Lime and Garlic Chicken and…A Miracle

Remember how Arabella had to go out and get another piercing to aid in her recovery from a broken heart?  And she rang me and said, ‘Mum, I’ve got some news?’  And I said, ‘Did you go and get another piercing?’  Because when Arabella phones to say she has ‘some news’, it usually means she’s been studded with another piece of metal.  Then Arabella said, ‘Yes, I did, mum’, and I said, ‘Well that better not be on your face’.

Garlic and Lime Chicken

Lime and Garlic Chicken

And then she walked in through the front door and yes, she’d had her nose pierced.  Carl and I didn’t like it.  And I know a lot of you have a pierced nose but Arabella has been asked to join a modelling agency and they have specifically said, ‘No piercings’ and what Indians do in India doesn’t have to be emulated by Aussie girls in Australia.

Bar-be-cued chicken with saffron rice

Bar-be-cued chicken with saffron rice

But Arabella thought Carl and I likening her new look to that of someone about to don a sari was laughable and continued to wear a stud through her nose.  The stud wasn’t too bad, especially if I was standing on her right side because I couldn’t see it and I could pretty much forget that the solution to the broken heart event had ever taken place.  But then there was transition from the stud to a nose ring and try as we did, she wouldn’t go back to the stud.  ‘I’ve lost it’, she’d say.

‘Well get another one’.

‘I can’t.  I don’t have any money.’

‘Well you had enough money to go out and buy a bull ring’.

‘It’s not a bull ring’.

‘It sure looks like a bull ring’.

‘Well can you give me some money to buy another stud?’

‘Arabella; I’m not funding your piercings’.

‘Then I’ll just have to wear the ring’.  And that ring through her nose really did look most unattractive but you have to pick your battles, don’t you, and seeing as she has now enrolled in uni and is doing a double degree, I thought we’d be best to just try and overlook her new image and trust it was a passing phase.

I added some freshly chopped chilli - optional!

I added some freshly chopped chilli – optional!

But then a miracle.  Arabella works at a club where the function room can be hired out privately.  Recently Arabella was scheduled to work at a private function and can you believe, Carl had been hired to sing with a few musicians and I’d been invited as a guest.  So we all arrived separately and as soon as I walked in I looked for Arabella.  And there she was looking so attractive and pretty except for that bloody bull ring through her nose.

_B1I8030aI mingled with the guests and then after the pass-around food and following the speeches, Carl started singing and the band started playing and they were performing songs from the 50’s and 60’s.  Everyone was up dancing except for me because my partner was otherwise occupied so I watched the proceedings from a corner of the room.  One of the guests felt sorry for the wall flower leaning against a pole so came and grabbed my hand and led me onto the floor.  After a few spins and twirls he said to me, ‘You have a very attractive daughter; she’s just gorgeous’.

‘Thank you’, I said.

‘But she needs to get rid of that ring through her nose’.

‘I know, I know.  We’ve told her.  But she had a broken heart and that was what she had to do to get over it apparently.’

‘I was talking to her earlier.  She’s so articulate and intelligent.  She’s got so much great stuff going on but that ring just doesn’t look right on her.  Is she still grieving the ex-boyfriend’.

‘Not at all’, I answered as he spun me around and I did a few more twirls, ‘She’s got a new boyfriend’.

‘What’s he like?’

‘He doesn’t have a tattoo from the neck up.’

‘Oh’, he groaned, ‘I bet she keeps you on your toes.  Anyway, I told your daughter she’s stunning and that she’s got so much going for her except for the bull ring’.

‘What did she say?’

‘She laughed and said, ‘You’re so like mum and dad’.’

The next day, we were sitting with Arabella in the sun and we told her what my dance partner had said.  She threw her head back hysterically and said, ‘He’s so nice; I really like him; he told me to get rid of it, too’.  And then she started talking about a leather jacket she really wants for this winter.  Said she’d be freezing at uni without it.  Without missing a beat, her father said, ‘If I buy you that leather jacket will you take out the nose ring?  Permanently?’

‘All I have to do to get the leather jacket is take out my nose ring?’ she said all excited.

‘Yes’, said her father.

‘Oh, that’s too easy.  I’ll do it’.


At the moment the ring is still in because we haven’t as yet produced the jacket.  But when it appears, we will be on the other side of the nose piercing phase and I think we can assume that Arabella’s heart is completely mended.

Arabella is on a no-carb, no sugar, no fat, no wheat, no dairy diet.  (I don’t think I’ve missed any exclusions).  She likes this chicken dish but she passes on the rice.

