23:59 Jazz Blackwell 0 Comments

I'll admit I've not been a student for too long, and so I can hardly call myself an expert on all facets of campus life. What I have become rather well-versed in, however, is student eating.

I know how hard it can be. Sometimes, Super Noodles and pasta just get boring, and Pizza Hut is a tempting minx. It's all too easy to give in and ordered take-out when you've eaten nothing but chicken ramen for two weeks straight. I'm guilty of it myself - I mentioned in my last post about my absurd overuse of Deliveroo. Takeout often seems like a cheaper and easier option than cooking for yourself, but that doesn't have to be the case. You can make tasty and (relatively) nutritious food for a fairly low cost out of your own home. My biggest offender in the takeout department is Chinese, so I thought I'd give it a whirl and try and match the Asian flavours myself. This recipe made a great tasting dish, similar to sweet and sour with a bit of spice.

Servings: 4 if served with rice, 2 if served alone
Price per serving: £2.12 approx if served alone, £4.24 approx if served with rice. 
What you need: 
  1. 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced (can be found in frozen bags of 8 at Aldi for £3.49) 
  2. 1 white onion, chopped (bag of approx. 6 is 79p at Aldi)  
  3. 2 spring onions, chopped (bundle of 6 is 44p at Aldi) 
  4. 1/2 red pepper, chopped (loose red peppers 45p at Aldi) 
  5. 1 red chilli pepper, chopped (pack of 6 mixed chillies, 55p at Aldi) 
  6. Dollop ketchup (60p per bottle at Sainsbury's) 
  7. Dollop honey (£1.25 per bottle at Aldi) 
  8. Dash dark soy sauce (47p per bottle at Aldi) 
  9. Long grain rice to serve (45p per bag at Tesco) 
  1. I always find it easiest to make the sauce before I do anything else. Take a bowl, or a jug, or a tupperware container, or any other such vessel that is currently clean (just make sure it's not your flatmate's favourite mug, I can guarantee that's not the way to make friends). Combine the ketchup, soy sauce and honey in your chosen mixing apparatus. I wish I could give more accurate measurements than 'dollop' and 'dash', but this part is honestly down to preference. I like to add a little of each at a time and taste it periodically until I'm happy. You can also add any herbs or spices you thing work here - I like to add All Spice, but it works without too. 
  2. Heat some oil in a large pan - you don't need much, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. A frying pan is probably preferable for this, but I used a large wok and it worked out fine. You could probably get away with using a saucepan too. 
  3. Add the onion, spring onion, pepper and chilli to the heated oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the white onion and pepper have begun to soften. 
  4. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes until browned on all sides. Remember, it's really important to make sure you cook chicken properly - especially if you're making this dish for friends, or to impress the hottie from down the hall. It's one thing to give yourself salmonella. Passing it to others is another. Sharing is not always caring. 
  5. Once the chicken is browned, pour over the sauce and really stir it through. Allow it to cook until the sauce is a little thick and sticky, and the chicken is cooked all the way through (you can check this by cutting the largest piece in half and checking the middle for pink spots). This shouldn't take any longer than 10-15 minutes. 
  6. While the chicken cooks in the sauce, boil your rice if using so both are ready to serve at the same time. 
  7. Once you're satisfied that the chicken is cooked through, strain your rice and serve both in a bowl. 

Hope this helps out some of my fellow students - or even anyone on a budget. If you do try and make it, please let me know in the comments how it was! 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

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