1.5 kg (3 lb) oven-ready chicken
1 onion, chopped
200 g (7 oz) carrots, sliced
7.5 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
900 ml (12 pints) boiling water
small bunch of coriander
75 g (3 oz) mangetout, thickly sliced
150 g (5 oz) pak choi, thickly sliced
salt and pepper
200 g (7 oz) dried egg noodles. to serve


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Place the chicken, breast side down, in the slow cooker pot.
2.Add the onion, carrots, ginger, garlic, chilli and star anise and spoon over the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Pour over the measurement boiling water.
3.Add the coriander stems, reserving the leaves, and season to taste.
4.Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the meat juices run clear when the thickest parts of the leg and breast are pierced with a sharp knife.
5.Transfer the chicken to a chopping board and keep warm. Add the mangetout and pak choi to the pot, cover again and cook for about 10 minutes or until just wilted.
6.Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain well and divide between 4 bowls.
7.Carve the chicken into bite-sized pieces and arrange on top of the noodles with the reserved coriander leaves, then ladle over the hot broth. Serve immediately.
8.FOR ITALIAN SPICED CHICKEN WITH PESTO, put the chicken into the pot with 1 chopped onion, 200 g (7 oz) sliced carrots, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1 sliced fennel bulb and 1 sliced lemon.
9.Pour over the boiling water as above and replace the coriander with a small bunch of basil. Use 3 chopped tomatoes, 150 g (5 oz) chopped purple sprouting breccoli and 2 tablespoons pesto sauce instead of the mangetout and pak choi.
10.Cook 250 g (8 oz) fresh tagliatelle in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to the packet instructions until just tender and serve with the chicken.

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