My ex girlfriend had just started a new diet, and I knew her fondness for spicy food, so I did a little bit of research to see if I could come up with something that would fill her up, plus also taste really good too. I had always wondered how Indian restaurants get their dishes to taste so lovely, I had made curries before and although mine did taste good, there always seemed to be something missing for me. I wanted something similar to a Dhansak, as I liked the idea of sticking lentils in the curry to bulk it up and also to promote satiety (Keep the hunger pangs at bay). I found a few recipes online and they were all really good, but they were also different in many ways, choices choices, which one do I go with?? I decided not to go with any of them. I proceeded to take the best parts from each recipe and add in my own ingredients and ways of doing things. The first curry I made was pretty good, then for added quickness one day, I decided to pre-cook the peppers and mushrooms and pureed the chick peas and for some reason it made all the difference, I had created as near to perfection that I was going to get. There is only myself and my daughter in my house, and she doesn't eat spicy food, so I found it was cheaper making a bulk load of curry and freezing it in the long tinfoil dishes (a nice size portion). The recipe below will fill 10 long tin foil dishes, it is really handy, as I just take one of them out the freezer the night before and it's just a case of heating it up in a pan, cooking some rice and serving.
==Mike's Indian Style Curry Recipe==
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Tumeric
3 Small Chillies (Finely chopped including seeds and fried in the pan you make the curry in)
4 Cloves Garlic (Finely Chopped
4 Chicken Breasts (Diced)
1 Bag Quorn Pieces
3 Peppers (Finely Diced and cooked in the pan you make the curry in)
1 Punnet Mushrooms (Quartered and pre cooked in the pan you make the curry in)
6 Medium Sized Potatoes (Cubed)
2 Chicken Stock Cubes (Make up to 1 Pint)
1 Small Carton of Passata
1 Small Tin of Tomato Puree
Bunch of Corriander
1/2 Pint Pineapple Juice
250 Gram Pre Cooked Lentils
1 can of Chick Peas (pre cook them, add a touch of water, and liquidize)
Salt to taste
3 Large Onions (Sliced, cooked in water then Liquidized)
Heat Oil, Fry Light, or Butter in a large pan, add in your Spice Mix and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring continuously, ensuring you don't burn the spice.
Add Chicken and brown it, then add Quorn, Corriander, Peppers, and Mushrooms, cook for 10 minutes.
Add Tomato Puree and mix through, add Pasata, Potatoes, Lentils, Chick Peas, and Onion Puree, and mix through.
Add 3/4 of the Pineapple Juice and the same in Chicken Stock and simmer for approximately 1 & 1/2 - 2 hours or until potatoes are soft, topping up with Chicken Stock, Pineapple Juice and Salt when necessary.
== Summary ==
To summarise, the preparation takes up the most amount of time and once all the ingredients are cooking, it is just a case of stirring it every now and again. I find the quorn and the potatoes really soak up a lot of the flavour and the consistency of the curry is similar to a dish you would get from an Indian restaurant. It is very tasty and full of flavour with totally fresh ingredients, I experimented by eating this for seven days in a row and I lost 4lb (I know eating it seven days in a row was a bit much, but I just wanted to see if it could help shift the pounds, I served it with a small portion of rice and a side salad). Any questions on the recipe or anything I have written here, please feel free to message me, also, if you have a play around with the ingredients and you feel you have come up with something better, then I would also like to know too, I still play around with it from time to time, I've added spinach to it etc.
If you're looking for a quick, simple but extremely delicious and impressive dish to serve to friends and family then look no further! It comes from my favourite ever cookbook (you know the one, every family has one, the book that all the old-school family favourite meals come from! In our case it's Mary Berry's Meat Cook Book - sadly now out of print and only available from charity shops or eBay) and so comes to you courtesy of Mary Berry via a couple of little tweaks by me and my mum.
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 x chicken breasts
12 closed cup mushrooms (although I always add more 'cos I love 'em!)
small can of condensed mushroom soup (295g)
small tub of double cream (150ml)
- Place chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish (my mum leaves hers whole but I like to cut mine up into bite size pieces as I think they stay more juicy and tender like this, the whole breasts can get a bit dry for my tastes).
- Sprinkle 4-5 teaspoons of paprika over the chicken (I started using normal paprika but have since switched to smoked paprika due to a shopping mistake but both are equally as nice...why not try half and half if you're feeling adventurous!).
