The roads yesterday were like an ice rink – there was a thin layer of black ice outside our house that made the road treacherous. No gritting of minor roads or housing areas seems to be being done. We’re not that good in England at cold weather – our houses don’t keep in the heat and we cannot keep transport going in a cold snap. What would happen if climate change resulted in a much colder Britain in the winter?
It set my mind wandering to simple warmer, summery food. So I gave our children what they always think they want – chicken nuggets and chips – only because they have seen the toys advertised on telly by McDonalds or whichever other fast food chain. The secret is never go to McDonalds but get the free toys in bulk for £1 from Oxfam and so avoid having to go to McDonalds and also to help a good charity. No, Steenberg children get a homemade version.
Preheat the oven to 180oC. Lightly oil a baking tray/ roasting tin with some sunflower oil.
Boil the potatoes until just turning soft, or use some uneaten cooked potatoes that you have kept in the fridge. Drain and cool a bit, then slice into thinnish slices of about ½ cm.
I mixed the dukkah with the breadcrumbs, then cut the chicken breast into small cubes and slithers of a nugget-size. Next, you dip the chicken into the beaten egg and coat each of these in the dukkah-breadcrumb mix and place them onto the baking tray. When finished, put them in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until lightly brown at the edges; I turned them once after about 10 minutes.
While the chicken was cooking, I added a bit of sunflower oil and olive oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan. I like to use a few oils mixed together as it creates a richer flavour when you’re frying something or roasting your potatoes; it’s one of those imperceptible twists that makes all the difference that I call “flavour layering”.
When the oil is really hot, turn the heat down and add the sliced potatoes and shallow fry. I keep close by the frying pan while this is happening and using 2 forks, I carefully check the potatoes as they are frying to ensure that they are not burning and are cooking evenly; don’t worry about the quantity of frying potatoes as I always seem to have more potatoes that pan area so you need to jiggle them about and make space as you cook away.
I sprinkle a good finger scoop or ½ teaspoon of Steenbergs Perfect Salt onto the top of the potatoes while frying to give a delicious coating. Then at the end I added a twist of paprika (you could use a smoked paprika or a very mild chilli powder) and it was ready to serve.
With luck the chicken dukkah nuggets and homemade chips should be ready simultaneously. I served them with some fried garlic mushrooms and broccoli, which can be done as the potatoes are being fried.
It went down really well.