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Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Recently I haven’t paid enough attention to my blogs. The wedding planning fun of perusing flowers, decorations, cars, dresses (yes it IS fun) has satisfied my creative outlet while my blogs have suffered from neglect. So here’s a little update with a new recipe for a delicious and healthy roast chicken dinner.

First a little back-story: While surfing the internet for bridal thingys, I came across an online personal trainer. The online program met all my schemes and dreams for fitness even prior to me receiving The Question and starting to think “wedding fit”. I had been looking for a source of fitness inspiration for quite sometime (see my lifestyle blog) and the online program that I found called Bride Body satisfied all of my wants even pre-engagement. Note there is an obvious target market for this program, but the lessons learned in the program would work for anyone.

In addition to a week’s worth of workouts, Bride Body sends me a weekly list of recipes plus a shopping list for all the ingredients. The meals use fresh whole food ingredients that are mostly GF and DF (I modify when I want to) and because I love to cook this program works well for me. I’m loving being sent new cooking ideas, trying different ingredients and generally having someone do all the thinking for me! I feel well nourished, and after only 3 weeks on the program I fit back into my post-breakup skinny jeans* for the first time in 2.5 years! Awesomeness.

Tonight we had lemon thyme roast chicken from Week 4 of the program… Healthy, refreshing and (to quote fiancé): “another awesome dinner cheech”. Nom nom!

* A story for another day.

Ingredients (I halved these portions because I used 2 small chicken breasts instead of a whole chook)
1 whole chicken
2 lemons, one cut in half, and one half into quarters
Lemon thyme
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
200g green beans
Frozen peas (I used a head of broccoli instead)
1 bunch asparagus

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

Place chicken in a roasting pan.

Fill the cavity with lemon quarters and chopped thyme, secure with a toothpick or string (I filled the cavity of the breast).

Squeeze juice of the lemon halves over the chicken, sprinkle with thyme and lightly spray with olive oil spray.

Scatter garlic cloves in the dish around the chicken.

Roast for 1 hr (or 40-45 min if you have small breasts 😉 ). The chicken is cooked if juices run clear when you pierce the breast with a skewer.

Steam the vegetables for 3 minutes.

Serve the chicken with steamed green vegetables.

I only ate half of one breast and save the rest for lunch the next day: shredded chicken breast on cos lettuce leaves with ricotta and an almond salad. Triple NOM!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Food

 

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Chicken, Bacon and Brussel Sprouts Pie

K for Kenno (and K for K who tweeped her approval of this potential recipe!)

I free-styled this pot pie last night with the ingredients I already had in my fridge and cupboard. The weather has turned from bikinitastic to downright nasty (the thermometer had even dipped its toe into single digits. Rude.) and seasonal brussel sprouts in my fridge were clamouring to be made into a toasty hot pot pie. With some left-over bacon from the weekend, chicken mince in the freezer, and approval from my foodie tweeps online the end result was a match made in pot pie heaven.

Ingredients

4 rashers of short-cut bacon, diced
500g chicken mince
10-15 brussel sprouts, halved
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced coarsely
2-3 field mushrooms, diced
1 brown onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas and corn
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
2 cups GF chicken stock
2 sheets GF rough puff pastry
1 egg
red wine (for drinking)

Method
Drizzle a little oil in a cooking pot. Fry the chicken and bacon over medium heat until the mince all starts to brown. Add in the turmeric and curry powder and blend through.

Add the diced onion, celery, carrot, mushroom, peas and corn and stir until the vegetables are warmed. Add the chicken stock and allow the mixture to simmer for approximately 5 minutes.

Remove the cooking pot from the heat and divide the mixture into 4 pie ramekins. Cover with a square of pastry and brush the pastry with a beaten egg.

Bake the pies in a pre-heated oven at 200dC for 20-25 mins, or until pastry is golden.

Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for a few minutes before serving.

* I added a generous splash of red wine to the mixture when it was simmering. I think it muted the bacon flavours and I wouldn’t recommend it. Give the generous splash to yourself instead 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Food

 

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Tropical chicken pies

Tropical chicken pot pie. On its way to Shane’s heart. Via his stomach.

