Niall McKenna: Chinese delights at home

Chicken with Okra and Scallions
Niall McKenna

EVERYONE loves eating out in Chinese restaurants and although some of the dishes can be complicated they can be easily replicated at home without having to buy all the ingredients again – once you have these, they are great kitchen cupboard additions.

The duck is a fantastic dish: I know when I cook this at home, there is very rarely anything left.

The chicken is also very more-ish, and can be served up with plenty of fluffy rice for a really delicious main meal.

It can often be hard deciding what to cook, but a few really good menus cooked to perfection will ensure people come back for more.

Chicken with Okra and Scallions

4 chicken thigh

4 chicken drumstick

1 teasp smoked paprika

1 teasp picked thyme

1 teasp oregano

olive oil

1 onion fine sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

600g tinned tomatoes

½ teasp ground cinnamon

½ teasp smoked parika

½ teasp chilli flakes

4 scallions

Start by placing the chicken in a dish and rub on the herbs and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and leave to the side for 10 minutes.

Place a large pan on the hob and when hot add in the chicken skin side down and cook until the skin is crisp and golden, approximately 10 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side.

Remove all the juices from the pan and pat dry and add in the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, add in the tomatoes and the herbs and leave until bubbling.

Add in the okra and cook for a further 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened, then add in the scallions.

Remove from the heat and season to taste and serve with the chicken.

BBQ Duck

1 2kg whole duck, cleaned and rinsed

1 orange, halved

1 spring onion, halved lengthways

50g ginger, sliced

5 garlic cloves, crushed

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

For the glaze

2 tbsp honey

60ml rice wine vinegar

2 tablesp char siu sauce

2 tablesp chinese cooking wine

To serve

Chinese pancakes

Hoisin sauce

1 cucumber, sliced into matchsticks

2 scallions, sliced into matchsticks

With the duck remove any excess fat from the cavity inside and pierce the skin with a sharp knife or skewer. Place the duck in a large bowl and cover with bowling water and after a minute, turn over in the water. Let it stand for another minute.

Remove the duck from the water and drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Fill the cavity with orange, ginger, onion, cinnamon, star anise and garlic. Close the cavity with a metal skewer. Place in the fridge for 4 hours.

Start by preheating the oven at 180C. You will want to glaze the bird now so lace he honey, vinegar, char sui sauce, Chinese wine into a small pan and heat. Bring to the boil and let the liquid reduce for 3-4 minutes.

Leave the glaze to cool and brush the duck with the glaze and cover with foil and place in oven to roast for 40 minutes. Remove and brush with more of the glaze and place back in the oven for another 50 minutes.

It is good if you keep removing from the oven to glaze, as this really makes a difference.

To serve, place the duck on a serving dish and slice and serve with the warmed pancakes, the hoisin sauce and sliced cucumber and scallions.


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