Recipe: Chilli chicken and 13 herbs and spices chicken

By Michael Van de Elzen

Last year we loved Michael Van de Elzen's Molten cookbook - photographed by the Herald's own Babiche Martens - but nobody could ever pretend that it was food that could be prepared in a jiffy. It was his restaurant food at its finest. Luckily, at the same time he was concocting that book, Michael was on the road in his beloved old Bedford truck creating health takes on fast food around the country in the TV series The Food Truck. It was so successful we're currently being treated to a second season, and, at last, the cookbook. More delightful photos by Babiche of Mike and his customers up and down the country, fabulous tips from local experts in pies, Indian, Chinese and more (and a special "like" to the vintage styling) and - best of all - good fast food you'll want to make at home. Put away the dialling finger, pull out The Food Truck Cookbook and start creating healthy fast-food treats at home

Here are two of Michael's takes on fast-food chicken:

I love my chilli chicken hot but you can easily adjust the chilli levels to suit your tolerance for heat.

Panko crumbs give this a really crisp bite. The Food Truck's take on southern-fried chicken (and another famous chicken), is baked in the oven rather than being deep-fried and you will love the flavour and crispness.

My chilli chicken

serves 4

Chilli mixture

1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch salt

Chicken

2 cups panko crumbs
3 egg whites, beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 skinless chicken legs, cut into thigh and drumstick

For the chilli mixture
1 Mix all ingredients together.

For the chicken
1 Preheat oven to 165;C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Place panko crumbs in a bowl and add chilli mixture.
3 Whisk egg whites and water together in a bowl.
4 Dip chicken pieces in egg white mixture, then roll chicken in panko crumbs and chilli mixture. Place on prepared baking tray.
5 Bake for 30-40 minutes.

My 13 herbs and spices
serves 4

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon dried parsley
teaspoon dried sage
teaspoon dried thyme
teaspoon mustard powder
teaspoon turmeric
teaspoon white pepper
teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
pinch salt
teaspoon smoked paprika
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon garlic powder
pinch chicken stock powder

Chicken

1 cup potato flour
1 cup cornflour
3 egg whites, beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 skinless chicken legs, cut into thigh and drumstick


For the herbs and spices
1 Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan, add oregano, parsley, sage and thyme and fry until crisp. Drain and cool herbs. When cool, grind in a mortar and pestle.

2 Place herbs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients.

For the chicken

1 Preheat oven to 165;C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Place potato flour and cornflour in a bowl.
3 Whisk egg whites and water together.
4 Dip chicken pieces in egg white mixture, then roll in flour and then spice mixture.
Place on baking tray.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.

- NZ Herald

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