- Cover the chicken with the mushrooms (I thickly slice mine, mum quarters hers, but again, either way works).
- In a small bowl combine the soup with the double cream then pour over the chicken and mushrooms. Add a decent grinding of black pepper - you can also add salt if you want, but I find that the salt from the soup is enough.
This can then either be kept in the fridge until later (it's so quick to make I do it in a morning before work so I just have to stick it in the oven when I get back) or can go straight into an oven pre-heated to 170 for about 40 minutes.
This is a really yummy dish anyway, but one of the things I like best is it's versatility. For a dinner with friends I tend to serve it with either roast or mashed potatoes and vegetables or for an easy midweek meal with the hubby it goes equally well with rice or as a jacket potato topping (another reason I prefer to chop the chicken into chunks rather than leave it whole).
Everyone that I've served it to always thinks it's a really difficult dish to make and must be really complicated because the cream and soup combination turns into a really thick creamy sauce during cooking and I have yet to serve it to anyone that doesn't devour every mouthful...even my incredibly fussy eater aunt who won't eat any "foreign muck" and definitely wouldn't knowingly eat paprika, hence why we didn't tell her what was in it the first time! And if you give this to anyone for dinner be prepared to have to copy the recipe for them :)
Whilst this dish wouldn't win any "weight loss" awards, the only really calorific thing in it is the cream, which can be justified (in my mind at least) by serving plenty of fresh vegetables to accompany it (steamed broccoli, leeks and green beans work for me), and if serving with mashed potato you can always use low fat creme fraiche in those rather than butter, to further ease your calorie-conscience!
Total cost for this dish for 4 people (excluding what I would consider to be store cupboard ingredients of paprika and black pepper) is:
Chicken breasts £4.00
Closed cup mushrooms £1.18
Condensed mushroom soup 95p (also available as a low fat version)
Double cream 65p
Total = £6.78 (prices taken from Tesco)
To me, chicken is probably the most versatile of meats, due to its delicate flavour that harmonises with other foods, rather than overpowers them.
Chicken isn't as cheap as it used to be, but if you check the meat counter at your local supermarket close to the end of the day when they are selling their short shelf life foods off at sometimes lower than half price, or if your regular supermarket's budget range is very good, then it's always worth picking up a pack of chicken breasts or similar without breaking the bank.
I thought I'd share three tried, trusted, economical and very edible chicken recipes. Each of the recipes below is designed to serve two people with hearty appetites, and the quantities of ingredients can be increased pro rata when cooking for more.
1. PAPRIKA CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE RICE
You will need.........
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small peeled & finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon of garlic puree
1 small tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
2 rounded tablespoons of paprika powder
1 vegetarian Oxo cube (crumbled)
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of ground nut oil (or you can use ordinary corn oil if wished)
1 teacup of basmati rice
2 teacups of water (use the same cup as for measuring the rice)
Half a small tin of pineapple (drained), cut into tiny pieces
In a large non-stick saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion until soft. Add the chicken pieces and continue to fry until browned. Then thoroughly stir in the tinned tomatoes, garlic puree, veggie Oxo cube, tomato puree and paprika. Bring to the boil, stir well, then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down to a very low simmer. Cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The paprika should, as it cooks, blend with the other ingredients to create a thick, rich sauce. If it gets too dry during the cooking process, add just a LITTLE water, stir well, bring back to the boil, then lower the heat again and continue to simmer as described.
To cook the rice : Place the rice in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan, together with the water and pineapple pieces. Bring to the boil without stirring, then stir just once, lower the heat to a medium simmer, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes. Then, keeping the lid on the pan, remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Remove the pan lid and fluff up the rice with a fork. Serve with the chicken mixture spooned on top.
2. CHICKEN, BACON, SWEETCORN & POTATO BAKE
You will need.........
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into small pieces
2 rashers of streaky bacon, finely chopped
A medium-sized (approx. 1oz) knob of butter or margarine
1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
2 large baking potatoes, peeled
1 medium-sized onion, peeled & roughly chopped
Cut the potato into medium-sized dice, then boil in water for about 10 minutes - drain well, and keep to one side. Heat the butter or margarine in a deep, non-stick frying pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the chicken pieces and the bacon pieces, and continue to fry until browned. In a deep oven-proof dish, mix the potatoes, chicken/bacon/onion mixture and the sweetcorn together. Tamp down slightly with a fork, then bake, uncovered, in a pre-heated very hot oven (about 220C) for 45 minutes. Serve with grilled or fried tomatoes and if liked, a fried egg and/or a few fried or poached mushrooms.....or, on its own!
