Chicken broccoli bake

Chicken broccoli bake

chicken-broccoli-casserole

Chicken Broccoli bake

This is a really great meal that is truly effortless. You can quite easily add all sorts of things to it like extra mushrooms or bacon pieces. It is serious comfort food and being a fan of broccoli, this one is a keeper for me. (serve 4 hungry people)

What you need

300g shell pasta
3 or 4 Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tin cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
2 cups broccoli florets (break them up quite small)
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs

The process

Poach the chicken breasts in slightly salted water for about 10 minutes until cooked through and then either shred using 2 forks to pull apart or cut into smallish cubes.

Boil your pasta in salted water until al dente and drain

Boil or steam the broccoli until cooked, you don’t want them soft, there should still be some crunch in them and drain.

In a bowl add the shredded chicken, broccoli florets, cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise and mustard and combine. Season with black pepper.

In a casserole dish, add the cooked pasta and cover with the chicken and broccoli mixture. Use 2 spoons to mix gently, much like tossing a salad.

Cover with the grated cheese and breadcrumbs and place in a 200 Celsius oven for about 20 minutes or so until the cheese toping is golden brown.

It’s easy to make for many people and served with an easy dessert like sticky toffee pudding using a bought cake couldn’t be simpler to please a whole load of people.

Thai chicken balls

Thai chicken balls

chicken-ballsI made these little beauties for a friend of mine who is on the Sure slim diet and they were a great success. There are no carbohydrates in them at all and I can tell you they are now in my quick and easy anytime recipe collection. They were really delicious and not being on a diet myself, will be making them often. (for 2 people)

What you need

400g chicken mince or chicken sausage meat
1 spring onion finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
pinch black pepper
palm of fresh parsley chopped
palm of fresh coriander chopped
pinch of red chili flakes

Lemon juice to finish

The process

Place the chicken mince in a bowl and add all of the ingredients except lemon juice.

Mix together well with a spoon or just dive in there with clean hands and mix together well.

cover and set aside in the fridge while you prepare whatever vegetables you are going to eat. i had a cuppa tea before I started the veg and the mixture was in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour.

You want to let the flavours linger before you cook the chicken.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and make small balls that will easily fit into the palm of your hand, thread them on a skewer if you have. (wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking)

Cook them until they are nicely browned and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, either with stir fried vegetables or a salad.

As a starter serve them with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

These are really fantastic could just as easily be used with beef mince.(not for dieters)

These Thai corn fritters are also a really fantastic Thai starter

Lemon and Ginger chicken

Lemon and Ginger chicken

lemon-chickenOh man, this is a real treat, crisp chicken in a light batter with a lemony ginger sauce that is unbelievably good. It’s tasty, fresh and clean food best served with egg fried rice and a simple vegetable dish like the pak choy. (4 people)

What you need

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into narrow strips
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons Maizena (cornflour)
Oil for frying

Sauce
60ml lemon juice
1 cup water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 teaspoons grated ginger
3cm piece fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Maizena
1 tablespon honey
2 tablespoons sugar

Chopped spring onion to garnish

The process

Lightly beat the egg whites, add the cornflour and whisk well until completely combined. Add the chicken strips and mix until they are all covered in the batter.

Heat about 4cm of oil in a wok

Take the strips from the batter individually and drop into the oil. Allow them to cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Place in a low oven to keep warm.

Wipe the wok clean, add the water, lemon juice, grated ginger, honey, sugar and crumble in the chicken stock cubes. Give it a good stir and bring it to the boil. Now combine the maizena and 1 tablespoon of water together then add to the sauce, reduce the heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes to cook the maizena. Remove the sauce from the wok and set aside.

Last part… Wipe the wok clean again and add a little oil to the wok, add the sliced ginger and stir fry for one or 2 minutes.

Add back the sauce and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour over the sweet lemony nectar. Garnish with a few sliced spring onions.

Seriously good.

