Spice Bag

Many of you may well be thinking what the heck is a spice bag? But if you are from the south of Ireland you will be under no illusions to its reputation. Voted Ireland’s favourite food (don’t quote me on that) the Spice Bag has gone viral over the past few years but surprisingly it has yet to reach the UK and Northern Ireland.

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So what is this cult like food? Basically it’s a portion of salt and chilli chicken with salt and chilli chips tossed together in a paper bag, mostly ate after a skinful on a night out. But even still its popularity has risen to pulled pork levels in the south of Ireland and as Belfast hasn’t been hit by the Spice Bag boom yet I thought I would give you my take on so you are in the know!

I presume the takeaways fry their chicken and chips but I was looking convenience and also wanted it to be semi healthy so I opted to bake both in the oven.

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SWANKINGREDIENTS

Serves 2

For the chicken coating

Chicken Breasts x3

Chinese 5 Spice 2 Teaspoons

Garlic Salt 1 Teaspoons

For the Chips

Maris Piper Potatoes

Olive oil

For the Spice Mix

Chinese 5 Spice 1 Teaspoon

Sugar .5 Teaspoon

Sea Salt 1 Teaspoon

Chilli Flakes to your liking

To Stir Fry

Red Pepper 1

White Onion 1

Fresh Chilli to your liking

+Cornflour for baking the chicken

METHOD

1. To a mixing bowl add the ingredients for the chicken coating and combine.

2. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, place in a bowl and coat. The coating serves two purposes in seasoning and flavouring the chicken while also acting as a glue for the corn flour.

3. While the chicken is marinating chop the pepper onion and chilli pepper to your liking. For the chips don’t bother peeling, simply rinse them quickly and cut into your preferred shape.

4. Cook the chips by simply placing in a baking tray with 5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil at 220 for around 20 minutes.

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5. With the Chips in the oven the next stage is to bake the chicken. Chinese takeaways deep fat fry the their chicken but I find it messy and it leaves a terrible smell in the kitchen plus baking is probably marginally healthier. So all is needed is to add 6/7 Tablespoons of oil to a baking tray coat the seasoned chicken in cornflour and place in the oven at max temp for 15 minutes. You are aiming to get the oil as hot as possible before adding the chicken otherwise it won’t turn crisp.

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6. Bake the chicken for around 20 minutes or until golden brown turning half way through.

7. If you have timed it right the chicken and the chips should be ready around the same time (don’t worry if you haven’t as you will be stir frying them together next anyway).

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8. The last step is to add the chips, chicken and vegetables to a wok while also sprinkling on the spice mix. Stir fry everything together ensuring everything is well coated with the spice mix.

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9. Serve with a portion of curry sauce and enjoy!