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Weeknight Light

September 19
Weeknight Light | DonalSkehan.com

Routine, routine and more routine, that’s what our family kitchen has been missing the last couple of weeks as we find our way back into a new form of back to school and back to life. As we settle in for the last couple of months of one hell of a year I can imagine I’m not alone in feeling a little disjointed. The home kitchen is often a good place to anchor the mind and body in stormy seas and finding solace in recipes you can rely on to deliver quick but delicious dinners is key. This week I’ve got three winner winner, chicken dinners that should do the trick.

Really good Japanese ramen is an art form that any visit behind the curtains of a ramen joint in Tokyo will prove. The dish which dates back to the 19th century is based on a rich flavoured meat or fish broth, wheat noodles and toppings like thinly sliced pork, boiled eggs, nori seaweed and scallions. Unless you dedicate a lifetime to hand making noodles and perfecting your broth, making it at home will always be a cheats job, particularly if you are making it for a weeknight meal. A fairly good homemade version can be created in minutes and the  Charred Chicken Ramen Bowls  here are a testament to that. Deep smoky flavour is achieved by griddling chicken thighs that have bathed in soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil. A storebought broth made rich with a steady simmer of garlic, chilli and ginger and the rest, well that’s up to you. The toppings here like brocollini, shitake mushrooms, carrot and soft boiled eggs are interchangeable and considering this cheats version is clearly not about authenticity, it allows us to make use of veggies that we might have to hand. A warm and comforting bowl for when the weather turns but you still need to spice up the midweek offering.

One pot, one pan, one tray, these types of recipes always speak to me. Sure there’s plenty of time to play around in the kitchen and experiment with ingredients and cuisines but when dinner needs to hit the table fast, it’s these buzz words I continuously turn to. The simplicity of them often goes beyond the piece of equipment being used and filters into the ingredients list also. A handful of key ingredients like chicken, potatoes, perhaps some more vegetables and a powerhouse of deep earthy heat like harissa paste and you are well on the way to a meal that takes little effort, washup and completely delivers on seriously tasty supper. The  One Tray Harissa Chicken with potatoes and tomatoes that turn sweet and jammy in the oven ticks all the boxes.

Lastly in this chicken trio of light midweek meals, a great light dinner, which relies on spice and heat is the simple  Spicy Sriracha Chicken Salad  here. A sticky, salty and spicy marinade becomes the sauce for the addictive little nuggets that top a rainbow platter of shredded red cabbage, shaved peppers and edamame beans for a light but incredibly satisfying meal in minutes.

Follow these links for the recipes in the photos:

Charred Chicken Ramen Bowls

One Tray Harissa Chicken

Spicy Sriracha Chicken Salad