Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hot spiced chicken and noodles

THE voice of God doesn't just strike fear into the hearts of us adults. We now know little kiddies are also sent wailing by his menacing presence.
Our former secretary Lisa arrived in the office with her 15-month old child the other day to show him off to her former colleagues. But while she was having a quiet conversation with the editor, nipper nipped off, only to find himself confronted by the deep-voiced Gwenty.
"Hellooow," boomed the voice in what he thought was his best baby-talking manner. Immediately the child's face crumpled and he turned away in abject fear. Lisa was straight out of the editor's office to cuddle him in her arms and protect him from further anguish.
Feeling pretty bad, the Voice didn't know where to put himself, particularly with his colleagues all now staring at him, wondering what on earth the Godly one had done to the poor child. That was until Nathan piped up: "You're breaking at least 11 court orders by being in such close proximity to a child."
Oh how we laughed.

Aren't the Welsh wonderful. That English-hating, leak-wielding billiard ball-shaped tyro Bram was still laughing about my fellow countrymen's World Cup defeat to South Africa as we stood outside the office enjoying a ciggie and listening to Welsh rugby songs being piped into the street by security guard Glyn's CD player.
Welsh fans strolled past on their way to witnessing their own mauling at the hands of the Aussies.
But a nagging suspicion was upon me and I decided the question had to be asked. "Can you actually sing the Welsh national anthem, Brammy?" I piped up.
The Thompson House equivalent of Owain Glyndwr responded: "Well, some bits of it."
Doesn't really back up his patriotic boasts, does it?

I'm not saying I'm a mind reader but some of my skills even frighten me. Standing outside the pub on Wednesday night Withers was regaling me with the latest tales of his rather extrovert flatmate, known generally as Dirty Tim.
"You'll never guess what he turned up dressed in the other day," he said, ready to shock me with the revelation.
"A tutu?" I ventured.
"How the hell did you know that! Yes a yellow tutu."
Just call me a genius.

I enjoyed a drink with the staff, including the Fab BB, Catherine Mary, Mr De Lebusier, Smashy and Roberts. Withers, meanwhile, was in Llandudno showing off his red socks to the Great and the Good and the politics version of Glastonbury (according to one particular writer on the Western Mail). In plain English, the Plaid Cymru Conference.
With a busy day ahead, however, I returned home early to cook up a Chinese meal from my Ken Hom recipe book: Hot spiced chicken...
You need:
1 lb chicken thighs, rubbed with salt and left for 30 minutes then cut into pieces.
4 spring onions
5 fl ozs groundnut oil
3 dried chillis, sliced lengthways in two.
1 tsp more oil
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce
10 fl ozs chicken stock
2 tsp whole peppercorns, roasted and ground in mortar and pestle
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp dark soy

Heat wok till hot, then add the 5 fl ozs of oil and wait until smoking
add dried chillis and stir for few seconds. Turn heat down.
Add chicken to pan and brown slowly. Remove chillis now if prefer it milder.
Drain off oil in colander with metal pan underneath
Wipe the wok clean, then add the tsp of oil
Heat until hot, then add chopped spring onions (in 2cms pieces), ginger, chilli bean sauce.
Cook for short while then add stock, peppercorns, sugar and soy.
Turn low and return chicken to pan.
Cover and cook for 30 mins and serve with plain noodles.

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