken for as long as possible. And don’t think of bypassing the spice salt, it, like a good salad dressing, makes the dish.
Delicious little bite-sized pieces of fried chicken with an earthy five-spice salt
For the chicken
1kg boneless chicken thighs cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tsp sugar
scant tsp of Chinese five spice powder
Sweet potato flour (also known as tapioca flour, I often use straight potato flour)
Five spice salt
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp five spice
¼ tsp white pepper
pinch of chilli powder
Toss the chicken with the marinade and set aside for as long as you've got
Toss the chicken in the potato flour - I am very gung-ho at this step, I'm sure you're meant to go gently and toss a few bits at a time but I chuck the whole bag of flour in a large bowl and dump the chicken in and toss to thoroughly coat
Heat the oil and then fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes until nice and golden. Again, I know the cardinal rule of not overcrowding the fry but last time I did the whole 1kg of chicken in just three batches and guess what, it worked! I will leave this to your better judgement and patience
Skim out any bits between batches and secretly eat
Drain on paper towel
For the salt
Combine all the ingredients and then scatter over the cooked chicken.
You know the chicken and cashew you get from your local chinese? In that thick comforting sauce of non-description? This is as close to it as I’ve been able to make.
It is based on Adam Liaw’s recipe in his Asian Cookery School book. It must be the fifth recipe I’ve made from it and it delivers time and time again.
The flavours are very gentle in this, there’s no soy, no oyster sauce, no garlic, just a few fine shreds of ginger, stock and shaoxing wine. It’s almost a convalescence food, wonderfully mild and nutritious. Get onto it.
So I made these a year ago and then promptly forgot I had ever done such a thing. Bizarrely last week Felix said, remember when you made spring rolls, and I was all, NEVER! Then, serendipitously I fell upon the very post where I talked about them.
These are easily vegetarian – just omit the chicken mince (derr) – or turned into a pork version by using pork instead of chicken mince (double derr).
Yes, rolling 40 spring rolls is painful but this is where having 100 kids becomes useful. Sure they might not look perfect (there are spring roll perfectionists who insist they must be tighly and very evenly rolled – no hanging over the edges – so they don’t absorb too much oil) but I only shallow fry them and they sure turned out a treat.
When you’re groaning at having to make dinner again make this.
If you’re not already, follow me at Instagram, search the hashtag #everyfuckingnight and you will see a feed of the dinners I am cooking my boys.
This dinner is solely thanks to my dear friend S who knows the best places to have dinner, always checks in on me and is breeding olympians. She’s made this as the kids meal on two occasions we’ve been over for dinner – the second time because they all loved it the first.
It’s a dinner standard in her house and will now be in ours.