Two or three years ago, there used to be a show on BBC called Take on The Takeaway. It was a fairly mediocre show, honestly, but in principle it was fairly thoughtful. Essentially the chef would turn up at a house, where the participants apparently had an unhealthy reliance on takeaway food. For the purpose of the show, they usually have a favourite takeaway and the chef would show how it was possible to beat the takeaway on speed, price and yumminess. This show didn’t really teach me anything, the chefs weren’t cooking anything particularly spectacular, but as someone who is fairly lazy, it did encourage me to think about why I was wasting time and money on takeaway food, where most likely I could do far better on all three counts myself. On a day like today, I’m a perfect candidate for a takeaway – its the friday night of a tough week at work, I’m tired, cold, pissed off. I’ve got homework to do. I just want to sit on the sofa until it’s time for bed. Ordering takeaway, seems like the logical choice, no? Ok, no. Happily I had most of the ingredients for this meal at home. If you don’t have a blender, actually maybe a takeaway would be easier.
For the Kebabs
- 2 large chicken breasts (free range, minimum)
- juice of one lemon & one lime
- tbsp chopped mint
- tbsp chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 to heaped 1 tsp chilli flakes*
- 1/2 to heaped 1 tsp ground cumin*
- 1/2 to heaped 1 tsp paprika*
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 2 red peppers, cut in to chunks roughly the same size as the chicken
*depending on how spicy you want it, but try to keep the quantities roughly equal.
Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Put the rest of the ingredients into your blender and whizz until you have a fairly unattractive liquid. Pour this over the chicken. Leave to marinade from anything from 30 mins – 12 hours.When you’re ready to cook, thread the meat onto four skewers (if they’re wooden ones, please remember to soak them in water for thirty minutes or so previous to this) occasionally alternating with the chunks of pepper. Preheat the grill and then cook, under a medium high heat for 15 minutes or so, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, but not cremated.
For the mint and garlic sauce:
- 100ml natural yoghurt
- 3 tbsp mint, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- juice of half a lemon
Place all the above ingredients into the (now clean) blender. Whizz until mostly smooth.
Total time in the kitchen: 21 minutes. Total Effort 4/10 Expense: 7/10 (but organic chicken breasts) Taste:9/10 . No kebab house could have beaten that tonight. Serve either in toasted pitta, tortillas, or flatbread with salad and pickled chillies. Scoff!
And here’s a picture of my ‘hood in the snow. Not for any culinary reasons, just because I think its mighty purty: