Last night, left alone in the house, I decided I’d order in a Chinese takeaway. After some deliberation, however, I opted to cook something and post a recipe because as this comes to you (by the very clever wordpress scheduled post function) I will be nearing Oban with my girlfriend and her family in order to catch a ferry tomorrow morning at 7am bound for Tiree. Oban, coincidentaly has a fantastic chippy if you’re ever up that way called the George Street Fish and Chip Shop, where we will be eating tonight.
Instead of ordering Chinese, I thought I’d make something Asian inspired and, given that I was alone and needed some entertainment, decided I’d head to the local wine/beer shop and try to match a few nice beers to the meal. I nipped up to Lidl to see what they had (I’m a firm believer in local produce and Lidl is less than a mile away) and ended up with some chicken legs, a lime, some herbs, peanuts and a cucumber. It was like ready steady cook. On the way back I nipped into said wine/beer shop: Appellation Wines (who do a seriously vast array of beers for the real connoisseur) and had a chat with the guys there about what I planned to cook.
Enough waffle! I ended up cooking Chinese honey roast chicken legs with a cucumber, peanut and chilli salad.
To go with the meal I was recommended a Porter and a Weisbier, both of which were sublimely matched, and chose myself a bottle of Hardcore IPA by Brewdog as a wee renegade bottle (mainly because it was a binend cheapo and, being a massive fan of Punk IPA, I just fancied it). Here’s the recipe. It’s decidedly rough because that’s how the meal came to fruition but I promise it’s good.
- For the Chicken:
- Two chicken legs (skin on… please!)
- Two tbsp of vegetable oil
- Two tsp of Chinese five spice
- Two pinches of sea salt
- Two tbsp of chilli bean paste (this is optional but can be found in all Chinese supermarkets and is totally worth the trip)
- Two tbsp of runny honey
- For the salad:
- One whole cucumber (halfed, peeled, cored and chopped into 5mm slices)
- Handful of dry roasted peanuts
- Two chillies (more if, like me, you like a bit of burn)
- Large handful of fresh Coriander chopped
- The same of mint
- Three tbsp of rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar will do grand)
- One and a half tbsp of Thai fish sauce (or soy)
- Juice of half a lime
- Two tsp of palm sugar (caster will do)
- Rub vegetable oil, salt and five spice into each leg and pop on a roasting tray in the oven (200C/400F/gas mark 6) for 25 mins)
- Whilst the chicken is roasting away, combine ingredients 1 – 5 of the salad in a bowl and mix through.
- Take ingredients 6-9 of the salad and mix well in a jar. This will be the dressing.
- After 25 mins, remove the chicken from the oven, baste with the cooking fat, spread a tbsp of chilli bean paste on each (making sure not to put a chickeny spoon back in the jar) and return to the oven for 20 mins.
- At this stage you could put on some basmati rice.
- Five mins before the end of cooking, add a few handfuls of peas to the rice and drizzle a tbsp of honey over the chicken before returning to the oven.
You’re done! plate up and serve with one of the amazing beers suggested below. If you’d prefer wine: I’d go for something with a wee bit of sweetness rather than an all out dry white like Sauvignon. Try a chenin blanc or even an un-oaked chardonnay to compliment rather than stand-up-to the strong flavours.
And a wee one which I drank after and enjoyed thoroughly: