Thai chick

OK – the prophecy has been fulfilled and the house is a bomb site. Smashed glasses, marbles in every corner of the room (don’t give your five year old access to kerplunk unless you want to be picking little glass balls out of every orifice for the next week) and yes I am in the corner, not weeping, but trembling – they know exactly which buttons to push…

We ate well though – two dishes for the record, neither of which I can take credit for – both of these came from Nigel Slater, who may be a little annoying on the tv but he is a great writer and his food is always brilliant (if you buy any cookery book, buy Good Food – you’ll thank me for it)

Thai Chicken Wings

Easy one this and the best chicken wings I’ve made for a while. Take the wings and put them in a freezer bag with a few finely chopped cloves of garlic, a few seeded red chillies, a few tablespoons of Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce) and of sesame oil, the juice of a lime and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Give it a good jiggle about and leave it for as long as you can (an hour is enough, but a few hours is better).

Heat the oven to about 200 c and roast the wings on a baking tray for about 35 minutes, turning once or twice throughout.

When you take them out, sprinkle them with some fresh coriander and serve with a chilli dipping sauce, made with a simple mix of rice wine vinegar, lime juice, dark soy sauce, sugar, finely chopped red chillies (again seeded) and fresh coriander…

Thai Green Curry

I think this one is probably more strenuous to write than to cook, so here goes…

You start by making the curry paste. Take a blender and put the following in it, all roughly chopped: four seeded green chillies, three cloves of garlic, two lemongrass stems, a big thumb of ginger, two small onions or shallots and a handful of fresh coriander. Then get a pestle and mortar and grind a teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns. pop them in the mixer along with the zest and juice of a lime and a glug of Nam Pla. Blend it. That’s it.

You will only need about four tablespoons of this for the curry so you’ll probably have some spare. In order to keep the vibrant green colour, put the remainder in an ice cube mould and freeze – you can then store in the freezer for ages…

Now, about half an hour before you want to eat, take a saucepan and pour into it a 400ml can of coconut milk, half a pint of chicken stock, 8 lime leaves, more Nam Pla, a tablespoon of green peppercorns and a handful of chopped coriander. At this point, I also added the leftover dipping sauce from the wings (which really worked – so if you haven’t done the wings, just add a nice glug of rice wine vinegar – adds a lovely sourness to the dish).

Take a few breasts of chicken cut into thin strips and fry them until golden brown in small batches in a wok, and them pop them into the saucepan. Do the same with  a couple of handfuls of chestnuts mushrooms.

Now cook it all together for about 10 minutes and you’re done…

You can serve this with rice (see the Iranian rice recipe in my archives – I know, I should have done sticky fragrant Thai rice, but I didn’t so you’ll have to make do. Or go to a proper food blog and get the recipe there…). Alternatively, do what I did and serve with rice noodles, boiled and then fried in the wok you used for the chicken and mushrooms, with a little butter and sesame oil.

Oh, and chuck another handful of chopped coriander over the lot just before serving.

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