Home-Style Lemon Chicken with Earth Three Fresh

I feel I should begin this post with “well that didn’t go so well…” You know that moment in the kitchen when you realise you have taken on too many dishes simultaneously. You’ve got yourself addled trying to follow 3 recipes at the one time – one in draft on your lap top plugged in and charging at the other end of the room. There are too many pots jostling on the hob. You’ve lost track of which ingredients are for which dish and those dried chillies you bought today aren’t the mild chilli pieces you have at home that you can pile on certain dishes but fiery monsters from Mexico that have you leaping around the kitchen yelping for water. And to top it all you throw your carefully hoarded supply of Sichuan pepper, which Shan brought from China, into the bin, confusing it with the much milder variety you bought in Dublin which has nothing like the same punch. Note to self – time to learn the mandarin for Sichuan pepper.
It’s days like this that sap your confidence in the kitchen and make you wonder who are you kidding that you can become a competent cook of Chinese food, never mind tell other people about it. The net result of yesterday’s efforts is that my attempt at replicating the fantastic Chongqing Chicken I had in China Sichuan was edible but nothing like the real thing. Back to the drawing board one on that one.
On the other hand the Lemon Chicken dish largely based on the recipe in “The Food of China – a Journey for Food Lovers” was delicious.

A great choice for your Chinese cookbook shelf

The book was recommended to me by Joanne Cronin (Stitch and Bear; @dudara) who has owned it since first came out in 2001. It arrived to me in a package from Amazon on Friday and it’s one of those gorgeous publications that you want to read from cover to cover – a great starter guide to food journeys in China.
Lemon chicken is a staple Cantonese dish but this version is light and delicious and not a bit like the gloopy sauce you might get in a Chinese takeaway. I must “‘fess up”. My variation on the recipe is because I got so hassled last night that I left out one complete step in the cooking process but somehow it worked so I’m describing it exactly as I made it.
Home-Style Lemon Chicken (Ning Meng Ji)

This dish goes particularly well with Shan’s Earth Three Fresh (Di San Xian). Neither dish is spicy and the pale lemony chicken complements perfectly the bright colours and flavours of the peppers, golden potato wedges and aubergine. The balance of nutrients felt good too.
My version of Di San Xian

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