lemon chicken, spring rolls and egg-fried rice

Spotify just dropped Celine Dion caterwauling her way through My Heart Will Go On into my recommended playlist. She still sounds like a car backing over a cat. How the hell did that song do so well, aside from the fact it gave a reason for Michelle from accounts to hitch up her knickers and scream her way through karaoke night at a Yates Wine Lodge? I love cheese – hell, I even quite like Celine Dion – but I think I’d rather listen to an uncaring doctor telling me I had five months to live.

Only a quick post tonight because I’m feeling a bit blue. Not blue in the ‘quick, go douche’ sense, but in a rather more melancholy way. My very dear, very deaf and well, very dead nana has been on my mind a bit lately. Partly because I found this rather mean photo we took on our iPad when I was demonstrating all the different functions…


…she was amazed – this was a woman who thought the TV remote was something to scratch her foot with and for who turning off the chip pan was an optional extra. It’s also because when she was alive our Sunday would normally be spent trying to fit in a couple of hours to go and see her. We don’t need to do that now, but I do wish we did. The best part was that the hour or so we’d spend with her would always be the same, to the point where Paul would silently mouth her stories to me as she talked – the time that she had to jump off a bus into a snowdrift, the time she wanted to shave her dad’s beard off, something mysterious about a stolen boiler and that she ‘knew all of the secrets in the village’ like a lavender-scented Sherlock Holmes, only with a slightly better moustache.

We’d spend the hour fighting off offers of sandwiches that were more butter than bread or cakes that, though delicious, you could cut a pane of glass with. I also miss the ‘guess who has died’ game, where she’d gleefully keep that bit of gossip until we were settled in and then start us off rattling through villagers until we alighted upon the poor unfortunate old bugger who’d stroked off into the sun or clattered down a flight of stairs. For someone for whom death courted for many years but never committed, she did sure love talking about the end. My very last memory of her is a delightful one, her shrieking and grabbing Paul’s leg as I told her we were going to adopt six babies from the local ward, and, I had added darkly, one of them was from Africa. She never could abide not having a matching set of anything.

Ah well. Look, it doesn’t do to be too introspective. Everyone leaves the stage in the end. Does no harm to make the most of the moments before, though.

CHRIST that’s heavy. I can’t even segue into the recipe now because it’ll feel weird. Let me throw in a particularly charming slang term to lighten the mood:

“buttering the whiskered biscuit”

I’ll leave you to decide what it means. Give you a clue, only ladies can do it.

RIGHT, so we wanted a takeaway tonight, but I couldn’t face Mags getting furiously into her little Astra and making a scene on our front garden, so we made our own. Lemon chicken and egg-fried rice, served with spring rolls. The spring rolls recipe can be found on a previous post (click here for that) and the rice is simple enough – cook your plain rice, tip into a frying pan with a little cooked onion, get it nice and hot and crack an egg into the middle, then after just a moment or two, break the egg up and push it around the rice, so you have chunks of egg in there. We added some greens from a spring onion for good measure. So: the lemon chicken:

lemon chicken

to make lemon chicken, you’ll need:

  • four chicken breasts, plump and lovely like a dinner-lady
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • just a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 175ml chicken stock
  • 75ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of honey (5 syns)
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour (1 syn)
  • little knob of grated ginger, or use dried ginger, I’m not going to kick your arse either way

By gaw, chicken is expensive isn’t it? The good folk at Musclefood are doing a deal where you can buy 2.5kg for £9 (click here, you’ll need code SMALLCHICKEN) or 5kg for £19 (click here, you’ll need code BIGCHICKEN). I did try and get them to use ‘SMALLCOCK’ and ‘BIGCOCK’ but they wouldn’t bend! BOO. Very good chicken mind, not watery and smelly.

then to make your lemon chicken, you should:

  • chop up that chicken into chunks big enough to get in your gaping gob
  • chuck it into a bag with the soy and vinegar and toss it around for a bit until it’s well coated – then leave it to sit for as long as you dare to let the flavours soak in
  • when you’re ready to get the show on the road, heat a frying pan and drain then throw in the chicken until it is cooked through and you’re sure you’re not going to be sat on the toilet later with the world falling out of your arse – then set aside
  • in another bowl, whisk the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey, cornflour and ginger
  • pour this sauce into the same pan you just cooked the chicken in and let it bubble merrily away until it’s thick and gloopy
  • put the cooked chicken into the sauce and coat every last bit
  • serve – now you don’t need to serve it up in those awful takeaway cartons like we did, we were just being pretentious fuckers, you can serve it on your elbow or throw it on the ceiling for all I’m fussed!

Enjoy it. It’s not quite the same as getting a takeaway but it came pretty damn close. Oh, and if anyone gets a cob on because I’ve tweaked the diet to make spring rolls, I refer you to my charming bum, which you can promptly kiss. We sprinkled on some sesame seeds, remember to syn them if you want them. A tablespoon is three syns.