Tonight’s dinner was:

Thai Sticky Chicken



1.3kg/3lb chicken drumsticks and thighs
2 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, soft inner core roughly chopped
15g/1oz fresh coriander, roughly torn, plus extra leaves to serve
2 tbsp soft palm sugar or light or dark brown sugar
100ml/3½fl oz lime juice (about 2 limes)
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)


Using a sharp knife, cut slashes in the chicken drumsticks and thighs and place them in a wide bowl or large resealable food bag.
Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend to a rough paste.
Pour the mixture over the chicken, turning the chicken around to coat in the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film or seal the bag and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight if possible, turning the chicken around occasionally.
Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30-40 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and arrange in a single layer in a roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden-brown and the meat is cooked and starting to come away from the bone. (The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced at its thickest part.)
Arrange the chicken pieces on a warm serving platter and place the roasting tin on a medium heat on the hob. Pour in the reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up the sticky bits from the bottom of the tin, until the sauce is thickened and sticky.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, scatter with coriander leaves and serve.


Thai Peanut, Vegetable and Coconut Noodles

4 servings


400g/14oz coconut milk
1 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil
2 tbsp ready-made red curry paste
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
300ml/10½fl oz vegetable or chicken stock
3 tbsp fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 tbsp palm or brown sugar
250g/8¾oz medium rice noodles
150g/5¼oz baby sweetcorn, cut into slices at an angle
150g/5¼oz broccoli, cut into small florets
150g/5¼oz snow peas, cut in half at an angle
50g/1¾oz spring onions, sliced at an angle
100g/3½oz toasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp torn Thai basil or roughly chopped coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper


If the coconut milk has divided into two parts (watery and thick), separate it by carefully spooning off the thick part and pouring the watery part into a small jug; set both aside.
Heat a wok or a large wide pan over a medium heat until hot, add the oil and the thick part of the coconut milk (if the coconut milk has not separated into two parts, add all the coconut milk at this stage).
Stir this over a medium heat until the coconut milk starts to separate and thicken.
Add the curry paste and peanut butter and mix to combine. Then add the stock, fish sauce and brown sugar and bring to the boil.
Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for five minutes to soften, then drain.
Meanwhile add the baby sweetcorn and broccoli to the wok or pan and cook, uncovered for one minute. Add the snow peas and spring onion, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Stir half of the chopped peanuts and half of the basil or coriander into the vegetables and sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and add more fish sauce if you want it to be a bit more salty.
Finally, add the drained noodles and stir to combine.
Place in a large warm serving bowl, or individual bowls. Scatter with the remaining peanuts and herbs and serve immediately.