3. OVEN BARBECUED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
6 chicken drumsticks (leave the skin on)
6 large tomatoes, blanched, de-cored, de-seeded and roughly chopped (throw the seeds/cores away)
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 flat tablespoon soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons of shredless marmalade
1 peeled & finely chopped onion
Using a sharp knife, make a few scores into the flesh of each chicken drumstick, then place them in an oven-proof dish. Mix together all the other ingredients thoroughly, and pour over the chicken drumsticks. Cover the dish with tin-foil or a clean tea-towel, and leave to stand in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Remove the covering from the dish containing the chicken and marinade, then cook near the top of a pre-heated very hot (as hot as it will go) oven for 45 minutes. The marinade should have baked dry, and the skin of the chicken should have a barbecued, slightly burnt appearance. Serve with jacket or boiled new potatoes and either green vegetables or a green salad.
I'm off to eat now as I've made myself hungry!
Thanks for reading!
We all know that it is possible to get several meals from a chicken and in these days of austerity, it makes good sense to use the whole chicken and not just pick out the best bits and leave the rest.
That said, most of us stick to the same old meals and seldom try something new. Now this isn't necessarily a new idea but if it's new to you, then give it a go and it will make a lovely change from a boring chicken sandwich.
You will need:
Green Pesto Sauce
Grated Cheese (Optional)
Firstly having stripped the chicken carcase, make sure you get off all the meat. We store ours in containers in the fridge for a couple of days or until we have used it all. Cut it into small pieces and pop into a small bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of green pesto sauce and mix.
Heat the chicken and pesto for a few seconds in the microwave to warm it through and spread it on one buttered half of a Panini (or just on a piece of bread if you prefer). I always add a little grated cheese on top but this is optional. Pop on the other side of the Panini, cut in in two and pop each half into a toastie bag for toasting - unless you've got one of those fancy presses.
Toast as normal. Share it with your loved one if you must or wait until he/she is out and have it all to yourself.
I reckon this tasty snack can be made for an all-in cost of less than a pound and it will taste just as nice as lots of those fancy ones that they charge a fortune for when you're out and about.
Simple and tasty!
I'm a lover of cooking, and a good pie is something I like to do when I have a couple of hours to cook. This pie serves four people and really is delicious, it's something I just made up on a Sunday afternoon, however it is a pretty standard dish!
For the Pastry:
220g Plain Flour
A Pinch of Salt
Water to Mix
For the Filling:
4 Chicken Breasts (a full chicken can be used but I'm a bit lazy!)
8 Rashers of Smoked Bacon
20 Closed Cup Mushrooms
1 White Onion
1 250g Tub of Creme Fraiche
Salt and Pepper to Taste
To Make the Pastry (Shortcrust):
Add the butter to the flour in a bowl and crumble between your fingers to create a breadcrumb consistency, do this high above the bowl to add air.
Add a pinch of salt to the mixture.
Add a dash of water at a time to bring the mix together, once the pastry is smooth, shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and pop it into the fridge.
To Make The Filling:
Dice and fry off in a little oil the onion and mushroom.
Fry off bacon in a pan until it crisps slightly, chop and add to the mushrooms and onions.
Chop the chicken into fairly big chunks and also add this into the mix.
In a small saucepan, add the creme fraiche on a low light adding cooled vegetable stock and whisking.
Once these are mixed add into the main mixture and cook on a low light for about 20 minutes.
Add all the meat and vegetables into a large ceramic dish, adding cornflour to the sauce if it needs it and then pouring it over.
Roll out your pastry to fit your dish, and pop it on top cutting a couple of holes to allow the steam to be released so your pastry doesn't go soggy.
Serve with potatoes and veg for a family meal.
This is a very easy recipe that takes little preparation time and can be left all day for the flavours to develop and for the meat to fall away from the bone. It is also very cheap especially if you look for chicken on offer. The only requirement is though for this method is that you have a slow cooker.
