My Instagram Feast

I’ve been between phones this week and am not a happy bunny about the fact I’m still using my old phone over 2 weeks after purchasing my new one but that is something I need to tackle with the dreaded O2 and not bore my lovely readers with, anyways it means I’m a little short on choice of pictures to use but hey ho, it’s still a lil peek into what has fallen into my belly over the last week.

From top left: chicken and chorizo tray bake, my favourite icecream flavour in frozen yoghurt – trying to convince myself I was beeing healthy even though I ate the tub in less than 5 days, amazeball gluten free chinese feast courtesy of my dad on Friday night, beautiful gf afternoon tea from the lovely Tiffen in West Bridgford, a frickin awesome gf double chocolate eclair made again by my most talented father (I’ve only eaten one so far dad, although not sure how long the other one is going to last in the fridge) and these very moreish crisps from Tescos, a rather healthy week no?!

Tandoori Chicken and Potatoes with a Cucumber and Mint Raita

I love Tandoori Chicken, brick red and charred from the tandoor, nothing quite beats that authentic cooking. However I’ve found a way to recreate it at home, ok you can’t necessarily replace the tandoor oven but you can get a good replica of the spicing by using a packet! (and a few other key ingredients)  I’d never thought of making it myself until I saw this seasoning in the supermarket and thought why not?  A little piece of advice though, don’t buy the teeny pots for about £2/3 browse around and look out for the massive bags of the stuff for less than £2 in the Asian food aisle or in more specialist shops.  I bought Natco’s Tandoori Masala which worked a treat but I’m sure there are other reputable brands around. It’s really easy to make and after you’ve bought a big bag of the stuff you’ll be wanting to tandoori everything in sight.  I even sprinkled it on my potatoes before I roasted them and what a treat they were, do try them.

Serves 2/3

Ingredients:

  • A packet of chicken thighs and drumsticks, there were about 3 of each in my pack

For the marinade:

  • A small tub of yoghurt (I used that greek fat free stuff)
  • A heaped dessert spoon of Tandoori Masala powder
  • 3/4 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
  • 2 inches of ginger, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon 

For the tandoori potatoes:

  • 12 or more baby new potatoes, washed
  • A drizzle of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of  Tandoori Masala powder

For the raita:

  • 1/2 Cucumber, cored and sliced
  • Small tub of  plain yoghurt
  • A large handful of mint, chopped
  • A dessert spoonful of sweet chilli sauce

Method:

Slash your thighs and drumsticks down to the bone.  Mix the marinade and coat the chicken.  Leave to marinade for as long as possible, mine were in for a few hours, over night would be plenty.

Heat an oven to 250 degrees.  Put your potatoes in a pan and drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle on your Tandoori Masala powder and toss together until evenly coated. 

Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and lay on a baking tray.  Put the potatoes and the chicken in the same oven for 20/25 min.  I’d put the chicken on the top shelf as that needs more heat. 

Whilst the chicken and potatoes are cooking make your raita.  Core and slice the cucumber, mix with the chopped mint, yoghurt and sweet chilli, if you want extra heat add some freshly chopped chilli to the mix as well. 

After 20/25 min check the chicken is cooked through and is slightly charred (slightly!!).  Serve together with the potatoes and raita then rave about how you made your own Tandoori Chicken! 

You could make this more authentic and healthier by taking the skin off the chicken pieces, I forgot, but lets forget health for a while and indulge in crispy, spiced Tandoori Masala chicken skin, mmmm, oh boy that skin was delicious. 

Garlic and Herb Chicken Kebabs with a Courgette and Carrot Slaw

I buy chicken thighs all the time, they are cheap and succulent and can be made into a million different dishes.  This is a simple kebab recipe which works great with this slaw.  If you fancy something more substantial then add a couple of pitta or flat breads.

Ingredients:

A packet of chicken thighs, skinned and boned

4 big cloves of garlic

A handful of oregano

A handful of parsley

A handful of basil

A tablespoon of olive oil

The zest and juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper

For the slaw:

1/2 a large courgette

A carrot

2 Spring onions, finely chopped

A dessertspoonful of sherry vinegar

A teaspoon of agave syrup or sugar

A dessertspoonful of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

Soak your skewers in water for as long as you can (this helps prevent them from burning).  Cut the chicken into cubes, you should be able to get about 8 pieces from each thigh.  Put chicken into a bowl and add lemon zest, juice, oil, the herbs (finely chopped) and the garlic, crushed or grated.  Mix together and marinate for about half  an hour. 

