Chicken and Prawn Stirfry
One of my favourite Chinese meals is chicken and prawn fried rice that I order about 8 of 10 times I have Chines takeout so I set out to find an easy to prepare alternative that tastes just as good as the local Chinese takeout. It’s really important to have a very hot wok or pan when you start and to work quickly, making sure that the ingredients get a quick scalding that adds a bit of colour. This is for 2 hungry people and it wont keep for long if you use the prawns so take whatever you have left to work for you.
What you need
250g basmati rice
50ml sweet chili sauce (about 4 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 large chicken breasts or 4 thighs, deboned and cut into bite size pieces
Handfull of green beans sliced through the center and cut into 5cm pieces
1 red pepper sliced finely
150g of uncooked skinless prawns
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 eggs lightly beaten
5 or 6 spring onions sliced diagonally
Oil for frying
Cook up the rice by following the instructions on the pack. You don’t have to use basmati rice, any rice really and in fact if you are a little more health concious than I am, use brown rice. Once cooked, drain in a sieve, place back over the pot and cover with a dish cloth to keep it warm.
In a bowl add the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and the sesame oil, give it a whisk with a fork and set aside.
Now heat your wok or large pan to very hot, add the oil and it should give off a little smoke. Now toss in the chicken pieces and move them around quickly for about 3 minutes. They should colour easily and be nice and golden in places. Remove them and set aside.
Add a little more oil, then the beans and red peppers, quickly move them around until they begin to colour. This should also only take about 2 or 3 minutes. Now add the prawns, garlic and ginger and quickly move them around until the prawns colour and the meat is turning white, also about 2-3 minutes.
Now add the cooked rice and mix well, fliipping it with your spatula to combine all of the ingredients and heat them. Make a space on one side, add the egg and allow it to cook for a few seconds, then use a fork to break it up and mix into the rice.
Now add the chicken, the sauce and the spring onions, stir and move around until it’s all steaming andf ready for the plate.
It sounds like a lot of work but really it’s quite simple. Be sure you have a large pan if you do not have a wok or do it in 2 halves, the process is quick enough.
Ginger Ale Chicken Casserole
Chicken in Ginger Ale has got to be the easiest, tastiest way to serve chicken pieces that is seriously delicious. The best thing about it is that you can make this for 2 people or 200 people without any problem and everyone will love it. This is the perfect holiday recipe. The sauce thicken up beautifully and over a nice pile of rice and a salad, there is no easier way to produce a delicious meal for the masses. (4 -6 people)
What you need
8- 10 chicken portions thighs, legs and breasts skin on
1 packet instant brown onion soup
1 packet instant mushroom soup
1 liter Ginger Ale
Heat your oven to 130 Celsius
Take a large casserole dish that you can place a single layer of chicken pieces to cover the bottom or use more than one oven dish.
Mix together the soup powders and coat eack piece of chicken in a fine coating of the mixture, shake off the excess and the lay skin side up into the casserole dish.
Pour 3/4 of the Ginger Ale into the casserole and then pour the remaing Ginger Ale into whatever is left of the soup powders, give it a mix and then pour over the top of the chicken.
Cover your casserole and pop into the oven for 3 hours. If you don’t have a casserole dish with a lid, cover with foil.
That is that, a delicious meal without any fuss. Serve with rice and salad.
You can fancy it up a bit by adding a few mushrooms 1/2 way through the cooking process or mix in a tablespoon of apricot jam with the ginger ale and soup mix for those who like it a little sweeter.
On a side note, for those of you who make beer can roast chicken, try it with Coke or Ginger Ale for a change!
chicken liver pate on french bread
I am a big fan of chicken liver pate and of all the recipes I have tried, this has got to be the easiest of the lot. It’s not quite a baked chicken liver pate which is really fancy but well worth it, but it tastes fabulous and is always on call to feed the masses.
What you need
2 heaped tablespoons butter (about 100g)
Pinch of dried Thyme
Pinch of dried marjoram
1 medium onion grated or finely chopped
500g chicken livers cleaned and cut in half
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
pinch of nutmeg
Put a pan on medium to low heat and add butter, herbs and onion. Cook until the onions are soft and transparent. It should take about 15 minutes.
Now add the chicken livers and cook until they cooked through.
Now toss the whole lot, straight from the pan into a blender along with the salt, garlic, nutmeg, brandy and sherry and blend until smooth.