Put the chicken thighs (preferably) /drum sticks into the bottom of the slow cooker allowing two for each portion.
Chop and add the following on top of the chicken (to serve four); 2 onions, 1 sweed, 2 parsnips, 2 carrots and 4 medium sized potatoes.
Add some salt, pepper, mixed herbs and if available a bay leaf.
Finally add half a pint of chicken stock
Put the slow cooker on for about 8 hours and in the last hour check the chicken is no longer pink and falling off the bone. Once this happens taste the stock and adjust the flavour with salt, pepper, sugar and herbs.
This can be served on its own as it contains all the ingredients for a healthy meal. Alternatively instead of adding the potatoes into the slow cooker they can be left out and cooked in other ways such as wedges or jacket potatoes.
Other vegetables can be used as well but it is ideal to have some kind of root vegetable to give sweetness to the meal.
Preparation time: 30mins
Cooking time: 8hours
Price: as little as £5 depending on quality of meat used
Be warned that this review is talking about DARK MEAT, and is written from someone who LOVES DARK MEAT! Breast meat is OK, but there's really nothing like the juiciness and taste inherent to a good drumstick. I usually make this using the 12-pack of drumsticks from Waitrose on a Sunday afternoon, and then work my way through the meat through the rest of the week - it's great cold in salads, or warm in pastas, or just on its own with some mashed potatoes.
- Drumsticks - bone in and skin on!
- All-purpose Flour (I usually find two big heaped tablespoons are enough)
- Garlic (I go crazy here - 6 or 7 cloves)
- 6 or 7 cherry tomatoes (or 2 regular-sized tomatoes)
- 3 or 4 new potatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180d Fahrenheit. Throw in your roasting pan, with a good slog of olive oil, so it can get good and hot.
I like to get all the non-chicken ingredients ready, so I don't have to worry about washing my hands until the very end. This means washing the new potatoes and cutting them into quarters or 1/8ths, depending on their original size - it's really up to you. If I'm using cherry tomatoes, I'll halve them - and I like keeping those two ingredients of a similar size. So that should give you a good idea of what I'm talking about.
If the garlic cloves are big (which I love!!), then I'll only halve them. But if they're a little small, then I'll keep them whole.
Season your flour - salt and pepper to taste!
Take your drumsticks with some tongs and roll them around in the flour (the tongs mean you don't really have to go crazy with washing your hands later! But you can always use your hands if you want). Make sure the entire drumstick is covered in flour - the flour will cook up really nice, and give the skin a nice crunch. Set aside when done.
When the oven is nice and hot, take the roasting pan out. Take each drumstick and before you lay it to rest in the tray, roll it around in the olive oil first, so that even the side that isn't resting against the pan gets covered in oil. Repeat for all other drumsticks.
Before you pop the tray back in, throw in the potatoes, the garlic, and throw on some more olive oil. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, throw the tomatoes in, and turn the chicken over. Cook for 30 minutes more.
When finished cooking, feel free to serve straight away. To store for the rest of the week, I'll keep some of the drumsticks intact (i.e. still on the bone), and I'll shred the meat from the rest (to make it easier to stir into pasta or throw onto salads).
this is lovely dish and proper home made cooking well there's nothing better! just make sure you don't add too much red wine vinegar
175g/6oz Puy lentils
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
10 rashers smoked streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small celery sticks, finely chopped
2 large handfuls fresh chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
dash red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
For the duck
4 wild duck breasts
knob of butter
1. Place the lentils and the bay leaves into a pan and cover with cold water. Bring them to the boil, then drain. Refill the pan with cold water to just above the level of the lentils. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Add more water if the level falls below the lentils.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until just beginning to colour.
3. Add the shallots, carrots, garlic and celery and fry until the vegetables are soft and the shallots are golden-brown.
4. Add the chanterelles and cook for one minute.
5. Drain the cooked lentils, then return to the pan they were cooked in. Add the bacon and mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Season, to taste, with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add a dash of red wine vinegar and cook over a low heat for five minutes.
7. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and stir in the chopped parsley.
8. For the duck, using a sharp knife, finely score the skin of duck breasts in parallel lines, then season well with salt.
9. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the duck breasts skin-side down and place a small plate on top so the breasts stay flat and cook evenly. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown, then turn the duck breasts over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for five minutes.
10. To serve, spoon equal portions of the lentils onto four plates. Slice each duck breast and arrange over each portion of lentils.
