Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Chilli Noodles with Chicken and Peanuts

I had a craving for this recipe the other day. I made it a couple of times a couple of years ago and then never really thought of it again. It's really strange how things just come back to you.

When I started having cravings, all I could remember of the dish was that there was chicken, noodles and lemon and that it came from a magazine, so I went to my cookbook bookshelf. I went through every magazine I have looking but couldn't find it. It also wasn't in my clippings folder, which is strange because I remember really liking the dish and making it more than once - I wouldn't have ignored it. I was a little disappointed, but visited Google and Taste.com.au to see if I could get it there. I had no luck and I ended up quite frustrated. I tried to replicate it from what I remembered, but it didn't really work.

In the end, the weekend after my fruitless search I was going through some old magazines that I had put aside to look at again because their covers looked interesting and I found it. I also realised why I wasn't successful in the online search. I was looking for lemon chicken recipes with noodles when it was really chilli chicken with noodles and it was in a magazine that isn't involved with Taste.com.au. Finding it was a triumphant moment for me.

It's a little bit fiddly, but it is really worth it.

It has a beautiful kick from both the chilli flakes and the julienned ginger. After cooking, you drizzle over the juice of half a lemon and the lemon flavour lightly permeates through the entire dish. When I first made it, I didn't have a very high tolerance for heat/chilli, and I used the lemon to tone it down a bit. Now, I'm happy to say that I didn't have to drown my dish in lemon, and it made it even better this time round.

I really love this dish and the only thing that would stop me from making it all the time (unless I lose the recipe again) is that it is a little bit high in calorie due to the noodles and peanut oil. Luckily, the recipe makes heaps. The magazine says it serves 4. We easily got six servings out of it.

Chilli Chicken with Peanuts
from Australian Table October 2006

375g packet fresh thin egg noodles
1/4 cup peanut oil
500g chicken breast fillet, cut into strips
1 tsp chilli flakes
175g butter beans, cut diagonally in half
4 small carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 cup peanuts
2cm knob of ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup light soy sauce
juice of one lemon
lemon wedges, to serve

1. Prepare noodles according to packet directions. Pat very dry with a paper towel and set aside.

2. Heat 1tbs of oil in a wok on high. Add noodles and stir-fry for 10 minutes, until starting to colour and crisp. Remove from wok and set aside.

3. Toss chicken and chilli flakes together to coat. Heat another tablespoon of oil in wok on high and stir-fry chicken in two batches for 3 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.

4. Heat remaining oil in wok on high. Stir-fry beans, carrot, peanuts, ginger and garlic for 2 minutes. Return chicken and noodles to wok with soy sauce and stir-fry breifly to combine. Drizzle with lemon.

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