Not having money sucks. Worse still, not having money and really enjoying food sucks. The time you most notice this is when you’re a student. Most Wanted, the magazine for VoucherCodes.co.uk has asked me to come up with some recipes that are frugal but hopefully don’t feel like it!
The first of these is lemon chicken on crispy noodles. It’s inspired by a Ken Hom recipe that’s a favourite in our house. It’s tasty, messy and great fun to eat. It also scales up really well if you need to feed a few more friends.
The ingredients in this are pretty basic but raised up by making the flavours big and punchy. Shopping around you could save money on the chicken, and can be adjusted to suit any other sturdy vegetables you wanted to add, such as peas or green beans. However don’t cut too many corners with the stock, it forms the base of the flavour and carries the rest of the dish. I like Knorr products so look out for good brands of stock cubes and stock pots: stock is handy in almost all savoury recipes. One thing to watch for in this recipe is it needs two frying pans on the go, so you may need to borrow another! You should be in and out of the kitchen in 15 minutes once you get the hang of this one.
Approximate cost for main ingredients, excludes storecupboard ingredients (prices from Tesco.com 4th Oct 2012): £1.72
Lemon chicken on crispy noodles (serves 1):
1 packet of instant noodles
1 chicken breast, diced
250ml stock made with ½ stock cube
1 teaspoon cornflour
- Get a pan of water on a rapid boil and add the noodles. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes until tender and then tip into a sieve to drain. Rinse with cold water to completely cool them down.
- Get two frying pans on over medium-high heat. In one of them you will cook the noodles; this should have a layer of oil to coat the base of the pan. The other just needs a tiny bit into which to cook everything else.
- While the pans heat up dice the chicken and prepare the carrot. Peel the carrot, and after you’ve discarded the skin keep peeling until you reach the bitter core, which you can chuck away. Being very careful to avoid spatter add the noodles to their pan and spread out with a wooden spoon so they cover the base. Add the chicken to the other pan and stir fry for a couple of minutes until coloured all over, then add the stock and carrots.
- Into the chicken pan grate in the zest of the lemon and the juice of half. Stir well to combine and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes. The noodles should be crisp on one side now so with confidence flip them over. While the other side cooks taste the broth. You may want to add more lemon, or possibly a pinch of sugar or salt to balance everything out. When you’re happy with the flavour add a splash of water to the cornflour in a small dish and mix well, then tip this into the sauce.
- When the noodles are done tip them on to kitchen paper to drain, and then into your serving bowl. Tip the chicken and the sauce over the top and start slurping!