Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chicken with Linguine & Artichokes

This chicken artichoke pasta absolutely has to be one of the most comforting , delicious ,and so easy pasta recipe .You'll love the combination of colors from the artichoke and baby plum tomatoes mixed in with chicken .

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts ,skinned
finely grated rind and juice
    of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves ,crushed
400 g canned artichoke
   hearts ,drained and sliced
250 g baby plum tomatoes
300 g dried linguine 
chopped fresh parsley and finely
   grated  cheese,
   to garnish

1 . Put each chicken breast in turn between 2 pieces of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to flatten .Put the chicken into a shallow ,non metallic dish with the lemon rind and juice and 1 tablespoon of the oil and turn to coat in the marinade . Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes .

2 . Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over low heat , add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently .Add the artichokes and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes ,stirring occasionally . Add about half the marinade from the chicken and cook over medium heat for a further 5 minutes .

3 . Preheat the grill to high .Remove the chicken from the remaining marinade and arrange on the grill pan . Cook the chicken under the preheat grill for 5 minutes each side until thoroughly cooked through . Meanwhile add the linguine to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 7-9 minutes or until just tender .

4. Drain the pasta and return to the pan ,pour over the artichoke and tomato mixture and slice in the cooked chicken . Divide between 4 warmed plates and sprinkle over the parsley and cheese .

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chicken , Mushrooms & Cashew Nut Risotto

Some of the best recipes are the simplest and cheapest .This is an easy , tasty and low cost recipe . It is one pot recipe that can easily be made in advance and reheated , or frozen in portions . It can be 
adapted to what you have available.Make a dish everyone will love with this flavor some mushrooms , chicken and nut risotto .

Serves 4

55 g butter
1 onion, chopped
250 g skinless, boneless chicken breast,
350 g  rice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1.4 litres chicken stock
75 g chestnut mushrooms , sliced
50 g cashews nut, halved
salt and pepper
wild rocket , fresh Parmesan
   cheese shavings ,and fresh 
   basil leaves , to garnish

1 .Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat . Add the onion and cook , stirring occasionally , for 5 minutes or until softened . Add the chicken and cook , stirring frequently , for a further 5 minutes . Reduce the heat , add the rice and mix to coat in butter . Cook, stirring constantly , for 2-3 minutes or until the grains are translucent .  

2 . Gradually add the hot stock , a ladle full at the time .Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice obsorbs each addition . Increase the heat  to medium so that the liquid bubbles . Cook for 20 minutes , or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy . About 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time , stir in the mushrooms and cashews . Season with salt and pepper .

3 . Arrange the rocket leaves on 4 individual serving plates . Remove the risotto from the heat and spoon it over the rocket . Sprinkle over the Parmesan shavings and basil leaves and serve .

Health benefit of mushroom:
Cancer : Mushrooms contain just as high an antioxidant capacity as carrots , tomatoes , green and red peppers , pumpkin , green beans and zucchini .
Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables but can be found in mushrooms .It plays a role in liver enzyme function , and helps detoxify some cancer causing compounds in the body .

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chicken With Saffron Mash

Chicken with saffron mash is one of my family's favorite meals .It's super easy and goes great with our favorite side dish , loaded mashed potatoes .

550 g floury potatoes,
    cut into chunks
1 garlic clove ,peeled
1 tsp saffron threads ,crushed
1.25 litres chicken stock
4 skinless, boneless chicken
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp coriander seeds ,crushed
100 ml hot skimmed milk
salt and pepper 
fresh thyme sprigs ,to garnish


1 . Put the potatoes , garlic and saffron in a large heavy based saucepan , add the stock and bring to the boil . Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender .

2 . Meanwhile , brush the chicken breasts all over with half the olive oil and all of the lemon juice  . Sprinkle with the fresh thyme and coriander and the crushed coriander seeds. Heat the griddle pan , add the chicken and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes on each side ,or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife . Alternatively cook the chicken breasts under a preheated medium hot grill for 5 minutes on each side ,or until cooked through .

3 . Drain the potatoes and return the contents of the strainers to the pan .Add the remaining olive oil and the milk ,season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth . Divide the saffron mash between 4 large , warmed serving plates , top with a piece of chicken and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme  . Serve .

Mistake to avoid when making mashed potatoes:
Using the wrong type of potato : Choosing the right type of potato is key !Avoid waxy varieties and fingerling when making mashed potatoes .These potatoes don't contain a lot of starch , so they don't break down well or absorb dairy as well as other varieties .

Starting with hot water
While it's best to begin the cooking process with hot water for most vegetables , this isn't the case with potatoes .Adding potatoes to already hot water increase the chance of uneven cooking .The outside of the potatoes will end up overcooked , while the inside will remain firm and underdone .

Adding cold butter and cream
Butter and cream are critical for great mashed potatoes .But when added straight from the fridge , not only do they cool everything  down , but they don't get absorbed into the potatoes very well .

