Technique is everything.

Trying to eat in a healthier way becomes hard work when you are always reliant on a recipe and buying in specific ingredients.

If you start to cook in a different way you can get back to looking at what is in and then cooking with that.

I already mentioned the role of stock in the cooking I am doing. This was a vital ingredient for the meal I cooked for my lunch. However the starting point was a single chicken breast left after I had cooked a previous meal. I wanted to use this without resorting to a dull plain fillet.

To zap up the meat I used one of my stock spice mixes, a jerk rub mix bought from the supermarket. I sprinkled the chicken breast with a good covering and rubbed it in on all sides. I put my chicken in my air fryer to cook but you could do it easily in the oven. I did not use any oil spray as I wanted a dry finish. If you are cooking in the oven just take care not to dry it out.

Whilst the chicken was cooking I sliced a red onion, a handful of mushrooms and a green chilli. The onions and chillis were put in a non stick pan and cooked with a few squirts of garlic flavoured spray oil. They were cooked for a few minutes and then I added a good glug of vegetable stock. After another few minutes the mushrooms were added and the whole mix was cooked until the mushrooms were soft. Additional stock was added to keep the mix wet as I wanted a sauce with the vegetables to balance the dry chicken breast.

Once the chicken was cooked and resting I opted to add three squirts of ghost chilli sauce. You could use tomato purée instead if you did not want it so fiery or neither for a wetter sauce. Both serve to thicken the sauce a bit without losing the smooth liquid feel. The chilli sauce will have small amount of sugar and possibly oil but the quantities being used are not excessive so you can allow yourself a little of this.

Served in a large bowl with the chicken breast on top, sliced into pieces was a great, simple, lunch. Make sure you have a spoon to scoop all the left over sauce into your mouth.

Key Techniques:

  1. Oil spray and stock used instead of frying in larger quantities of oil.
  2. Rub spice mixes used to flavour chicken in a quick and easy way.
  3. Chilli sauce or tomato purée used to thicken a sauce rather than using flour/cornflour. Puréed onions can also be used to thicken a sauce.

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