CHINESE ORANGE CHICKEN

While I’m at university it seems Chinese takeaway is a nightly meal. Instead of being a drain on the pocket (and a drain on your health!) this delicious Chinese Orange Chicken recipe is sure to go down a hit. With a little planning and preparation this should have you stuffing your face faster than the delivery man could even arrive!

image

Ingredients (creates four servings):

  • 3 boneless, skinless, free-range chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 130g cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • A few spring onions, thinly sliced

…and for the marinade:

  • 300ml chicken broth
  • 120ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 40g sugar
  • 80ml distilled white vinegar
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (grate the orange before you juice it!)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Don’t forget your scales, measuring spoons, chopping boards, knives, forks and everything else! You’ll also want two large bowls, a saucepan, a whisk and a frying pan! 

image

Instructions: 

To make the marinade (10 minutes; 30+ minutes to sit) -

  1. Whisk together the broth, freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, hot sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
  2. Remove approximately 100ml of the mixture and set aside.
  3. Add chicken to the bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes. For best results leave the chicken to marinade in the fridge over the course of the day.
  4. When you’re ready to cook, drain the chicken from the marinade and discard it.

image

To cook (10 minutes) -

  1. Begin by boiling the marinade you set aside in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch immediately followed by 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Stir until thickened. It should have a caramel or honey consistency; it looks good enough to eat straight from the pan! Keep this warm, turning off the heat and putting it back on just to stir through. 
  4. Working one piece at a time, dip the chicken chunks into beaten eggs, then dredge in the remaining 130g of cornstarch, lightly pressing to coat.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, and, working in batches, add chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through. 
  6. When done serve chicken immediately, tossed in or drizzled with the marinade, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.

I recommend serving this atop rice or beside some lightly minted new potatoes! Devilishly delicious and absolutely perfect in this hot weather. If you have left overs, it also makes a fantastic sandwich filling. 

BECOMING MORE ECO-CONCIOUS

Yesterday it was revealed that eating beef is ten times more likely to damage the environment than eating poultry, dairy or pork. These past few months I’ve found myself becoming a lot more environmentally aware but was still surprised to find out how much my burger was actually costing. I’m not too sure why I’ve had this change in mentality recently although it might be partially to do with the abnormally good weather and this shocking map, drawn by fashion designer and passionate activist Vivienne Westwood:

image

There are so many simple ways to help solve the climate crisis and most of them you can do at home. These are few simple ones I’ve thought of myself but a quick Ecosia search — a Google alternative that donates 80% of its ad-income to a tree planting program in Brazil — is bound to reveal hundreds of more tips. One thing’s for sure from today I’m going to cook with less beef and less meat in general. 

  1. Don’t leave your phone on charge all night. While I understand you want to wake up with a full-battery, you’re using a lot of energy unnecessarily. You can’t communicate with people while you’re sleeping. Charge it before bed or after you wake up and turn it off while you’re asleep. 
  2. Shop logically and locally. Buying from local shops in-person as opposed to online can have a large impact as you won’t be using fuel to travel and refrigerate food. Buying fresh and in bulk will save on the resources it takes for packaging items and using recyclable or reusable bags is also a fantastic way to reduce rubbish sent to landfill.
  3. Buy organic, fair-trade and free-range. Not only are pre-packaged foods processed with chemicals to preserve the flavours, they’re also one of the most polluting substances for the planet and for your body you can buy. Fresh foods are healthier and processed with fewer chemicals. Moreover, buying fair-trade and free-range ensures those responsible for getting that great food to your plate are paid and treated fairly, sending a powerful message to supermarkets, politicians and shoppers.
  4. Only do full loads of washing on the coldest setting and place your washing machine in the coldest part of your house. You can even buy sheets to place in with your clothes to catch any colour that runs meaning you can mix light and dark loads together. You can also swap to an eco-friendly detergent such as Ecover which has the added benefit of not being tested on animals.
  5. Turn off appliances when not in use. This one’s the obvious one. I recently unplugged my TV, Freeview box and Playstation because I haven’t used them in well over two months. I now plug my laptop directly into the wall to charge as opposed to an extension block and don’t use it while it’s charging. I’ve also changed my speaker system so they’re powered from my computer as opposed to from the mains. Everything helps, even the little bits…

As always, because this blog is ad-free all of these products and tips are genuine recommendations from me. No evil corporations here.

I’ll see you tomorrow!

YOURSELF IN THIRD PERSON

I know you’ve experienced that foggy-head feeling at some point where sometimes you’re not seeing your actions in a clear light. Everybody has — and I’m willing to bet I have more than most. Getting so caught-up in the heat of some moments I usually end-up doing or saying things I’ll inevitably regret if not immediately then certainly within twelve hours of it happening. This is a simple tool LBC’s Steve Allen taught me to prevent that from happening…

Talk yourself through your actions in third person. Eventually you’ll get the hang of doing it almost as you go along. If it helps, swap your name for somebody else’s, not to distance yourself from your actions but to instead ease the process by putting burden on an artificial person. If you find yourself gawping at disbelief at what you’re describing perhaps it isn’t such a good idea to do it.

Adam woke up this morning and sat down to write a very angry blog post about a handful of politicians. Adam called several people some very rude words. Adam realised it wasn’t such a good idea to publish that post, mainly because it libelled people but also because it wasn’t the kind of tone he wanted on his new blog. Adam instead wrote this much more constructive and upbeat post. Adam feels good for this. Adam’s now going until tomorrow. Goodbye Adam.