bbq time: lemon and oregano grilled chicken

I’m fully aware that we’ve had a bit of a run of lemon and oregano recipes but here me out with this grilled chicken – I’ve still got tonnes of that oregano my mate gave me and well, it’s coming up to Bank Holiday and time to get the BBQ out. So if you don’t like it, please feel free to pucker up and kiss my bum!

Just a very quick post today as lots to do, but I want to make a special plea to you lot following my bee-facts on Tuesday. If you’ve got a moment or two, pot up some nice bright flowers and stick them outside. Nothing fancy: a few flowers in a rusty beans can will do the job, hell, you can stick a lupin in your fundament for all I care, but let’s save the bees. We’re surrounded on our street by pristine laws of immaculate grass and mm-precision borders and it makes me sad: where are the bees to land if not on our dandelions? We’re deliberately letting the garden grow a bit wild, if only because it makes us laugh when some of the neighbours wince as they walk past. Now they know how I feel when I catch sight of their chinos and Daily Mail.

Oh and whilst we’re on the topic of nature:

Seriously, it makes an amazing pesto for this recipe: spinach and wild garlic pesto pasta (3 syns). Though I recommend you choose the leafs away from the path, otherwise you’ll be accompanying your dinner with a light drizzle of dog piss.

The grilled chicken, then.

grilled chicken

lemon and oregano grilled chicken

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 thighs

This recipe for lemon and oregano grilled chicken is fresh from Martha Stewart's website, but that's OK, she probably stole it off someone else anyway. #topical

This recipe couldn't be easier, so even your hamfisted attempts at clarting about in the kitchen can't end in disaster. Make the marinade, leave it to sit and then grill it! BBQ or normal grill, who cares - end result is tasty chicken!

DON'T be tempted to skip the oil, for goodness sake. It adds a bit of succulence and for crying out loud, if you're having a BBQ, better to spend the syns on something tasty than an arseholes-and-eyelashes burger from Aldi? Yes?

Looking for something to serve this with: try using the same ingredients to make a batch of roast potatoes and, whilst you've got your grill hot and steamy, whack our peanut butter pork skewers on there!

Ingredients

  • as many chicken thighs as you want, though this makes enough marinade for about eight - boneless is better, but if you're alright with the thought of a bone in your mouth, and let's be honest we've all read the graffiti in the bogs which confirms that fact, go with the bone
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
  • 120ml of lemon juice (fresh, mind, don't you be cheap about this)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (12 syns, which I've dividing between eight)
  • two tablespoons of fresh oregano if you have it (finely chopped) or dried if you're a Dismal Deirdre
  • good pinches of salt and ground pepper
  • fresh oregano sprigs if you're that way inclined

Instructions

  • look, there's two ways of approaching this - make your choice:
    • I'm a hussy: OK, leave the skin on the chicken, it's tasty, but you should syn it...should...but well, you know...
    • I'm a nun: take off the skin, throw it in the bin, sob silently into your sleeve at what a monster you've become
  • whichever way you choose, prick the chicken all over with a fork
  • the next step is to combine all the ingredients together and give those chicken thighs a good rub, you saucy minx
  • leave to marinate for as long as you dare
  • BBQ for however long it takes for the juices to run clear and the internal temperature reaches over 74 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken
  • you can, of course, grill in the oven - same rules apply!

Serve with salad!

Notes

  • nothing fancy to report here, but if you're sick of chicken thighs don't worry - you can use chicken breasts just as well - we recommend Musclefood's chicken because it doesn't shrink away to an epiglottis-sized piece of nothing when you cook it. We have secured a deal with them which includes a crazy amount of chicken, along with other syn-free meats, and I suggest you take a look right here (oh and full disclosure, we get a tiny bit of commission: but remember our rule, it we don't rate it, we don't sell it)
  • we've got a Weber BBQ and love it - this one, actually - but honestly, you don't need to spend a lot of money on a BBQ - as long as it gets hot, that's all you need
  • buy a meat thermometer for your BBQing though - seriously - unless you're a fan of spending all weekend trying to stop your innards falling through your hoop! Amazon do a proper cheap number here!

Courses BBQ

Cuisine Italian

My question to you is simple: why aren’t you making this? Want more chicken ideas? Then I, being a merciful Lord, will oblige:

Enjoy!

J

sausage and white wine risotto: low syn and gorgeous

Sausage and white wine risotto, if you don’t mind!

We’ve come to the end of our second bootcamp and can’t quite believe it. For two lads whose idea of exercise was a casual Sunday wank or rolling over in bed so our sleep apnea doesn’t suffocate us, I’d say we’ve done really rather well! I’ll talk about it more in due course but honestly, if you’re out there thinking you can’t exercise, get yourself moving! I mean…I haven’t died, yet…

Just a quick recipe tonight to keep you going – but this is delicious! You may know our approach to risottos – just chuck everything in and leave it to cook itself. Might not be 100% authentic but by god, it’ll leave you satisfied. Without further delay…

Oh one thing: if you’re still after a Halo fryer, they are now the absolute lowest they’ve ever been – get it ordered!

