Tomorrow I start my new job here in Madrid - ahhhhhhh!!!
I'll be working as an intern in a really exciting and creative marketing and communications agency who specialise in working with food brands, restaurants and chefs.
I'm really looking forward to starting and can't wait to get properly stuck into my working week with hopefully lots of exciting foodie opportunities along the way! I'm also super nervous- I will of course be working completely in Spanish- something which seems pretty daunting right now! Over the past 4 months I've learnt to talk very chatty Spanish and can just about understand the jokes of my Spanish flatmates, but speaking Spanish professionally is a whole different story! It will be a challenge but I'm hoping a very rewarding one!
In order to calm my pre-interview nerves last week, I set about making one of my all-time favourite Vietnamese recipes. I think I've made this salad maybe 4 times in the last 2 weeks!- I'm completely addicted. It's really fresh, super colourful and bright and totally delicious. It's also incredibly simple- most of the work is just finely chopping your veggies and herbs and you can do this whilst the sticky soy, ginger and honey marinated chicken is on to cook!
Ingredients: Makes 2 large servings
3 chicken thighs (roughly 500g)
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves
Thumb-sized piece of ginger
1tbsp runny honey
3tsp soya sauce
3tbsp olive oil
1tbsp coconut oil
1/2 a cucumber
1/2 small red chilli
1/2 small green chilli
1 small carrot
1/2 a mango
Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and fresh ginger. Add them to a large mixing bowl along with the chicken thighs and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Add in the honey, soya sauce and olive oil and mix well. Leave the chicken thighs to marinate for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan.)
Put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and add in the coconut oil. Once the oil is sizzling, add in the chicken thighs, skin-side down and fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown and caramelised.
Then transfer the chicken thighs and all the juices and oil from the pan into a baking dish.
Roast the thighs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, peel the carrot and mango and finely chop them lengthways into thin pieces. Chop the cucumber in the same way and then roughly chop a large handful of fresh mint and coriander. Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely slice them. Roughly chop the peanuts.
Add all of these fresh ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Put a large pan of water on to boil with a few drops of olive oil.
When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles. Bring the pan back to the boil and then remove from the heat. Let the noodles sit in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes and then drain them. Refresh the noodles under a little cold water and then add to the mixing bowl.
Use a sharp knife and fork to pull the chicken meat away from the bones, Roughly chop up the chicken meat and crispy skin and add to the mixing bowl along with the juices from the roasting dish.
Squeeze over the lime juice and then mix well with a large metal spoon.