I always seem to forget that food really can be a wonderfully soothing thing.
My relationship with food has been a bit tricksy lately. The side effects of some of my meds mean that I am either not hungry at all or can eat only small amounts. Add to that the fact that I have developed all sorts of aversions to foods that I normally enjoy and I can honestly say that eating is mostly just an inconvenience. I have to make a concerted effort each day to make sure I get enough food.
Today I was going to make a roast chook for dinner but I was almost positive that I would take one look at the finished product and decide not to eat at all. Instead, Beefy and I went all crazy adventurous stylee and made Hainanese chicken-rice.
I first tried chicken-rice when we visited Malaysia on the way to London a few years ago. Since then I have craved this simple combination of poached chicken, rice and broth often but stupidly never tried to make it. Every time I’ve googled a recipe I’ve thought “I’ll try that another time, when I’ve got the time to faff about with it”. It just looked a bit convoluted and long. All the recipes I have seen for it include mentions of frying in chicken fat and minute by minute instructions for temperature adjustments while poaching the chicken.
I have been forced to save up my cravings and have it every single time we go to the central market for lunch. There is a huge variety of amazing Asian food at the market but the store that is devoted to chicken-rice gets my money every time.
After today’s experiment though, I sooooooo wish that I had made it earlier.
The chilli sauce and ginger-garlic condiments that go with it are massive punches of flavour that to take the dish from simple aromatic poached chicken and rice to a mouth orgasm in every bite. There is nothing mild about them. I have actually resorted to purchasing jars of them from the Asian grocer to add to all kinds of things because I love them so much.
Today we made our own and they were not only ridiculously easy to make (chuck it all in a blender) but tasted exactly as they should, fucking amazing.
It was so good that we decided we will poach fresh chicken in the leftover broth and have it again tomorrow. I wish that I had taken a photo of our masterpiece but I was in a bit of a hurry to eat it so…. sorry.
Actually it marks the end of a quite successful weekend. I am still in the hyper-inflammatory grip of an arthritis flare but I managed to get out and buy some bits and pieces for the kids, get myself a new iPhone and help Beefy plant some new veg.
It turns out that helping do the planting was not wise as I am now unable to walk and in excruciating pain. Bastard.
However, a full tummy and a sense of satisfaction at having been up and about instead of in the bed and miserable the entire weekend goes a long way to compensating for that pain.
Or, I could just be high on chilli.