I went on a campaign recently to help my children like chicken. Putting aside any puzzled feelings you or I might have about this whole scenario, I am on a mission. Then I remembered honey soy chicken, a bastardised pan-Asian classic from my Australian childhood. I googled it, and I found a recipe from UK MasterChef’s Monica Galetti. This is a kids’ dish for grown-ups.
400-500g boneless chicken thighs with skin removed
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Black sesame seeds
Handful chopped coriander
Pak choi or tenderstem broccoli
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Chop chicken into chunks about an inch thick. Stir chicken pieces in soy and honey to coat completely, then marinate for 30 minutes. Place in heavy-based pan over a moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is a thick glaze.
Put 1 cup of rice in a small heavy-based pan that has a well-fitting lid. Wash the rice with cold water, pour off excess water. Add 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt to the pan, cover with lid and bring to the boil. Once it bubbles up, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until all fluid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Stir coconut oil through the rice. Before serving, stir in black sesame seeds and coriander.
Lightly steam broccoli or pak choi, then stir fry in rapeseed oil and sesame oil for a minute or two.
For children, you could leave some rice completely plain, though in my experience they will enjoy the rice with coconut oil (though possibly not black sesame seeds and coriander). They may prefer plain steamed vegetables rather than stir-fried. I served up regular broccoli (aka ‘little trees’) tossed with a few sneaky drops of sesame oil.