Bang Bang Chicken

The last couple of weeks have been busy. Doing what I am not really sure. A theatre visit here ( Shakespeare’s Globe) to see “Much Ado About Nothing” which was hilarious , and an altogether different theatre visit there and not forgetting a couple of schools performances in between! We had young Sam to stay for a couple of days. He camped out upstairs with us ( thank goodness for A/C). I did Kew Gardens, children’s garden ( read playground…. He played and I sat in the shade) Himself embarked upon the Thames and the Horrible Histories Tour.

Unforgivably, this was our first visit to the Globe, but have already booked for September. For visitors to London, put it on your “To Do “ list. And also The Regents Park Open Air theatre. Actually both the Globe and Regent’s Park are open air, with the Globe being slightly less so. We took Sam to Regents Park to see their production of 101 Dalmatian’s on opening night. My first thought was, how were they going to to perform this…… 101 Dalmatian’s! All I can say is they did! The puppetry was amazing as was the dancing, stage setting and Cruella!

On top of this, Sam had his dance show , which he loved performing in and then both Tess (12) and Alfie(14 ) were in their school end of year show. Both of these showed that Creative Performing Arts are alive and well.

But food? It was in reality a bit hit and miss. Before any of the shows, too early to eat and afterwards too late . Added to that was the winding down of foodstuffs in the refrigerator as we were about to decamp to our mountain home in France.

Moving swiftly along, we are now in the mountains where I have to say, although very warm, not as hot as London. Having checked the house ( read old barn) for no unwanted, usually dead visitors, we then did our obligatory down the mountain to do a mammoth shop. Having so done, it was time to cook something.

I have been in love with Bang Bang Chicken for years. I first had it or a variation of it in Houston Texas, in a restaurant called Houston’s ( it is a small chain) , where it is labelled as Grilled Chicken Salad ( mixed greens, jicama, honey lime vinaigrette and peanut sauce. $18). Next up, The Ivy and I mean The Ivy, not one of its offshoots, the Baby Ivy’s, but the real McCoy. And yes the famed restaurant critic, AAGill wrote the recipe in his book The Ivy. Since then I have come across various versions and in the end it all comes down to what ingredients one has to hand.

Hence, I made Bang Bang Chicken Salad last night and I think it will become one of my ‘ Go To Recipes’ in the future.

  • For two people
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked, grilled, BBQ roasted, sautéed. Sliced thinly
  • A collection of salad greens, to include, lettuce, rocket, grated carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers etc.
  • For the sauce
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons good peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, but choose one that is without additives such as sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6-8 Chilli oil or sriracha
  • 2” finely grated ginger
  • 3 cloves grated garlic
  • Handful of salted peanuts
  • Juice and zest of a lime
  • Make a salad to your liking
  • Mix all of the sauce ingredients together until combined. My peanut butter was a bit solid, so heated it gently to make it thinner
  • Top your salad with the sliced chicken pieces. Top with the sauce followed by a handful of chopped salted peanuts.
  • Apparently the original Bang Bang chicken came from the Sichuan area of China, the name Bang Bang came from the sound of the cook bashing the chicken flat !