Now, this is a bit of a departure for me where blogging recipes is concerned. Ordinarily, you see, I would get on with consigning a new recipe to paper almost as soon as I've put my knife and fork down. However, I first cooked this dish quite literally years ago - when I was blogging on Multiply. I cooked it again a few times over the years and in the meantime, started Rhubarb & Ginger. However, when I came to look for the recipe in the Recipe Index, I was astounded to see that I hadn't included it here!
Thank goodness - because I can't remember where I found the original recipe - I still had a copy of all my Multiply pieces and was able to find the recipe. I copied it over to Rhubarb & Ginger and then real life got in the way and I just didn't get around to blogging it properly.
So here I am fulfilling those good intentions of all those years ago - and getting on with it. I think that really does take the biscuit for procrastination, but perhaps we should skip lightly over that.
Now because I've cooked the recipe several times, I have had the benefit of trying it with both salad and cooked vegetables. I think - for all that the photographs are of the cooked vegetables version - my favourite version has to be the white rice and salad one. The use of the marmalady sauce as a dressing through the salad (so note, not a lettucy salad as the sauce/dressing is warm and will wilt anything less robust than rocket, spinach or watercress far too quickly) is just such a satisfying thing.
This is one of those dishes that you think is going to taste one way - but then it turns out to taste completely different. When imagining how it would taste, I forgot all about the garlic, chilli and thyme and the effect they would have. Although, I do think that how it tastes depends entirely upon what marmalade you use. If you go for a strongly flavoured, not so sweet one like the Oxford Vintage, then you'll wind up with a very strongly flavoured dish. However, something like Golden Shred will give you a much sweeter end result that you may find requires a dash of lemon juice to add the required acidity and is perhaps better for a younger palate. So in a way, you can tailor the results depending on what marmalade you use. I reckon that Rose's Lime Marmalade would be awesome with a dash of lemon juice, lemon zest and a sprinkle of ground ginger - however, I haven't tried that thought yet!
Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed it - and its a 100% definite do-it-again.
If you decide to go with the rice version and want to be totally cheffy, you can make mounds of rice by lightly oiling the inside of a cup and packing the rice into it. Turn it upside down and bingo - cheffy mounds of rice!
The cooked vegetable version is good (and probably better, as we're in December and it's frosty outdoors!) however I'd stick with veggies that are compatible with Chinese style food. Things such as broccoli, green beans, carrots, peas - you can dress them up however you like, maybe add some chilli to your broccoli or (as I have done in the photographs), sesame seeds and a little butter to your green beans. However, be sure that your family enjoy citrus flavours with their potatoes! Not everyone enjoys this combination, although I think it's the proverbial bees knees.
Something else to bear in mind (I suppose these are the Cook's tips!) is the size of the pieces of peel in the marmalade, in relation to everyone's preference. My friend Marion, for instance, would need a marmalade that was totally bereft of "fishes", as she calls them. For me, the bigger the pieces, the better!
So there you are. Do have a go at this one - it's taken for ever to get to you and it really didn't deserve it!
STICKY MARMALADE CHICKEN (feeds 3)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut into 3 similar sized pieces
sea salt & black pepper
2-3 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp olive oil
300ml chicken stock
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
4 tbsp fine-cut well flavoured orange marmalade
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or half a tsp dried
juice of a quarter of a lemon, if necessary, to taste.
1. Place the chicken into a bowl and add the seasoning and cornflour. Toss the chicken until liberally coated.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot, add the chicken pieces. Fry for 8-10 mins, until golden on all sides.
3. Reduce the heat, add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute more.
4. Add the stock, marmalade and thyme. Stir through until the marmalade has dissolved, then simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
5. Remove the chicken and reserve to keep warm.
6. Boil the mixture hard to reduce to a syrupy sauce, serve the chicken and pour the sauce over the chicken.