A low-carb, low sugar, no fat, no gluten, no dairy, dish!

A low-carb, low sugar, no fat, no gluten, no dairy, dish!

Lime and Garlic Chicken

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Everything’s affordable except for the saffron (you can always substitute tumeric and you’ll get the colour but not the flavour).

  • 1 tbspn white peppercorns
  • 1 tbspn sea salt flakes
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 coriander roots and stems, thoroughly washed
  • 4 tbspns lime juice (substitute lemon juice if limes not available)
  • 1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into thirds (or halves if breasts are smaller)

In a mortar and pestle pound peppercorns until severely crushed.  Add salt, garlic and coriander and pound to a paste.  Add lime juice and stir to combine.  (I added some finely chopped chilli because I’d harvested some from my garden).

Heat the bar-be-cue and add chicken.  Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side over medium heat then turn a cook for a couple more minutes.  Baste with marinade ingredients.

For the Rice:

  • 60gms butter
  • brown onion, finely chopped
  • 500g basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tspn salt

In a rice cooker, melt butter.  (If you don’t have a rice cooker, just cook in a saucepan using the absorption method).  Add onion and cook until softened.  Add rice and stir until well coated in the butter and onion mixture.  Stir in chicken stock, saffron and salt, then close the lid of the rice cooker and press the ‘cook’ button.

Serve the chicken decorated with some coriander leaves, the saffron rice and some steamed greens or salad.



  1. I had a nose ring once…it lasted 24 hours. Some noses just aren’t meant to be pierced 🙂

  2. Oh boy bribery sure gets expensive as they grow. Lollies turn into x box games, turn into leather jackets. What will it be in their thirties? Perhaps a house and land package.
    I have so much to look forward to.

  3. I feel for you. My teen wants a belly button ring. I can hold her off until she’s 18 then all bets are off.

    • Been there, done that! She got one of those before the nose ring. It’s been a few years and she still has it. I admire that you can hold your daughter off until she’s 18 – I had the same rule and I just don’t know what happened!

  4. Beautiful photographs and seems so delicious… Thank you, love, nia

  5. I always feel a bit wary when I hear of no-everything diets but I’ll trust and hope that it is a fad like the piercings and tattooed boyfriends and other dramas you surf in your household! That does seem like an easy trade off, and I bet you were very pleased indeed with your dancing guest 🙂

  6. I had to go through a tongue piercing with mine. Now she’s an ad exec and doing great. Those battles are not fun or easy! Great recipe!

  7. Good call. However, if Arabella ends up joining the modeling agency, I would just let the agents tell her to take out the nose ring, which would save you and Carl the jacket!

  8. When I read your posts they make me laugh, cry and frighten me as I am at the cusp of the teenage years with my boys. You give me courage for what lies ahead in our parenting roles. I am sure that the no carbs, no fat and no sugar thing is also like a fad, like the nose ring, but this fad I would love. Your chicken looks marvelous and juicy.

  9. I had my nose pierced (with a piercing gun) as a 20 year old when I went to live in California – far away from my disapproving parents. When I came back to Australia a few years later, I needed to have a cosmetic surgeon remove the red and lumpy keloid scarring that the piercing caused when it became infected. Cut to a year or so later when I visited Asia and after admiring many nose piercings, decided that it would be a good idea for a local Indian gentleman in Malaysia to pierce the other side of my nose by pushing a very sharp stud through it as I sat there gasping and wondering whether it really had been a good idea to have it done in such an authentic way……… A year later I was back at the cosmetic surgeon, once again having the keloid scarring removed. He took a long look at me and then glanced at the name on my file. He remarked that he had treated a young lady who looked very much like me with a similar name, but he knew that it wouldn’t have been me because I surely would have been too intelligent to have gone and done such a silly thing all over again….
    I still think that nose piercings are attractive on some people, but the two tiny scars on either side of my nose are there to remind me that they’re not for everyone. I’d actually probably prefer a new leather jacket come to think of it. 🙂

  10. Trust me, not all girls in India pierce their noses. My Dad hated it, and though it used to customary for all females to have their noses pierced in earlier times, my Dad’s generation did away with it. Now it ONLY for fashion, and it is not really as popular anymore. My hubs has always wanted me to pierce my nose, but I have always chickened out, so far. The chicken looks lovely!

