MY BEST friends have moved more times than I can count during the past 10 years, but there is one crinkly little piece of paper which seems to have survived every relocation.
It has taken pride of place on the refrigerator of every share house they have lived in and while the faces of their various housemates have changed, that little piece of paper has remained the same.
The contents of that sheet of paper are the ingredients, in exact proportions, for the tastiest marinade in the world.
They call it Dave's miracle marinade but I call it Ben's miracle marinade on account of it's my friend Ben who is always in charge of cooking the dish.
The Asian inspired marinade is perfect for chicken and Ben usually serves it up with some rice or other vegetables. I like to serve it up with thinly sliced or julienned vegetables such as snow peas, capsicum, carrot and radish which make it into a great salad. The crunchy vegetables give the rich chicken marinade some freshness and the dish a variety of textures.
Before eating this dish many years ago, I was definitely a chicken breast person. I just didn't get thigh meat at all. When I most recently cooked this dish for a colleague, she asked why I was using thigh and not breast - it reminds me of the same conversation I had with Ben the first time he cooked it for me.
But it only took a mouthful to convince my colleague that chicken thighs are great to use in these kinds of dishes. They don't dry out the way that chicken breasts do and are half the price.
Letting this one marinate overnight is best but a few hours in the fridge will do the job.
Marinated Asian chicken salad
1kg chicken thigh fillets
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped coriander
2 tsp sesame oil
3-4 tsp olive oil
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger
A medium red capsicum
100g snow peas
Trim fat from thighs. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl or baking tray with chicken thighs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat a large frypan to medium/high heat and add thighs. Let cook on one side and turn. You may need to turn the heat down so it continues to cook without burning.
Continue to turn every few minutes until cooked through (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile, julienne your vegetables, mix and divide on to plates.
When the chicken is cooked through, slice into strips and place on top of the vegetables.
Drizzle with any marinade left in the pan. Garnish with extra coriander.