I enjoy a good home cooked meal, and my wok pan is my favourite thing to cook in as the food always smells so nice wafting around the house!
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large red pepper, cut into squares
1 medium red onion, cut in thin slices
1 large broccoli spear, chopped up
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon chilli pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small can water chestnuts, drained
Cut chicken into cubes. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce.h. Toss to coat chicken. In a small bowl, combine broth, chilli pepper flakes and remaining soy sauce.
In a large wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is opaque. Transfer chicken to plate. Add remaining oil, pepper, onion, broccoli, garlic and stir fry until onion starts to wilt. Add water chestnuts and chicken. Add broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until the vegetables are tender-crisp, the chicken is done and the sauce has thickened a bit.
Serve over rice. I like to use brown rice.
Chicken and leek pie - I usually make this so I can get approx 9 pie portions (2/3 of which will be child size) and shove what I'm not going to eat into the freezer. This is really quick and easy to make and packed full of filling unlike supermarket pies which I always find disappointing
4 chicken breasts - £4 asda
2/3 leeks - Aldi dirt cheap!
Double cream 1 pot I go for Elmlea
Jus roll puff pastry ready to roll - Just over £
Garlic - A clove or 2 if you like it garlicy
English grainy mustard
Onion - red or white x 1
pepper x 1
On the side:
Peel your potatoes and cut
Pre heat oven to gas mark 6
Dice the chicken in to bite size chunks
slice the leeks
Dice your onion or two
cut up 2 cloves of garlic
Roll out your pastry
Put a pan of water on to boil
Throw the onion and garlic in a pan, when they have slightly browned add the chicken, once the chicken is cooked add the leek, then over the pan grate some ginger and add the mustard, then add the full pot of elmlea cream. At this stage you could also add some white wine to add flavour if you like wine in your food. Taste, add pepper to season
Leave for 5 minutes then place the whole mixture into a pyrex dish and place your pre rolled pastry out over the top (I don't cover the base in pastry as really a top layer is enough and it is just unnecessary extra calories.
Pop in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes - you will know when it is ready as the pastry will be golden.
Place the potatoes in the pan of boiling water for 20 minutes then mash
Slice your cabbage up and boil.
Serve on a plate with gravy if thats your preference
I would also suggest as we're coming into the season where the veg we have planted in our garden is hopefully going to produce to add some freash peas from your garden, just throw them in while you are browning the garlic and onion
Tastes delicious but now everyone keeps asking me to make pie!
Chicken Balmoral and Roast Potatoes
This is my all time favourite chicken dish and somewhat of a speciality for myself. Its basically chicken stuffed with haggis and tastes delicious. Its relatively simple to make as well.
Ingredients (to make 2 servings):
2 Chicken breasts
1/4 - 1/2 Haggis (depends on size of chicken breasts and how much you can stuff in)
6 Rashers of bacon (optional)
1. Usually I would prepare the potatoes first. This recipe probably goes better with mash potatoes but I prefer roast potatoes. First of all I pour some oil into a flat ceramic dish (about 4/5 inches deep) and then stick it in the over at 200c to heat the oil up. While the oil is being heated I peel and cut the potatoes into smaller bits and par-boil them for roughly 5-10 mins until they go soft and floury. One way to test this is to run a fork over the outside and if it breaks away then they're ready. Then put the potatoes into the hot oil from the over and sprinkle with salt. These usually take roughly 30-45 mins depending on how crispy you like them.
2. Next step I would take the 2 chicken breasts and slice them longways down the side to create a 'flap'. I would then take the haggis and role it up into a sausage shape and stuff it into the flap. I would then cover the flap back up and secure in place with cocktail sticks. Another option would be to wrap the chicken up in bacon to secure it but I tend not too as there is so many flavours going on I think the bacon can overpower the haggis and chicken. I would then place these chicken breasts into a dish, sprinkled with oil so they don't stick and cover the dish with foil and bake in the over for about 30 mins.
3. While everthing is cooking I would boil water and steam the green beans for around 5 mins.
4. To finish off I usually just buy in peppercorn sauce as I love the Lloyd Grossman peppercorn sauce as its got amazing flavours and gives a nice spicy kick to the dish. This only required to be heated up so can be heated up on the hob for 3-5 mins. The basic ingredients to make the peppercorn sauce yourself is double cream, black and green peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce and a splash of brandy so not too difficult but I find it easier to buy the sauce in.
