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Posts Tagged ‘Chicken’

Sweet & Sour Crunchy Coated Pork (or Chicken, or Turkey)

September 24, 2009 2 comments

Sweet & Sour Turkey

Returning, once more, to Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy, this is the first meal I cooked from the book. Everyone loves sweet & sour, no? So, this is my adaption of this recipe, and I think the crunchy coated meat would work in a number of dishes, so I’ll post separately two ideas for a sweet & sour sauce.

Recipe adapted from Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy

Sweet & Sour Crunchy Coated Pork (or Chicken, or Turkey) (serves 2)

  • 2 pork loin steaks, fat removed, or 2 chicken breasts, or 2 turkey breast steaks
  • 6 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts, or the same amount of whole roasted soya beans and a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons ground nut oil

Place your meat between two sheets of clingfilm on a suitable surface, and then bash with a rolling pin or other appropriate instrument until it’s about half the thickness it was. Cut the meat into large chunks (or leave as whole, large steaks if you wish).

Next, make the crunchy coating for the meat. Tip the peanuts and chilli flakes into a mini-chopper or food processor, and a pinch of ground white pepper, a blitz to a coarsely ground coating.

Pour the coating onto a plate or shallow dish, and then firmly press each side of the meat pieces into the crumbs until well coated.

Heat the ground nut oil in a large frying pan, or wok, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until thoroughly cooked. Serve with this fresh modern take on sweet & sour sauce, or this more traditional takeaway-style one, and egg fried rice.  

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Smoky Chicken & Bean Stew

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Ok, I admit it, I’m perhaps a little obsessed with chorizo. Honestly, not every meal I cook is based around this spicy little Spanish number, but it is really useful – it’s really tasty, adds great flavour to dishes, and goes well with other ingredients I seem to be using a lot right now, like chicken, red peppers, beans and tomatoes, all of which lend themselves to easy, one-pot stews like this.

I’m quite a new convert to chicken thighs. I was never this biggest fan of the dark meat from chicken, and convinced myself that breast meat was best, but thighs are great. They’re full of flavour, much more so than breast meat, and tend not to try out so much. And, they’re cheaper to boot.

You could maybe spice things up here by adding a finely chopped, de-seeded red chilli. As ever, chicken stock from good quality bouillon concentrate is fine.

Smoky Chicken & Bean Stew (serves 2)

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped into chunks
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3-4 strips
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into coins and then each slice halved
  • 4 tomatoes, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped (about half of a standard supermarket packet)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan or suitable casserole dish, and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until softened, but not brown. Add the smoked paprika and red pepper, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the chorizo and chicken to the pan, and fry for 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the chorizo is releasing its fat.

Add the tomatoes and beans, and then pour over the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is completely cooked.

Scatter over the coriander. Serve with warmed pitta breads.  

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Creamy Red Pesto Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Creamy Red Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

It seems everyone I know is growing tomatoes this year! We only moved into our house in May, and we’ve been concentrating our effort, and budget, on getting the inside how we want it. This means that the garden’s been on the back burner for this year, figuring that next Spring we’ll set to work on it ready for enjoying it next summer. Hopefully, we’ll be able to grow some vegetables, spurred on by the small pot of cherry tomato plants, donated by my mother and nurtured by the OH, we have going on in one corner of the patio right now. And they’re fruiting! At least, they’re covered with tiny green tomatoes waiting to get red in the sun. So far, we’ve had one each, but hopefully more are on the way! Anyhow, like I said, everyone else seems to be growing tomatoes, and I received a huge bowl of bright red baby ones from the MIL who has more than she knows what to do with.

One of my favourite things to do with cherry tomatoes is to roast them and eat them whole, and this recipe is based on one in the May 2009 BBC Good Food Magazine, which caught my eye as it’s served with roasted baby tomatoes. Yum! I’ve made a few changes, of course, which include using red pesto instead of the suggested green, and upping the quantities of tomatoes. I served this with some plain (read: slathered with butter) new potatoes.

Creamy Red Pesto Stuffed Chicken, with Roasted Tomatoes (serves 2)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons red pesto
  • 45g mascarpone
  • olive oil
  • 50g breadcrumbs (2 ish slices white bread, crust removed, whizzed into crumbs)
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • handful pine nuts
  • handful fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly oil a shallow baking dish, large enough to hold the chicken breasts and tomatoes.

