Part one: mango no. 5
In case you were wondering: yes that’s a Lou Bega joke, don’t pretend you didn’t love it. The 90s are cool right now. I know, I’m on instagram.
So I am writing this edition of Amy vs Fruit on the hottest day in July SINCE RECORDS BEGAN. I like to think of this as meaning, like, since a cave man first drew a stick drawing of himself chasing a mammoth or whatever, even though I know it actually means about 1880).
It’s hot. You’re probably reading this on Friday, when it’s no longer the hottest day in July since records began (OR IS IT??) but cast your minds backwards to Wednesday and remember how hot it is for me right now.
Rather appropriately for this UNBELIEVABLE HEAT, this week I am trying a truly tropical fruit: the mango.
I am sort of cheating, because I have been drinking mango smoothies from Pret for about a month on the days when I need a pick-me-up but I’ve already had too much coffee.
So I know I like the taste, but Amy vs Fruit is the project which convinced me to start drinking smoothies in any form, and I think it’s good to acknowledge the fruits I am beginning to enjoy even outside of the blog. I’ve not had a physical actual mango before, so it still counts.
And that brings me to my first point: slicing a mango is really hard, you guys. How are you supposed to know where the core is and how to avoid it? I sort of had to just hack at it until something resembling slices appeared.
Regardless of how weird aforementioned slices look, the mango is really easy to eat. It’s so juicy and sweet, without any of that sharpness that I dislike in apples and pears. Also I’m not eating the skin, so there’s no danger of that freaking me out somehow.
My slices are so wonky that some of them have flesh right from the middle of the mango, and others are mostly from the edge. The ones from the middle are definitely the best, as they’re the softest and juiciest. So I’m going to have to figure out a way of slicing properly next time.
Other than that minor hiccup: TEN THUMBS UP FOR MANGOS SO FAR!
Part two: Playing chicken
Hattie is away on retreat, so sadly she is not around to taste the first savoury dish of Amy vs Fruit. Luckily, our housemate Suze is around to keep me company instead.
I decided to make a chicken, mango and rice tray bake, inspired by this recipe (but not really following it because I couldn’t be bothered to buy all of the ingredients). Basically I left out the beans and the lime. Lemon juice is basically a substitute for lime slices, right?
Step one: I seasoned the chicken with ginger, coriander, chilli powder and mixed herbs. It’s not the same as marinating the chicken in fresh versions of those things overnight, but I’m a busy gal. It’ll have to do.
Step two: I then placed the drumsticks in a tray, and poured over the chicken stock, then added the rice. I think you must need a pretty big tray to do this properly, because there’s no way I could have got kidney beans in there too.
Step three: Cover with kitchen foil and bake at 180 for 30 minutes.
Step four: Uncover the chicken. At this point, my stock had already completely dissolved into the rice, so I had to add some more hot water. I took the chicken out because it was kind of buried in the rice, then placed it back on top and re-seasoned it so that it would hopefully start to get a bit more brown and interesting when it was baked uncovered. Lesson learnt: marinating chicken isn’t really a step you can “just skip”.
Step five: Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.
Conclusion: It was good! I mean, the chicken definitely should have been marinated, and it would have been nice to have a really sticky sauce to hold it all together – but that is more of a commentary on my cooking than anything else.
And Suze said it was “not like anything I’ve eaten before”, which I’m going to take as a win.
Mangos, you guys. Mangos.