This serves four! Oh and it’s actually 1.25 syn per serving, but I can’t be arsed to be that anal. It’s been a long day!

sausage and white wine risotto

sausage and white wine risotto

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sausage and white wine risotto

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 big bowls

Sausages, booze, and stodge. This sausage and white wine risotto is THE perfect dinner idea that you've been waiting for! Robust, meaty and just a little bit fruity - just like us. Even though it's full of rich ingredients this is just one syn and a bit each and one of the tastiest things we've ever made!

We've adapted this and made it a bit skinnier from our 'spirit daddies', The Hairy Bikers. Their original recipe is in the brilliant 'Meat Feasts' book - you can get a copy at Amazon! Don't forget to check out their website for more tasty ideas. 

Ingredients

  • 4-6 sausages (see notes)
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 300g arborio rice
  • 125ml white wine  (5 syns)
  • 60g parmesan, grated (2x HeA)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  • cook the sausages however you like them, and then slice and keep to one side
  • meanwhile, heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and spray in some oil
  • add the sliced onions and cook until starting to turn brown - remember to stir them about regularly
  • once the onions have started to lightly caramelise, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, herbs and rice and stir well
  • add the wine and give a good stir, and then pour in the stock and stir again, and then put the lid on the pan
  • cook for twenty minutes - no need to stir!
  • gently drag a wooden spoon through the rice - if it falls back in 'waves' it's at the right consistency - cook for a few minutes more if it's not
  • stir in the sausages slices and sprinkle over the parmesan
  • serve and sprinkle over the parsley

Notes

  • you can cook the sausages however you like - we used our Optigrill - but however you like it will do, just make sure they're cooked!
  • you can use any sausages you like - including veggie ones if you want - but just remember to check the syns! We used Muscle Food Low Fat pork sausages which are syn free
  • you can use a sprig of rosemary and thyme instead of the dried stuff if you prefer, just remember to fish them out before serving
  • use any wine you like but remember that different types have different syn values so remember to check. We used normal 12.5% stuff.
  • slice the onions in double-quick time with a mandoline - just watch your fingers if you're a clumsy twat
  • a good, heavy lidded pan works best - this is what we use

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Italian

Looking good right? Want some more risotto ideas? We’ve got loads – why not try one of the following?

Enjoy!

J

five spice chicken skewers: taster night or bust!

Taster night five spice chicken skewers – there’s a lot of love in Chubby Towers for these – but as it is Valentines Day tomorrow, we’re having a night off! So no blog post, just a wee bit of admin – first of all a message, then the recipe.

That’s right folks: try another new and lovely recipe! You might find it sticks in your throat at first, but just relax, you’ll be fine, and you’ll end up enjoying it! And now, a recipe…

five spice chicken skewers

five spice chicken skewers

to make tasty five spice chicken skewers you will need:

  • 400g chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
  • 250g pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 tbsp five spice
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 8-10 wooden skewers (soak in water to stop them from burning)

top tips for making tasty five spice chicken skewers:

  • want juicy breasts that won’t shrivel up? Order from our fantastic Muscle Food deals!
  • you can also cook these under the grill instead if you’d prefer, set it to medium-high and cook for ten minutes, turning frequently
  • yeah, technically you should syn the pineapple if you’re following the plan to the letter, but lets be honest – it’s not a huge amount of pineapple, it’s not getting mashed down or owt, no magical sugars are being created and frankly – life’s too short. We didn’t bother. You can if you like.
  • Fry Light is crap because it tastes crap and you get a pissy little stream. Get a mister instead – you’ll never look back!
  • metal skewers work fine too – just watch your hands!

to make tasty five spice chicken skewers you should:

  • mix together the five spice, garam masala, black pepper and soy sauce in a bowl and add the chicken
  • leave to marinade for as long as possible – overnight is best
  • preheat the oven to 180ºc
  • thread the chicken slices onto the skewers followed by the peppers, onion and a big chunk of pineapple
  • give a good spray with a bit of oil
  • place on a baking sheet and cook for twenty minutes
  • eat!

Want more Chinese style recipes? We’ve done a whole raft of them recently, see?

Enjoy!

J

chinese cherry coke chicken thighs – perfect for taster night

Cherry coke chicken thighs await you in a moment – and good news, this is just a quick post, but first…

cherry coke chicken

Aaargh! I don’t know why I inflict facebook groups on myself, you know. With pancake day approaching, the pages are awash with people suggesting they can make “delicious syn-free pancakes” from blending oats, frying them in frylight and mixing with yoghurt and sweetener. Why? yeah, you might save a few syns, but what price dignity? What price the crap that you’re putting into your body in the name of trying to get a syn-free dinner? I know it’s personal choice and that’s all well and good but I bet there’s the same amount of calories, or close, in the amount of oats you’ll use, plus oil, plus sweetener, then there is in a couple of proper pancakes. And even then, why not enjoy your food? You’ve got one body and you’re here only once – why not enjoy your food? Have good food and eat a bit less and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it all the more. 15 syns to spend on making the stuff you’re eating enjoyable, tasty and memorable.

