Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
I simply can’t possibly recall the number of times I’ve tried to drum that mantra into the head of Paleovirtus Jr.
No prizes, then, for guessing what she said as I stared forlornly at the pitiful remains of a bottle of fish sauce, that held approximately one twentieth of the amount that I was going to need for the evening’s dinner.
The cherry on the top of the irony cake was that we’d actually been in the store that sells our particular favourite brand of fish sauce 2 days previously.
More ironic yet, we’d walked past it again only the day before, when we visited the neighbouring store to stock up on supplies of Oolong tea.
Clearly my attempts at creating a Paleo version of Three Cups Chicken, which sort of relied on the presence of large amounts of fish sauce in my pot, was going to have to wait a while.
There was only one thing to do – make a pot of green tea and read a few cookbooks.
At times like this it’s all too easy to get caught in a panic fuelled feedback loop, as your awareness that time is running out fuels more anxiety, which in turn hampers your ability to think straight, wasting more of those increasingly valuable minutes.
This time, however, I more or less went straight to a recipe that was a perfect match for both the ingredients that I already had in, as well as those I had intended to buy for the now cancelled original meal.
Chalk one up for the brain-boosting properties of green tea.
Mrs. Paleovirtus took a second, large helping, and that, mes amis, doesn’t happen every day, her slight disappointment at the Three Cups no-show being more than compensated for by the appearance of a new favourite.
See what you think…
Chicken With Celery, Green Pepper, and Nuts
- 1kg skinless boned chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 green pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
- 150g cashews
- 100g walnuts
- 3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- sesame seed oil
- 5 spice powder
- fish sauce
- tapioca flour
- fresh chives, finely chopped
- hot chilli flakes
- coconut oil
- Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of Saké, and 2 tsp of tapioca flour. Mix well, and set aside for about 15 minutes or so.
- Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a large non-stick wok over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken pieces until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes or so. They should be white in the middle when cut in half. When done, remove from the wok, and set aside.
- Wipe the wok clean. Add another 2 tbsp of coconut oil, and bring back up to medium high heat.
- Add the nuts, and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the celery and green pepper strips. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the spring onions, garlic, 5 spice powder, and ginger. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add 2 tbsp of Saké and 2 tbsp of fish sauce to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Remove the wok from the heat. Place the finished stir fry in serving bowls, and garnish with the chopped chives, hot chilli flakes, and a splash of sesame seed oil. Serve with egg fried cauliflower rice.
Depending on your own personal Paleo preferences, you may not want to use the Saké. If you don’t, simply replace it with a good quality Paleo friendly stock.
To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.