Week 85: Chicken with Katsu Sauce

I might have mentioned it once or twice, I am a man with a very small kitchen. Sometimes I come across recipes that I just don’t have the space to make (for example, everything from Jamie’s 15 minute meals), without a bit of planning this is one such recipe.  Lisa Faulkner’s ‘Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter’ is my lovers go to book, mostly for cake and staring, but this is the first time I’ve used it.  I was intrigued about Katsu sauce, I’d never heard of it before and it sounded tasty.

To make this for four you will need: vegetable oil, half an onion, 1 garlic clove, 1tbs turmeric, half a tablespoon curry powder, 1tbs tomato ketchup, 200ml chicken stock, 200ml water, 1tsp soy sauce, 2 small apples, 1tsp cornflour, 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, flour, 2 eggs, 100g of dried breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

You can do these first bits quite a while before doing the actual cooking.  To start you will need to get your processor out and whizz 100g of bread into crumbs, then stick the oven on to about 100c/gas 1 and dry the breadcrumbs out for about 15-20 minutes.

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Next roughly chop half the onion and the clove of garlic, and peel and grate the apples. In a large frying pan heat 1tbs of vegetable oil and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they have softened.  Stir in the termeric, curry powder and ketchup.  Add the stock, water, soy sauce, grated apples and season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.

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In a glass mix one tsp of cornflour with 1tbs of water.  I went slightly wrong here, but it wasn’t my fault.  My heavy footed upstairs neighbour banged her way to the toilet and somehow stamped out one of my kitchen lights, so I was peering through the darkness at the book and misread 1tbs of water for 1 tsp and made a really stiff paste, which didn’t really work as well as it might have…  Stir the cornflour paste into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, keep tiring until the sauce has thickened.

Pour it into the food processor and blend until smooth.  Once smooth set it aside until you’re ready.  This is the part where you can stop and have a rest, maybe you could even let it sit overnight, because you have to reheat it anyway! (If you’re leaving it over night cover it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge)

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When you’re ready to continue wrap your breasts in clingfilm and beat them with a rolling pin until they’re flat and tender.  Put some flower on a plate and season it with salt and pepper, then beat the eggs and out them in a shallow bowl, and finally spread the dried breadcrumbs onto another plate.  Heat some more vegetable oil in a frying pan.

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Dust each breast with flour, dunk it in the eggs and then coat it in breadcrumbs.  Fry over a medium heat for 6 or 7 minutes until cooked all the way through.  While the chickens frying boil some plain rice and reheat the Katsu sauce, serve immediately.

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It was nice, not the tastiest thing I’ve ever made but it was nice – I’d make it for kids. I don’t think I’d make it for me and him with rice though, it somehow didn’t quite work, but I’m not sure what I’d do in place of the rice.

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Also – first world problem here – my breasts were too big and I couldn’t get them both in the pan once I’d bashed them flat. I bought good ones from the butchers, but normal supermarket ones would probably fit better.

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Covering them with breadcrumbs was very messy, so I’d maybe have the Katsu sauce with the chicken schnitzel.

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There are loads of other tasty looking recipes in the book which I’d like to try.

Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter by Lisa Faulkner (Simon & Schuster, 2012. ISBN 978-0-85720-616-9)

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