Place in a bowl and pop into the fridge to chill. Serve with a selection of sliced pickles, crusty french loaf sliced thin, melba toast, fresh whole wheat bread and pita bread that has been crisped up in the oven and cut into triangles.
Thats that, fantastic chicken liver pate that will last 2 or 3 days in the fridge.
Cajun lemon chicken
This is a great chicken dish that is great hot and cold the next day. The cajun spices with the lemon and crunchy quick stir fried veg are a treat. For a salad version of the recipe all you have to do is drape your cooled cajun chicken and peppers over your favourite leaves, give it another squeeze of fresh lemon and perhaps add a some freshly cut melon. This one is very easy and very versatile, fresh and a treat in the heat. (Serves 4 or 6 as a salad)
What you need
750g chicken breast meat
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (available in supermarkets)
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 tablespoons maizena (corn flour)
125ml lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Oil for frying
Slice your chicken breasts into strips that are about 1cm thick and pop them into a bowl with the cajun spice. Give them a good mix about to distribute the cajun spice evenly over the sliced chicken.
Put a wok or large pan on a high heat with a little sunflower oil and fast fry the chicken pieces in batches until nicely browned in parts. Don’t fuss if the pieces seem partly uncooked, they will keep cooking once removed and still have more cooking to come. What you are looking for is little browned patches on the strips. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Now in the same wok quickly stir fry the onions and peppers until they are just beginning to soften, you still want them crunchy.
Mix together the maizena and the lemon juice.
Add all of the onions and peppers back to the pan, add the lemon juice and mazena mixture, water, sugar and butter, stir and bring to the boil. Now add the chicken and stir about for another minute or two until the chicken is coated in the delicious sauce.
Serve over some egg noodles or cold over your favourite leaves
If you have ever had Teriyaki chicken at a Japanese restaurant, this is as close as it gets and if you have not yet tried Teriyaki chicken, you want to try it, it is very simple and incredibly tasty.
When you serve this up to your friends or family they are going to Love it and the best part is that it takes just a few minutes and is no effort at all. It’s all about the marinade and the Mirin is a must, so pop into your local Chinese deli and grab a bottle.
This marinade works brilliantly for chicken skewers on the braai as well, just do them near the end of the cooking so that the coals are not too hot.
Serve it over a salad or with fried rice, either way you have a fabulous meal in minutes. (4 people)
What you need
4 chicken breasts skinless boneless or 6-8 thigh fillets (I prefer thighs)
1 onion finely sliced
4 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
6 Tablespoons light soy sauce
6 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Teaspoon ginger juice or finely grated ginger
Place all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl and give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar.
Pat your chicken dry with a tea towel and slice into strips about 1cm in wide.
Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with cling film, shake it about to coat each piece with marinade and set aside.
In a pan on a medium heat, add a little oil, toss in the onions and slowly cook them until they are translucent and soft. Try not to brown the edges, then remove and set aside.
Wipe the pan, add a little more oil and now cook the chicken pieces in 3 or 4 batches on the same heat until nivcely browned on both sides. They will brown quite quickly as the sugar caramelises. Don’t fret if you think they are not cooked through.
Once you have browned all of the pieces, add them back to the pan, pour in the remaining marinade, put on a lid, and leave it to simmer for a 3 minutes. Now remove the lid, add the onions, stir and simmer for another 3 minutes or so until the sauc e begins to thicken.
Thats it, you are done and this is seriously delicious. Drape over rice or salad.
It’s National Braai day on Saturday so get out your braai and head off to the supermarket for a whole bunch of chicken wings. These Buffalo wings are simply lip smacking delicious and will be on my braai tomorrow for sure. I may also make the Greek chicken pieces which are seriously easy and OH soo good.
If you like your buffalo wings nice and spicy add some more tabasco or a teaspoon or two of chili flakes to the marinade or leave the tabasco out of you are not feeling fiery.
This marinade works just as well with drumsticks and thighs so keep it as an any day chicken braai marinade.
Happy braai day all.
What you need
200ml Allgold tomato sauce
100ml soy sauce
100ml Vegetable oil
50ml Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg yolk
30 to 40 whole chicken wings (you can never have enough0
Joint the chicken wings removing the wing tips and separating each wing into 2 pieces, a mini drumstick looking piece and the middle piece. Toss out the wing tips or freeze them to make a chicken stock when you have enough.
Add all of the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and give a good thorough whisk.
