Monday, January 15, 2007

Sand pot chicken

New Year score card: Week 1 – go back to work after 12 months off (shock); Week 2 – spend nearly all week in bed with nasty summer head cold (sick). Universe 2, Reb 0. Here’s hoping week 3 starts looking better. Instead of having all day to muck around having lunch or deciding what to eat and preparing it, no matter how complicated, the strategy has to change slightly for combining job and food.

This is an easy weekday all-in-one meal that you can make for one or more depending on the size of your clay or sand pot. You can buy these sand cooking pots from Chinese grocery stores for between $7.00 and $20.00, depending on the size and style. You need to soak your pot in water for 30 – 60 minutes before putting it in the oven so it doesn’t crack. The outside has a sandy rough finish and the inside has a glazed surface so cooking liquids don’t penetrate into the pot. In a similar way to a tajine, the cooking vessel itself intensifies the flavour of your ingredients in a way a stir fry doesn’t. Use whatever meat and vegetables and sauces you have in your fridge or pantry, so this recipe is also a great way to use up leftovers.

2 chicken thigh fillets, visible fat removed, cut into 3 cm chunks
½ an onion, sliced into half moons
4-5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
1 kaffir lime leaf, bruised

1 tbsp hoisin sauce (or oyster sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin or Chinese rice wine or sake
2 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup water or chicken stock

½ cup – 1 cup of fresh green vegetables. You can use broccolini, cabbage, asparagus, choy sum, gai lan, bok choy, been sprouts, snow peas or sugar snap peas etc.
1 shallot finely sliced and/or 1 tbsp coriander chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 (160 fan forced). Combine the chicken, onion, mushrooms and spices with the sauces and mix well. Put this mixture into the soaked and drained sand pot, cover with the lid, and cook in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and add the green vegetables, stirring again to coat them in the juices. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the veges are cooked to your liking. Remove the lid and garnish with shallots and coriander.

Serve with rice or noodles, and if it’s a meal for one you can put the rice or noodles straight into the sand pot to serve.


Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Ahh back to the ol' grind. I caon only imagine the post-holiday depression :)

Chicken looks great.

9:43 AM  
Blogger neil said...

Poor ol' you, hope the cold is better, with food like that it ought to be.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

It's an out of body experience Helen, but also just like Groundhog Day. Nothing's changed. You know the drill!

Thanks Neil - much better now but pretty miz last week. COmfort food is good for you :)

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Flimsy said...

Is this dish of Chinese origin or is it an Ultimo Archipelago creation?

4:28 PM  
Anonymous jules said...

hope you are feeling better..I can imagine that being back at work is a massive shock to the system
cute pot

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Ellie said...

Oh dear, hope you're feeling better and that going back to work isn't too stressful for you :D

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh! that was a nice chicken dish you have got up your sleeve.

May be for cutlery and utensils you should try going to

I found that catering to my tastes. May be it would to you too.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Thanks Jules I'm much better now - well except for having to go to work :)

Ditto Ellie - but I'm getting used to the grind again!

Anon - and anyone else with similar intentions - I don't appreciate unrelated and badly spelled free plugs to websites. I don't have comment moderation, so rely on the ethics of readers. Please don't force me to turn comment moderation on.

5:37 PM  
Blogger shaz said...

in Asia, they are more commonly known as claypots.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Sorina said...

I like the sound and look of this. I shall mark this on my to do list.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous airenchan said...

Hi, Saw u got a clay pot. Want to make your pot last longer? I'll tell u how. Every time before u use it to cook soak the pot the day before so the pot will last longer. Never place the hot pot onto a cold surface or on the floor, always use a pot rest. Do not put the pot in the refrigerator.
Then your pot will last longer.

1:54 PM  
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3:21 AM  

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