This is one of our favourite family meals; it’s practically a store-cupboard special because I always have chicken in the freezer and there’s usually some cabbage lurking in the fridge. I serve it with “cheat’s rice” pouches that you microwave at the last minute (zero judgement here!). It’s a really filling chinese-style dinner, which for just under 500 calories has been a staple of my weight management process. It’s also very scaleable… for family members not trying to lose weight, I load up the chicken and rice and I take the majority of the cabbage myself (which I love!).
The original idea for the chicken came from a Jamie Oliver sticky chicken recipe which features in his 15 Minute Meals series. One large chicken breast is plenty for two adults, and one rice pouch is sufficient for us when I’m cutting down on carbs and he’s not…
First, prepare the chicken breast by slicing it in half lengthways to produce two slim fillets. Put them on some greaseproof paper / parchment paper and dust with the Chinese 5-spice powder. Fold the paper over the top, and now it’s time to take out some frustration and bash those fillets nice and flat with a rolling pin – this helps to ingrain the spices into the meat, and also means that they cook quickly and evenly.
Now slice up the cabbage into approximately 2cm x 4-5cm pieces, and get two pans ready; one non-stick wok for the cabbage, and a non-stick frying pan for the chicken.
Start with the cabbage, as it can take a little time to soften. Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in the wok and add a small amount of dried minced garlic. When the garlic starts to “fizz”, add all the cabbage and give it a good stir to coat in the oil.
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan on high. Once hot, add a teaspoon of olive oil and lay the chicken fillets in to get a good sear. Remember to keep stirring the cabbage – if it shows signs of sticking or browning, add a splash of water and keep stirring.
Turn the chicken to cook the other side and, you guessed it…. stir that cabbage. Now add the light soy sauce to the cabbage.
Once the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat under the pan, remove the fillets to a board and slice it across the grain into about 1cm slices. Return to the warm pan, drizzle over the sweet chilli sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Toss it all together.
The cabbage should now be soft enough to eat, but still retaining a bit of crunch. Finish it off with the remaining tsp of soy sauce and stir well.
Now all you need to do is plate up! I like to use a bit of a cheat’s rice here… I figure I’ve just cooked two dishes from scratch, so I’m allowed! The Tilda Basmati pouches that you heat in the microwave are really good – the Coconut Rice goes very well with this meal. So zap the rice, add to your plate and top with the cabbage and chicken, and enjoy 🙂
Recipe: Chilli Chicken, Stirfried Cabbage & Coconut Rice
- 400g white cabbage (half a small cabbage), chopped into 2cm x 5cm strips
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp dried minced garlic
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 360g chicken breast (1 large chicken breast, cut into two thin fillets)
- 3 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 dessertspoon Linghams Sweet Chilli sauce
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 pouch of Tilda Coconut Basmati Rice
In a non-stick wok, heat a teaspoon of sesame oil and add the dried minced garlic. When the garlic starts to fizz at the edges, put in all the cabbage and stir to give it a good coating of oil.
Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium hot. When hot, add a tsp of olive oil and place the chicken in to get a good sear. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the cabbage while you’re waiting.
Now turn the chicken over in the pan, and you have to keep working the two pans simultaneously! Stir the cabbage, while checking the chicken.
Keep stirring the cabbage to prevent it browning. Once it starts to soften, add the first teaspoon of light soy, stir well. Add water if necessary.
Turn the chicken again. And keep stirring the cabbage.
Once the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and transfer it to a board. Slice the chicken into strips and return it, juice and all, to the warm pan. Drizzle over sweet chilli sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle over a teaspoon of sesame seeds if using and toss well to distribute the seeds.
Finally add the last teaspoon of soy to the cabbage, crank up the heat to finish it off and serve immediately, over the rice.