This creates a perfect dish and presented looks amazing with all the different colours. Its not too difficult to make only that it can be quite time consuming.
A traditional Teesside take away, the "Parmo" as we call it, short for a Parmesan. If you buy it in a take away there are several types: Pork Parmesan, Chicken Parmesan, Hot shot Parmesan (with pepperoni, jalepenos and salami), Kiev Parmesan (with garlic butter).
To be honest you can have pretty much anything you want on it as long as it will fit?!
The basic break down of a parmesan...
One chicken breast, battered and breadcumbed, Topped with Bechamel sauce and Cheese. Simple? Now i will take you through the easy way of knocking one up
Prep time - 20mins
Cooking time - 15mins
Average Price - Already having the basics in is a bonus i.e butter, milk, eggs, flour etc.
The chicken should cost around £3/4 for 4 decent chicken breasts, breadcrumbs are £0.64 from Asda or '2 for £1.'
I'd comfortably say you can make 4 Parmesans for under £8 that is with none of the basics already in. Which isn't bad considering a small one (half chicken breast) will set you back £5.00 from a take away? So this will save you about £3 per person, more if you already have ingredients in!
I will base this on a family of 4....
4 chicken breasts
Cheese (i prefer to use mild cheddar but adjust this to taste)
Garlic Puree (again to taste not a necessity)
1. Firstly put you milk on a medium heat bring to the boil and then leave it to simmer normally about 30 mins.
2. Sieve 1 ½ cup full of plain flour into a decent sized mixing bowl. Melt 50g of butter and add to the flower
3. Prepare chicken, ensure all fat, veins and blood are sliced off and wash. Place in a bag and bash (with anything handy) until it is flat. Although not too flat because you want a bit of meat!
4. Break eggs into a bowl and pour onto a plate. Place your battered chicken onto the plate and ensure it is covered wholly both sides with the egg.
5. Lay out your bread crumbs onto a plate, after dipping the chicken place onto the plate with breadcrumbs. Turning and patting to make sure the chicken is covered with the breadcrumbs.
6. Have a pan on medium heat with a good tablespoon of oil in and heat through, place chicken into the pan and shallow fry until chicken is white throughout.
7. Add your boiled milk to the flour and butter and begin to stir immediately because it will just go like gunk it not!! If it appears to thick add water to thin it out, but this sauce is suppose to rather thick so don't worry! Once at a nice consistency leave to one side. (It is at this point i would add the garlic puree and mix in with the sauce.)
8. Once all your chickens are fried and cooked, you want to spread the sauce on top of the chicken. As much as required but only one side is to be covered. It can be quite rich so be warned!
9. Once this is done you want your grill on, and cheese grated. Place enough cheese to cover the sauce on the chicken, but bare in mind the cheese melts so not too much!!
10. Place under the grill until cheese is melted and is a nice brown colour.
In a bun
All these compliment the great Teesside Parmo!
I was sorting through my recipes recently and though that I haven't posted a recipe in a while so here is one of my favourite ways to enjoy a nice bit of chicken! My mum calls it Moroccan chicken. My husband on the other hand calls it Hooverbag chicken on account of the fact that "it looks like you have emptied the contents of a hooverbag"
But please don't let that put you off!! It looks and tastes gorgeous and he is totally unenlightened about these things! Nevertheless the name has stuck, so here is "Hooverbag Chicken"
2 oz margerine
2 finely chopped onions
1 tbsp turmeric (careful it stains!)
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
2 whole chickens cut into 8 pieces
The juice of 1 lemon (I actually use the lemon rind cut into smallish pieces but that's optional)
8 fl oz (250 mls chicken stock)
125g dried apricots
1 tin chick peas, rinsed
2 tbsp flaked almonds
handful of fresh parsley
Melt the margerine in heavy pan over medium-low heat and add onion and all the spices.
Stir till onions very soft (for around 10 minutes on a low heat).
Add chicken pieces, lemon juice, stock, apricots and chick peas - bring to simmering point. *add the lemon rind if you are using at this point*
Cover and put in a preheated oven on 180 degrees (gas mark 4) for an hour and a half - 2 hours
Garnish with a handful of fresh parsley and 2 tbsp flaked toasted almonds.
