Chicken with Lemongrass, Coconut and Spiced Mushroom Rice

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Fry a chopped onion with a large green chilli until soft.

Add 2 whole cloves of garlic, 4 peeled, finely chopped lemongrass stalks and half a tablespoonful of chopped ginger.  Allow them to soften in the pan for a couple of minutes, then remove them from the pan and set aside to cool.

Turn the heat up under the pan and add a little more oil.  Sprinkle 4 chicken breasts (skin on or off, as you like) with salt and pepper.  Fry on high for about a minute or two each side, until really golden, then turn the heat down.

Meanwhile, skoosh up the garlic, onion etc to a paste in the mini-processor.

When the sizzling in the chicken pan has subsided, add a teaspoonful of turmeric, a tin of coconut milk and the garlic, onion, lemongrass, ginger paste.  Stir well, put the lid on, then leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked, add the juice of a lime and plenty of fresh coriander.  You will probably need to add a teaspoon of sea salt.

Spiced Mushroom Rice

Start making this fifteen minutes before your chicken is ready.  You need a smallish, lidded saucepan for this.

Fry a small red onion in 3 tablespoons of oil with 5 cardamom pods, a couple of roughly crushed cloves, a teaspoon of cumin seeds and three large, sliced chestnut mushrooms.  Let them all sizzle around happily until the mushrooms start to brown.

Take the pan off the heat and turn the heat down to low.  Add half a mugful of uncooked basmati rice, a teaspoon of turmeric and two teaspoons of sea salt and stir.  Then, add a whole mugful of boiling water, stir again, pop the lid on and leave to cook on a low heat for about 10-12 minutes.  When the time is up, fluff up the rice and stir some coriander through it.  If you want to make dinky little timbales, just use a ramekin.  It might encourage your children to eat it if they’ve had the opportunity to practise their sandcastle-making skills beforehand.

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