Ah I dunno. I can’t get my head around the mentality of thinking spending syns on your dinner is a bad thing but sitting cramming a chocolate bar into your mouth “because you can” is the way forward? Frankenfood and nonsense is totally against Slimming World anyway, and let’s be fair, I’m hardly their most ‘anal’ fnar fnar follower. You need this to be a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. When people lose all the weight will they be eating oat pancakes and “sausage rolls” made from wrapping a manky sausage in a wrap? No. Then what happens to that weight loss? But hey, what do I know? Follow SW’s rules, they know what they’re doing. Mostly.

Let’s do some cherry cola chinese chicken! The cherry cola adds a nice glaze and using chicken thighs keeps the meal cheap and easy. Let’s be honest: if there’s one thing you love, it’s some cheap and easy thighs. Right?

cherry coke chicken

to make chinese diet coke chicken you will need:

  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 150ml diet cherry coke
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes

top tips for chinese diet cherry coke

to make chinese diet cherry coke chicken you should:

  • in a jug mix together the coke, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli flakes
  • plop the chicken thighs into a bowl and pour over the marinade, turn the thighs over to make sure they get a good coating
  • leave in the fridge for about an hour, then remove from the marinade and pop onto a paper towl
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and spray in some oil
  • add the chicken thighs and cook until browned, then turn
  • pour over the remaining marinade, bring to a simmer and cover with a lid
  • cook for five minutes, then remove the lid and cook for another five or until the marinade is nicely thickened
  • serve!

Still hungry? We’ve got plenty more chinese fakeaway recipes for you!

Yum!

J

stir fry cucumber and pork – trust me, it’s a winner!

Stir fry cucumber and pork? You are either doing one of two things:

  • experiencing confusing feelings in your nethers – you’re scared, but you want to try it; or
  • you’re quietly gipping into your sleeve.

But trust me, it’s delicious! Paul, who doesn’t like cucumber whether it’s sliced, diced or hidden somewhere it’s not nice to talk about, declared the dish one of the best he’s ever had – and it’s so cheap too.

Anyway: good news everyone: I’m feeling better. Not 100%, I still feel like someone has backed a transit van over my head and everything capable of producing liquid is working over-time, but at least I’m not dying. See? Always a positive. But I need to stay rested, so let’s go straight to the recipe!

Oh, this makes enough for four nice bowls of stir fry cucumber and pork.

stir fry cucumber and pork

stir fry cucumber and pork

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you’ll need:

  • two big cucumbers (or buy three, you’ll have something to play with whilst the cucumber soaks)
  • salt (smoked salt is nice, but any salt will do)
  • 500g of low-fat pork mince (you can use turkey mince too)
  • 3 teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine (about 0.00000001 of a syn, so fuck it)
  • 2 teaspoon of oil (4 syns) (I used sesame, it’s easier)
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (you can buy it from most supermarkets, it’s syn free and doesn’t taste fishy)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour (quarter of a syn, see above)
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • two garlic cloves, minced
  • rice to serve

top tips stir fry cucumber and pork

  • absolute full credit goes to seriouseats.com for this one – we found it a while ago and thought it would be a load of bollocks, but we’re so glad we tried it – fair play!
  • quickly mince the garlic with a Microplane grater – you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one – or you can buy ready minced garlic in most supermarkets if you’re lazy
  • if you’re using turkey mince, I’d suggest adding another tablespoon of oil (6 syns) because turkey can be quite dry, like me
  • our chopsticks are available here!

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you should:

  • two bits of prep first:
    • marinate your pork by mixing it with two teaspoons of soy sauce, the rice wine, one teaspoon of oil, the fish sauce and half a teaspoon of cornflour – really give it a good mix, and then set aside – the longer you leave it the better it will be
    • peel slices from your skin of your two cucumbers so you’re left with alternating stripes around the outside, cut in half along the horizontal, so you’re left with two long halves, cut each half into chunks and then put in a bowl, scatter a good couple of pinches of salt on top, shake and leave them to sit for an hour or so
  • once you’re ready to cook, in a small bowl mix two teaspoons of water, the other half teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of soy sauce – mix and set aside
  • wash your cucumber chunks through a sieve to get the salt off them, and then pat
  • heat up a frying pan with a few sprays of oil, get it nice and hot, then place the pork in almost like a big burger – allow to cook for thirty seconds or so exactly like that, then start breaking it up with a spatula, add the chilli flakes and garlic and cook until everything is golden brown
  • now add the cucumber chunks and cook high and quick – mix your sauce again and pour it in – there’s not a lot, but the idea is to make it a bit glossy – remember, cook quick and hot
  • serve with rice!

Guys, do you trust us at this point? Do we ever really post a duff recipe? No. This isn’t one of them, either. The cucumbers keep a bit of crunch but go more meaty than you would imagine. It tastes lovely and fresh and is a good, cheap alternative to a fakeaway. Give it a go!

Want more fakeaway ideas? We can help:

Goodness me!

J

sticky sesame chicken (pressure cooker/hob)

A rare beast tonight! With The Governess still unwell and me struggling away at the helm, we’re going to go straight to the recipe without a moment of delay. Enjoy!


