Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Chicken Chow Mein

There are times when I feel very lazy, dithering between ordering take out or cooking! The very thought of ordering a Chinese take-out is extremely tempting, however I am of an age when lifting the phone will have consequences, namely on the weighing scales!! I wonder how in my twenties I got away with practically living on take-outs and how it didn't really effect my weight...well those days are well and truly over! Now the mere thought of a Chinese take-out has me regretting it....so here is a compromise. This tastes much better that take-out, full of vegetables and is quick to make...what's not to like? Use whatever, noodles or stir-fry vegetables you have, sit back and enjoy!

Serves 4

4 Chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
2 tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 Heaped teaspoon cornflour
300g Dry noodles (such as Blue Dragon Instant Noodles)
1 tbsp Groundnut or vegetable oil, plus extra for the noodles
1 Red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
100g-150g Beansprouts or any fresh stir fry vegetables
1 Medium courgette, washed and sliced
Sliced spring onions to garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, mix the Chinese 5 spice, 1 tbsp dark soy and chicken. Mix all the ingredient together with your hands, making sure the chicken is completely covered in the marinade. Cover, leave to marinade for at least 20 minutes (or overnight if possible).

Meanwhile cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes (or according to the pack instructions), drain and drizzle with oil. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables, it's better to have everything prepared in advance, because the whole cooking process only takes a couple of minutes.  

Uncover the marinaded chicken and mix in a heaped teaspoon of cornflour, this will thicken the sauce but also protect the chicken keeping it moist and tender while cooking. Heat a large frying pan or wok until it is smoking hot, add 1 tbsp of oil.

Add the chicken to the wok, allow the chicken to "settle" in the hot wok for about a minute, this will seal in the juices. Brown the chicken an all sides, add the prepared vegetables (except the spring onions). Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken cooked through (not pink in the middle!).

Add the noodles and season with 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, mix every together. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the noodles are warmed through. Add a tablespoon of water to the wok if it all starts to get too brown.

Garnish with the spring onions if using and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from Ching-He Haung Chinese Food Made Easy

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