Add the chicken wings and get your hands in there to mix it all up so that every chicken piece is coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl and place them in the fridge overnight or for up to 2 days.
If you are doing them in the oven, cover a grill with tin foil, place the grill in the roasting pan and then lay out your chicken winglets. Cook them under the grill until the skin is blistering and you notice dark patches on the ends. Turn them and grill until the other side is equally blistered and crisp. Take them out of the oven, toss back into the remaining marinade and with a wooden spoon give them all a last little coating. Then back onto the grill, reduce the oven to 180 Celsius and leave them to crisp up for about 15 minutes.
If you are doing them on the braai get your coals nice and hot so that the wings give off a nice sizzle when placed onto the grill. This can be quite challenging if you have a grill that has spaces large enough for a winglet to fall through but fear not, a piece of chicken wire placed over the grill does the trick. Move them around frequently until they are beautifully crisp and then back into the remaining marinade to before serving.
These are really lip smacking delicious and with National Braai day on Saturday, you have got to give them a go and never forget the chicken skewer recipe
Chicken Cacciatore has got to be one of the best recipes when you are entertaining. It is a sophisticated and very tasty dish that is easy to make and never fails to please. It is one of those dishes that you need to keep as an easy backup recipe for anytime entertaining, it uses sage and rosemary which are just fabulous with chicken so when you next want to impress with no hassle at all, give this ChickenCacciatore recipe a try. This is not a traditional cacciatore because I really love red peppers and add them in but you can happily leave them out (perfect for 4 or 5 people)
What you need
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
6 fresh sage leaves
1 pinch of fresh rosemary (should be about 10 leaves or so)
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (optional)
2 red peppers sliced
10-12 chicken pieces – legs and thighs (can be done skin on or off)
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 x 420g cans chopped tomatoes
In a heavy based pan on a medium to low heat, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, toss in the garlic, rosemary and sage leaves. Allow them to cook for about 30 seconds or so and then, if you are adding a little heatto your cacciatore, toss in the chili flakes and cook them for another minute or so.
Now increase the heat to medium high and brown your chicken pieces on both sides. This should take about 10 minutes or so. Add the red peppers and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, giving them a stir from time to time.
Once the chicken pieces are nicely browned and the peppers are beginning to soften add the wine and the olives, give it a stir and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half or even more. This should take about another 10 minutes or so and you should move the chicken pieces around every now and then.
Now stir in the tomato puree, add the tomatoes and a little extra liquid (water) if need be, reduce the heat to medium and leave to simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on.
If you are preparing ahead you can now remove from the heat until about 1/2 an hour before you are ready to serve. When you are ready, place on a medium to high heat, bring to a simmer and allow it to simmer with the lid off for another 20 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened a little and the liquid reduced.
Season with salt and pepper, taste, stir, taste, ok thats enough now… Serve.
This is great to serve with rice, mashed potatoes or crushed potatoes and a side salad. Try a few of the other easy chicken recipes.
The secret to a great baked potato is the heat of the oven.
Baked or jacket potatoes as some prefer to call them are so under rated, they can be delicious, complete meals if you bake them properly and have a fabulous filling.
To make the perfect jacket potato and by that I mean, steamy soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, this is what you need to do.
Take 4 to 6 large baking potatoes, scrub them clean and poke them with a fork all over about 5 or 6 times. Place them in a hot oven(200C) for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. They will be just perfect, a crisp outer skin and steamy soft inside.
If you want a quicker meal, poke them and then simply microwave them for 10-15 minutes first (all together) and then place them in the 200 Celsius oven for about 15-20 minutes, they will be just as good.
I generally make fillings with leftovers, like chicken, bolognaise sauce or whatever you have.
Cut the potato length wise or a cross along the top and heap over your filling. Serve with a green salad or coleslaw.
We all have certain favorite flavours, here are 2 of my favorites to fill jacket potatoes.
Chicken and spring onion
Chop up your leftover chicken(or cook boneless breasts or thighs), thinly slice a few spring onions and mix together with some cottage cheese and a generous grind of pepper and a little salt.
Whenever I make bolognese sauce I always make a bit extra. Spoon over plenty of bolognaise sauce, grate some cheese over the top and place under the grill for a few minutes.
There are endless fillings you can use for baked potatoes and are a great way to use up leftovers or vegetables when there is not enough to make a meal.
I often stir fry vegetables like onions, peppers, cabbage and patty pans when I only have a few of each left, cover the potato, top them off with cheese and pop under the grill.