Thread your chicken onto skewers and grill (or barbecue, the sun’s come out again!) for about 8/10  min a side on high, or until golden and cooked through.  Try to space the chicken out a little to aid the cooking process.

The kebabs ready for the grill...

Mix the sherry vinegar, oil, syrup and salt and pepper until you get a sweet and sour dressing.  Grate the courgette and carrot into a bowl with some finely chopped spring onion and toss in the dressing.

Serve the kebabs with the slaw and perhaps some flat breads.

mmmm...

Crispy Shredded Chicken

I’m a bit obsessed with crispy things. Some of my old uni mates have a video of me raging round their kitchen ranting about crispy bacon as the antidote to all excesses, I think my words were ‘crispy, crispy bacon’ repeated over and over in a slightly dramatic but slurred fashion.

Crispy duck, crispy chips, crispy skin, crispy, crunchy, FRIED! It makes you hungry doesn’t it?

This is a dish I’ve wanted to do for some time but I can’t deal with deep frying in my flat, it’s too smelly and too risky with a toddler running around. Incidentally, I’m very good at persuading others to invest in a good old deep fat fryer though. On my last trip to see my parents, after years of my dad wanting one and my mum saying no way, Daddio and I went on a little shopping trip and what popped into his basket? But of course, a fryer, whoot whoot! Twice fried chips and onion rings a plenty when I visit. My plan worked!

Anyway, I’ve found an alternative to the traditional deep fry and corn flour batter option. It’s so fantastic I had it twice this week. You can find fine cornmeal in the supermarket usually in the Caribbean section, look for Island Sun.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 chicken thigh fillets, boned
1 carrot, cut into fine strips
4 spring onions, shredded
A thumb sized piece of ginger, cut into fine strips
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 a long red chilli, finely chopped
A heaped dessertspoon of fine cornmeal
A level teaspoon of five spice powder
3/4 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
Salt
For the sauce:

2/3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon of ketchup
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of corn flour or arrowroot
A splash of soy sauce

Method

Prepare all the vegetables and set to one side.
Slice the chicken into fine shreds, about half a cm wide.
Mix the cornmeal with five spice and a pinch of salt.
Toss the chicken shreds in the cornmeal mix until lightly coated.
Heat wok or frying pan and add oil.
Fry the chicken on high until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set to one side.
Fry the garlic and ginger for a minute then add the rest of the vegetables and chilli with a splash of soy sauce and stir fry for a minute or two.
Put the veg to one side and add the vinegar, water, ketchup, soy and sugar to the pan.
Bubble up the sweet and sour sauce and mix the corn flour or arrowroot with a little more water and add to sauce. Let it thicken and taste, adjust the vinegar/sugar ratio if necessary.
Return the veg and chicken to the pan with the sauce and heat through.
Serve with boiled rice and a few prawn crackers, and rip up that take away menu! (or at least hide it until Friday)

Sticky Chinese Spiced Drumsticks and Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade

The sun has come out and I’m feeling all summer-y and that my dear readers means barbecue type foods (even though we don’t have a garden 😦 ) and salads.  These drumsticks have got to be my best yet, spiced with five spice, ginger, garlic and other chinese condiments and then glazed with a sweet chilli sauce, these are moreish little numbers that can’t fail to be loved.  The remoulade is a classic salad dish using the not so summery vegetables of celeriac and beetroot, but they were there in the green grocers so I wanted to use them. 

For the drumsticks:

7 chicken drumsticks (average packet from the supermarket)

A heaped teaspoon of five spice powder

An inch of ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed

A tablespoon of sesame oil

A good slosh of soy sauce (I used Tamari because it’s gluten free)

Sweet chilli sauce

Method:

Slash your chicken drumsticks so that they cook through thoroughly and the marinade penetrates the meat.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the chilli sauce and rub over the chicken.  Marinade for as long as you’ve got, the longer the better, mine spent the afternoon in the fridge. 

