A couple of weeks ago, I went with my cousin Maya to a taping of one of the UK's best cooking shows, Market Kitchen. I'm a total groupie for the chefs they feature and have huge foodie crushes on Matthew Fort and Matt Tebbutt, so I took my MK cookbook along for some signatures. If you've ever seen MK, you know that the 'diners' are part of the show, and participate to a small degree in the taping of the show. I have been three times now and it's bee a lot of fun seeing the behind the scenes, sucking my gut in when I'm in the shot and getting to try the food being cooked.
This most recent time, we got to meet Rosemary Shrager, an icon of traditional British cooking and Paul Merritt, a Michelin starred chef and gastro-pub owner.
One of the things I love about Paul Merritt is that he's all about inexpensive, seasonal cooking for people with families. On more than occasion on various shows, he's complained about how much his kids hate their veggies and how he tries to get around this (Chocolate covered brussels sprouts anyone?)
On this occasion, Paul's recipe was a chicken and winter vegetable stir-fry with coconut broth and I admit that I was a little skeptical about a few of the ingredients. It turned out to be really tasty and I put it on the menu for this week. I made it a little differently from Paul's because I try to keep the number of dishes I have to wash to a minimum and worked with the ingredients I had handy. My version is about 90% true to Mr. Merritt's and was really REALLY enjoyed by Hubby, who rarely gets excited about any food, especially when it has broccoli and KALE in it.
Give this a try, but if you have young kids you might want to ease up on the chilli and you can substitute the kale or broccoli with cavolo nero or spinach. Paul will be making his version tomorrow night on Market Kitchen on the Good Food Channel at 7:00pm
Chicken and Winter Veg Stir-Fry with Coconut Broth
Serves 4, takes about 30 minutes
2 free range chicken breasts, cut into 3cm chunks
250g curly kale, washed, chopped
200g tenderstem broccoli
1 400g tin coconut milk
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cm ginger, grated
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
3 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp veg oil
Mix the stem ginger syrup and soy sauce together in a bowl and mix in the chicken, set aside to marinade while you do the rest of the prep.
In a small saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat and sautee the shallots, ginger and garlic together until fragrant, then stir in the spices, fry for another minute before adding the coconut milk. Bring this to a low simmer and start the chicken.
Heat a wok over a high flame, add the oil and use a slotted spoon to carefully bring the chicken pieces to the hot oil. The sugar will make the chicken brown quite quickly, which is desirable, but be careful not to let it burn. Pour any remaining marinade into the coconut broth and stir fry the chicken for a few more minutes before adding the broccoli. The broccoli will need to cook for a few minutes, then add the kale and chilli and cook for a couple more. Once the kale is tender pour the broth over the contents of the wok and simmer together for one more minute before serving in wide bowls.
In hindsight, we thought it would have been lovely to try some rice noodles in the bottom of the bowl for hungry dudes.