This makes enough sticky sesame chicken for four people. This is known as General Tso’s chicken in America, if you’re curious. You can leave off the sesame seeds at the end if you absolutely must but they add a nice crunch!

sticky sesame chicken

to make instant pot sticky sesame chicken you will need:

  • 4 big chicken breasts
  • 6 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce (3 syns)
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (1 syn)
  • ¼ tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (3 syns)
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

top tips for instant pot sticky sesame chicken:

to make instant pot sticky sesame chicken you should:

  • cut the chicken into bitesized chunks
  • spray the bottom of the instant pot bowl with a little oil and press ‘Saute’
  • add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is white all over (don’t worry if it isn’t cooked all the way through)
  • in a jug mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, hoisin sauce and honey
  • pour the sauce over the chicken, put the lid on and switch to ‘Manual’ mode
  • programme the machine for ‘high pressure’ for ten minutes and leave to cook
  • once finished, use the quick release method
  • in a bowl mix together the cornflour with one tbsp cold water to get a thick sauce
  • switch the instant pot back to ‘saute’ mode and pour in the cornflour
  • stir gently until the mixture thickens, and serve
  • sprinkle over the spring onion and sesame seeds

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t fret – you can make this on the hob by cooking off the chicken, adding the sauce and letting it bubble and take its time!

Want more Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes? Natch!

J

syn-free chicken doner kebab wraps

Syn-free chicken doner kebab wraps! Yes! We’ve got a fantastic streak of recipes coming down the line and this is just the beginning – proper ‘naughty’ food, and yes, I cringed too writing that.

I’m not going to keep you too long, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve found a butch new past-time – boxing! Well past-time might be overselling it but we’ve just done a boxing class at boot camp and I bloody loved it. I suppose there was always a certain inevitability that I’d enjoy being pummelled in the ring by someone more tattoo than man but still. N0, none of that business, just a few boxing moves in the darkness.

One thing that it brought to light was how terrible I am at throwing a punch – but see, I’m a lover, not a fighter. I prefer to cuddle, but that’s frowned upon, especially when everyone is sweaty. When it was my turn to be the ‘puncher’ I really struggled to work out the technique until, miraculously, that annoying little ‘What’s A Computer?’ shitrat’s face appeared on the pads in front of me and I absolutely leathered them. It felt great! All that anger being released in a safe and controlled fashion, rather than coming out in the form of the spittle dripping down my windscreen. In my head I felt like Conor McGregor, but I’m sure in the harsh light of the gym I was more John Prescott when he got hit by an egg.

I could have cheerfully carried on punching but we had to switch roles (it’s OK, I’m gay, it’s a routine part of our existence: sometimes you’re Jim Henson, sometimes you’re Kermit) and it was my turn to block the punches. That’s fine when it’s Paul and his brittle wrists but when you’ve got people with arms like oil pipelines, it becomes terrifying. All I’m saying is that it’s probably quite hard for the leader to keep up the macho, aggressive atmosphere when you’ve got a big fat mincer shrieking ‘mind me teeth! MIND ME TEEEEEETH‘. Aaaah, good times.

There is a downside to the whole experience – slipping on a pair of communal gloves that have been used for eight classes previously that day…was grim. I felt like I was fisting an especially lubed bumhole. Now: I’m going to tell you something but because it’s super rude, I’m going to a) hide it in white text so you’ll need to highlight it and b) suggest that anyone prudish scrolls to the next paragraph. Don’t say you weren’t warned!


Wondering how I know what fisting someone feels like? Because I did it accidentally. I had met someone for – let’s not be polite here – casual sex (long before I met Paul) and one aspect of gay sex is that usually, you’ve got to apply a fair bit of lube. That’s fine, I was oiling his keyhole when he pushed back without warning, sending my whole fist and half my forearm up his arse, the way a vet does to a cow when he’s trying to deliver a difficult calf. He didn’t even flinch. I’m not into this at all, but what the hell do you do in that situation? It didn’t so much kill my mood as tear it wide open and leave it gaping. I pulled out my fist, checked I still had my ring on (he didn’t) and apologised profusely. He was fine about it, but there was no fucking way I was following it up – I’ve got nowt to be ashamed of, but I’d hate to meet the man who can compete with the girth of his own balled-up fist. I made an excuse (my arm looks like a giant fizzy cola bottle, THANKS) and legged it. 

Legend has it that if you listen carefully, in the right conditions, you can actually hear Ben from Hartlepool’s arse whistling in the breeze even now.


You’re back! We’re going to buy our own set and one of those wee mannequins that you can punch about the room without fear of being sent to jail. I might stick Little Mo’s face on it from Eastenders and pretend I’m Trevor. Man, I used to have such a thing for him, which I know is terrible: he was a monster, but I wouldn’t mind being face-down in his gravy, I can promise you.

