Meals – Day 26: The merits of synthetic lemon

26 Mar
I didn’t have much available for breakfast nor for lunch. As if today wasn’t early enough yet (thank you, daylight saving time!) I quicly dropped by at the supermarket to get something to top my last bit of bread and to get some instant noodles for lunch. I know, not very inspiring. Supper would sort that out.
Only thing is, despite getting 100% synthetic lemon curds, I didn’t actually use them as a spread on my bread in the morning. Let’s say I wasn’t fully awake yet, so I needed to make do with the banana that I bought.
Oh well, toast topped with banana isn’t bad either.
Day 26 breakfast
I anticipated that I wouldn’t be able to get through the day on just two slices of toast and a banana, so this time I got two packs of instant curry noodles. Once again- not very inspiring. Having run out of almost everything meant that I didn’t have a noodle upgrade available, unless I’d sacrifice my last egg. I wasn’t prepared for that just yet. So plain curry noodles it was, times two.
Day 26 lunch: curry instant noodles x 2
Dear readers, I almost feel I’m letting you down by consuming instant convenience food. Worse than that, it’s not exactly being nutritionally balanced either.
Supper was going to take care of most of that. I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d make, but I’m happy to tell you that we have a winner.
It made me happy to eat this dish, and I’d gladly have gone for seconds. I present to you – lemon curd butter chicken with rice and bean sprouts.
Day 26 supper: Lemon curd butter chicken with rice and bean sprouts
I found this, without reservations, a very enjoyable dish. It roughly went like this:
– Boil some white rice with a bit of salt.
– From two defrosted chicken drumsticks, cut off the end and debone them. Use the bones with exposed marrow and the ends to start a chicken stock. Refrigerate the boneless chicken meat with skin until needed.
– Slowly sautee half a finely chopped onion in a bit of oil in a skillet. Once starting to brown, add a chopped clove of garlic.
– Proceeding on low heat, Add the reserved chicken meat, skin side down. Keep moving it around so it browns on all sides.
– Add some of the chicken stock and a lump of butter (about 30 grams).
– Add in a good tablespoon of lemon curd (I felt quite experimental as I did this) and generously sprinkle lemon thyme in there as well.
– Keep stirring until the butter and curd have dissolved into a thin sauce.
– Add water or stock as needed and season to taste. Once the chicken is cooked through, thicken the sauce with a teaspoon of flour mixed with a bit of water.
– Remove the chicken from the sauce and briefly set aside, Remove any leftover branches of thyme and inedibles from the sauce
and pour the sauce onto a big plate. Reserve a few spoonfuls.
– Add some dark soy sauce to the chicken stock. Add some of the soy-enhanced stock to the skillet and briefly sautee some bean sprouts in there.
– Place the bean sprouts on top of the sauce.
– Spoon some white rice on top of the bean sprouts.
– Top the rice with the chicken, and spoon the reserved sauce over the chicken.
– Garnish it with some raw bean sprouts.
The lemon curd butter sauce will be creamy, savoury and chicken-y, but the sweet and sour of the lemon curd will cut through the richness of the sauce. As you start eating it, top to bottom, it reminds a lot of classic French cookery because of the butter, and then suddenly there’s the bean sprouts and soy sauce which take you to the other side of the planet. The lemon notes effortlessly bridge the gap between East and West.

Having pleasantly surprise myself, I’ll definitely be cooking this again, though perhaps using a bit more natural ingredients?

As for the rest of the chicken stock – I’ve mixed that with the rest of the rice. I’ll be having it either for breakfast or lunch.

9 Responses to “Meals – Day 26: The merits of synthetic lemon”

  1. L @ Trying Not to be Fat March 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    Interesting! lemon-curd butter, new to me! And although ramen noodles are a little sad, its okay if you have to eat them sometime!

    • kleinebre March 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      It’s not lemon-curd butter… It’s lemon curd and butter 🙂

  2. sarah March 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Well done again, yummy lemony chicken!!! Looks great and I am sure it tastes great too!!!

  3. sarah March 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    BTW, wanted to ask you for some time now, some of your meals look quite small on the pics, how many gramms (approx.) was your lemony chicken meal for example? Thanks.

    • kleinebre March 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      I agree sometimes the meals look small on the pictures. Although sometimes the meals are in fact not very big, quite often they do look smaller in the pictures than in real life. I do tend to edit out the edges of the plate so that the picture only shows food, maybe that also makes it harder to get a sense of proportion.

      On day 26, I cooked 200 grams of rice to make 2 portions (outside the challenge I’d normally count on 70-80 grams per portion). I roughly divided it in half, but at lunchtime today I found out I must have had less than half last night as I had trouble eating it all. The chicken drumsticks would have been about 100 grams of actual meat, judging by the roughly palm-of-my-hand size – just about the recommended daily portion. My main worry with the chicken dinner would have to be the amount of vegetables though. There mustn’t have been much more than 100 grams of bean sprouts in there.

      The plate on which the lemon curd chicken was served, was pretty big. I haven’t got the actual dimensions ready but I’d say over a foot (30 cm) in diameter.

      • sarah March 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

        Sounds good, 100g of rice should be more than enough to make one portion, plus chicken and bean sprouts – I guess it was 500-550g meal. I think the amount of bean sprouts is OK in the actual dish, however, all other meals did not have enough fruit and veg to achieve 5-a-day target (am I wrong here?). At the end of your challenge it would be interesting to count the calories/per day, fruit/veg/protein intake, etc.. Then it would be even more interesting to see if this experiment had any implications on your health, etc…

      • kleinebre March 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

        No, you’re absolutely right – that wasn’t enough veg for a day. I found the more I make sure to eat well, the less sleep I need and vice versa. I wouldn’t have noticed if I’d been having coffee. Another lesson learned!

  4. Linda Dave Walker March 27, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Sounds good and looks good!

    • lizziebuxton April 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      Your dinner idea made me go oooohhhh!!! And I’m one of those pesky non meat-eaters…. Nice blog 🙂

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