Here is the Egg fried rice recipe and the Pak Choy recipe

Smoky chicken and pea casserole

Smoky chicken and pea casserole

chicken-pea-casseroleThis is a real treat for those who love that pea and bacon combination. The chicken pieces turn out tender with a hint of the bacon flavour and combined with peas, well what can I say, it’s a combination made in heaven. (4 people)

What you need

200g bacon chopped very small
2 tablespoons butter
handfull of cocktail onions – about 12 or so
1.5kg skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
500g peas
salt and pepper
palm of chopped fresh parsley

The process

In a pan on a medium heat add the bacon pieces and onions, cook until the bacon is well done and the onions are browned a little. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the chicken pieces and brown on both sides, remove and place in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Now add the butter and the flour, cook for a minute or 2, don’t allow the flour to burn. Add the chicken stock to the flour and butter mixture and stir vigerously until well blended.

Cover the chicken pieces with the bacon and onions, then pour over the stock and flour mixture. Cover and place in a pre heated 200 celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Now add the peas and the parsley, stir and place uncovered in the oven for a further 10- minutes.

Thats it, you have a fantastic meal.

Serve as is or with mashed potatoes.

For garlic lovers, you can happily add 2 teaspoons of garlic to the bacon pieces.

Try the bread and butter pudding to really top this off.

Chicken and fennel casserole

Chicken and fennel casserole

chicken-tomato-casseroleWhile on a mission to find something really different in a casserole I came across this fabulous recipe which uses canellini beans and fennel. Fennel is rarely used in SA for some reason and the combinations here really work well. The best part is that it is really a 1 pot wonder, with everything you need for a balanced meal. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and really well worth it. (4 people)

What you need

8-10 skinless chicken thighs
1 – 2 tablespoon flour
2 onions roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 fenel bulb sliced finely
1 bay leaf
Zest and juice of 1 orange
400g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
400g tin canellini beans drained
Salt and pepper
Oil

The process

Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and toss around with your hands to coat, use a little more flour but not more than 2 tablespoons if need be.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and have a casserole dish ready.

Heat a little oil in a large pot and brown the chicken pieces, remove and place in the casserole dish.

Wipe the pot with kitchen paper and add a touch more oil, cook the onions, fennel and garlic until beginning to brown on the edges.

Add the tomatoes, beans, rind and juice of the orange, bay leaf and finally season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir it around, pour over the chicken pieces, cover and place nto the oven for 45 minutes.

Thats it, serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

The chicken and tomato casserole is really quick and easy, if you like this type of chicken recipe.

Famous Chinese chicken

Famous Chinese chicken

chinese-chickenWhen I first read this recipe it sounded really strange but was really delicious and unlike anything else I have tasted in any Chinese restaurant before. I am a big fan of Chinese food with Mr Chan on Seapoint Main Rd being my alltime favorite restaurant. It has a really rich flavor and best served with plain steamed rice, very simple and fast recipe.(4 people)

What you need

1.5kg chicken thighs in bite size pieces
3 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 cup All gold tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
Pepper
Oil for deep frying

The process

Lightly beat the egg yolks, and set a wok on medium high with oil for deep frying

Mix together the tomato sauce, wine and soy sauce in a seperate bowl and set aside.

Place all of the chicken pieces into the egg yolk and mix around to coat thoroughly.

Take individual pieces of chicken from the egg and place into the oil.(you want each piece to be separate) Do this in small batches, until all all of the chicken is golden brown, remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Remove all of the oil of the wok and wipe down. Place the sauce into the wik and bring to the boil, allowing it to boil for about a minute and reduce slightly.

Toss all of the chicken pieces into the sauce, mix well to coat and heat through.

Serve immediately.

As a second dish try this tasty pak choy recipe

Chicken hotpot Chinese style

Chicken hotpot Chinese style

chinese-chicken-hotpot

Chinese chicken hotpot

Oh wow, this one you just have to try, It’s quick to prepare and something really different and impressive. It is reputedly from a very famous Chinese restaurant in Sydney and I can tell you will not dissapoint it’s perfect for winter and the flavor is so unexpected from a hotpot style dish. (4 people)

What you need

1.5kg skinless chicken pieces(bone in)
Maizena (cornflour)
100g black mushrooms
6 thin slices of ginger
3 or 4 spring onions cut into 5cm pieces
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
125ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce

The process

Put about 1/2 cup maizena on a plate to coat the chicken.

Heat about 75ml oil in a wok. Coat each chicken piece in Maizena and place them in the oil in 2 batches and fry until golden brown, remove and set aside. Once all the chicken is browned add back to the wok and add the ginger slices, spring onions, garlic and mushrooms and toss around.

