Well, this was a bit of a surprise. I'd heard all kinds of fables of Cola Ham and such like, and then when I first joined Fat Club, tales of Diet Coke Chicken were legendary. I'd always intended to try it, but never quite got round to it... and then when I discovered Sweet'n'Sour Fanta Chicken, I thought I'd reached the culinary limits of what could be done with sugar-free soft drinks. What would be the point?
I was convinced to give it a go this week, and this, dear Munchkins, would be the point!
Tasty tasty, and healthy healthy - there are similarities to the Fanta dish, but the taste profile is different enough to make them quite distinct from one another. It's worth trying both to see which you prefer - personally, I have a place for both in my list of go-to dinners!
1 onion, finely chopped
3 peppers, diced (I used 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
2 crushed garlic cloves
4 chicken breasts, diced
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp mixed herbs (I used Oregano, Thyme & Rosemary)
330ml diet cola
200ml chicken stock
200g sugar snap peas
I doubled up all the ingredients for the sauce, but found it took an aaaaage to thicken... I'd also added 200g or so of chestnut mushrooms... all in all, that added for a very congested pan (opted for paella dish in the end) so I'd probably cut it back to the original quantities as listed above!
1. In a wok or large frying pan, brown the chicken with some frylight (or oil if you're not fat fighting).
2. Chuck in the veg, apart from the garlic and sugar snap peas, and stir-fry for another 5 mins or so.
3. Add the diet cola (I used Diet Pepsi :p), chicken stock, passata, tomato puree, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and herbs. Give it all a good stir.
4. Bring it to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and leave for about 15 mins.
5. Uncover, chuck in the sugar snap peas, and increase the heat.
6. Leave it bubbling away, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or so, or until it thickens up enough for you.
7. Serve with some noodles, or rice.
Asda were streets ahead this week, with a cracking £10.71.
Tougher fought was the battle for second, with Sainsbury's (Shock!) pinching it from Tesco, with £12.19 vs £12.20.
Morrisons finished in fourth, a little further out, but not too far, at £12.66.
Well this is already a bit of a tweak for me, given that my journey started with the Fanta version - it's different enough, though, to class as a recipe of its own.
As I mentioned above, I added some mushrooms, and you could definitely add more of any other veg you fancy. Alternatively, take out some that you don't fancy! I think the sugar snap peas helped thicken the sauce up, though (have I read somewhere that there's a thickening agent in the pod?) so I'd maybe leave those in. Or alternatively, sub for sliced Okra, which definitely is a thickening agent... and looks really prettiful!
Sliced Beef may work well in this recipe, too. It doesn't really taste like it, but the colour and consistency of this sauce made me think of Chinese-style BBQ sauce, so maybe that's what gives me that idea! Again, though, other meats could work perfectly well.
Final word on the matter: Chips!