Using a small, sharp knife, slit along the fat side of each chicken breast to make a little pocket.

Mix together the pesto and mascarpone until well combined. Spoon half of the mixture into the pocket in each chicken breast, carefully pushing in as much as you can, and then closing the pocket and smoothing down the mascarpone. You probably won’t be able to fully close the breast up again, but a little leaking during cooking is fine.

Tip the breadcrumbs onto a plate of shallow bowl, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then lightly mix with your hands. Brush each chicken breast on both sides with a little oil, then lay onto the breadcrumbs, pile some onto the top and gently push down so both sides are coated – but not too hard, you’re looking for a light crumb, not a compacted crust.

Place the chicken breast into the prepared dish then scatter the tomatoes amongst. Drizzle some more olive oil, maybe two tablespoons or so, over everything, and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the breadcrumbs begin to turn golden and the chicken is cooked through.

Scatter over the pine nuts and cook for another two minutes. Then artfully scatter over some basil leaves, et voila! Enjoy.  

Chilli Chicken Noodles

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Chilli Chicken Noodles

Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy is one of my favourite cook books, and definitely my regular go-to for great, and as you would expect from the title, easy chinese meals. I bought the book the day after the first episode of the TV series aired, and several of the recipes have become regular dinners.

Lots of the dishes have quite a long list of ingredients, but actually across the book there is a core of store-cupboard staples that, once you’ve bought them, allow you to cook many of the recipes. And, despite the number of ingredients, everything is still simple to put together and tastes great.

I’ve played around with the original recipe a little. The OH isn’t the greatest fan of hot foods, although I’m working on that, so I’ve substituted the original red chilli for sweet chilli sauce, adding a sweeter but still warming kick, and a pinch of dried red chilli flakes. The original calls for yellow shi wheat flour noodles, but I generally have egg noodles in the house right now, or you could serve this with rice. There are a few other minor deviations from the original, however, the end result is delicious so who’s complaining? 

Chilli Chicken Noodles (serves 2)

For the sauce:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2.5cm piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • pinch dried red chilli flakes

For the chicken:

  • 150g egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon ground nut oil
  • 250g skinless chicken breast fillets, sliced into 1cm strips
  • 1 courgette, sliced into strips
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 bunch (5 or so) spring onions, sliced

Cook the noodles in boiling water as per the packet instructions. Drain, plunge into cold water, drain again and then dress with a little ground nut oil to stop them sticking. Leave to one side.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel the garlic gloves and the ginger and finely chop both. I whizzed them in the mini-chopper, you could grate them on a microplane, or, just do it the traditional way with a knife and some patience. De-seed the pepper and roughly chop into chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Whack the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and pepper into a blender with the sauces, water, sugar and chilli flakes, and whizz. You’re looking for a fairly liquid sauce. Put to one side.

Heat the ground nut oil in a wok, and then stir-fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown. Add the pepper and courgette, and stir-fry for a further minute. Tip the noodles into the wok, give everything a good stir, then pour on the sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute or two, then season with the soy sauce, and stir in the spring onions. Serve immediately.

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , , ,

Chicken Jambalaya

August 12, 2009 Leave a comment

This spicy chicken and rice dish is an easy take on the classic Louisiana dish, and is a great one-pot meal. Here, chilli replaces the more traditional cayenne for heat. Spicy sausage would likely be included in the original, and if you wanted you could include some here – I’ve previously added chorizo and it worked well – just throw in some coins cut from a chorizo ring when frying the onions et al.

Chicken Jambalaya (serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bitesize pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped (I chop the onion, garlic and celery in a mini chopper, ending up with a quite finely chopped almost-mush)
  • 2 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced
  • 225g long grained rice
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large pan. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until it changes colour, and then remove from the pan to a plate. Set to one side.

Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan, and fry the onion, garlic, celery and peppers for 3-4 minutes, and then return the chicken to the pan.

Add the rice, tomatoes, chilli flakes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and sweet chilli sauce to the pan, and give everything a stir to combine. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken and rice are cooked, adding a little more water to the pan if needed.

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