I can never bring myself to buy chicken that comes from a bird that spent its life in a cage. It’s just not right by me. So when I do splash out and buy meat, I want to make the most of it. I find it’s usually cheaper to find a whole free range bird on sale at the supermarket, cook the whole thing and then freeze half of the meat for another day. This way I can make real, old school, flavoursome chicken stock that reminds me of my childhood.
This time round I flavoured the chicken with lemongrass and soy and sesame, and cooked it overnight in the slow cooker. Once it was cooled, I pulled the meat off the bones and added coriander and lemon juice and a bit more soy and lemongrass for good measure. Oh, and fresh ginger. I’m not going to make this a proper written out recipe because, well, it’s more fun to balance the flavours yourself – you know what you like! Rick Stein says, “a recipe should be a tune to which you can sing your own song”, and I take that pretty seriously.
There are plenty of things to do with your yummy chicken meat – have it with noodles or rice or stir fry or salad, wherever the mood takes you. I like to make mine into rice paper rolls, adding grated carrot or capsicum or whatever salad-y greens you have on hand. Something I will give you the recipe for is a sort of a coconut sambal.
1/2 tsp cumin
juice of half a lemon
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 kaffir lime leaf, stemmed and finely sliced
Stir together and salt to taste. You can put this in the rice paper rolls. It’s really great.