  11. I don’t care for piercings or tattoos, on men or women, frankly so I’m staying out of the whole discussion. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to the weather getting warm enough to barbecue outside and if I substitute parsley or basil for the coriander in the marinade would love to throw a few chicken breasts on it. As to the saffron … not THAT expensive barring the initial investment, which is still well under $10 CDN for a small container and worth having it in the house for other dishes.

  12. Haha, well at least you know how to bribe your children into doing things 😉 This chicken sounds simple, healthy and delicious!

  13. It definitely is true that you need to pick your battles! Maybe she’s decided that she doesn’t like the ring that much after all but doesn’t want to concede it…with the leather jacket deal being the perfect out for her. 😛

  14. I was always told to get a nose piercing…I hated them and said no. I still have no interest in getting my nose pierced. My daughter, she’s 12, wants hers done….I said no. I will try to hold that off till 18. My 18 yr old decided to get her belly button done way back and didn’t tell me. When I found out…well. Needless to say…that piercing was left to close up. But then she got those awful stretchy ear things that make your ear piercings the size of grape fruits. **sigh** it’s a never ending battle. I have learnt that bribery really does work wonders…from7 yr olds to 18 yr olds. I just hope I don’t have to do that when they are in their 30’s and 40’s!
    The chicken looks lovely Charlie. Love the rice too.


  15. A nose or tongue piercing. No, thank you. I would have bribed with a leather jacket, too.

  16. Funny story. I know I gave my parents fits when I was a kid, although back then fashions didn’t include face jewelry, tattoos, etc. I’d take plenty of pictures of Arabella – and save them for when she’s about 20 years older. You might end up getting the last laugh. 😉 Nice recipe, but really fun story.

  17. Kids, gotta love them…Sometimes you wanna throttle them, but you always love them, no matter what!! 🙂 This chicken looks so good, and there is something about lime that I am in love with!!

  18. Great story. My son came home at age 15-ish with a dragon tattoo on his back. We had forbidden tattoos until he was 18. So much for that. But at least I can’t usually see it and at 23, he hasn’t gotten any more, though there was talk of an om sign on his ankle–rather like wearing a sari and a nose ring for Arabella. I didn’t know Carl sang as well. This must be where Archie gets that talent! Nice, easy recipe as well–looks light and refreshing and perfect for the warm weather we are having.

  19. I say be grateful it was never the actual through-the-middle-of-the-nose bullring. Though, funnily enough, it’s interesting how much you stop seeing such piercings when the rest of the person is attractive to you… but I digress.

    However, Arabella’s current diet makes me sadface. Ah well. Each to their own!

    P.S. Hurrah for all the uni entrance turmoil being over!

  20. Here’s hoping Carl gets the leather jacket soon then. Fab recipe, can’t wait to give it a try.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  21. Good compromising! I’ve had my nose pierced for 10 years and some people I’ve know for nearly that long don’t even know it (its tiny). I’m glad she got over her broken heart.

  22. It’s going to cost Carl a leather jacket to get the nose ring out? Goodness, funding Arabella’s unpiercings is proving more expensive than funding the actual piercings. 🙂 Can’t say I’m a big nose ring fan – I always worry they’re going to catch on something and you’ll end up like Jack Nicholson in China Town.. 😉

  23. I LOVE how your husband got her out of that hahahaah and the recipe is mouthwatering!

  24. Lol she sure does keep you busy, your daughter. Hmmmm I think I’ll comment on the wonderful recipe and leave the matter of the piercings alone ( says the person with 8 ear piercings). Lovely flavours and great pairing with the saffron rice.Yum.

  25. Well it’s not good that Carl has to pay for a leather jacket but I think if means no piercing in Arabella’s face then it’s for the best! I have my ears pierced but apart from that I really don’t like them. My sister had a bellybutton ring and I can’t even look at it!
    What exactly can she eat on this regime? At least her lovely mother cooks delicious food like this!

  26. Good trade. I got into the nose ring conversation at a party one night and opening stated ‘nose rings look cheap and whorish’ only to have the person next to be say ‘I have a nose ring!’. ooops

  27. In my family, Charlie, the facial hardware disappeared when the individual needed to find a job that didn’t involve a grill or espresso machine. Hang in there.
    This chicken dish sounds like a winner. It’s not hard to prepare, your marinade is very flavorful, and cooking the chicken on the grill will add even more flavor to the dish. Who needs gluten? 😉

  28. Quick thinking Dad! The only good thing about piecings they can be removed with little or no damage – thank goodness.

  29. Ah, the stories that flow out of your lively household. I am with you on anything through the nose – it just looks wrong and a bit gucky. Dario had a stud put through the cartilage part of his ear. Three doses of antibiotics later, the stud is out and the ear is still swollen. What these kids do to themselves!
    I love the bribery. It always works a treat.

  30. Wow…your kids sure keep you on your toes!!! It’s great to see you have such a great sense of humor about it all 🙂 It could have been worse, she could have gotten a tatoo on her face!

  31. LOL oh dear! They all keep you on your toes don’t they! 😛

  32. This looks delish, will definitely give it a try tonight!

  33. Everydays a miracle with a teenager. So annoying when they do stuff like this. Still they have to express them selves and better this way than with alcohol and drugs ( like I did)

  34. Ugh, I have that all ahead of me…

  35. LMAO Oh I can recall very similar conversations with my parents. How talented is your family hun!!! xx

  36. I always wonder how nose piercings work out when one has a bad head cold. Yuck.

  37. Ok, so on a whim the other day I bought some saffron. NOW I know how to use it! 🙂 (By the way, I chose not to look at the price tag.)

  38. I’m yet to have the piercing battle but no doubt it’ll come. I’m just hoping that all the Glam Teens are just too squeamish! GG

  39. Oh dear I really hope Arabella will get rid of the nose ring soon 🙁 It really doesn’t suit her and she will look much better without the nose ring! Glad she’s willing to take it out even though it does require some bribing hehe I remember when I got my ears pierced a couple of times, my parents weren’t too happy about it either! xox

  40. Such a tasty recipe, lime adds a nice sweet tang! My sister has her nose pierced but a little stud that is barely noticeably, something she wears the hook and I don’t like it one bit.

  41. Arabella sounds like a handful. What a story! Keep us informed as to what happens when you produce the jacket. What a tasty and easy little chicken recipe! We’d love this dish in our house. Thanks!

  42. What a bargain indeed Charlie, worth every cent! I have told my girls though that once over 16 they can have up to two piercings in each ear, one nose stud, and dye their hair any color at all as long as they don’t get any tattoos. So far so good, I suppose that having a forty year old mum with bright dyed red hair and a weakness for beehive hair dos, 2 gong on for 3 earrings is enough to keep them on the straight and narrow 🙂
    I would like a big bowl of your curry please- and pass the rice!

  43. First, your chicken looks fabulous! And second, isn’t it nice that all of these crazy things our kids do are usually just temporary and can be resolved with just a bit of shopping bribery? I’ve been there and done plenty of bribing myself with our son over the years!

  44. You handled the nose ring situation perfectly. So glad a little bribe worked! Your chicken and rice both sound marvelous! Perfect for a week night meal 🙂 Happy weekend!

  45. I’ve always believed in bribery…but I call it “creative incentive” just to take the sting out of the words. I’d absolutely have done what Carl suggests. At least she didn’t get a tattoo on her beautiful face!! Oh my. I think I’m fortunate my kids are so much older now. When my son walked in with one simple tattoo on his shoulder (at 18) I couldn’t speak to him for a few days I was so upset. That’s nothing, nothing, nothing like today! 🙂 Fabulous chicken recipe…we haven’t started grilling quite yet, but I think it’s just about time! ox

  46. Mine did the eyebrow and tongue piercing. and she shaved her head for a while. The good thing is they outgrow it.

    This lime and garlic chicken is singing my song!

  47. Your chicken looks juicy and incredibly delicious.
    Excellent bribe idea, but whatever happened to the custom of gorging on chocolate ice cream to nurse a broken heart??

  48. Well handled!! Parenting teenagers is such a skill, pity they didn’t spend more time on that in the child birth and toddler classes. Love the chicken recipe though YUM!

  49. I have to say it may be hard to know who exactly has the bull by the ring or the nose…since she got a leather jacket out of the deal, LOL! I’m glad she’s tossed the ring. She is so beautiful without it!

  50. sounds like u need to produce the jacket soon! congrats for getting into uni doing a double degree

  51. Bull ring… haha! Can’t say I’ve ever been a fan (but then I’m a guy anyway). I’d always be terrified some prankster would run up and chain me to a fence. Could never have the courage to have a part of me pierced… sounds far too painful.

    Love the look of the chicken Charlie – lime is a great addition, although I think I’d have mine *with* the rice, unlike your daughter, as the rice looks delicious!

  52. Looks delicious and a recipe that even I could accomplish. Definitely trying this.

  53. Getting rid of a piercing for a leather jacket…a fair trade indeed (for you guys).

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