I like to serve this with a really fresh green salad - due to the chick peas it's quite a filling dish, but I'm sure a few potatoes wouldn't go a miss!
So there you go - hopefully a lot more enjoyable than an actual hooverbag :) x
+All about a Duck+
Ahh what memories of visiting the local park as a child, accompanied by silver haired grandparents, clutching a bag of sliced stale bread.
Well not really, im Italian, In Italy, if something moves and isn't illegal to kill, it invariably gets shot, and eaten. (Sad but true, Rudolph, Blitzen, Prancer and Co., do have to adorn armour plating when flying Santa over Italy).
So for me at least, Ducks mean only one thing.
Thats right, Bang Bang. A delicious meal!
However, far from being the overly fatty, complicated to cook bird, that many of the TV chefs used to have us believe. If you can roast a chicken, you CAN roast a duck. It really is very simple.
Although it is fair to say you get pound for pound less meat, than from a comparable sized bird, of chicken or turkey. What you do get is two insanely delicious dark coloured breast meats, which are both dense, and immensely rich tasting.
You also get some rather nice legs and thighs with succulent meat, some equally tasty wings, and the best tasting crispy skin in the world. Think, a million times better than the stuff you get from a Chinese, and you will be there.
If this was not enough though, during the cooking process a fair amout of fat comes out, which can be strained through muslin cloth, cooled and then stored in the freezer, and will result in the worlds most delicious roast potatoes for months on end, as you only need a little. In fact it is equally as good as goose fat.
So what type of duck do I recommend. Well as far as im concerned the Gressingham Duck is the best. It is a result of breeding wild Mallards, which are the ones you commonly see in parks, the males of which have green faces, and domesticated white ducks. This hybrid produces a slow growing, large breasted duck (no smutty comments please), with a relatively favourable meat to fat ratio compared to other types.
Also at the time of writing Tesco are selling fresh Gressingham Ducks at a reduced price, and a decent sized one will come in at £6-8, which will easily feed 6 people. Offer ends 11th November! Great value!
+Lets Roast the Duck!+
First of all, forget about even thinking about roasting your potatoes or carrots, alongside your duck. It would be a bad idea! Ducks do during the cooking process render out a fair amount of fat. Not as much as you'd think, but enough to drown your roasties! So don't go there!
Another fantasy to forget about is stuffing, in the traditional sense, of shoving it all in the hole (so to speak). As vile as it sounds, the only place to insert your stuffing, is into the ample neck area, and tucking it all away under the skin. This prevents the stuffing from becoming to fat soaked, and allows the heat from the oven to penetrate the cavity!
Now we have that out the way, here is how you do it.
A whole prepared duck, (surprisingly)
3 inch piece of Root Ginger, peeled,
3-4 cloves of Garlic,
A sprig of Thyme,
1 Onion Sliced thinly,
4 apples cored, sliced into quarters.
A pinch of salt, and some Olive oil,
A roasting baster, (looks like a large pippette)
A suitable deep sided roasting tin,
-Take your roasting tin, and into it place the Garlic, Thyme, Sliced onion, and the pieces of root ginger (cut it into a couple of smaller chunks first). Try to gather them around the centre, so that it acts as a base for the Duck to sit on.
-Next massage your Ducks skin with salt and olive oil, and gently lower your Duck onto the arranged ingredients, and if your going to be stuffing, put it all into the neck, and tuck it under the skin. At this time place the Apple quarters into the cavity of the Duck. These don't count as stuffing, before you point that out!, but are a delicious accompanient to the Duck. Trust me!
-Next pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5, (about 190), and arrange the shelves so that the duck will sit approximately in the middle of the oven, if it isn't a fan assisted one!
-Next place your Duck inside the oven, and every thirty minutes remove from the oven, and baste with the fats which are being released. Incidentally, remove most of the fat as you go along. Pass it through muslin and store for making roast potatoes later, and later weeks by freezing it.
- After 1 and a half hours reduce to Gas 4 (about 180), and continue to roast for an approximate baking time of 3 hours. The skin will be crackly, and dark tan, and the bones will seperate easily.
-Once happy, remove from the Oven, and let the duck sit for around 30 to 40 minutes to cool, before carving. If the skin is not crisp enough, carefully remove from breast area, and roast in the oven seperately until perfect. Roll it up, and cut it into ultra thin strips. Serve a few strips with each portion, along with a quarter or two of the baked apple.
This is delicious served with Roast potatoes (of course using the Ducks fat, which is just as good as Goose fat), Roasted Carrots, and Roast Pumpkin wedges. Lightly fried slices of Savoy cabbage, with crushed walnuts thrown in, are a nice accompanient to this also. Absolutely the whole thing has to be lathered in gravy, that goes without saying!
If you are organised and do it right, a large whole chicken will feed your family for 3 days. When you've finished your dinner don't throw any uneaten veg away - this will feed you again. It might not look nice but you really can get another tasty meal out of your uneaten Sunday dinner.
Day 1 will be the traditional roast chicken dinner on Sunday.
Day 2 will be leftovers in a bubble and squeak type format
Day 3 will be chicken curry
There will also be chicken sandwiches for at lunch time totalling to 4 meals.
Roast Chicken Dinner - tips for a tasty Roast Chicken
Brush olive oil all over the chicken and then squeeze half a lemon over the top and then put this inside the cavity.
Sprinkle herbs and salt and pepper over the oiled chicken. I use either, mixed herbs or the Italian Garlic seasoning.
In the roasting pan put a few cloves of unpeeled garlic and large chopped pieces of onion and place the chicken on top of these.
Cook it in the oven - refer to the packaging for timings and baste it a couple of times.
Serve with all the usual vegetables i.e., roast potatoes, carrot and Swede, broccoli and cauliflower etc and make sure you cook plenty to ensure decent leftovers.
Vegetable Tip: I use a 3-teir steam pan on the hob. I cook my carrot and Swede in the boiling water in advance so I can use the water for the gravy. Then, when its time to cook the vegetables (about 30 minutes before you want to eat) I start the carrot and Swede again with fresh water and steam the cauliflower on top of the carrots and add the broccoli for the last 10 minutes. If I am using cabbage - this only takes a few minutes to steam so I add this last.
Roast Potato tip: Par boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, drain and then put them back in the pan. Pour a dollop of sunflower oil and olive oil over the potatoes and shake the pan so all the potatoes are covered in oil. Pre-heat the roasting tray (don't oil the tray) in the oven and then empty the oiled potatoes into the hot tray. Turn your oven up high for the first 30-40 minutes to make them crispy and then turn down to gas 6, 200 to steady the cooking.
Gravy tip: I always cheat with gravy and use vegetable bisto. I follow the instructions on the gravy packet but use the carrot water and then add it to the pan. I take a clove of garlic that has been roasting away under the chicken and squeeze the mushy garlic out of its skin into the gravy and add the onions that were also roasting underneath the chicken. This makes the most delicious gravy.
Once we've had our Sunday dinner we strip the chicken down to its carcass and boil it in a pan of water to make a stock. We tend to keep the breast part for leftovers and sandwiches and the rest of the chicken for the curry.
Chicken bubble and squeak style
The day after the Sunday roast, we get all the leftovers out of the fridge and mix it up together. Instead of putting it in the frying pan to make bubble and squeak we put the chicken, gravy and veg into an oven proof dish and sprinkle cheese over the top and bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes. It's like a chicken vegetable gratin pie and it's really delicious. To make sure it doesn't go wrong you need to make sure you have included the gravy in the mixture to stop it from drying out. You may have had cheese sauce with your cauliflower - if you have any left then use this too as this adds to the taste.
Chicken Curry from the leftovers
Place the chicken carcass in a pan of water with salt and pepper and a couple of bay leaves and simmer for a couple of hours until you have a small amount of stock.
Peel and chop about 4 carrots, 2 onions and 2 potatoes and boil in the stock with some more water and some Swiss boullion powder. Also add 150 grams of red lentils and add 2/3 teaspoons of curry powder (more or less depending on taste) and a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Simmer until most of the water has gone and once cooled blend the mixture. You will have a nice tasty curry sauce. I then just add leftover chicken to this and serve it with rice.
If you cook this the day after you had your chicken dinner it will stay in your fridge for a couple of days and you can heat it up when you are ready to eat. Or, you can freeze it which is what I normally do.
The meatiest parts of a bird are the flight muscles on its chest, called breast meat, and the walking muscles on the first and second segments of its legs, called the thigh and drumstick respectively.