A go to snack for me. About 10 minutes work for a delicious result. The original recipe is from Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater, a book which has that high honour of being covered in cookery stains in my kitchen.
The original recipe is for pork, which is at least as nice, but I’ve changed it slightly to work for chicken.
I’d also run out of 5 spice, so in blind panic made my own. However, I had no Sichuan pepper (I know right? First world problems) so I was forced to improvise my own lemony pepper using pepper and lemon rind. Which actually makes mine six spice. Which as anyone who has seen Spinal Tap knows, is one louder.
300g diced chicken
4 crusty rolls
2 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp five spice or;
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
Rind of half a lemon
If you’re making five spice, you’ll need a spice or coffee grinder. I use a cheap electric one, about £15 online. You could use a pestle and mortar, if you like. In a dry frying pan, gently toast the cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns, cloves and fennel seeds until the kitchen smells of loveliness.
Transfer to the grinder, and add the lemon zest. Blitz this until it makes a fine powder. You may need to break up the star anise and cinnamon stick by hand to expedite this.
In a medium bowl, add the diced chicken, then pour over the honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, pepper, garlic and five spice and mix it all up. For added flavour, you can sit this in the fridge for half an hour.
Heat a grill pan to a medium high heat, and lay a piece of tin foil on this. When hot, add the chicken mix, and cook for about 6 minutes, or till cooked through. Take the pan off the heat.
Split the rolls, and lay some chicken mix on the bottom half of each. Take the top halves and rub them in the mixture left on the tin foil, so they soak up the flavour.
Add a bit of crisp lettuce, if you are worried about the lack of shrubbery, and enjoy.