Chicken Skewers, Amazing Satay Sauce, Fiery Noodle Salad and Fruit & Mint Sugar... in under 30 minutes? Definitely not. It's well documented from blogs to watchdog that Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals are impossible. I attempted the skewers, satay and salad the first time and I was well into hour 2 and that doesn't include the time to clear up the collateral damage caused during the process. Jamie's approach of chop everything using a blender may be quick, but when you take into account assembling the blender and cleaning the blender, a simple knife and chopping board becomes a much more attractive proposition.
Having said all that, I went back to Jamie's Chicken Satay recipe tonight because all the 30 minute recipes I've tried so far taste fantastic. I'll copy the bits of the recipe I used tonight below, we served it with egg fried rice and a little gem lettuce salad which were perfect accompaniments. The satay is the best I've ever tasted, packed with a freshness that you'll only get if you make your own. Cleaning the blender in this case is definitely worth it!
Chicken Satay (Serves 4)
Put half a small bunch of fresh coriander, 1 fresh red chilli (de-seeded), half a clove of garlic, 3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter, a lug of soy sauce (tamari for those who are gluten free), a 2cm piece of peeled fresh ginger and the zest of 2 limes and the juice of 1 into a blender. Blend until you've got yourself a paste. Taste it and see what you think, if you want more of a particular flavour, just add to taste. With the chicken, Jamie has some complicated way of skewering it... I found it easiest to chop the chicken breasts (4) into chunks and then place on a baking tray and smother over the satay sauce. Put into an oven preheated to 180 (fan). I cooked for around 12 minutes but its worth slicing through the biggest piece to check they're cooked.
The chicken is perfect with the salad garnish from Jamie's book. This is as simple as peeling and washing some little gem lettuce leaves and then sprinkle over some fresh lime juice, soy sauce and coriander. These cut through the bold flavours in the chicken satay and give the dish a real freshness.
Egg Fried Rice
The fiery noodles in the book are excellent but tonight we went for some simple egg fried rice. Cook some long grain rice according to the packet instructions. When the rice is cooked, heat a large frying pan over a high heat with some ground nut oil (or whatever oil you prefer). Whisk 2 eggs with some seasoning and add to the pan and stir quickly. As they start to scramble, add the rice, some sliced spring onion and a few dashes of soy sauce and fry for a couple of minutes. Very tasty, very simple.