Happy Halloween hope your having a spooktastic evening, I've had a busy afternoon carving my pumpkin, and making my traditional Pumpkin And Toasted Sweetcorn Soup, and my Spicy Mexican Cornbread - Yummy! I thought about making something spooky themed but instead for today's Foodie Friday post I'm going to give you a recipe that's been requested quite a few times.
One of the strangest recipes that I found was for Diet Coke Chicken! The idea isn't really that new though, Nigella has been doing here ham in Coca Cola for years and speaking to several people that have tried it, it's amazing. Odd sounding I know but Cola is quite a sweet, spicy drink, full of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, which adds real flavour and depth to anything that it's cooked with. Obviously being vegetarian I couldn't use chicken but I saw a few people make it with Quorn pieces and fillets so I thought I'd give it a go.
I wasn't really sure about putting this recipe up because it's not really mine. You just have to look around on the internet to find a zillion different versions of this recipe. Every time I've posted a picture on here or on my instagram though I've been asked for the recipe so here you go. This is my interpretation, it's still quite healthy though but I'll tell you later how you can make it less or alter it to suit your own tastes.
Diet Coke Quorn
10 Spray Of Fry Light (I'm Using Garlic)
4 x Cloves Garlic- Roughly Chopped
1 x Onion - Roughly Chopped
2 Sticks Celery - Finely Chopped
2 x Carrots
1 x Courgette
1 x Pepper - Red, Yellow, Or Orange
300g Quorn Pieces - Defrosted If Frozen
1 x Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200g Mushrooms - Roughly Chopped
330ml Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Or Any Other Diet Cola
1 Tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1. Spray your Fry Light into a large pan, I'm using a large saute pan here but a casserole dish or pan would probably be better. Add your garlic, onion and celery to the pan and cook over a medium until the onions are soft and translucent
2. Roughly chop your courgette and carrots, You want everything to be roughly the same size so cut them both length ways, then slice. Add those to the pan and cook for a few minutes x
3. Then roughly chop your peppers, I have a combination of red orange and yellow here because I was using mini ones. Add those to the pan and cook your vegetables for about 5 minutes.
4. Then add your mushrooms, and cook for about 10 minutes, your pan will be quite full but don't panic the mushrooms and the vegetables will continue to cook down and soften.
5. Finally your Quorn Pieces, you could add them at the first stage but to be honest you don't really want to crisp the, you want them to absorb all the flavours, so adding them now works fine. Pop a lid on for about 10 minutes.
Then your Chinese 5 Spice powder. This is a fab herb and spice blend containing cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise, ginger and black pepper. It's quite strong and quite aniseedy, so if your not sure add less that I do,you can always add a bit more later.
7. Stir it all together and then add your Diet Coke. I'm using a bottle of Pepsi Max here which I've measured out but any diet coke type drink works. In fact I think the cheaper ones work better because they usually have a bit more of a cinnamon or clove flavour.
8. The cook over a low / medium heat for at least an hour. The sauce, will have reduced, thickened and darkened. Have a taste and then you can add more 5 Spice or soy to taste.
Done - serve with either rice, pasta, or even fried rice. This recipe makes 4 very generous portions, and it will keep for a day or so in the fridge if you have left overs. Simply reheat in a pan or in the the microwave adding a little bit of diet coke or a bit or water.
Simple as it's very easy to adapt to suit your own needs and tastes. You can use whatever vegetables you like, this just happens to be what I usually have in the veg basket. You can also vary the flavouring although I do think that 5 Spice gives it a great flavour. You can also add a bit of chilli or some Worcester sauce to give it a bit more of a kick. The original recipe used tomato passata instead of tinned tomatoes but that gives a much more sauce based dish, but it's up to you. ou could also use Quorn Fillets or chopped up Quorn Roast and it goes without saying you could use chicken or gammon.I'm trying to be health conscious here but if you want to throw calories or caution to the wind you could use oil instead of Fry Light and of course you could use full fat and full sugar coke.
I was really sceptical about this dish when I first made it but it's become a really favourite and Me and Mummy Lou now have this at least once a month. If you haven't tried it yet I'd definitely recommend you give it a go, sometimes it pays to experiment x Happy Eating xx