Wakefield's Great British Bake Off Star Karen Wright's recipe for fakeaway sweet and sour chicken

I am sure that not many of us were surprised when the social distancing measures that we have been carefully following were extended to continue to control the spread of the Coronavirus, says Karen Wright

By Gemma Jimmison
Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:45 am

Even though I was expecting it, the announcement did leave me feeling a bit more introspective than I normally am. I think just as much as we are all trying to keep ourselves healthy and cheerful, we shouldn’t be expecting to feel upbeat all the time. It is perfectly normal to feel some levels of anxiety and sadness. If I start to feel that way, I always take some immediate action.

Normally I give a family member or a friend a ring, just chatting to someone usually does the trick. Or I get my coat on and take my daily walk around the block or I cook one of my favourite meals for our tea.

I am always very interested to find out what people class as their favourite food. It is something I ask first when I meet someone new. I don’t actually have one dish that is my all time fave but it is always something with a sauce involved. It might be a curry, or a casserole or even a steak but with a sauce on the side. I have been called Karen the condiment Queen before now - mostly because I have all the bottles and jars you can imagine in my store cupboard. I am very fond of vinegar too and not just with chips.

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Great British Bake Off star Karen Wright

I have seen on social media there are lots of people asking which takeaways are open. This has made me think about recipes that can easily be made at home that are usually found on a takeaway menu. I am calling my recipes fakeaways. The one I made on Friday evening (let’s face it, Friday is takeaway night in many homes), is a sweet and sour. Here is what to do!

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2 Chicken breasts cubed, 4 spring onions (or chopped onion of any kind), handful sliced mushrooms, 1 sliced red pepper, 1 carrot sliced into matchsticks, half a can pineapples and juice, 1 Tbs oil, 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs wine vinegar, 1 tbs runny honey, 1 heaped tsp Chinese 5 spice, 1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Cook the chicken first to slightly brown the meat then add the vegetables. Stir fry these around for about five minutes. Then add the soy sauce, vinegar, pineapples including the juice and the 5 spice. Keep stirring for a few more minutes then add the honey and salt and pepper. Bubble the mixture for about another ten minutes and then stir the cornflour and water in, this will thicken the sauce. It’s now ready to serve with rice, chips or noodles.

I am still busy in my kitchen every day, baking and cooking to help with the local community group. All foodbanks are busy and are asking for donations of foodstuffs and toiletries. Please help where you can, it is such a difficult time for everyone and if you or anyone you know is in need please get in touch with me and I will try to find help local to where you live.

So, it’s time for me to shake my feathers and get on with my day. This week I have a podcast to record and a video to record. The video is for Coventry Food Festival that I was due to do a demo at over the 75th anniversary of VE Day weekend in May. Of course, it is cancelled so my video is for their website.

I will also be on telly on Sunday evening at 18.05 Channel 5, on The Nations Favourite Chocolate!

Readers, have a good week ahead, stay positive, stay cheerful, #stayhome #staysafe.