A year or so ago a new restaurant opened just up the road from us. It was one of those all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurants, the kind where you pay £14.95 each and get to stuff yourself silly with sesame toasts and teeny tiny puddings. We were very excited. What normally happens though in these places is that you get overexcited, eat a plate full of chicken balls, worth about 78p, and then suddenly get too full to eat anything else.
Whenever we’ve been there, Belle has pretty much just eaten crispy duck and chocolate fountain. (Not at the same time.) She loves those little pancakes, and I love her eating them because they are one of the only things she eats that includes protein AND a vegetable.
Hoorah for teenagers eating balanced meals!
When Birds Eye got in touch then, asking me to create a 20 minute, family friendly recipe using their Crispy Chicken, I had a moment of inspiration – I could make my very own buffet restaurant pancake experience, switching duck for chicken!
I know. Genius.
Frozen chicken is one of those things that gets a bit of a bad name, but all of Birds Eye’s frozen chicken products are made with 100% chicken breast, and are a great source of protein for growing kids. All Birds Eye chickens are barn reared, meeting EU regulations, (never from caged hens), and they never use artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, steroids or antibiotics.
It’s chicken, plain and simple. Very tasty.
Crispy Chicken pancakes are perfect for families, as they’re so versatile and simple to make. Kids can get involved in the preparation, and you can add in any extra vegetables that you fancy. In my experience children love any sort of meal that involves using your fingers and helping yourself to things, so they’re sure to love a bit of Crispy Chicken pancake action.
My recipe is made to serve four people, based on around three pancakes each. It’s not a huge meal, but they are surprisingly filling. You can always increase the quantities, or have them as a lunch, a starter, or with a couple of side dishes if you were feeling hungry.
The other great thing about my Crispy Chicken pancakes is that you can have them ready in the time it takes the Birds Eye Crispy Chicken to cook – less than 20 minutes.
What you’ll need to make Crispy Chicken pancakes
- Approximately 12 Chinese pancakes (You can get them from Waitrose and Ocado, or an Asian supermarkets. If you were feeling particularly adventurous, you could even make your own.)
- One large red pepper
- A bunch of spring onions
- A cucumber
- 4 x Birds Eye Crispy Chicken breasts
You can’t have pancakes without hoisin sauce of course. You can buy this ready made, but where’s the fun in that?? Hoisin sauce is very easy to make once you have the basic ingredients, and they all keep for ages in the cupboard, so once you’ve got them, you can easily whip up a hoisin sauce whenever you fancy it.
For the hoisin sauce you’ll need:
- 4tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1tbsp molasses
- 2tsp rice vinegar
- 2tsp sesame oil
- Large pinch of garlic powder
- Small pinch of pepper
How to make Crispy Chicken pancakes
Get started by cooking the Crispy Chicken, as per the instructions. While it’s in the oven, you can crack on with preparing the rest of the pancake filling.
The vegetables need to be finely sliced, and this could be done by an older child who is competent with a knife. Traditionally Crispy duck pancakes are just served with cucumber and spring onion, but I added the red pepper for some extra colour and nutrition, and flavour wise it goes very well with the chicken.
To make the hoisin sauce, simply measure out all of the ingredients into a tub or jar that has a lid and shake well to combine. This would be a really fun job for a smaller child – just make sure the lid is on tightly! The peanut butter and molasses will want to stick to the sides, so shake it vigorously until you have a smooth, thick sauce.
I then decanted mine into a jug, so that it could be easily poured over the pancakes. I went for a chicken jug to fit the chicken theme, and also because it’s Chinese Year of the Rooster. (Close enough.)
The pancakes go in the microwave for a minute, (or they can be steamed), so do this just before the chicken is cooked. Slice the cooked Crispy Chicken and stick everything on the table so that people can help themselves.
To assemble your pancakes, simply pop on a selection of chicken and vegetables, drizzle on a little hoisin sauce, fold them up and tuck in.
Do you have any favourite recipes like this that you’ve adapted from well known classics? If you give my Crispy Chicken pancakes a go I’d love to know what you think! Belle liked them just as much as the Crispy Duck from the buffet restaurant, and it was much cheaper than £14.95 a head.
Now I just need to get myself sorted with a chocolate fountain…
Produced in association with Birds Eye.