Well this was a success! I was inspired by yesterday’s Daily Dose of Fresh chicken pie to cook pot pies last night. I sought a way to make the pies gluten and dairy free, so I mashed up the method with my tropical chicken curry. I used coconut milk instead of dairy milk, and mango instead of ham and mushrooms. In the end this is a slimmed down version of my tropical chicken curry encased in a pie. And it was deeeeeelicious.

As we were about to serve up we heard our next door neighbour arrive home. He had been at the hospital for the past 24 hours with his wife as they gave birth to their first child. We invited our neighbour in and shared our pot pies and German beer and laughed and told stories and toasted to baby Blake.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
2 tsp lime juice
1 large brown onion, diced
1 tbsp red curry paste (I used 2 tsp)
1/2 cup green capsicum, diced
1/2 cup pumpkin, cubed
1 mango diced
400 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 tbsp lemon grass, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
1 tbsp macadamia nut oil
3 sheets gluten free puff pastry
1 free range egg, beaten

Method
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Heat oil in a pot or deep pan (I used my big retro cooking pot).

Cook onion and garlic on medium heat until the onion turns translucent.

Add chicken and cook on medium heat until chicken is 3/4 cooked.

Add all other ingredients except mango and coriander. Mix thoroughly and cook for 10 minutes until all vegetables are cooked.

Remove from heat. Add the mango and coriander to the pie mixture and mix through. Immediately divide the mixture into 4 pie ramekins. Cover each ramekin with a cut square of pastry and lightly brush with the beaten egg.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

Serves 4.

Preparation

The big retro cooking pot

Ready to be lidded

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Food

 

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Chicken, ham, lettuce & salsa sambo

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Wipeout!!

Skip the bread and fill up on the insides of a delicious sambo by wrapping your sandwich ingredients in a crispy iceberg lettuce leaf. This one is light, cool and crispy – just right for summer.

Tip: Pack the ingredients into separate containers and prepare the sandwich fresh for lunch at your desk or in the park.

Ingredients
1 piece grilled chicken breast*
1 slice virginian ham
1 whole iceberg lettuce leaf
1 tbsp tomato salsa
1 tbsp guacamole
lemon pepper

Method
Rinse and dry the whole lettuce leaf. Layer the chicken, ham and salsa inside the leaf, season the fillings with lemon pepper, wrap and eat fresh.

* leftovers from the previous night grilled chicken parmy.

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Food

 

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OMG! Marry Me Please (Tropical Chicken Curry)


Seriously, this dish will get you married. Wield it wisely.*

This tropical chicken curry is sensational and so so easy. There is a bit of prep involved – allow 30 to 45 minutes to chop and prepare the ingredients (throw on some music and enjoy the process). After some initial cooking, you then throw the ingredients together and give it a mix from time to time. Voila – watch the aroma waft and the room fall in love.

This recipe comes from a gorgeous book that I purchased in Fiji – Unforgettable: a coconut cookbook. The flavours dance like the music and the people of Fiji. Such a great place. And coconut: such a great ingredient. This would make a great dish for a large group dinner party. Prepare everything before your guests arrive, throw it all together and leave to cook. But be prepared, it is so tasty, someone might just ask you to be theirs forever**.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into strips or cubes
2 tsp lime juice (use the real thing, even if limes are $2.58 each. Yep – time to plant a tree)
1 large brown onion, diced
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp red curry paste (I used 2 tsp)
1/2 cup green capsicum, diced
1/2 cup pumpkin, cubed
1/2 cup pineapple, diced
2 chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp chashew nuts, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp lemon grass, finely chopped
4 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
1 tbsp macadamia nut oil

Method
Chop and prepare all ingredients.

Heat oil in a fry pan and fry chicken until 3/4 cooked.

Add all other ingredients, except coriander.

Cook for 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are cooked.

Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with coconut rice***.

