Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Barbequed Sticky Kung Pao Chicken and Blue Nun Wines

I was recently contacted and asked if I would like to try out some recipes which have been created by the acclaimed TV Chef Sophie Michell, to promote the new Blue Nun wines. (She is noted for Chanel 4's program, "Cook Yourself Thin.")

I was sent several recipes. There was one called Gold Leaf Sparkling Jellies with Iced Frozen Grapes and Creme Chantilly (using Blue Nun Sparkling Gold), as well as another one called, Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Marinated Lamb Cutlets with Saffron Rice and Pistachio Crumbs to be served with the Reisling. There wsa also a delicious looking Reisling Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Shallots and a Barbequed Sticky King Pao Chicken with Cashew, Carrot, Radish, Cucumber and Spring Onion Salad.

I chose the oriental recipe . . . the Barbequed Sticky Kung Pao Chicken. It looked tasty and we like a good Chinese dish. The recipe was missing the amount of radish to use, or how to use it, so I just sliced a few radishes into the mix.

This is a YouTube video that you can watch to see how she did it.

This is how mine turned out! Delicious!!

*Barbequed Sticky Kung Pao Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A beautiful chicken dish, spicy and finger lickin sticky good!

8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

For the Marinade:
2 TBS dark soy sauce
1 TBS Sherry, or for a lower sugar marinade use Blue Nun River Riesling
1 tsp honey
1 tsp hot chili flakes

For the Salad:
1/2 head of Chinese white cabbage
3 spring onions
1 carrot
1 red chili, depending on how much heat you like
50g of roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped

For the Dressing:
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a deep tray or dish. Add the chicken thighs. Open them up and turn them around to coat and cover them in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for as long as possible. (Up to 24 hours and no less than 1 hour.)

To make the salad, peel and cut the carrot into very thin strips. Add to a large mixing bowl. Cut the spring onions thinly on a sharp diagonal. Add these to the bowl as well. Cut the Chinese Cabbage down the middle, core and then slice thinly. Add to the mix. Deseed the cucumber and thinly slice as well. Add this to the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together well.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

When you are ready to eat, heat up a grill to very hot. Take the chicken out of the marinade. Discard any marinade left in the dish. Place the chicken onto the hot grill tray and cook for 8 minutes per side, until cooked throughout and nicely caramelized.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss all together. Divide the salad amongst 4 plates and top each with the grilled chicken, and a sprinkle of the chopped nuts. (She used peanuts in the video)

A glass of Rivaner Reisling (Fresh, Crisp and Fruity) is recommended as a good wine to serve with this dish.

Of course as a Mormon, I really can't give an opinion on how this wine is as a drink, but here is what Sophie had to say:

The Rivaner Riesling is really a super match for most types of Asian and oriental style dishes, which I find can be really hard to match a wine with and a glug of this fresh, fruity wine is great in the marinade too.

There is a big trend for lower alcohol drinks at the moment, but some that I've tried are rather watery. However, the Blue Nun Delicate drinks (5.5% alcohol) however are packed with flavour and taste. They're ideal for the lazy summer days, picnics and bbq's. Or to serve as an aperitif when you want something refreshing and light to serve to guests.

They are made with full bodied aromatic wine and delicious fruit flavours such as white peach, mango, raspberry and lychee which taste delicious.

*Gold Leaf Sparkling Jellies with Iced Frozen Red Grapes and Creme Chantilly*
Makes 6

600ml of Blue Nun Sparkling Gold White Wine
50ml of Elderflower cordial
1 TBS sugar
6 sheets gelatine
200g of red or green seedless grapes
200ml of double cream
2 tsp icing sugar

Firstly take the grapes and cut into little branches with 3 grapes per set, then place on a tray and pop into the freezer.

Soak the gelatine sheets in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, put 100ml of the Blue Nun Sparkling Gold and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Squeeze the gelatin sheets to remove any excess water and stir into the wine mixture until dissolved.

Then mix the heated wine mix in with the rest of the wine (500ml), pour into a large bowl and place into the fridge. Leave for at least an hour, then check and stir. Basically you keep doing this until the mix has thickened enough for the gold flakes to not sink to the bottom.

When ready pour into four individual metal pudding moulds, about 200ml/7 fl oz/ generous 3/4 cup capacity if you want to turn the panna cotta out onto dessert plates, or into four pretty serving bowls. Put into the fridge to set for at least 2 more hours, or overnight. Then pour the cream and icing sugar into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

If the Panna Cottas are in metal molds, pour boiling water into a bowl and quickly dip the moulds into the water before turning them upside down on to dessert plates. Then add a dollop of the cream and some of the frozen grapes.

Serve with a glass of sparkling gold.

Sophie says: The Gold Flecks were such a talking point for my girl friends and I. I just adore the way the bubbles rise the gold flakes to the surface. Very Glam!

You can check out her other videos on YouTube as well. The Lamb one looks delicious as well.

Many thanks to Megan for sending me this lovely wine to cook with and to Blue Nun Wines.

Make sure you check out their page online, there's a lot of information there on the wines and stockists, etc. Also be sure to check out their Facebook Page!

Blue Nun Rivaner Riesling is available to buy in most UK supermarkets including Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Nisa and Tesco with an RRP of around £5.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Blue Nun Medium White is available in Tesco and J Sainsbury.

Blue Nun Medium Red, White and Rose are all available in Nisa.

Blue Nun Sparkling Gold edition is available to buy at £9.59 on-line from

Blue Nun Delicate Stills have a recommended retail price of £3.99 and the Blue Nun Delicate Sparkling have a recommended price of £5.99, both for a 750ml bottle. All of the Blue Nun Delicates are currently available to buy from Home Bargain stores across the UK only

Please do remember that if you are going to drink, you should so so responsibly.


  1. fantastic flavors - really a treat to have a meal like this - I'm going to give it a go - bookmarked!
    Mary x

  2. Scrummy recipes! Love the Kung Pao Chicken.

  3. A blast from the past! Blue Nun was usually the wine of choice when we thought we were being terribly sophisticated at 18!


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