Tonight, delve into your fridge and take out all of the leftovers or bits and pieces of vegetables that you will probably end up throwing away and make yourself a delicious baked potato.
Chicken mushroom casserole
Folks, here is a really fantastic one pot chicken meal that is just what I like, very little mess, short preparation, delicious and made with ingredients that most of you should have in your homes. The only thing you may need to go out and buy are the fresh herbs and if thats the case consider buying already potted herbs from the supermarket that you can pop onto your windowsill for any time fresh herbs. It does contain wine which makes a huge difference to the flavour and for those of you who would like to substitute the wine, pop over to Woolies or your closest good deli and get a bottle of verjuice.
It’s a rustic kind of meal that does not require fine dicing or anything fancy, it’s home cooking through and through.(for 4 hungry people like me or 6 quite happily)
What you need
8-10 chicken pieces or 1 whole chicken cut up
1 large onion roughly chopped
2 celery sticks roughly chopped
400g button mushrooms halved/quartered depending on size
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 litre chicken stock (hot)
350ml red wine
150ml full fat cream
Salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme, rosemary and a bayleaf
Tarragon and parsley roughly chopped
6 spring onions finely sliced
The best way to do it is in a cast iron casserole dish and if you don’t have one you are going to need a pan as well.
Place the cast iron casserole/pan on a high heat and add about 2/3 tablespoon of oil and brown your chicken pieces on both sides. You can leave the skin on but if you are everese to skin in your meal, take it off. remove the browned pieces and set aside.
Now reduce the heat to medium and take the pot off the heat while you get your onion, garlic, celery and carrots together. Place the pot back on the heat and toss in the ingredients, give them a few stirs and then toss in the thyme, rosemary and bayleaf and allow to cook for about 3 minutes giving it a stir every now and then.
Pour in the wine or verjuice slowly now and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer until the bubbles have reduced in size which will tell you that it has reduced and the alcohol burned off. Now pour in your hot stock and bring to a fast boil, toss in your chicken pieces and reduce the heat to medium, put on the lid and allow to cook for 30 minutes. If you are using a corningware casserole dish, place the chicken in the dish, pour over the liquid and veg and into a 180 Celsius oven for 30 minutes.
Now remove the lid, add the cream, stir, add the mushrooms, stir and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid off. Taste and season.
A minute or two before serving add the spring onions tarragon and parsley, stir it in and thats it you are done, serve with mashed potato. It may look like a lot, but it’s very straight forward, so give it a shot and enjoy.
Variations: add about 100g of chopped bacon (added into my one) when you cook the onions. Also add a handful of par cooked potatoes when you add the stock for a complete meal. Add a cup of peas or beans that have been chopped with the mushrooms.
Apricot chicken pieces
This chicken recipe has got to be one of the easiest recipes I have ever come across, is seriously tasty and one of those easy recipes you can put together in minutes and please anyone. It’s an ideal weekday recipe when you feel like something really tasty but just want to put your feet up after a busy day at the office. A tip to save you time is to cook up a big pot of rice over the weekend, use what you want for the weekend meal and then to place portions of the cooked rice in bags and freeze it for whenever you need it. All you need to do is pop the frozen rice in a sieve over a pot of boiling water to thaw and you are ready in an instant. You can double or triple the chicken recipe without any problems, the only limiting factor is the size of your dish or roasting pan. (this is for 4 people)
What you need
10 Chicken thighs
1 cup chicken stock
1 heaped tablespoon smooth apricot jam
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
Handfull of dried soft apricots
Handfull of baby onions halved (optional but recommended)
Salt and pepper
In a bowl whisk together the chicken stock, apricot jam and curry powder.
Place all of the chicken pieces, the apricots and onions into a bag, pour in the apricot marinade you have just whisked up, seal and set on the counter in a cool place for at least 1/2 an hour, longer is better.
While the chicken is marinading go and change, pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer, chat to the family, watch a bit of telly, you get the idea relax a bit you have pretty much already got the dinner sorted.
Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and place the chicken pieces in an oven proof dish or roasting pan and then pour over the remaining marinade. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes until nicely roasted and brown on top.
Done, serve with rice and frozen cooked peas or any green veg. To give the family all the veg they need, start them off with a bowl of the vegetable soup you made that you froze for just this sort of evening.
Another easy recipe is the Greek style chicken recipe from Jeremy Mansfield’s book Zhoosch which is really awesome.