Wednesday, 13 April 2011

“Don’t eat the garlic or ginger; it’s only there for flavour.” Hector Vs Ameera: The food round.

 Just a bit of background on this, Ameera is my best ultimo fantastic friend and Hector is my boyfriend. They often challenge each other for my affection, or rather Hector challenges Ameera; we all know my loyalties are with Ameera.

In relation to this, Ameera once gave me chicken fried rice the way her dad did for her and it was so delicious I raved about it and usually bug her into making once a week/fortnight/whenever we get reduced chicken at Tescos.  This finally enraged Heccababyloos into saying “I can make AMAZING chicken and rice, I will make it for you.”

So just over a month after he first said this (yes, he said it more than that once) Hecclebeckle gets his chance.

·         1 whole cooked chicken
·         Cooked rice
·         Cooking oil
·         Low fat natural yoghurt
·         Chicken thighs (1/2 each)
·         Rice
·         Cooking oil
·         Garlic
·         Ginger

Fry chicken in pan for a few minutes, add rice and stir till all heated through.
Serve with yoghurt poured on top.
Roughly crush garlic, cube ginger. Cook in with rice. Fry off rice.
Fry chicken thighs in inch of oil evenly on all sides.
Serve (do not eat garlic and ginger) put chicken thigh on top of rice.

I shall review them separately rather than comparing each mouthful, just because I would end up showing so much love for Ameera and end up sounding cruel to Hector…

First up, Heccababbingbounds Chicken and Rice.

2pm. “Hector I’m reallllllllly hungry.” Biggest eyes, slight tug on the muscled arm, soft kiss on the cheek and then cuddle into him. That is the recipe for getting what you want from a boyfriend. It’s so obvious it doesn’t matter if he reads this; we both know he’s still going to do it in the future. (Yes, my face is quite smug right now.)
2.30pm. I can make chicken and rice. “Won’t be better than Ameera’s” Want me to make it? “Yes” I don’t have my rice cooker or my knife “Why do you need a knife you’re cooking rice” Do you have a sharp knife? “Yes… well, a semi sharp knife” Semi sharp? I need to go get my rice cooker. “Why, that’s just silly” **************************

I am already bored with writing out this conversation, repeat rice cooker and knife a few times, add a couple confused/annoyed sighs, and a sparkling smile and he is finally on his bike (literally, it’s a shiny red one.)

4pm. HECTORIA RETURNS. But he forgot to buy chicken so he runs away to Tesco again (apparently he had gone to Sainsburys which is near his house)
4.20pm. HECTANGLE RETURNS. He sits down next to me. ¬_¬
4.25pm Hecsanova makes a lot of crashing/banging/scary noises at the kitchen  counter.
4.35pm. Hecclibut confers with Ameera on how to cook rice without rice cooker. Agrees impatient high heat is the best way forward.
4.55pm. Hectory sits down and says we have to wait 5 minutes. Ameera comments on burning smell. Hecclebury sprints 4 yards to hob.
5.15pm. Food is ready. Hectally sits next to me… Leaving my bowl on the table a billion miles away but passes Ameera hers. (minus 5 cheezeburgahz! D:< )
5.16pm. BEGIN EATI*** Heccington- “Oh don’t eat the ginger and garlic, its just for flavour.”

Alright, alright, I admit I didn’t need to write all of that, it doesn’t really affect (much) the review of the food. I just wanted you to be in the same emotional state as I was.

The rice, bar the times I had to pull a sneaky skin of garlic off my fork and flick the ginger cube out the way (which was very expertly cubed by the way), tasted divine. The frying gave a slight crunch as needed but it was obviously cooked well (for someone who relies on a rice cooker.) The flavour really was great, I can’t think of words to describe it. The garlic wasn’t strong but it could have been limited by the ginger so you just get an implosion of spice. The two contenders worked well in unison and it doesn’t leave the kind of aftertaste you need to brush your teeth/ eat some chocolate to get rid of. It is a happy aftertaste.

The chicken was succulent and a perfect colour throughout. Although I did have to pull it off the bone with my talent of only using a fork (Yes, rice went everywhere.)

However, Hectorial said that thighs were the best chicken to use, and so I consumed it and will not mark him down on this. It was super yummy.

Ameera’s chicken fried Rice.

Pulls all bones from chicken. Puts chicken in pan, waits, adds rice, waits, serves.

The pillow-soft grains of snow congregate in my bowl, now a slight golden tinge humbles their appearance, but in my eyes it just multiplies their glory. Strips of chicken can be seen, some slithers of roasted skin, some voluptuous chunks trying to cover their modesty in their starchless companions.

I pour the yoghurt in a swirl of longing all over the top of my bowl. It seeps through the lines and curves of the rice and coats the hot roasted chicken with a cool, creamy, slightly milky flavour.

The crunch, cream and chewy textures all marvel your tongue with each mouthful.  The roasted chicken flavour that clings on after the frying makes you nostalgic of Sunday afternoons, the filling rice warms your insides and the yoghurt helps it all flow down with every swallow.

This is comfort food at its best. This is perfect.

Ok… some may say I am biased here. I am not. Both are great, both are beautiful, both are dishes I would eat again and again. But Ameera’s dish has cheese on both sides of the burger when I award a 10 out of 10 cheezeburgah both sides. ;D


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