Combine the 1/4 cup chicken stock, white wine, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of maizena together and add to the wok, stir until the sauce begins to thicken and remove from heat.

Pour the whole lot into a casserole dish, add the last 1/2 cup of chicken stock, cover and place in a 180 celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Serve straight out of the oven with rice or noodles.

The sauce is thick and delicious and is sure to become a favorite.

Grilled mint chicken

Grilled mint chicken

mint-chickenPan grilling is real simple and if you have a corrugated grilling pan the end result is really impressive. This is a great fresh tasting meal and perfect for anyone following a no carb diet. If you are not dieting, just add some boiled baby potatoes or rice boiled in chicken stock. (for 4 people)

What you need

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Juice of 1 lemon
75ml olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
6 baby courgettes sliced diagonally
1 medium eggplant sliced (aubergine)
1 red pepper roughly cut
1 large red onion thickly sliced
Salt
Pepper

The process

Place the sliced eggplant(1cm thick) onto a plate and sprinkle with salt on both sides to draw out some of the bitterness. leave for 30 minutes while you repare the rest of the ingredients. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Make a marinade by placing the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and mint into a bowl, mix and season with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper.

Slice the chicken breasts through the center to form 8 thinner pieces. (you can also cut into strips diagonally across the grain). Place them in a bowl and pour over 1/2 the marinade ensuring that each piece is coated and set aside.

Do exactly the same to your cut vegetables and set aside. (best left for about 30 minutes or so)

Heat a grill pan to medium hot and grill the vegetables until they begin to soften and have begun to brown slightly. Do the same with the chicken pieces and serve immediately.

Never overcook chicken, you want it to just cook through and it will be tender and delicious.

If you liked this recipe you will really enjoy the chicken and sweet pepper stir fry.

Chicken and vegetable soup

Chicken and vegetable soup

chicken-vegetable-soupWith the warning of heavy rains and 2 cold fronts approaching Cape Town this weekend I decided to make a pot of this fantastic chicken and vegetable soup that takes 20 minutes tops to make and a large French loaf and a good book prepared for a weekend indoors. (4 large servings)

What you need

1 large potato diced
2 large carrots sliced
2 leeks sliced finely
2 celery sticks chopped (leaves included)
1 onion halved and sliced finely
2 large skinless boneless chicken breast sliced finely
handfull of flatleaf parsley chopped
2 chicken stock cubes crumbled
About 1 liter water
Olive oil
Pepper

The process

first off, be sure that you wash the vegetables thoroughly, especially the leeks, they have a tendency to have sand hiding in between the layers. Chop and slice away.

Heat a pot on a meadium heat with some olive oil and add the vegetables. Stir them around to sweat them a little and begin to soften.

Add the water and crumble in the 2 stock cubes, bring it to the boil and then add the chicken slices.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so with the lid on and lastly toss in the parsley, season with pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Thats it, you are done.

Serve with warm crusty French loaf.

Tip: When adding the water, ensure that the vegetables are covered completely and don’t worry about the little bit of oil on the surface, it’s perfectly good if you used olive oil
and adds extra flavor.

Double up if need be and leave it on the stove to reheat whenever you feel the need.

Tuscan chicken casserole

Tuscan chicken casserole

tuscan-chicken

Tuscan chicken casserole

Here is something really homely and heartwarming. It takes a while in the oven but just a few minutes to prepare, perfect for weekend wintery dinners, just let it cook and fill the house with delicious smells. It’s so simple you wont believe how great it tastes.(4 to 5 people)

What you need

8 skinless chicken thighs
2 medium onions sliced
4 slices bacon chopped
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 chicken stock cube
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon sage (if using fresh sage, 3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon rosemary (if using fresh rosemary, 3 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons maizena
salt and pepper

The process

Heat the oven to 180 Celsius and get out a casserole dish with a lid.

Place the chicken pieces in the bottom of the casserole dish, sprinkle over the bacon and onions.

Mix the lemon juice, vinegar, hot water, stock cube and the herbs and pour over the chicken.

Place in the oven for about 45 minutes and then mix the maizena(corn flour) with a little water, about 3 tablespoons and mix into the liquid in the casserole dish and season with salt and black pepper.

return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so.

Thats it, done.

Serve with rice or bioled baby potatoes or this warm potato salad