Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sticky Chinese Chicken Tray Bake

Is it me or are the clocks ticking faster then normal already this year?  At the moment I no sooner get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner then go to bed - whammo another day gone. And I already feeling tired and it's only 18 days into the New Year.  I have so many things I need to get done and want to do around the house, with the family, with my studies but my daily/weekly "To Do List" is starting to become my "Wish To Do List - I actually do not feel I am achieving that much at all.  

Needless to say, I have been looking for quick fix dinners and weeknight wonders to at least ensure that we are all still eating well.  It's so easy to say "let's get takeaway" when in reality by the time our family decide what food we are getting, choose items of the menu, make the phone call something can literally be in a pot cooking!   I am sure you can all agree with this?

What's your favourite weeknight wonder?  We have quite a few that frequent our table for a quite dinner including Chicken Taco Bake (which is stupidly easy), Devilled Sausages, Beef Keema with Cumin and Currant Pulao, and Penne Boscaiola just to name a few.

Obviously I am always on the lookout for new quick and easy dishes that I can add to our collection and I recently came across this one which instantly appealed to my taste buds - sometimes I wish I could smell and lick my computer screen!  Don't you?  How good would that be?

I think it took me 5 minutes tops to marinate the chicken (which I did the night before) , 5 minutes to put it in a casserole dish and place in the oven.  Super easy!  Already a winner in my books. While it baked I prepped a Crunchy Asian Salad and steamed some rice - perfect partners for what was an amazing dish.

Melt in your mouth chicken pieces laced with a perfect balance of hoisin sauce, honey and Chinese five-spice was delicious.  The crunchiness of the cashew nuts complimented the chicken and there was also the right amount of sauce once cooked.  I don't like dry chicken and this wasn't.

This one-pan chicken dish makes a cheap and easy midweek family meal and we will be definitely having it again.

Sticky Chinese Chicken Tray Bake
(Recipe adapted from BBC Goodfood)

Serves: 8
SmartPoints per Serve: 7

8 chicken chops or thighs, skin removed
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons clear honey
11/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 bunch spring onions, cut into 3 cm lenghts
50 grams cashew nuts, toasted

Slash the skin 2-3 times on each thigh and place in a large snap lock bag or casserole dish.

Mix together the hoisin, sesame oil, honey, five-spice, ginger, garlic and some seasoning. Pour over the chicken and toss to coat.  Marinate the chicken for 2 hrs, or overnight if you have time.

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Arrange the chicken thighs in a large roasting tin in a single layer.  Cook for 30 - 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, basting at least once.

Stir through the cashew nuts and sprinkle the spring onions over the chicken. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and Crunchy Asian Salad, if desired.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)