I’m not really a breakfast person but working all night last night was terrifically stressful and, by the time the sun rose, I could literally hear my stomach grumbling. We were out of bread, I’d bake but it takes several hours for bread dough to rise and, by the time the bread is ready for the oven, I might have passed out from sheer exhaustion. Or I might have been too grumpy and ready to pick a fight with the first creature that crossed my path. And that would probably be Speedy who had done nothing wrong so I didn’t want him to be at the other end of my grumpy hunger. Or is it hungry grumpiness…?? Whatever.
So, I cooked. Stress buster galore.
It takes only 20 minutes to cook rice and I had this idea for a chicken dish that would take five minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. In my hungry mind, the chicken would be lightly crisp and coated with a sticky sauce that had bite and tang, and it would smell so very, very good. Why the heck not? It’s rarely that I have rice for breakfast and I deserved a good meal after last night’s work load. Good thing I cooked too because I felt so much better after eating — well enough to write this recipe before I hit the sack. And, just like Bram Stoker’s creature, I’ll be up after the sun goes down.
Chili chicken. Late breakfast.
- 3 chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tsp patis (fish sauce)
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- cooking oil for frying (should be at least half a inch deep)
- 3 tbsps tapioca starch (or corn starch, or even flour)
- juice of 4 small limes (or substitute lemons or kalamansi)
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- enough honey to create a good balance with the lime juice
- chili paste (paste, not sauce which would be too thin), to taste
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- garlic bits toasted, to garnish
- parsley, scallions or mint snipped
- Cut the chicken thigh fillets into strips about three-quarters of an inch wide. Mix with the soy sauce and patis.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Dredge the chicken strips in the starch (or flour) and shake off the excess. Fry until golden, about four minutes per side.
- While the chicken cooks, make the sauce by stirring together the lime juice (or your substitute), ginger, honey and chili paste.
- When the chicken is done, scoop out of the oil and place in a mixing bowl. Pour in the sauce and toss to coat each piece well. Add the sliced onion and toss in lightly.
- To serve, half fill a bowl with rice, top the chicken, drizzle in a little sauce, top with snipped greens and toasted garlic bits. Then, eat and pamper yourself silly. Everyone deserves a good meal.