Thursday, 23 February 2012

Teriyaki Chicken

Bad things that happened today.

1) Things at work.  Must not blog about them.  Not that bad.  Don't want to get into trouble.  Not one of the best days I've had in the office (and not the worst either).  Compounded by my still present head cold and the feeling that my brain might just explode at any given point.  I kept smiling.  I hope nobody noticed.

2) I took the opportunity on getting home to attempt to gain some spare time later in the evening by cooking a batch of granola for the husband.  I didn't let Miss A help.  She exacted revenge by sneaking into the kitchen and whacking the oven temperature up from 130c to 220c.  I was only alerted to this as Tom in the Onion Van arrived with my weekly shop, thus giving me the option of leaving Miss A on the doorstep with a stranger to save the house from burning down or just smiling at Tom and pretending that I was meant to be burning things in my oven.

3) The husband took the little dog for a walk.  He opened the front door.  She slipped her lead and shot off.  The husband closed the front door, looked at me and announced 'The dog's escaped...'  After a frantic few minutes of dispatching the husband with instructions on places to look for a black sausage dog - who can outrun greyhounds and had a 30 second head start - in the pitch black, I wrestled the child into her coat and wellies, donned the closest pair of shoes to hand, shot out the door and stood on the street like a fishwife yelling 'Rolo' (this is the name of the dog, incidentally).  Our neighbour's front door opened and he informed me that the husband had located the dog five minutes previously and had taken her for a walk.  I smiled sweetly and thanked him.

4)  Making tea.  Brand new, 1kg packet of basmati rice.  Split.  Everywhere.  The smile started to waver.

And so here I am, hoping that in the next 29 or so minutes, nothing else will go wrong (I'm hoping to head to bed at 9.30pm).  It's 9.01pm as I type.

Sticky teriyaki chicken and rice
Obviously none of these are very big things.  Far worse things happen to people every day.  These are just a few of the little trivialities that are sent to try us.  What doesn't kill us is supposed to make us stronger.  We shouldn't sweat the small stuff.  And yet those things are the things that are likely to send me ever so slightly potty.  I can deal with big crises like a swan on a pond.  Little disasters, and I tend to inwardly melt down - sometimes with a few exterior cracks showing all is not well inside.

But the premise of this blog is what's keeping me ticking along.  The anchoring feeling that before midnight, every day without fail, I will both cook something I've never cooked before (or at least try a new version of a recipe) and have sat and written about it.  Somewhere between bad thing #2 and #4 I had another moment when I thought 'I can't be bothered to do this.  It's trivial.  What's the point?  Nobody would really care if I gave up this blog'.  But over 150 posts in, I would care if I didn't make it to post 366 (or 369 based on the days I've double-blogged).

The husband asked me what I'll do once I've gotten to September 26th, 2012 and I've finished this self-imposed mission.  I hadn't thought about that.  Suddenly I'll have time on my hands again.  The energy will have to be channelled elsewhere because this blog is really a coping mechanism to get me from one day to the next some times.  So if anyone has any bright ideas, please feel free to make suggestions.  I've got another 211 days to think up something else.

In the meantime, back to food and today's recipe.  A quick chicken dish from the lovely Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy.  Beginning to love this book.  I don't have quite the same affection for it as I do for Short and Sweet and Mexican Cooking Made Easy.  Those two I love for their indulgence.  This I love for it's simplicity.  It's kind of like a Marguerite Patten for the modern age. Every home should have a copy.

Both the husband and I had chicken and rice tonight.  His was the usual baked chicken with Uncle Ben's rice.  Mine was sticky, salty-sweet and tangy with ginger and garlic; against a huge pile of soft white rice.  And even though his was 'convenience' food, mine cooked from scratch was still far quicker.

Definitely a make again for me.

Serves 4

  • 65g Soy Sauce (why weigh this and then measure the Mirin in ml????)
  • 80ml Mirin 
  • 50g soft light brown sugar 
  • 3 or 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes 
  • 1 x 2cm piece of fresh ginger grated (I used lazy ginger)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • A small bunch of Spring Onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • A handful of Sesame Seeds, dry toasted in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes

  1. Put the brown sugar, mirin and soy sauce into a bowl and mix. Put to one side.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry in hot oil for two minutes. 
  3. Add the ginger and garlic to the chicken and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the sugar / mirin / soy sauce mixture and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.
  5. Add the spring onions and cook for two minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, add the sesame seeds and serve with rice and a green salad

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