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Hot hot sticky chilli chicken

This will knock the spots off your favourite Chinese take-away dish. It will taste much better and will have much less hidden salt in it ! If you like two tone yellow and white rice, then sprinkle a few drops of food colouring over the rice when cooked then recover and rest for 10 minutes.

SERVES 4

600g mini chicken fillets

for the rice:

450g basmati rice
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
6 whole cardamom pods
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
a pinch of saffron strands, optional (or yellow food colouring) 
1 teaspoon of LoSalt

for the sweet chilli sauce:

3 tablespoons runny honey
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons tomato purée
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

for the tempura batter:

100g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
100ml sparkling water, chilled
pinch LoSalt, to taste
sliced red chilli and chopped fresh coriander, to serve

 

  1. Place the rice, 1 teaspoon LoSalt, spices and water into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice sticking.
  2. Once boiling, cover with a tight fitting lid, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. While the rice is cooking, put all the chilli sauce ingredients into a small pan
  4. Simmer for 5 minutes then keep warm while you finish the rice and cook the chicken.
  5. When the rice is done, remove from the heat (add the food colouring at this stage) and rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently fluff with a fork before serving.
  6. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornflour, a pinch of LoSalt and sparkling water until the batter is the consistency of single cream.
  7. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan (or an electric deep fat fryer) until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it.
  8. Dip the chicken fillets into the batter until completely coated and lower them into the hot oil (you will have to cook this in one or two batches).
  9. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and completely cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  10. To serve, pile the chicken onto 4 warm serving plates and serve with the warm chilli sauce and spiced rice. Sprinkle with sliced red chilli and chopped fresh coriander.