The One Cafe used to have a marvellous chicken pasta dish on its menu called Pasta Dou Chi, which was much beloved of the wiff. Having successfully blagged a menu and noted its composition, I then proceeded to make it at home. Over the years, as one ingredient or another was or wasn’t to hand, it’s morphed. The original, in case you’re interested, used water chestnuts, wilted greens and black bean sauce. This one doesn’t!
This recipe serves a hungry two as a main meal but it'll happily do four as a light one...
- 500g chicken breast
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 300g conchiglie pasta
- 225 broccoli in small florets
- 100g small button mushrooms, halved
- 2 sticks celery, finely diced
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 100ml white wine
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
- 4 star anise
- 2 tbsp kecap manis
- 1 tbsp light soy
- 1 tbsp teriyaki
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 30ml white wine
Chop the chicken breast into 1.5cm pieces or thereabouts. Mix together the marinade ingredients and let the chicken steep in these for a good while - overnight's great.
Blanch the broccoli: have a bowl of cold water to hand, ideally with a couple of generous handfuls of ice in it and then plunge the broccoli into a pan of boiling, salted water for 30 secs or so - for sure no more than a minute, remove it into a strainer and then slip it all into the ice water. This will keep it a little crunchy but also preserve the vibrant colour.
Have a pan of water on the boil ready for the pasta.
Fry the onion in the oil to soften over a medium heat, then turn the heat to high and add the mushroom and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken and stir frying to colour it. Add the celery and fry it up, then take the heat to low. Mix the cornflour, wine, vinegar and honey together, then add to the chicken and turn the heat to low.
Cook the pasta – add ½ tsp salt to the boiling water, let it froth up and then add the pasta, Slip a teaspoon of good olive oil into the water and stir it up to stop the pasta clumping. It needs to be ‘al dente’ so, depending on what pasta you use and whether it’s dry or fresh, do it for a little under the recommended cooking time. For dried conchiglie, I’d give it nine, max 10 minutes.
As the pasta’s boiling away, give the chicken the odd stir and check your Bebo page or pour a glass of cheeky Orvieto. You could also give the sesame seeds a quick extra toasting in a small pan before sprinkling it on the chicken just before the pasta cooks. As soon as the pasta’s cooked, drain it and add it into the chicken mixture along with the chopped onion. Stir it in to warm through and then serve it up with a smattering of chopped fresh coriander to finish it off!