Nick Coffer was one of the first bloggers I said Hi to when I started my Chronicles at the beginning of this year. Like me, he became a housedad due to the economic climate. And like me, he loves to cook. Only where I treat my passion as a hobby (the cooking, not the housedadding), Nick has turned his into power, fame and glory!
Nick, a life-long foodie, found that the kitchen was the perfect place for he and his toddler Archie to entertain each other. Soon they started a video blog about their home cooking. Within a matter of weeks, MyDaddyCooks attracted a worldwide following and led to Nicks propulsion into the spotlight on TV and with his own BBC Three Counties radio show.
Now he has put together a book of 100 of his favourite recipes. Many of the meals are firm favourites, including Mexican Lasagne, One-Pot Chicken and Apricot Casserole, and Turbo Shepherds Pie.
OK, OK, so we know that MyDaddy can cook, but can he cook as well as This HouseDaddy?
I went through Nicks book and chose one that had me salivating at the prospect. Grilled lemongrass and coconut chicken. I deliberately chose one that wasnt accompanied by a photograph because I didnt want to draw unfavourable comparisons!
Nick says: I sometimes forget how tasty and easy grilled chicken can be, especially when the meat is tenderisded by a marinage such as this simple coconut and lemongrass mix. Served with plan jasmine rice and steamed greens, this is a lovely, simple midweek meal.
This HouseDaddy says: I forgot to buy the greens, but thought Id crack on anyway and see if it would stand the taste test without veggie accompaniments.
So here, This HouseDaddy cooks My Daddy Cookss GRILLED LEMONGRASS AND COCONUT CHICKEN
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 stalk of lemongrass (hard outer layer removed), chopped finely
2 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of light soy sauce
A few drops of Thai fish sauce
Pinch of turmeric (optional)
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
400g can coconut milk
4 chicken breasts, skin on
300g jasmine rice
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. In a bowl, or preferably a blender or food mixer, blend the garlic, lemongrass, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, turmeric, chilli (if using) and 5 tbsp of the coconut milk together.
2. Make three diagonal cuts across the skin of each chicken breast and run the marinade in all over them. Ideally, you would leave the chicken and the marinade in the fridge for at least 30 mins, but if you simply dont have time, you can grill them immediately.
3. Heat up your grill;. While it is heating up, place the rice in a saucepan, pour in the remainder of the coconut mil and add enough water to just cover the rice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins, then take the rice off the heat, cover tightly with a lid and simply leave the saucepan for 15 mins while you cook the chicken.
4. Put the chicken breasts in a grill pan and grill for 15 mins, turning and basting occasionally with a spoon. (I used a grill pan over a medium flame on the hob)
5. Cook your green vegetables while the chicken is grilling.
6. Once the chicken is cooked, leave it to rest in the pan for a few mins while you fluff up the rice with a fork, then serve together with your vegetables and wedges of lime.
(I made a sauce by mixing the leftover marinade, leftover coconut milk and juices from the chicken, then simmered until it reduced down to a dribbling consistency)
The Verdict: Have you seen that movie Gone In Sixty Seconds? Well, this was gone in less than that. It really was delicious. The chicken was moist and succulent, with a crispy skin. The rice was light and fluffy. But themost impressive thing of all were the flavours. Sweet and aromatic; fresh and zingy. It was like having a Thai Gene Kelly dancing on my tongue. Yes, Daddy really can cook!
¢ My Daddy Cooks by Nick Coffer (Hodder & Stoughton Hardback) is on sale now, price 16.99. Its also available as an eBook. Visit my blog again next week and get to know Nick better through the prism of my scintilating interview with the good man!