Cost £1.12 per person (served 4)
Still on with the Chinese New Year theme I decided to put Szechuan on the meal plan. Originally the idea had been to use Quorn pieces for this dish but the kids and the husband were practically begging me for some real meat. Let’s face it, they haven’t had ANY since last Sunday (how could they possibly survive ANY longer?)
I gave in. I put my coat on and made a dash to the local Co-Op. Luckily they had a deal on Chicken – 2 packs for £7. So I used the fillet pack for this dish and I got a whole chicken that is now sitting patiently in my freezer waiting for a Sunday lunchtime to come around…
£7 is a bit of a hefty price tag when you’re on a £50 a week budget BUT we rarely have the stuff, and when I do buy meat I like to know it’s come from a responsible source. The Co-Op have pretty good credentials where this ethos is concerned.
So alas, here we have Szechuan Chicken! It is a really simple and quick dish to knock together and it took me 30 minutes in total to make (this included prepping, spilling the chilli powder all over the table AND jotting it all down for this post!) Let’s face it, it would have took longer to get a Chinese takeaway!
1/4 cup low salt soy sauce (18p)
1 tbsp tomato puree (1p)
2 tsp rice wine vinegar (1p)
2 tsp sugar (1p)
1/2 tsp chilli powder (1p)
2 tbps and 1 tsp cornflour (2p)
450g chicken (£3.50, Co-Op)
1 tbsp oil (1p)
3 cloves garlic (9p)
2 tsp ginger (5p)
Pack of mangetout (59p, Aldi)
Total Cost £4.48 (Serves 4) Add 10p per person if adding rice
Get out a bowl and whisk together 1/4 cup of water with the soy sauce, tomato paste, rice wine vinegar, sugar, chilli powder and cornflour. Set aside.
Cut the chicken into cubes and toss in a bowl of 2 tbsps of cornflour to coat. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes or until it starts to go white on the sides. TIP – If it starts to stick to the bottom of the wok you can add a dash of hot water to loosen it up.
Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Add 1/4 cup of water, cover with a lid (or tin foil if you don’t have a wok lid) cook for about 4 minutes.
Stir in the soy mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened up.
Stir in the mangetout and replace the lid. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve with rice or noodles