Anyway, on that charming note, to the recipe! We’ve adapted this from recipetineats which is a fantastic site – if you haven’t visited yet go there now!

chicken doner kebab wraps

chicken doner kebab wraps

 to make chicken doner kebab wraps you will need:

  • 8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • half a red cabbage, finely sliced
  • half an iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tabasco sauce (or any hot sauce)
  • 4 WeightWatchers low fat white wraps (4x HeB)

for the marinade

  • 250g fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or hot chilli powder)
  • 1½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2½ tbsp tomato puree
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

for the yoghurt and mint sauce

  • 100g fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp mint sauce

top tips for chicken doner kebab wraps

  • we had lettuce, cabbage, onion and tabasco sauce in our kebab but you can have whatever you like!
  • cooking in the oven will give you the best results but if you can’t be arsed you can also do them under the grill – just be careful they don’t burn and make sure they’re cooked in the middle
  • a Tefal Optigrill will also make light work of this – just press the ‘Chicken’ button and cook until the light is yellow/orange, turning once or twice halfway through
  • you can help keep the chicken moist by spraying with a bit of oil before it goes in the oven, and just before you turn them halfway through. Frylight tastes rank, get one of these instead and go for a proper tasty mist, with real oil!
  • you really want chicken thighs for this one – you could use breasts, but they might go a bit dry
  • don’t be shy when stuffing your wrap – you’ll probably have quite a bit of meat left over – this makes LOADS

to make chicken doner kebab wraps you should:

  • in a large bowl mix together all of the marinade ingredients
  • add the chicken and mix to coat well
  • cover the bowl in cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight
  • in another bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and leave in the fridge until you need it
  • preheat the oven to 220°c
  • find a baking tray that’s the right size so that you can sit the skewers for the next bit on either side – a pyrex dish is perfect for this
  • remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and divide into two piles
  • fold the chicken thighs over and push onto two parallel skewers – think about those horrible ice lollies you had with two sticks – that’s the kind of thing you’re after. use two skewers for each pile, so you’ll end up with two big kebabs
  • sit the ends of the skewers on the edge of the dish so that the meat doesn’t touch the bottom – you don’t want to lose any of that tasty marinade!
  • bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then turn and bake for another twenty minutes
  • remove from the oven and then carefully stand them up on a chopping board, and slice thinly
  • open up a wrap and fill with your chosen toppings
  • add the chicken, drizzle over any sauces, fold over the wrap and eat
  • make it tastier by toasting the wrap first in a griddle pan or Optigrill!

Or, to put it simply: marinade your chicken, skewer it and cook it in the oven – easy.

That’s a wrap! Oh noes, my sides. If you love wraps as much as we do, have a look at some of our other recipes!

Enjoy!

J

sesame chicken and broccoli – a perfect fakeaway!

Sesame chicken and broccoli with noodles: it’s like the beef and broccoli fakeaway we did, only with one exciting change. You’ll never guess!

Now, newer readers to this blog might not know this but we’re more than just a recipe site – we like to post up our holiday stories as well – long posts where I get to type out the nonsense that happens to us when we have the cheek to leave our living room. We’ve been all over on this blog: Iceland, New York, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Cornwall (god help us), Paris, Corsica and er, a coach trip. We’re a national embarrassment. Last year we tried to do twelve holidays and we managed eleven – not bad going for two fatties who get out of breath opening their passports, eh? We have a fantastic travel series of posts coming for Stockholm and Oslo, but first, let’s wipe away the winnit that’s been hanging on since April last year and finally finish our Copenhagen entry.

If you’re only here for the chicken and broccoli fakeaway, just scroll down until you reach the pretty colours or click the button below, which will whisk you straight there! I know, I’m a treat!

There, she’s gone. Thank god: I’ve never known anyone put their make-up on with a plastering hawk before.

click here for part one | click here for part two | click here for part three | click here for part four

Right, let me open with a confession: there’s a reason we’ve been putting off finishing the Copenhagen entries. Something I can’t talk about yet – enigmatic – but it’ll become clear soon! Don’t get too excited – we’re not getting a divorce, Paul didn’t meet a handsome Danish fish-botherer and run away to grow a beard and live happily ever after. I mean, that goes without saying: Paul wouldn’t run to a pool of water if his eyes were on fire. Mind I wouldn’t blame him – Copenhagen, like most Scandinavian countries, was absolutely awash with stunning men: beefy, tall, long haired, beard you could crawl up and die in. Honestly, it’s a good job I don’t like over there – I’d permanently have a bumhole like a pan of boiling milk. There, right there: that’s the image of me you’ll have if we ever lock eyes in the supermarket. Anyway, yes: all will become clear soon. To that end, rather than a huge cantata spread over 6,000 words, let’s just hit the best bits and finish this off!

Carlsberg factory

By all accounts, no trip to the historic and cultural Copenhagen is apparently complete without a trip to the Carlsberg factory to suckle on the teat of piss-weak lager. That’s why we ended up mincing furiously across Copenhagen in the absolute pissing rain to try and get the shuttle bus over to the factory early on a Sunday morning. I’ve never seen rain like it – it would have been quicker to get a lilo and float our way past the trams. Naturally, Paul took us to entirely the wrong pick-up point and so it was only after another twenty minutes of hurried running-walking-heavy-breathing that we arrived at the right place. I was silly, I should have just listened out for people loud Mandarin exclamations, given a good half of China’s population was also waiting for the bus. So many selfie-sticks, so little queueing. I can’t cope without an orderly queue: I like to know where I stand, but I persevere. The problem Paul and I have is that he’s incredibly polite and will not forgo his British sensibilities for anything, whereas I’m far more bullish about things and if no-one else is queueing and all surge to the bus-doors in one North Face rustling mass, you better believe I’ll be right there in the thick of it pushing people under the wheels and elbowing folks in the boobs. This invariably means that I get on first because of my bulk and then I’m left furiously watching Paul going ‘no no, after you’ and ‘I’ll get the next one’ and ‘no, he’s not with me’ to every person pushing past him without a thank you.

Now, you mustn’t think I’m a boorish swine: if there’s a queue I’ll join it. I have impeccable manners: I apologise at the point of orgasm, which admittedly makes it tricky when I’m at the doctors. But sometimes you’ve just got to go for it and to hell with the resulting deaths.

Once the driver had managed to squeeze eight hundred people onto his 57 seater coach (I’m sure I saw him tuck a startled old bloke into the ashtray) we were away, floating our way to the Copenhagen museum. Paul, in his slothlike manner, had been unable to sit next to me, meaning I spent the following fifteen minutes staring furiously at the back of his head and having my shins kicked by someone whose idea of observing my personal space was to attempt to get me to father her child, given how hard she was pressing against me. You can imagine how quickly the time passed.

Not going to lie – the Carlsberg factory was a bit…meh. I had visions of going around a super-factory, oohing and aahing at the conveyor bottles of beer being made and feigning interest as someone in a white coat and blue-bag shoes explained how they gum labels onto the bottles. No such luck. You can look around the original bottling machines, but they’re not switched on. You can read about the history of the Carlsberg dynasty but it’s about as exciting as reading the instructions that came with your router. If I wanted to look at a dusty, yeast-covered old relic with a rusting, ancient mechanism that has made thousands of blokes happy over the years, yes, you’ve guessed it, I’d visit Paul’s mother. I’m kidding, she’s lovely really.

[dry cough]

As it happens, we had made an error – we should have done the sampling tour first. This involved a small group of us being led deep underground by a dapper old man – it’s OK, he had a moustache like Josef Fritzl but I was confident I could have taken him in a fight – and into the cellars, although not before we managed to lose Paul. He’d stopped to admire the bunker they used to use in case of war only to find that our entire party had left the room and the guide had locked the door behind him. Perhaps that Fritz analogy was apt, after all. I only realised he had disappeared when I realised I couldn’t hear laboured breathing in my ear. I had to walk back with the guide until we found him, politely knocking on the door and going ‘hello, hello?’ like he was interrupting a church service. See, this is what I mean about restraint – if that had been me I’d have been scratching my name in the wall with my bloody fingernails and yelling FENNER within two minutes flat.

Paul’s prison.

Paul rejoined us and what followed was a very pleasurable half hour or so perched at a little table with a charming French couple (charming because they didn’t speak any English, so we didn’t have to make strained small talk with them) (I bet there’s a post right now on deux oursons potelés saying the same thing about us, only with more smoking and shrugging) sampling lots of big measures of different lagers. There was lots of waffle about hops and flavours and head (my ears perked up at that point) but to be honest, we tuned out and concentrated on drinking. I remind you that we’re British. It’s amazing how things suddenly seem more interesting and captivating when viewed through a haze of alcohol, isn’t it?

Trebles all round!

We wandered back up full of love and spent a merry hour revisiting the attractions we’d previously hurried past. We posed with the giant horses, one of which loved me so much that it started chewing my coat (which was foolish, as I make a mean horse stew, just sayin’). We skipped cheerfully through the gift-shop buying all manner of Carlsberg-branded tat, all of which remains rattling around in our holiday box. We examined the giant bottle collection for a Newcastle Brown but had no joy. Pathetic. I was so angry on behalf of all Geordies that I almost went and punched one of the horses, as is our way. A quick meal upstairs in their restaurant (delicious, expensive) then it was time to go. We looked at the bus-stop, decided we would rather die than experience that ‘fun’ again and instead turned for the two mile or so walk back to the centre of town.

We bumped into the most emo-horse ever though.

I liked Abba before everyone else thought they were cool.

 

Malmö

We actually managed to sneak an extra country into our holiday – Copenhagen is linked to Malmö in Sweden via rail/road bridge/tunnel, meaning you’re in the unique position of setting off from one country, crossing the Øresund Strait and ending up in a different country altogether in the time it takes to spill your coffee across the table, like I did. We’ve always wanted to visit Sweden – big ABBA fans here (shock!) and the lure of a day-trip was too strong. Passports packed, off we toddled. It was all terrifically easy – we set off from Copenhagen Airport and were pulling into Malmö in about twenty minutes. I can’t remember if we had our passports checked – normally I remember a fingering from a burly guard – but take them anyway, just in case.

A Sunday in Malmö was lovely. We sat outside a wee café and waited for the town to wake up. Paul ordered what looked like a bumhole from a bakery whereas I was more restrained and had a full quiche for breakfast. Well, it is a holiday, after all.

You have no idea how many photos I’ve seen like this in my life.

We then wandered around down to Kungsparken, an absolutely gorgeous park right in the centre. Killed a couple of hours here drinking and just enjoying the place – the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom and aaah, it was just marvellous. I appreciate this doesn’t make for an especially interesting blog but the whole day was just walking, relaxing and taking in the views and I don’t think that can be appreciated enough! Anyway, if you don’t slow down sometimes, you can’t remember all the things you said you would do.

Not sure what this is, but it looks pretty!

I felt so pretty walking through this.

