Hullo / Hi!!!!
It is a quiet Friday morning, quintessentially English…….yes, cloudy and gloomy but I am on a high this morning. Had an amazing and cosy evening (yesterday of course) with a lovely couple, talking late into the night, as we do…… food, friends and fun….what more could you ask for? We kick-started our weekend a day early.
Made a few dishes, no tension, no funda, simple soul food, relaxing for the body and soul…….
One more thing is I can totally relax today….Although I love cooking, it is good not to, once in a while (You know all the cleaning and washing that goes with it…). So, got on to my other favourite activity: write about food.
Believe it not, my whole life revolves round food. It has become quite an obsession, mostly making it. I am thankful that my “obsession” does to extend to eating it.
I do enjoy eating as well but I enjoy the process of bringing it to the table more. Planning, looking up recipes (or creating them), trying them, tweaking (I can’t resist doing that), presenting it and lastly seeing the family enjoying it. It is a complete package and I am loving it.
My older son and husband only enjoy boneless meat (read chicken) although my younger one and I like our bones as well…..well, meat on the bone as they say. So, we usually end up having marinated boneless chicken breast cubes either grilled, fried or done in the air fryer. It gets a little boring at times.
So, this time I decided to try something a little different. I like to plan my menus according to what is available in the house. So, I cut chicken breasts into strips. I had a jar of Schezuan sauce in my larder cupboard….and some golden breadcrumbs…..so the little bulb in my brain lit up and a little voice within me said : Indo-Chinese. I served it with vegetable noodles but it can also be served as a starter.
I know a lot of people make this at home and this is my version. I was pleased with myself as I was able to achieve the required texture and taste with minimal use of oil and few simple ingredients.
- 1 kg chicken breast (white meat), cut into strips
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 5 tablespoon Schezuan sauce (I used store bought, in a jar)
- Salt to taste
To cook / bake / roast
- about 2 cups golden bread crumbs
- 1 large egg (or 2 small), beaten lightly
- Oil / oil spray to grease the oven tray.
- You can even deep fry these but I baked it and it was perfect.
Wash the chicken strips in plenty of water and drain in a colander. You can remove excess water by laying the chicken strips on kitchen towels for a few minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the Schezuan sauce and ginger garlic paste. Add the washed chicken strips and mix well. You can do this with your fingers. Make sure you wash your hands before and after. Or you could do it with a spoon and fork. Make sure all strips are well coated.
Cover the bowl, keep aside for an hour or so. I kept it overnight in the fridge. You don’t have to but the chicken absorbs the marinade really well.
Heat your oven to the highest possible temperature. Mine goes up to 250*C.
Grease a big oven tray with about a tablespoon of oil or oil spray.
Get the breadcrumbs on a plate and beaten eggs in a bowl.
Get the marinated chicken strips out. If you have kept them in the fridge, it is better to bring them back to room temperature, so, they cook evenly in the oven.
Pop each chicken strip in to the beaten egg, roll it in the bread crumbs and place them on the greased oven tray. Make sure the tray does not get crowded. Leave tiny gaps between the chicken strips. This ensures that it cooks well and becomes crispy.
(You can freeze the chicken strips at this stage either for a party or children’s holidays)
Once oven is heated, place the tray in the oven. (I put mine in the centre of the oven. You know how your oven works, so, place it accordingly)
Check after 5 minutes and if you feel the strips are getting burnt, reduce the temperature a bit (I didn’t need to). The chicken were completely cooked in 8 minutes, crispy and golden on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside.
My Schezuan sauce was not very spicy, so, I used 5 tablespoons. You can reduce or increase amount of sauce according to your taste.
Also I did not add salt. The salt in the sauce was enough. Just taste the marinade with the tip of your tongue to check it needs salt or you could fry a small strip and taste it.
Boneless chicken tends to go a little hard if it overcooked but if you like your chicken well done, then bake at 200*C for about 15 minutes. Please check and turn tray around once or twice and maybe even flip the strips as well.