* Results not yet proven.
** Hasn’t happened yet. I’m just sayin.
*** Cook rice in coconut milk instead of water (1 cup rice, 2 cups coconut milk. Add water if necessary). Watch the milk when boiling and simmering and ensure it does not boil over.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Food

 

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Chicken mince and vegetable stir fry

Tuesday and Thursday nights are late-night sport nights for us with Crossfit at 8 to 9pm on both nights. I’ll usually eat a small meal early and then another meal after 9pm. It requires some organisation to enjoy a nice dinner that is better than instant noodles or toast and baked beans (which don’t cut it for me anymore).

But we can’t always be organised. This week the cupboards were bare thanks to footy finals last weekend, being away on holiday in Sept and thorough cupboard-cleansing in July and August (where we discarded most non-perishable foods from our cupboards). But, we did find some frozen chicken mince (which didn’t make it into the homemade sausage rolls as I had planned for the weekend), a bag of frozen vegetables, spices and a brown onion. From this we magically created a tasty, lean and nourishing meal that is definitely worth sharing. You could serve this as ‘san choy bow’ style in a lettuce cup salad.

Ingredients
500 g organic chicken mince
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, mostly thawed
1 medium brown onion, diced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
iceberg lettuce leaves, cup-shaped (optional)

Method
Heat oil on medium heat in a large fry pan or wok. Cook the onion, curry and turmeric together until soft and translucent.

Add chicken mince and cook until brown.

Add vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Mix tomato paste and the small amount of water through the mixture and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately in a bowl (or in lettuce cups).

Serves 2.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Food

 

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Satay Chicken Salad

I am dedicating today’s meal to my Aunty Eye (Irene) who passed away today. Eye was a woman with sparkle and had the name ‘Darling’ ready for anyone, and she meant it. She was ‘Mum’ to everyone. What I learned from Aunty Eye was to relish and love everyday and everyone, and if you love and act from a place that is right then no criticism can touch you. She loved her darling husband, daughters, son, daughter-in-law and they’re blessed brand new baby, and Rosie, April and Pud (the puppies and cat). We’ll never forget you Eye and I thank you for teaching me so much about my family. You are there in a long history of strong, determined and inspiring women. God bless you and all of your family. I know that you’re with us.

Early in her illness Aunty Eye was unable to eat good food and she lamented on any of my photos that showed me gorging myself on lovely green salads, ripe vegetables and delicious smoothies. Hence this meal…

This meal is a really simple dish full of VITAMINS and punch, just for Eye! The ingredients consist of iron rich spinach, anti-oxidant infused tomatoes, zesty cucumber, springy coriander plus parsley, punchy red onion, and water-filled bean sprouts. Cucumber is so effective being so crisp and refreshing. It balances out the heat of the satay and chilli and challenges the red onion.

The trick to this meal is to not over-power with any one ingredient. Small portions of each vegetable per serve is a great way to take advantage and balance the various flavours that are going to blast the palate. As always, less is more.

So the message of today’s recipe is to ENJOY life. Live it, eat well, treat yourself well everyday, pamper yourself, and when you love someone for goodness sake tell them!

And pop on some lounge piano music.

Ingredients

600g skinless chicken breast
2 cups baby spinach leaves
4 tbsp coursly chopped coriander
4 tbsp coursly chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 small carrot
1 small cucumber
4 small red tomatoes, quartered
½ red onion finely sliced
2 large red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp light olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
250mL Ayam satay sauce
250mL light coconut cream

Method

Prepare the salad into four bowls first by layering ingredients:
– layer ½ cup baby spinach, then finely sliced red onion, and top with coriander and parsley;
– place four quarters of small tomato;
– pile bean sprouts, shredded carrot and shredded cucumber on top;
– and top with finely chopped chilli.

Set salad aside.

Dice chicken into 10cm cubes and slide pieces onto wooden skewers. Brush with soy sauce.

Heat oil in fry pan on medium heat.

Add chicken skewers to pan, sprinkle with finely chopped chilli and cook each side turning regularly.

While chicken is cooking, add satay sauce and coconut cream to a saucepan on medium heat, and blend.

Heat satay mix until combined and thick. Do not boil.

Once chicken skewers are cooked, layer two skewers onto the salad and pour 2-4 tbsp of satay sauce over salad and skewers.

This des not need to be served with anything else. Just sit, eat, enjoy and be happy!

Serves four.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Food

 

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