I was on my way to the Pilate class when I heard the driver cracking his knuckles. I instantly thought of Audrey, who pops her joints loudly all the time — not only her knuckles, but also her neck the way a burly man does before a fist fight. Looking out the car window, I recalled how I used to nag her about it — telling her that no good men would want to marry a girl who cracked her knuckles; how I tried to bribe her with sleepovers and pocket money to stop doing that. Suddenly I was washed over by a craving for her so strong that I felt my guts being tugged. Missing someone you love deeply seems to come in waves. In the calm sea of my daily routine today, I was hit by a tidal wave without any warning. The tides of my heart are entirely dictated by a gravitational force from far away — the waxing and waning of the moon that is my loved ones.
Three more weeks to go — the countdown begins. In the olden days, a trip between here and the US would take at least three weeks on the ocean liner. I will pretend that I have already embarked for San Francisco, getting closer to home with every sunrise.
Looking into my fridge, I saw a bottle of apricot jam sitting in the door pocket that was a part of the welcome package from the production when I first arrived in Malaysia. I decided to use the jam as an ingredient to cook the chicken.
Since I am on a ship in the middle of the ocean, there will be no more trips to the grocery market. I will cook with only what’s on board for the next three weeks.
Chicken with Apricot Chili Soy Glazing
4 small chicken thighs
1/4 cup cooking wine
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 slices of ginger
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Ingredients for the glazing:
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon lime juice or rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
2 Thai red chili, seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you want extra heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix the ingredients for the glazing and set aside.
Wash the meat and marinate in the wine, soy sauce and ginger slices for 30 minutes or longer, turning them now and then to marinate evenly.
Discard the marinade and pat dry the thighs with paper towel. Heat the oil and brown the meat in a nonstick pan on medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
When the chicken thighs are browned and cooked thoroughly, pour the glaze into the pan and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the glaze is thickened and sticky, but not burned.
Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds and serve on a bed of sautéd vegetables. Click on the link for the recipe for sautéd vegetables.