Picture this: It’s a Tuesday at around 5pm (I hate Tuesdays and 5pm is the start of the dreaded ‘meltdown hour’ in our house). The kids are over it, I’m over it, Alice was over it about an hour ago but everyone still has to eat. So, if you’re like us, you have nothing prepared. You go to the fridge and you are bitterly disappointed by what you find there. This is where Alice usually starts heading for the takeaway drawer. But wait!! I have the answer – the freezer!! Alice hates food from the freezer, she was brought up in a home where food occasionally went there but then never came out and in a fit of anger her dad would empty the entire contents of the freezer every 6 months or so. So, we are at the freezer having one of those semi-arguments about how the kids shouldn’t eat so much beige food.
“But wait” I say
“What?” says Alice with a sceptical look on her face (the one she wears 75% of the time we talk.)
“Birds Eye Chicken Nuggets and Dippers are made with 100% chicken breast and we all know that freezing food locks in the goodness which means that we are feeding our kids the absolute best protein when we are feeding them Birds Eye.”
“Are you being paid to say that” says Alice (sceptical look still there by the way.)
“Yes, but it is true, it is available, and it is easy.”
She’s sold!! And from that moment on Birds Eye Chicken Dippers have graced our table at least twice a week. We like to jazz it up a bit from time to time so we’ve created this recipe which is a twist on a Japanese classic (a bit like Alice).
Also – total side note but I wanted to include it. Ezra is basically constantly attached to Alice at the moment and always HAS to be eating when the rest of us eat so we always have a giggle that “breast is best” (get it? Because we’re eating breast and Ezra is eating breast? … maybe you have to be there).
Try our amazing DIPPER DONBURI:
First up get some chicken dippers in the oven and get them cooked and ready to go, and even before then get some rice ready, we go with a rice cooker and try to use Japanese rice (but Alice is super picky about rice).
1 sachet of dashi, you can substitute for chicken stock which we do regularly but it is extra special if you use dashi
A tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of mirin
Edamame or Peas
Combine all for the sauce in a bowl and leave to one side.
Next up heat some oil in a pan and fry some sliced onions, some grated carrot and some edamame or peas until the onions are translucent.
Whilst they are frying away, beat the eggs in a bowl and have them to hand alongside the sauce mixture.
When your onions are translucent pour over the sauce mixture and let it simmer until it starts to get a touch thicker, we tried it tonight with a stopwatch and in my opinion was great about 50 seconds and Alice thought it needed close to a minute. Turns out as usual Alice is always right.
Once the sauce has thickened try and manipulate your veg into a carpet to lay your dippers on, but before you get laying I would advise cutting the dippers into perfect bite sized pieces for little mouths.
Now you have your small chunks of dipper atop a bed of onions you can pour over the eggs, I wouldn’t pour the mixture straight over the top of the chicken but more to the side and then roll the pan to get an even spread of the eggs.
How long you leave this bit all depends on how you like your eggs, remember this is going to be placed on top of a bowl of steaming hot rice so we always leave ours underdone in the pan and by the time it hits the table it will be a perfect thick custardy texture that you are hoping for.
All that’s left to do is assemble in bowls and top with scallions if your little one will stomach them (Etta throws hers at us), add to yours as it makes it amazing.