Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Noodles with Holy Basil

I bought a chicken last week at Ginger Pig - a hefty thing costing about £14. I stuffed it with barley and bacon and roasted it to perfect golden perfection with potatoes and steamed carrots and peas and lashings of gravy for Sunday dinner. Just fabulous.

Lots left over and so we had cold chicken and stuffing and salads all week for our lunchboxes, undoubtedly the highlight of my working day. Friday night the carcass remained, with a few skerricks here and there of remaining flesh. I had a couple more chicken carcasses in the freezer from before so I defrosted those. I cleaned all the remaining chicken from my bird then put all the bones into a big pot with various bits of veg and made a couple of litres of fine stock, which now occupies the space vacated by the frozen carcasses.

I had quite a reasonable amount of shards and shreds of flesh, had been thinking of making chicken and tarragon soup but we went out for dinner instead. So Saturday night I defrosted some egg noodles and stir fried them with the remaining chicken, lots of chilli and a handful of the rest of the holy basil, also from last week. A frugal meal that was full of flavour and colour, and quick and easy to boot. Feeling smugly satisfied and decidely well fed!

Chilli Noodles with Holy Basil
1/2 tspn fennel seeds
50ml shaoxing rice wine
50ml fish sauce
50 ml oyster sauce
400g fresh egg noodles
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red bird's-eye chillies, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely sliced into long thin strips
100g mangetout, finely sliced into long strips
1 cup holy basil leaves
1 cup cooked chicken, or raw thinly sliced
1 tbspn chilli oil
1 tbspn sambal oeleck - a chilli sauce available from any asian grocers
Mix the rice wine, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a little bowl.

Heat a wok till smoking then add the chili oil and fry the fennel seeds, chopped shallots, garlic and chilli until fragrant - a couple of minutes. Add the sambal oelek, red pepper and mangetout and toss with the mixed liquids. When it starts to bubble add the chicken and toss for a minute then add the noodles and half a cup of water. When it boils you turn the heat right down, cover with a lid and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the noodles cook.

Toss through the basil leaves and voila!

Dinner is ready.

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