Lucy Tweed’s Shandong Chicken
Serves 4-6 Recipe sourced from Every. Night. Of. The. Week by Lucy Tweed
“Every comfort food dish in every country ultimately comes down to carbs’n’sauce”.
1 whole chicken (spine removed, pressed flat)*
½ cup (125ml) soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
5cm knob of ginger, peeled and left whole
3 spring onions (white parts roughly chopped, green tops reserved for garnish)**
1 onion quartered
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1 tablespoon chilli bean paste
1 tablespoon chicken stock power
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches water spinach, cut into 10cm pieces
6 garlic cloves, sliced
500grams fresh rice noodles (or use dry noodles cooked according to the packet instructions)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Warm all the sauce ingredients with ½ cup (125ml) of water in a saucepan.
Put the chicken in a deep baking dish lined with baking paper and pour the sauce over the top. Place in the oven for 45minutes. I put a piece of foil over mine at about 25 minutes as the skin was really taking that self tan too far! Not tight, just literally rest the foil on the top. Untucked.
While that’s happening, get the noodles ready. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and cook the spinach and garlic slivers until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the rice noodles and 3 tables of water to loosen them. Toss this well and dress with sesame oil.
Cut the chicken into pieces to serve. Slice the now candied giner to serve on top (do not rob your guests of this incredible accent!), along with the curly green tops of the spring onions.
Enjoy with a glass of Pfeiffer Gamay.
*This is a big ask for a Tuesday, I know, but I like to think that appreciating the food we eat extends beyond simply knowing an ingredient to the handling of it. But if it’s not for you, just ask your butcher to do this for you.
**Finely slice the green spring onion tops lengthways or on a very sharp angle and put in a glass of iced water so they curl up. Completely unnecessary when it comes to flavour but such a fun accessory.