Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recipe - Mandarin Chicken, Rant about the CCC

Mandarin Chicken
(+ rant about the govt.)
Click Here for the Printable Version (and to skip the rant)

Recently, my life transformed from crazybonkers to completely manageable.  Specifically, last semester I was trying to be a student, run Sana and complete a huge contract job. It was the latter that nearly did me in.  Not the job, per se, because it's fab, but the associated dealings with the..... *insert music of doom here*.... City Council (CCC), commonly referred to as the Christchurch Chaos Council (or sometimes, in less polite terms..).


For one drainage pipe, we needed a building consent. It took six excruciating months and cost many thousands of dollars and grey hairs.  For the grey hairs, I shall neither forgive nor forget.  The hurt lingers.

My theory is that, due to the legal butt spanking that occurred over buildings that collapsed in the quakes, nobody wants to 'thumbs up' any building consent. Everyone prefers to delay, procrastinate and then palm off to someone else.

Eventually, we were dealing with five individuals, providing piles of (often duplicate) paperwork to them all and receiving back from each a list of other stuff that was required - then another list, and so on into infinity. Usually, the newly requested docs had already been supplied and misplaced, but sometimes not. Four months into the process, they requested a full building evaluation. In a post quake city, you can only imagine how hard it is to get one of those in a timely manner.  Did I mention that this was for one pipe?  Right.  

It does not surprise me that the council lost their license to issue consents. I was gobsmacked though when a councillor told the media she didn't see it coming.  0_0   Does she wear earmuffs at work?  I spoke to the consents department maybe five times (the rest was emails) and in those conversations was told twice that deficient communication was a known issue between and within departments.   At the beginning of the year one guy let slip that they had nearly failed an important audit. I think that when workers openly admit 'it's not you; it's us', the problem must be severe. Rather than trying to cover their arses, the consent department have been letting it all hang in the breeze for quite some time. And yet, the elected officials had 'no idea'.

The consent finally splatted down right in the middle of final university assessments and exams.  Of course it did.  That was a very stressful month.  All over now though.  I have passed through the cleansing fire of council karma, wiser, stronger, and wondering:  

 - for this, I pay my taxes?

Rant over.


With the return of something like a normal workload, I've rediscovered my cooking juju. The Thai Orchid may suffer from a downturn in business, but otherwise, this is positive. Last night I experimented with a citrus chicken dish and, as sayeth the Lord, it was good.

For the printable version with ingredient list etc.: CLICK HERE.  For the cooking by intuition instructions, read on.

I used boneless chicken thighs, but you could use breasts, or drumsticks. It would work with any chicken bits.  

* Brown the seasoned chicken, both sides, in a fry pan. 
* Remove the chicken and place in an oven dish

* To the same fry pan, add onion, chicken broth, white balsamic vinegar and thyme (fresh or dried, up to you)

Being that I'm a fan of shortcuts, my 'broth' involved water and half a (Massell, gluten-free) chicken stock cube. I mixed it in the pan.  My kitchen, my methods.

* Let that bubble away until it starts to reduce a bit.

* Turn down the heat then add the juice and rinds of four mandarins. Pour the contents of the fry pan over the chicken and slow bake for about an hour. Check it now and then and stir it so that all the chicken is coated in the sauce.

This is really nice served on mashed kumara or parsnip, but also good with a salad.

This is delicious and ticks the paleo, lower carb and gluten-free boxes.

Next up, I think I have to weigh in on the Omega-3 / prostate cancer correlation.  I just want to do a bit of fact checking first, and from the facts I've seen so far, I'm not sure I'll be spouting anything as exciting what the media is currently spewing forth.  Not even close.  Prepare yourselves for a sigh and a shrug. 



  1. Yum! I love the sound of this... the chicken I mean, not your dodgy council. :/

    1. Yeeeah...... the council :-/ One wonders how the rebuild is progressing so speedily..

      ..oh .. wait...

  2. Sorry to hear of the ongoing sagas with CCC, that would have been a total nightmare for you!

    The chicken recipe sounds fab! I love that type of dish! I made Thai fish cakes for the first time last night, absolutely delish....and I upped the lime rind used in the recipe, (and added lime juice to the mix)! They were eaten by us before I remembered about a photo!

    1. Citrus really adds that extra 'something'. Also.. it's good for your cholesterol levels. ;)

  3. Honora11:12 pm

    Well, the CCC aren't govt yet but I'm sure if Gerry Brownlie has his way they soon will be - like Ecan! Not looking forward to our own strife with EQC. It's yet to begin but will be inevitable. I said to Frank, "I'm not going to get f---king stressed over it". yeah, right.

  4. Bloody council! I can see why Bob Parker is stepping down. He has had enough I bet.
    The chicken dish sounds lovely.
    Pills... have put off starting them until my next blood test (this coming week) on the request of my Doctor. He wanted me to wait and see what my next blood test results were like. I said OK.
    If nothing has changed I will take the pills you supplied. If things have changed, I will re-evaluate what to do.


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.