Fun fact: they only switched this on because us and our energetic wind had arrived    

We passed a ‘British things’ store whose entire window was full of Radox. Is that an inherently British thing now? Having a bath? We ambled past two dogs having energetic sex right in the centre of one of the many bridges crossing the river, which I like to think added colour to all the photographs people were trying to take of the scenic views. We had a late lunch in Stortorget Square, a lovely town centre area full of charming restaurants and lively bars. It seemed to be the place to go. I ordered the meatballs, Paul had steak. After almost an hour they brought our dinner to the table and it was alright, yes, but I can’t enjoy Swedish meatballs unless I’m eating them furiously after a blistering argument in IKEA with Paul.

Plus, just saying, we have a recipe for them and they’re bloody amazing: see?

The Paper Island

Another highlight from Copenhagen was the last-day visit to The Paper Island – an old factory by the water dedicated to loads of different street food vendors. It was fantastic. Naturally, being fat bastards, we thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I have to confess it’s the first time I’ve ever been satisfied by so many different ethnicities at once. A particular highlight was a hot-dog where they just wouldn’t stop adding toppings – it barely managed to fit in my hands let alone my mouth. Thank Christ years of dedicated homosexuality has allowed my jaw to swing open like a ferry boarding door. Paul had nachos and a cheesecake which seemed to stir up a passion in him that I haven’t seen since we first started going out and he saw my wallet. It caused an argument because he wouldn’t let me have a piece. We adore places like this – not just because of the food, although that helps – but because it brings together such a fun hotchpotch of people and cultures. Everyone was having a good time, it wasn’t fussy, it wasn’t pretentious – it was a bit hipster, yes, but see I can forgive a waxed moustache when the person wearing it is feeding me deliciousness.

Marriage wrecking whore!

Duck you too!

Urgh! I’ll take the khlav kalash please.

Naturally, the whole place has now shut down (as of December 2017). I blame Paul: he went to use their toilet and was gone for fifteen minutes. I can’t imagine they ever managed to fix that.

Summing up

Copenhagen was beautiful – absolutely stunning. Until we went to Stockholm it was probably our most favourite destination of the year. We spent each day and night just wandering about, popping into bars, getting snacks from riverside cafés, coveting all the beautiful houses, making plans to buy and live on a boat, the works. The people are friendly, the streets are clean. It’s expensive, yes, but not prohibitively so.

Found our boat. Ah that’s a fib. If we had a boat we’d called it the Seamen Splattered Poop-Deck. Or the Cock-Tugger. 

There’s plenty of museums to feign an interest in, plenty of bars to embarrass yourself and uphold the shameful national stereotype of the Brit abroad. We were sad to leave, but glad we went – and we’ll be returning in 2018, as I’ve literally just booked the tickets. Hopefully we’ll have a better flight than our flight back to Edinburgh – turbulent the whole way and then a go-around landing. Not sure if you’re familiar with the term but it’s when the pilot aborts the landing and rockets back up into the sky. If, like me, you’re gazing out of the window wondering where on Earth the runway is only for the plane to roar back to life and ‘take off’, it’s certainly an interesting experience. If you’re the person who sat in seat 13F after me, I apologise profusely, but that wasn’t Nutella you had smeared on the back of your legs.

Oh: and a final thought. This was the first flight I’ve ever taken where I needed to ask for a seatbelt extension. An older easyJet plane meant two hours of the most uncomfortable flying I’ve ever experienced, wedged in as I was between Paul and the frame of the aeroplane. To easyJet’s credit, they were absolutely fantastic about the whole thing and very discreet, but it gave me significant food for thought.

Then I ate that food for thought, because I’m a greedy fat bastard.


We flew from Edinburgh to Copenhagen with easyJet, who operate flights almost every day. Great service as ever, and the flights cost around £100.

We stayed for several nights at the AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen – perfect location for us – on the Metro system, lovely large rooms and great views.

Enjoy our holiday entries? Please do give us feedback or share or whatever, it’s what we live for!


chicken and broccoli

chicken and broccoli

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (do it seconds with one of these!)
  • 65ml light soy sauce
  • 1tsp sesame oil (2½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – we used a mixture of white and black (1x HeB)

Don’t waste your money on those sad, shrivelled water-filled chicken breasts you get at the supermarket. Treat yourself to nice, juicy plump ones that won’t shrink when you cook them from our fantastic Musclefood bundle! You can build your own pack so you choose only the stuff you really love! Find out more, including the syn values, on our Musclefood page.

We bought those dinosaur chopsticks for my nephew to help him get the hang of it. But then we kept them, because we’re a monster! You can buy them for a fiver here!

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you should:

  • fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil
  • simmer the broccoli florets for two minutes, then drain and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan (or wok) over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes, until one side is golden
  • stir fry for a few minutes more until the chicken is cooked through, then remove to a plate and set aside
  • add a bit more oil to the same pan and whack the heat up to high
  • add the spring onions and red pepper and stir fry for a few minutes until just starting to get black char-marks
  • reduce the heat back to medium-high and stir in the garlic
  • add the chicken back to the pan along with the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds
  • simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened
  • stir in the broccoli and serve over noodles or rice

Want more fakeaway goodies in your gob?

Enjoy!