Pre-heat an oven to about 200 degrees.  Lay your marinated drumsticks on a tray and cook for 20/25 min.  Then drizzle slather your drumsticks with sweet chilli sauce, return to the oven for 10 more minutes.  Serve hot, cold or warm with whatever you like but remoulade below goes very nicely.

Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade

Serves about 2/3 people

Ingredients:

A quarter of a large celeriac

A medium sized beetroot

A heaped tablespoon of mayo

A heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche

Half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, more if you like it

Salt and pepper

Lemon juice

A small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Method:

Peel and cut your veg into match stick sized pieces.  Make sure you put the celeriac into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep it white.  Drain the celeriac and add beetroot.  Mix your mayo and creme fraiche, mustard and seasoning, adjust if necessary.  Squeeze in some lemon juice to loosen the sauce.  Add the veg to the dressing and mix to coat.  Add chopped parsley and stir, you could add chopped gherkins and capers but I didn’t have any. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours combine. 

Serve with your cooled drumsticks or other cold meats and salads.

Enjoy!

Another Retro Lunch: Coronation Chicken

This is one of my favourite things to do with left over chicken.  I served mine with some salad but this makes an ace sandwich or jacket potato filling too. 

Ingredients:

Shredded left over chicken

A heaped dessert spoon of creme fraiche

A heaped dessert spoon of mayonnaise

A heaped teaspoon of mild curry powder

Half a teaspoon of ground coriander

A handful of raisins or sultanas

A dessert spoon of mango chutney (i used a smoothish variety but you could just chop up a chunky one)

Salt and pepper

Method:

Gently toast your spices in a dry pan.  Mix creme fraiche, mayo, chutney, spices and raisins together then stir in chicken until evenly coated, season and there you have it,  a very delicious luncheon with salad, in a sandwich or jacket spud.

Flattened Fried Chinese Chicken

I got a bit carried away in Waterstones today and somehow three food related books slipped into my hand, sideled across to the cashier and then popped into a carrier bag that followed me home.  The books look very cool and I hope to blog about them later when I’ve had chance to read them a little more.  One of the books I bought was Ken Hom’s ‘Complete Chinese Cookbook’, I wanted something Chinese and didn’t want to ring the local takeaway and wanted something to show off on here!  I was flicking through it in the bookshop when I stumbled across something I thought I had most of the ingredients for and looked relatively simple to pull off, the dish is called ‘Fragrant Crispy Chicken’ and the main ingredient chicken thighs.  Once out of the shop, I found myself a little corner in the Whitgift Centre in Croydon and quickly scanned the recipe for additional ingredients I needed to buy.  The only extras I needed were, szechuan peppercorns and five spice powder so I pootled along to the supermarket and picked these up. 

When I got home, I began to read the recipe in more detail and realised it involve deep frying, twice cooking, and a bit of hammering, and by this point I was getting hungry so I decided to adapt it to suit me.  The result was very tasty and well worth a go. 

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs, skinless and boneless – though I think there could be scope for crispy skin action if you had these with the skin on.

1 teaspoon of five spice powder

A teaspoon of szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted and crushed (i forgot to crush mine)

4 tablespoons of Shaosing wine

A good shake of Tamari soy, if your not a coeliac use the normal stuff, Ken says use a bit of both dark and light, but like I said I’m adapting

A tablespoon of sesame oil

A thumb size piece of ginger, grated

3 cloves of garlic, grated (crushed whatever)

Method:

Put the chicken in a bowl, cover with the other ingredients and mix together with hands. I think this is where its best to leave it in the fridge for an hour or two but like I said before I was hungry so I left mine for about 5min then got on with it.  Heat up a frying pan until super hot, add some oil, spread out the thighs flat in the pan and then top with a circle or square of greaseproof paper and a big heavy pot filled with water to flatten and weigh down the chicken so it goes crusty on the heated side.  Cook for 5 min or so a side, squashing each time with the pan until dark brown and crusty.  I served mine with some plain boiled rice and some sweet chilli sauce. I was contemplating vegetables but I scalded myself during the rice cooking and just wanted to eat something to distract myself from the throbbing.