Homemade Spice Bag Is Easier To Make Than You Think
I have two questions for you. Have you ever eaten a spice bag? And more importantly, have you ever eaten a homemade spice bag?
If you’ve never heard of the humble spice bag, then let me tell you about it. It’s a dish you find in chinese take aways in Ireland. It consists of battered shredded chicken refried with chips, spices, onions and some peppers and chillis. It’s not the healthiest but if well made, it can be so very tasty. The advantage of the homemade spice bag is that you control the spicing and therefore the heat but also how greasy you want it.
I was sent a few samples of Mr Curry’s Spice Bag Shake a while back and so I used these for this dish. I have seen them for sales at various butchers since. They tend to be about 3 euro for a shaker and when I’ve finished my samples I’ll be buy them myself as I’m very happy with it (particularly the MSG free one). However they are not the sole retailer of spice bag mixes and I’ve got it on good authority from a friend who loves good food (looking at you Caitriona Redmond) that ChanChan also do a great version of it. I’m sure those are not the only two brands you can use for your homemade spice bag but they are a starting point.
This recipe is a bit of fun and you will get your hands dirty. You can make it as spicy or mild as you want it or are healthy or greasy as may be to your taste. There is no right and wrong here. The homemade spice bag below was for two hungry adults and we were very well fed.
If you were so inclined, you could add a touch of extra decadence by making French aioli. Sure, what’s a few extra hundred calories at this stage!
- 500 g of baby potatoes (I like waxy spuds better but you can use whatever potatoes you like for chips).
- 400 g of skinned and boned chicken filets
- 2 table spoon of spice bag seasoning
- 1 large or 2 medium onions
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 red chili (or more or less – it is up to your own taste)
- 1 pepper (we didn’t have one on the day and didn’t miss it)
- eggs (we used 4 large egg yolks)
- plain flour with a touch of corn flour mixed through it (plain flour is fine by itself so no stress)
- If you are frying you will need at the very least 2 litres of oil (we used sunflower) for shallow frying and 4 for deep fat frying or as indicated on your machine.
- The potatoes first. Rinse them and give them a brush and then pat them dry.
- Cut them to be about the size of your thumb (again there is no right and wrong here but if you want chipper chips then the thicker the better)
- We used the air fryer so we just seasoned them slightly, threw a table spoon of oil on top and set the timer for 40 min and off they went. You can however choose to deep fat fry them or oven cook them as you normally would.
- Mix your wheat and corn flour (about 3 to 1) in a bowl, add a cheeky shake of spice bag seasoning
- In another bowl, beat your egg yolks
- Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, then in the eggs, then in the flour again.
- If, like us, you are shallow frying the chicken, heat up the oil in a tall pot until it bubbles and please, please be careful. Shallow frying is a bit on the dangerous side of life. Please note that you can also deep fry the chicken or bake it in the oven.
- For the shallow fry method, you will need to gently drop the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil.
- If you like your chicken really crispy make sure you do not over crowd the pot as this reduces the overall temperature and makes it harder for the flour to crisp up.
- Our chicken took about 10 min to cook altogether.
- If you have fried the chicken give it a rest on some kitchen paper so that it may absorb the excess grease.
- In a pan, fast fry your sliced onion with the grated garlic cloves and the spice bag seasoning.
- Chinese take away finish up the dish by wok frying the chips, chicken and the spiced onions and garlic. You could do this especially if you used the oven instead of frying. Truth be told, we skipped that step and I was happier for it as there’s only so much frying I can do.
- Once you’ve plated the food, just chop the chili on top before serving.