Tag Archives: recipe

RECIPE – Want Chinese Chicken?

Remember Nong’s Thai take on Hainan chicken in Portland?  The bird poached in fragrant stock. Rice steamed just perfect. Don’t forget the famous dark, gingery, just-tart sauce.

Here’s our version.

Ok Imma make this quick and dirty, because this is a meal I associate with late-dinners or Friday evenings when Dad didn’t want to cook, while I was growing up.  These are the best meals, and also ones I forget to share as I feel like most people already have their quick go-to’s.  It takes minimal prep, is extremely healthy, and if you’re lucky you might have leftovers for lunch.  I’m aware that the lack of colour on the skin may take some getting used to, but it’s clearly clean-eating!

There are many variations of this dish, from the Thai-take on it, to the Hainese (HOI LAM GUY FAN|海南雞飯).  Most Cantonese families will have it with steamed rice and boiled vegetables, making it is very low in added fat. Other variations of the recipe have fancy ice baths and salt scrubs to ensure the skin of the chicken looks as appealing as possible, but really now – ain’t nobody got time for that. 


Right so let’s get started.


Pick up a whole chicken at the store make sure it’s super fresh.

Try to get a free-run chicken, because traditionally our aunties tell us that they have the ‘firmest’ meat not like that mushy stuff we get in North America.


NOTE: Please do not wash your chicken.  DO NOT wash your chicken with water in the sink, because you will more likely get ill than if you skip the wash step.  Washing with water effectively sprays campylobactor, a pathogen found in >60% of Irish chickens, up onto the counter and surrounding area.  This is not a food safety lesson, but it kind of is.  





Gently lift the chicken out of the hot water bath using stiff utensils like serving spoon/fork or kitchen tongs.  The cavity of the bird will be filled with water so let that drain out and careful not to tear parts of the chicken.

Place it on a large plate to catch any juices

Pierce the drumstick with a chopstick (the real asian way), and if the liquid runs clear and not bloody, then your chicken is finished.

I would recommend using a temperature probe. Poke the probe into the thickest piece of meat without touching the bone. Your chicken is cooked at 160ºF or 71ºC.

While your chicken cooks (or bathes)…

Make it a nice sauce.

This. Sauce. Is. DEADLY.

It’s quoted to be as addictive as crystal meth by some, but it’s simple – just a grated ginger and chopped scallion/green onion sauce.  It can be made into a vinaigrette, but let’s keep it simple.

Using these ingredients from the list:

2-inch nubbin’ of ginger

scallions,chopped finely

cooked or heated oil

1/2 tsp salt

Oyster sauce (optional)


Grate the ginger into a bowl, take care to keep the juice.

Add the chopped scallions

In a small sauce pan, bring the oil to smoke. Set aside to cool.

Add salt & oil the warm oil to the bowl and mix.


There we are, voila… poached chicken & deadly sauce.

Carve the chicken and serve.

If you need help carving look HERE (video) or HERE (pictures).  We personally loved the instructions from Thomas Keller’s ad hoc at Home book as well.


Few final notes:

Do you want to know how to make perfect rice, no measure, every time? We will share our secrets with you if you give us a shout-out below.

Reduce waste – the water that you used to cook the chicken can be saved and used in other dishes as a mellow broth.






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Happy Pancake Tuesday avec Donal Skehan & Happy Pear!

Here in Ireland, pancake Tuesday (aka Shrove tuesday) is done very BIG!

BIG and Festive; by festive, I mean we have crepe-like pancakes topped with lemon juice and dusted in icing sugar. I’ve never seen a place go so crazy over pancakes, but I won’t deny you the pancake-pleasure, I love them so much! You must, must, must top them with CANADIAN maple syrup 😉

So if you haven’t prepared your sourdough sponge overnight like I mentioned last week for sourdough pancakes don’t be frettin’.  Here is plan B, follow this alternative recipe by Donal Skehan & the guys at Happy Pear for Dairy-free, gluten-free, banana buckwheat pancakes! secret recipe: tahini.  These guys are so entertaining – yea, it’s Irish charm they’re all charming.

