Friday, February 11, 2011

Bang Bang Chicken

Simon came home last night to find no dinner being cooked and no piles of dishes waiting for him to wash...had I decided on a take-away? No, I'd made Bang Bang Chicken which is served cold so that meant I'd been able to get it all finished and dishes done long before he arrived - I'm now worried this may become one of his most-requested dinners!

I have no idea where the name of this dish comes from and it could be made with any meat or tofu, not just chicken. According to the recipe, this is a dish to make when you have leftover cold chicken - since I didn't have any, I marinated very finely sliced chicken strips and cooked them before letting them go cold. The vegetables are really just salad so that's easy enough to prepare in advance and the rice noodles take minutes to cook and then you leave them to go cold too. The recipe offers a choice of 2 dressings (peanut and sesame) but I only made the peanut dressing - which was absolutely delicious. Both sauces are included below although I can't vouch for the sesame one and since it sounds quite peppery, I have no plans to make it.

Easy to prepare, very easy to throw together and the best bit is the total lack of dishes at the end of the meal!

If you have cold chicken in the fridge, just finely shred it and leave it in the fridge until it's time to plate it up.
If you don't have any cold meat, very finely slice your chicken breasts (about 150g per person) and marinate for at least 30 minutes in:
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
Stir-fry the chicken on high heat until it's coloured on all sides (this will only take a few minutes since it's so thinly sliced) and then leave in a bowl to cool before putting away in the fridge for later.

You can use whatever style of noodles you prefer (egg, rice, bean) but I used rice noodles.
Put the rice noodles (however many portions you need) in a pan with a little salt, cover with boiling water and put on the pan lid.
10 minutes later, drain the noodles, cut them into shorter lengths of about 8 cm, toss with a little sesame oil and leave to cool before putting away in the fridge.

Cut cucumber and sweet pepper (capsicum) into 5 cm strips - remove the seeds from the cucumber.
Toss the vegetables in a bowl with a little salt, cover and keep in the fridge.

Peanut Dressing
Combine the following in a food processor:
2 large tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp light soya sauce
1.5 tbsps brown sugar
2 tsps rice vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine
1 dessert spoon sesame oil
3 cm piece of ginger, cut into smaller pieces
1 tsp chilli sauce
2.5 tbsps chicken stock
1 spring onion (optional - I didn't put any in because I forgot to buy them!)
Blend into a smooth paste - add water if it's too thick - and pour into a sauce boat. Keep at room temperature.

Sesame Dressing
3 garlic cloves
2 cm piece of ginger (cut into smaller pieces)
0.5 tsp chilli sauce
3 tbsps toasted sesame paste
2 tbsps sesame oil
2.5 tbsps light soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsps chicken stock
0.25 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
Cook the peppercorns over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes then crush them to a powder once they are slightly cooled.
Combine all other ingredients in a food processor and blend to smooth paste, add the peppercorn powder and then transfer to a sauce boat and keep at room temperature.

Plating Up
On each plate, lay a bed of noodles with the vegetables on top and then add the chicken.
Scatter sliced spring onions over the chicken (optional).
Provide the sauces for each person to add as much as they would like.


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