Allergic to Work!

Healing Broth

Holidays are over and the first working week has almost come to an end and yep! I’m sick!

I’ve had a shitty week! Have been feeling ‘not quite right’ all week and today I woke up with a sore throat, burning eyes and a pounding head…so I’m home in bed.

Maybe I’m allergic to work!

It could also be that last weekend I was exposed to many people who wanted to hug and kiss hello and then proceeded to tell me that they have been sick all week with the flu/cold etc…why do people do that? I never do that to people!

Many people at work have also returned sick – they should have stayed home! So what if it’s the beginning of a new term and doesn’t look good if you take sick days after a two week holiday – if you’re sick, you’re sick – stay home and don’t bring your nasties near me!

Being the considerate person I am, have stayed home and kept my germs away from the girls in my office. They would have killed me if I had come to work today – especially Ann – she sends ‘glad you stayed away with your germs’ messages and then remembers to add ‘feel better soon.’

As I have very little appetite I put my handsome man to work on making my favourite broth thingy for lunch. He’s never made it before so I had to shout instructions from the couch. I think it frustrated him a little as the minute I was done slurping it down, he found a reason to head out to the DIY store to get himself ready for a job he has to do on Monday…”just sleep babe…don’t talk…love you” Like I can’t see through that! In other words “you have pissed me off with all your instructions and I’m going to check out some manly stuff now like a sledge hammer and a drill!”

He did quite a good job actually (with the broth thingy)

Ingredients

chicken stock

shao hsing wine

fish sauce

chilli oil

sesame oil

crushed garlic

ginger

lime juice

fresh coriander and Vietnamese mint

Spring onions

Method

Gently saute garlic and ginger in chilli and sesame oils, add chicken stock, shao hsing wine, fish sause and lime juice. Simmer for a while to develop the flavours and add coriander, Vietnamese mint and spring onions.

I haven’t added quantities as you can add more or less of what you like. Needless to say I added lots of everything, especially chilli oil and garlic. When I’m not sick I add chicken or prawns (or both), bean shoots, noodles, lemongrass but I just needed the broth today.

It makes your nose run and if it gets caught in your throat, it makes you cough but I love it!

Here’s to feeling better!

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Dinner For Two

White – Cooked Chicken

Tonight is the last night of a five night, six show run of my daughter’s theatre studies play. She won’t be coming home tonight – after party and ‘sleeping’ over at a friend’s house. It’s been a big week. She has caught a cold and has almost lost her voice but ‘the show must go on.’ She’s been running purely on adrenalin. She’s a tough cookie, my girl!

I’ve cooked all her favourites every night over the past week but she has been too tired to eat them by the time she got home. I’ve had no trouble in keeping my promise to be nice to her all week as I haven’t seen her much. She did manage to have a large bowl of chicken soup today before it was time to leave for her matinee performance and for that I’m thankful. According to facebook, she checked in at Burger Culture with the rest of the cast for dinner and as I type this, she has been onstage for 30 mins…only an hour and a half to go!

So, it’s dinner for two tonight. She would have loved this meal but I have an even better meal planned for her tomorrow night.

Tonight I had a hankering for white – cooked chicken with a soy and ginger sauce. It’s a favourite in our house but I haven’t made it for a very long time. A delicious Chinese meal…served in a Thai style bowl…gotta love mixing ‘genres!’

Ingredients

  • 1 free range chicken
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced spring onion plus extra to garnish
  • ½ teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced ginger plus extra to garnish
  • 60 ml mushroom soy sauce

Stock

  • 6 litres cold water
  • 3 cups shao hsing wine OR dry sherry
  • 8 spring onions trimmed and cut in half crossways
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1¼ cups sliced ginger
  • 1/3 cup sea salt

Method

  1. Rinse chicken under cold water.
  2. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact.
  3. Lower chicken, breast-side down, into simmering stock, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  4. Poach chicken gently for exactly 14 minutes.
  5. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary, to ensure stock does not reach simmering point again. Remove stockpot immediately from the stove and allow chicken to steep in the stock for 3-4 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.
  6. Using tongs, gently remove chicken from the stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin.
  7. Place chicken on a tray to drain and allow to cool.
  8. For dressing, combine all ingredients except for peanut oil in a heat-proof bowl. Heat peanut oil in a saucepan, then pour over dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
  9. With a large knife or cleaver, cut up the chicken Chinese, arrange on a platter and drizzle over the dressing.
  10. Garnish with extra spring onions, coriander and ginger. Serve immediately.

Stock

  1. Place all stock ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.