-Final note: notice the fancy wok used to make the pancakes

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Pumpkin Spice cake

Earlier in the autumn, I was craving pumpkin pie and asked the local grocer if they carried pumpkin purée.  The clerk looked at me like I had ten eyes! Well, I guess I would have to search a bit harder to find this ‘speciality’ item. Instead, I bought a pumpkin … because how hard could it be to make pumpkin purée?

“Well, here’s how:”

Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Cut and deseed the pumpkin, toss with oil and place on a pan.  Bake until soft, then remove from the oven and srape the flesh off the skin.  Put in a pan and purée with a hand blender. Once finely mashed, pass through a sieve.



After all that, I topped the cake with chopped pecans and crystallised ginger. Dust it with cinnamon to finish.


Don’t forget to enter the Knorr Giveaway!! Just leave a comment or RT the tweet.


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Flavor Flave – Easy Curry Fried Noodle Recipe

Knorr Flavour Pots

I certainly thought that when I started sharing recipes from home, I would tell people to cook a meal with the most number of processed cheats possible. -Untrue

Knorr has launched a seasoning paste that claims no artificial flavour enhancers, colours, or preservatives.  All you do is pop it in to your dish or sauce and you have a perfectly Knorr-flavoured dish.

I am a real purist when it comes to food, our goal in the household is to keep ingredient lists down to raw ingredients, and if it’s processed (crackers, breads, or sauces & noodles), then try to keep the ingredient list from 5-10 ingredients.  There are few instances that I would agree with a product like this.

But we are talking about a big change in behaviour among some of the population that habitually don’t have time, skill, or desire to cook. Sometimes all three are lacking and this can be discouraging.

So here, I am proposing the 4 instances I think would be ok to have assistance:

1) Time poor: there’s a trend of financially-rich, but time-poor people, who feel the resource of time is scarce for so many in our populations.
2) Knowledge & skill: ability to cook and work with flavours takes time to learn
3) Replicability: all things constant, (we aren’t talking economics here) you like your dish to taste as identical as possible, kind of in a wholesome but awesome manufactured-homey way. Same every time!
4) You would like to build a repertoire of exotic ingredients, like curries and black pepper sauces.


I came back late from yoga last night, S was studying and I had an idea for curry sauce noodles.  We do have all the spices one would need for curry (garam masala, madras curry powder, turmeric, etc) but “who’s got time for that?” I thought.  I need an idea that will be surefire winner.  It’s 7:30 and I need no trials or mistakes for the curry.

Here is what I came up with.

Pros: Allows beginner cooks to worry about all the chopping and other ingredients while building up to the flavouring bit.

Cons: There are already items on the market that are identical to this, take for example the Glico curry cubes used for Japanese curry.  I would find it difficult for consumers to build a new habit of using flavour pots but maybe if you’re inclined to learn and you’re tired of failing.

IMG_1841 IMG_1844 IMG_1846


If you don’t cook or don’t know how, you must be convinced to start somewhere.
Just don’t be afraid to fail.

Disclaimer: information here is based on personal experience and pots were provided by Knorr.

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Butter beans Reinvented – Recipe

butterbeans reinvented



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How to improve your cocktail game with a Poitin shot – Recipe here

Yes, Poitin!

A quick drink experiment 🙂  – I probably shouldn’t admit this to you, but I kind of like mess around with cocktails at home.  I really don’t have a huge problem drinking alone, it allows me to perfect it for when there IS company. – so i tell myself.

As you do, because we are in Ireland, I’ve opted to swap everything for Poitin! A clear distilled irish liquor (spirits from grains of whiskey) without the ageing in oak



Adapted from Martini & Rossi Factory Martini

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