Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Fried Chicken and Herbal Rice

Well..., I know... unusual topic.

It is every year around this time. After a warm and eventful (or not so much) summer, we all have to adjust back to the routine of the school year. This is the time my world stops spinning with the normal Earth speed rotation, but makes a wild fast detour, resulting craziness, dizziness, madness and chaos. First days are the worst. My biggest problem is the lunch ... What to prepare? How to organize healthy and delicious food? When will I have time to cook lunch, plus the dinner? Time is so limited...

Here is my suggestion for the first day at school: Bento Box with delicious fried chicken, fresh vegetables and herbal rice.

for the chicken:

one slightly boiled chicken, cut in pieces
corn meal
one egg

prepare the chicken:

1. Clean and cold wash the chicken. Place it in big pot, add 1 Tbsp salt, cover with cold water and cook it for 15 min over medium heat.
2. Remove the chicken in a plate and cut in pieces.
3. Strain and reserve the broth.  

For a nice crispy crust, cover each chicken piece with corn meal, followed by egg wash. Fry  the pieces individually in a very hot oil bath. Leave them on a paper towel, before serving.

for the herbal rice:

70 g chopped baby carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup Italian sticky rice
1 small fresh branch of tarragon
1 small fresh branch of thyme
5-6 fresh leaves of Mentha Spicata
4 fresh leaves sage
1 small bunch of parsley
1 small branch of fresh savoury
freshly grounded pepper
2 cups home made chicken broth
olive oil for frying 

1. Place the olive oil in a heavy pan over high heat. Cook the sage leaves until slightly brown. Discard the leaves.
2. Add the carrots, onion, all the herbs and the pepper. Cook for 2-3 min. Add the rice. Cook stirring constantly, until the rice changes its colour. (My grandpa used to say "Until it becomes pink". I am still trying to find that colour in the rice :( 
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the broth and the salt. Return to the heat. Leave it open at the lowest heat setting. If you find that it still boils, reduce the heat even more. 
4. When almost all of the liquid is absorbed, but still has some of it, switch off the stove, cover, and let it stay for half an hour. 
5. Sprinkle more freshly cut herbs. Cover again.