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thai Spiced Chicken With Courgettes

This mouth -watering Thai spiced chicken with courgette is a hearty lunch or light dinner that the whole family can enjoy .It's really easy to make and is a healthy option when you're trying to be good .This recipe serves 4 people and should take 30 minutes to make .It's the warming spices that make this satisfying supper so memorable.
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic ,finely chopped
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger
   peeled and finely chopped
1 small fresh red chilly , deseeded
   and finely chopped
350 g skinless, boneless 
   chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp spice seasoning
1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper,
  deseeded and sliced
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
227 g canned bamboo shoots ,drained
2 tbsp  apple juice 
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander,
   plus extra to garnish
salt and pepper

1 .Heat the olive oil in a non stick wok or large frying pan . Add the garlic ginger and chilly and stir fry for 30 seconds to release the flavors .

2 . Add the chicken and Thai seasoning and stir fry for about 4 minutes or until the chicken has colored all over . Add the peppers and courgettes and stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until slightly softened .

3 . Stir the bamboo shoots and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender . Add the apple juice , soy sauce and seasoning and sizzle for 1-2 minutes .

4 . Stir in the chopped coriander and serve immediately , garnished with extra coriander .

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Balti Chicken

Balti chicken or another calls balti curries are traditionally not very spicy though I use about three more fresh green chillies than suggested here .This has to be one of India food  favorite curries , personally I love it .

Here is a nice chicken balti which is both easy and quick to make .That is what's great about making your own curries .You could also use a Korma paste instead of balti .It would be a crime to eat this dish without plenty of fluffy , hot naan bread or perfectly cooked rice .You can make them to suite your own taste !


Secret of great curry making:
Spices are fundamental to all Curry recipes and there is a huge range of spices which can be used but only a few of which form a basic curry powder . The most important spice for a curry is Cumin seeds , then coriander seeds , and these you will usually see as the most prominent two ingredients in nearly all shop bough Curry powders .Ground spices and Curry Powders must always be used fresh and kept in air tight containers .The very best results will always come from grinding your own spices from whole seeds just before using them .
Indian dishes typically make very little use of herbs .The most frequent is coriander leaf , this should always be fresh ,never dried .Usually coriander leaves  are added towards the end of cooking and be used though I have never seen it used in an Indian restaurant .
3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 large onions ,sliced
3 tomatoes ,sliced
1/2 kalonji seeds
4 black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp  masala salt
1 tsp garlic puree
1 tsp ginger puree
700 g skinless , boneless
     chicken breasts or thighs ,diced
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander,
    plus extra to garnish
2 fresh green chillies , deseeded
    and finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
naan bread to serve

1 . Heat the ghee in a large ,heavy based frying pan . Add the onions and cook over low heat , stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until golden . Add the sliced tomatoes , kalonji seeds ,peppercorns ,cardamoms ,cinnamon stick , chilly powder , masala salt ,garlic puree and ginger puree and season with salt . Cook , stirring constantly , for 5 minutes .

2 . Add the chicken and cook ,stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until well coated in the spice paste . Stir in the yogurt . Cover and simmer , stirring occasionally for 10 minutes .

3 . Stir in the chopped coriander ,chillies and lime juice . Transfer to a warmed serving dish , sprinkle with more chopped coriander and serve immediately with naan bread .

Secret of great curry

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants originally from Hainan province in southern China .It is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore .

Chicken rice is one of my favorite dish so instead of eating it at the restaurants , so that I have learned to prepare it my self ..and it taste just as great !This three in one dish ...chicken, rice and soup so delicious and my kids like it so much ,right now ...made by their own mom !

Serves 4-6                                          

1 chicken ,weighing 1.5 kg
55 g fresh ginger,smashed
2 garlic cloves , smashed
1 spring onion , tied in a knot
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
chilly  sauce
   to serve

2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
5 garlic cloves ,finely chopped
350 g long grain rice
850 ml chicken stock
1 tsp salt


1 . Wash the chicken and dry thoroughly . Stuff the body cavity with the ginger , garlic ,spring onion ,and salt .

2 . In a large saucepan , bring enough water to the boil to submerge the chicken . Place the chicken in the  pan , breast side down . Bring the water back to the boil , then turn down the heat and simmer , covered ,for 30-40 minutes .Turn the chicken over once .

3 . Remove the chicken and wash in running cold water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking . Drain , then rub the oil into the skin . Set aside .

4 .To prepare the rice ,heat the oil in a preheated wok .Stir fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant . . Add the rice and cook for 3 minutes stirring rapidly . Transfer to a large saucepan and add the chicken stock and salt . Bring to the boil , then turn down the heat and simmer , covered , for 20 minutes . Turn off the heat and steam for a further 5-10 minutes , or until the rice is perfectly cooked .

5 . To serve , chop the chicken horizontally through the bone and skin into chunky wedges . Serve with the rice and a chilly  sauce .

Tips for a perfect plate of chicken rice
Poaching the chicken :
- Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering hot water (with ginger slices) for 20 minutes over medium heat .Turn off the heat and let the chicken rest in the pot , covered for another 30 minutes .This method keeps the meat moist and tender .Retain the chicken stock for cooking the rice .
-Plunge the chicken into cold water to keep the skin gelatinous .
-Cut up the chicken before serving it.