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Chicken in Lychee Sauce

Lychees are a small fruit with a stone, of Chinese origin. When bought fresh, they have a hard, parchment-like skin which is reddish-brown in colour. The flesh is firm and slippery, with a slightly perfumed taste.

ingredients

serves 4
3 chicken breasts, each weighing 175 g (6 oz), skinned
3 tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 chicken stock cube
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons soy sauce
312 g (11 oz) can lychees, drained and quartered, with syrup reserved
2 large tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons snipped chives or chopped spring onions
1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Cut away any bones from the chicken with a sharp knife. Discard any fat. Cut the chicken into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes.

2. Put the cornflour into a polythene bag then add the chicken cubes and shake until well coated.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying-pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured.

4. Raise the heat, add the chicken and fry for about 5 minutes, turning frequently until lightly browned all over. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. In a bowl, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Stir in the tomato ketchup and soy sauce, then stir this mixture into the chicken
together with the quartered lychees and reserved syrup, the tomatoes and half the chives. Mix well.

6. Return to the heat, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cover with a lid or foil and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and pepper to taste, then transfer to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve at once.

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