Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cooking with Cola - Cola Chicken Terikyaki

At the moment in New Zealand there is a launch of 'personalised' Coca Cola bottles.  The company has selected 150 of the most common names, added them randomly to their original Coke and so people can search out their name when shopping.  I have a very, very common first name and haven't come across it yet!  I've been fascinated watching people rummage through the bottles trying to find their name - cola bottles have become a messy display item in my local, anally tidy supermarket.  The one name I continue to come across is 'Meena.'  I wouldn't have thought that it was that common a name - and since I see it all the time at the moment I think that not too many 'Meena's' are interested in purchasing personalised Cola!

At the Food Blogger's conference we sampled Six Barrel Soda's Kola flavour.  It was a warm, spicy flavour and I really enjoyed it.  It was a lot less syrupy than your standard Coca Cola and the residue at the bottom of the sample cup was proof that the drink was made with genuine spices.  My friend has actually made cola syrup after coming across an Internet recipe for Coca-Cola a long time ago. I was so impressed when she assembled all the ingredients together (over many months) then actually made cola syrup.  She gave us some as a gift for our daughter's birthday last year - it was really nice!

I've heard of the odd recipe using cola drinks as an ingredient.  I wondered if there was a recipe out there were the cola drink was the star of the dish. I used ordinary Coca Cola in the recipe below.  I'm off to buy some more of the Six Barrel Soda version though - I think that the mixture of spices in their cola would make this dish really special.

Chicken teriyaki is a Make-Do Mum favourite here.  It is the only recipe I know of that gives beautiful, marinated flavour to chicken without actually marinating the chicken in the first place.  The only catch is that you have to be able to pay attention to it for the twenty minutes or so that it is is cooking.  Bottled teriyaki sauce will burn rather quickly if not watched.  The advantage of this dish is that the sauce is thin, and thickens after twenty minutes or so of cooking.  So there is a good chance that the chicken is well cooked and glazed before you have to worry about it burning.

It doesn't matter if the cola is fresh or flat for this dish.  I don't know about you, but I tend to find the last drink in a bottle of soda rather uninspiring.  I didn't use diet cola - you really need the sugar in the full-on version to caramelise the chicken.

You could also use that last slug or two of cola drink to help glaze roast pork - a great way to add some colour during cooking.

Cola Chicken Teriyaki

About one can of cola drink (a cup and a half)
Quarter a cup of Chinese Rice Wine (you can get this very cheaply at Asian grocery stores and some supermarkets (found with Asian ingredients, not in the alcoholic drink section).  This wine is absolutely not for drinking, only for cooking.  You will find dire warnings to that effect on the label!  You can substitute with sherry.
Half a cup of light soy sauce
One diced Garlic clove.
One onion
Black pepper
Vegetable Oil
Approx 1 kg Chicken - I used chicken nibbles and often use chicken wings for this dish.  If you are using diced chicken, such as chicken breast  you may find that the chicken has cooked long before the sauce, and you could end up with quite dry meat.

Use a really large pan or wok so that all of your meat can be cooked at one time.

Cut the onion so that you have long stringy pieces.  Rapidly cook these in a very hot pan until they are golden and getting some crispy bits (I like to see a bit of charred effect on mine).  Set aside to cool.

Cook the chicken in oil until the chicken has got a nice browned effect on all sides.  Add the cola, wine, garlic and pepper.  Cook on a moderate to high heat, turning occasionally until the chicken is glossy and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the onion, cook for a couple more minutes then leave to cool slightly before serving.

This can look really attractive sprinkled with either spring onions or black sesame seeds just before serving. 

Caramelised and delicious
We had a great chat at the Food Blogger's Conference about referencing and acknowledging sources when writing recipes.  If I would like to copy a recipe then I will always link to the original recipe, adding my own comments.  If I'm creating a recipe I tend to use a search engine to find recipes similar to what I am after.  If I am condensing a recipe from a number of sources, changing methods, amounts and local ingredients then I will from now on make sure I acknowledge the most helpful of those sites.

Inspiration for this recipe came mostly from the following two blogs:
* Fuss Free Cooking
* Appetite For China


  1. Sounds interesting. I wonder whether a mix of maple syrup and wine would work the same way..

  2. I think maple syrup and wine would be a fantastic combination.