Every day I have a list of things to do that I try to ignore ahem I mean attend to. Some days, good days, I can strike off a few things from the list while other days the list just sits there judging me. One item that I almost let slip was my driver's license renewal. Those of you that have been reading for a while know how happy I was to finally progress from a learner's license to a provisional license because I honestly thought that I would be on my L's until I was in my 80s. Instead of getting my full license, I had to progress from a provisional 1 to a provisional 2 license.
In the nick of time I sat for my provisional 2 test. Thankfully I passed and I was now the owner of a completely fugly new driver's license photo. I did consider asking if I could sit for the photo again as it was dubious at best. I was doubly alarmed because I was going to do a little bite of shooting with Discovery Channel in a few day's time. I cannot wait to share that with you! ;)
I decided to reduce the amount of dairy and wheat in my diet as I am aware that I am slightly intolerant of both but also in quite a bit of denial about it. When I eat serves of both, my face gets a bit puffy and so I thought that with only a few days to go until the shoot, I could at least give myself a fighting chance of looking halfway decent. Cutting out both categories is a challenge - the afternoon that I decided to do it (approximately 10 minutes after receiving said hideous license photo), I was headed to lunch where there was a splendid cheese platter and crackers. I took a bite before realising that I was eating both dairy and wheat and reluctantly put them down.
I should have perhaps thought about it a bit more and shopped for it beyond buying a carton of soy milk. Dinner consisted of steamed broccoli and a cup of green peas. I did manage to find myself a caveat and found solace in some dark chocolate and nuts but realised that this was not the balanced diet that I was seeking.
The next morning, I defrosted some chicken breasts that I had stowed in the freezer and decided to do something with Asian flavours as Asian recipes don't usually require dairy and not a lot of wheat (ok there was soy sauce did but I was starving by this point). I made a bourbon chicken recipe not really hoping for much, certainly nothing I could post about here, but what I ended up with was a really easy, simple and tasty chicken dish that I will make again and again, even when I'm not on a ridiculous eating regime.
The sauce is easy and you could use any cut of chicken, drumsticks, wings or breasts as I did. The chicken and vegetables are browned in a pan and then popped in the oven for an hour. The sauce that comes out of it is gorgeous and for those wanting to make this for a family, the bourbon and alcohol is totally cooked off so you get a wonderful flavour, not unlike a Thai or Chinese dish (the sweetness reminded me of Thai) that is just made for rice to soak it up. And by all means, make double the amount of sauce if you have the bourbon to spare. If, I said ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you change your diet or exercise more when you have to go somewhere special? and do you cook much with alcohol?
Chinese Bourbon Chicken
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Serves 2-3 people with steamed rice
500g/1 pound chicken pieces (I used boneless skinless breasts, you can also used diced chicken)
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1-2 red capsicums or peppers, halved, cored and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup bourbon whisky
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. In a frypan, heat the oil on medium to high and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish. In the same frypan that you browned the chicken in, add the onion and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the capsicum and fry this for a minute until it starts to soften and then add the vinegar, bourbon, soy sauce and brown sugar and dissolve the sugar and thicken for about 1 minute.
Step 2 - Place this saucy vegetable mixture on top of the chicken in the dish and then cover with foil. Bake in oven for 1 hour (less time for smaller pieces, just check for done-ness after 30-40 minutes). Meanwhile make some steamed rice as you will want it to soak up the sauce.