They often talk about the tyranny of distance when referring to Australia. We are just so far from anywhere. I love living in Australia, the casual lifestyle and good weather. But I get twinges of jealousy when I see photos of friends who have just popped over to some gorgeous city in Europe from their home in London.
I want to add a new term, the tyranny of seasons. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is winter. However, I read a lot of food blogs written by wonderful bloggers from the Northern Hemisphere. At the moment most of my favourite bloggers are writing about summer and salads and meat done on the barbeque (or should I say grill given most are in the US). In some ways I am quite jealous, I love the warmth and relaxed vibe of summer but in terms of food, I prefer the warming foods of winter. I have never been a lover of salad.
I am not sure where stir-fries fit into this – a year round dish perhaps because it is warming but the speediness of the cooking means that they can be made in summer without the cook melting in the kitchen? Which season do you prefer?
I have been trawling back through favourite blogs for their winter recipes to keep me sustained with this seasonal mismatch. But when I saw this recipe for sambal chicken on Flying on Jess Fuel, I was drooling over the flavor combination. There is however, no way I am going to be firing up the barbeque for dinner any time soon.
Instead I have made this dish two ways, on the stove and in the oven. I think my favourite way in terms of taste was the oven. The chicken came out just a bit more tender. Cooking it on the stovetop was quicker but I overcooked the chicken slightly the first time I tried it one the stove. I got the timing better on the second stove top run but the oven won out.
Cooking this on the stove or oven, the marinade becomes more of a chili jam. And it is a fabulous chilli jam. The first time I reduced the sauce on the stove before adding the chicken, it reduced to this amazing jammyness of sweet and spicy flavours. You could easily take the sauce off the stove at this point, put it in a jar and slather it on a burger or dip a fish cake in it. Or of course, keep going with the recipe have a delicious meal of chilli jam chicken.
A sweet and spicy dish that is perfect for a work night meal.
- 2 tbs of brown sugar
- 25ml of rice vinegar
- 1 tbs of sambal olek
- 3/4 tbs of fish sauce
- 3/4 tbs of sriracha sauce
- 1/2 tsp of minced ginger
- 130g of skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in to cubes of about 2 cms
- If using the oven method, heat the oven up to 200 degrees Celsius (about 390 Fahrenheit).
- Whisk brown sugar, rice vinegar, sambal olek, fish sauce, sriracha sauce and ginger in a bowl to make the sauce.
- Add the chicken and coat well.
- Put the sauce in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat. If using the oven, I use a pan that goes from the stove to the oven.
- Reduce the sauce by about half. This will take about 2 minutes once your stove ring is warm.
- Add the chicken pieces and sealed the chicken on each side - should take a minute or so.
- Once the chicken is sealed then pop the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes (transferring to an oven proof dish if your saucepan is not ovenproof).
- If you are cooking on the stovetop, turn the stove down to medium and cook the chicken for about 6 minutes, stirring to cook it evenly on all sides.