J

christmas clear out: saucy chicken noodles

Saucy chicken noodles if you don’t mind! I’m not convinced calling this little streak of recipes a Christmas clear-out was a good idea, you know. All it makes me think of is the Boxing Day strain – you know what I’m talking about. When you have to perform the equivalent of trying to drive a car made of meat through a hula-hoop. Anyway: straight to the recipe, and remember, we’ll be back in fighting form soon, just as soon as we’re done with the Personal Project!

Oh one thing! Did you know we have a facebook page? We do. You get regular recipe updates and it’s where we post all of our nonsense videos to boot. Make sure to sign up! Click here, it’ll open in a new window: www.facebook.com/twochubbycubs

The recipe, then…makes enough for two! We almost didn’t post this, it doesn’t look good in the photo, but you know, sometimes you just need a plate of noodles to get on with. Might not win any competitions but so. Get it down you!

chicken noodles

to make saucy chicken noodles you will need:

for the chicken:

for everything else:

  • 300g dried noodles
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (save your fingers!)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 small onion, quartered and then sliced
  • 2 spring onions, julienned
  • 2 chilli peppers, sliced
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 6 baby corn, quartered
  • 2 tsp mirin (1 syn)

Now I know that looks like a load of ingredients but most of it, you’ll have in the house or can pick up cheap in the supermarket. Don’t be alarmed!

to make saucy chicken noodles you should:

  • this doesn’t take long to cook, so it’s best to prepare everything first and keep close by
  • mix together the chicken marinade mix into a thick paste, and using your hands work it into the chicken chunks – set aside for about twenty minutes to marinade
  • cook the noodles according to the instructions, drain, and rinse with cold water. set aside.
  • in a small bowl, mix together the soy, fish and oyster sauce with the honey, 2 tbsp of water and white pepper – set aside
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the chicken and stir frequently until cooked – removed from the pan and set aside
  • pour the mirin into the pan to deglaze
  • add the garlic and ginger to the pan and stir for about twenty seconds
  • add the onion, spring onions, chilli peppers, basil and baby corn and cook for about two minutes
  • add the noodles to the pan with the chicken and mix well – cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • serve

This is one of those recipes that looks complicated but do you know, once you have everything chopped and sliced, you can just chuck it in the pan and it makes itself!

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J

absolutely perfect creamy chicken korma

Chicken korma. Korma? I barely knew her! Listen, I had to do it, don’t judge me. Now, rather than a blog post today, I’m going to post a video we’ve made explaining exactly how to syn bananas. Enjoy!

Now that’s an intriguing image, is it not? To the recipe then! A perfect creamy chicken korma that tastes like a proper takeaway without putting an extra roll of blubber on your boobs.

Naturally, because this has syns in it, no fucker will make it. But slop made with a coconut Muller yoghurt will be gobbled up like blowjobs on a stag do. Sigh: nevermind. If you’re brave enough to give this a go, trust me when I say you’ll be rewarded with a lovely, saucy dish. Like me. We served ours with rice and a Broghie for dipping.

Broghie

Wondering what on Earth that broghie thing is? Hard to describe! But it’s just the thing for dipping and adding crunch – like a prawn cracker in consistency only without the oil and fat and fishiness that comes with it. We’re using them a lot for satisfying the crunch that we miss from bread – and they’re only a syn each. Available in most large Iceland stores now.

This makes enough for four.

chicken korma

to make a creamy chicken korma, you’ll need:

  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks as big as your thumb, assuming you don’t have wee little hands (get some hefty ones from our Musclefood pack!) 
  • 2 white onions (so racist), sliced nice and thin and uniform
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (1 syn)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 400ml full-fat Greek yogurt (12 syns – but you could use fat-free if you want and remove the syns, but it’s worth it)
  • fresh coriander, just the thing if you want to ruin your meal

For the spice paste

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15g dessiccated coconut (4.5 syns)
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

Can’t be arsed with all that bollocks? Replace the spice paste with Geetas Korma Paste (80g) for 5 syns. Oh, and if you want to save those sweet sausage fingers of yours, use a mandolin to quickly slice your onions. Saves a lot of time and faff and makes them pretty and uniform. Only a tenner on Amazon!

to make a creamy chicken korma, you should:

  • if you’re using your own spice mix, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala and turmeric in a warm pan until nice and smelly – transfer into a pestle and mortar and grind the living fuck out of it – you want a nice fine powder – add the rest of the spice ingredients along with 50ml of water and combine
  • with a few squirts of oil, add your chicken and onion into the pan and cook for five minutes on high to brown off the onions and cook the chicken through – then add the spice mix / bought paste and cook until everything is coated and smells amazing
  • turn the heat down and add the sugar, pinch of salt and yoghurt, stirring gently for about five minutes so it doesn’t split – if it does split, that’s fine – it won’t look amazing, but you’re just turning it to shite anyway so who cares
  • add the chopped coriander if you feel you want to ruin your meal with the Devil’s Pubes
  • serve with rice and lime

 

Easy! Like I say, don’t be put off by the syns – it’s worth using the proper ingredients for this for a lovely taste experience. If you eat food that tastes good rather than comprimising all the time, this slog won’t feel like a diet at all.

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J