Hot birds and tasty chicken

March 24th, 2011 § 1 comment

Whenever I feel tired I think of Gorgeous Rose and the Fabulous Miss Katie who live up the road from me and I shut up. Because they have husbands (one each), children (three and four respectively), farms, businesses to run and long long hair that they maintain really well. So for a recent ladies night I decided to do one of the recipes from my Chefs Warehouse course, not only because it was delicious when Liam made it, but also because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t mess it up: Singapore Chicken Rice. Here’s Liam adding the finishing touch to a bowl of fragrant rice and gently poached chicken, many moons ago at our poultry class:

Looks very do-able, doesn't it?

For starters I decided to do my favourite super-speedy, impressive, flavour-laden rice paper spring rolls. All it takes is a bit of nifty shopping and some lukewarm water. My local SPAR stocks the rice paper wraps.

A rice paper disc

Soak one disc at a time in lukewarm water until it softens. When is it soft? When it looks like this:

A paper-thin wrap is born

I use medium-hot tap water. Cousin J says it will completely dissolve in boiling hot water. And now for the fun part. You can use anything fresh and crunchy for the filling. I always line the centre with a bit of lettuce or soft baby spinach, slivers of cucumber and in this case, red pepper, although carrot is a firm favourite.

(urgh, what a haut frommage pun…firm favourite…bleh!)

Crunch time

With crunchy vegetables, herbs and the right dipping sauce, you really don’t need to add meat. But most things taste better with a prawn thrown in, don’t they? So for my lovely guests, I made prawn wraps.

Most important, the final touch – herbs. I often use basil and mint, this time I used Thai basil (thanks Woolies, you gourmet shopaholic-enablers you) and coriander. And don’t be shy. Green it from top to bottom. All that’s left is to roll and serve. And the wraps are self-stick. How cool is that…

That's how I roll

Cut in smaller pieces for gracious scoffing and serve with your favourite dipping sauce. I used soya and the Woolies Oriental Dipping Sauce.  It’s delicous, sweet and tangy. I bought a bottle about a month ago for R12.99 and thought it was the bargain of the century. Someone must have gotten the price wrong because it’s now R25.99 and still a good buy. Enough about the easy-come-easy-go starter… back to the hot birds!

Rose struck a demure pose on the couch with Fine Wine mag, while Katie (who LOVES her food) offered to lend a hand to get things moving in the kitchen.

Lady Bartinney of Helshoogte Upper

Barbarella 'The Blade'

Katie and I love going for lunch together because we always order two mains. Big up, ya? We’ve subsequently joined Bootcamp so this bravado comes at a price… Rose and I also enjoy ordering doubles, though of the liquid kind. From this point onwards my dedication to photo documenting the dinner went for a crock, as the knife-wielding one was starving plus she doesn’t stand for tweeting (yes I’m on twitter @kitchenvixenSA) and crap when there’s good food to be had. So all I have of the delicious Singapore chicken is this hasty snap:

Singapore Chicken Rice

Might look a bit bland but it’s everything but… A whole bird, poached in fragrant chicken stock. The white meat is cut and served on a bed of deliciously flavoured long grain rice, garnished with spring onion, cucumber and coriander, and served with a hot and spicy Togarashi dressing (in the gravy boat, what can I say) and Chinese spice salt (red bowl). The chicken is succulent and the rice is beyond comforting, although the kicker here is the Togarashi dressing. Lots of chili, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and lime juice. A sauce to add zing to grilled fish, meat, seafood or a crunchy salad. Recipes to follow courtesy of Liam Tomlin of Chefs Warehouse in Cape Town.

Rose, thank you for my WONDERFUL belated birthday present… two cases of the yet-to-be-released Bartinney 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. A lovely wine, set to make its mark. On your shirt, the table cloth – wherever you’re having an awesome time! I still felt it the next day… ah ladies, we shall do this again.

Lovely logo, innit?

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