1.5 kg (3 lb) oven-ready chicken
1 onion, chopped
200 g (7 oz) carrots, sliced
7 cm (3 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large mild red chilli, halved
3 large star anise
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar
900 ml (12 pints) boiling water
small bunch of coriander
200 g (7 oz) dried egg noodles
75 g (3 oz) mangetout, thickly sliced
2 pak choi, about 150 g (5 oz), thickly sliced
salt and pepper


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Put the chicken, breast side down, into the slow cooker pot.
2.Add the onion, carrots, ginger, garlic, chilli and star anise and spoon over the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.
3.Pour over the measurement boiling water. Cut the coriander leaves from the stems, then add the stems to the pot, reserving the leaves.
4.Season, cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest parts of the leg and breast are pierced with a sharp knife.
5.When almost ready to serve, cook the noodles according to packet instructions.
6.Lift the chicken out of the slow cooker pot, put on to a plate, cover with foil and keep hot.
7.Add the mangetout and pak choi to the slow cooker pot, replace the lid and cook, still on high, for about 10 minutes or until just wilted.
8.Carve the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Drain the noodles and divide between 4 bowls. Top with the chicken and the reserved coriander leaves, chopped, then ladle over the hot broth.
9.FOR ITALIAN SPICED CHICKEN WITH PESTO, put the chicken into the pot with the onion, carrots and garlic only and add 1 sliced fennel bulb and 1 sliced lemon.
10.Continue as above, replacing the coriander with basil. When the chicken is removed, add the mangetout, 3 chopped tomatoes, 150 g (5 oz) chopped purple sprouting broccoli and 2 tablespoons pesto, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.
11.Omit the pak choi. Cook a 250 g (8 oz) pack fresh tagliatelle in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to the packet instructions until just tender. Drain and continue as above.

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