Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Chicken pie

This is a fantastic Chicken Pie recipe that is very easy to make and thanks to frozen puff pastry takes only minutes to prepare. It makes a large pie that can feed about 6 people but tastes so good, 4 hungry people will devour it in no time. There is something so good about the smell of pastry baking in the oven and your family will be at the door asking when it will be ready.

What you need

250g frozen puff pastry that is thawed
1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions grated or finely chopped
1 tin corn kernels drained
100g sliced button mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 whole cooked chicken chopped or shredded depending on how you like it

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
500ml chicken stock
250ml fresh cream

The process

Before you start this recipe, pop your frozen pastry in the fridge for about 2 hours to thaw. It is best to thaw it out in the freezer than on the counter or microwave, just seems to stay intact better.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on a medium heat and fry the onions until they are soft, add the mushrooms and fry for about another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Now add the corn, frozen peas and chicken and cook for a few minutes to mix in all of the ingredients. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Stir or whisk well to cook the flour a little, be careful not to burn it, you want it to be better yellow not brown. Now remove it from the heat and add the chicken stock in a slow stream, whisk very well while adding the stock until all of the flour is mixed in and you have no lumps.

Pop it back on the stove and bring to the boil while you stir continuously, then reduce the heat to low, add the cream and stir until you feel it starting to thicken up. Remove from the heat, toss in the chicken mixture and give it a good mix.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that is about 20cm x 20cm x 10cm or a shallower one that is about 30cm x 20cm x 6cm and then place the pastry over the top. Tuck it in and fold any overlaps back onto the top. Cut 2 x 4cm slits in the pastry, wash the top with the beaten egg and place in a 180 Celsius oven for about 30 mins or until the pastry is crisp and browned.

It’s a fantastic meal folks, try it.

Take a look at the other easy chicken recipes.

Shrimp and smoked salmon pasta

Shrimp and smoked salmon pasta

Shrimp salmon pasta

Folks, this is a great meal when you feel you need to spoil someone and with Valentines day just around the corner, you may want to print this one. It is really easy to make so you can spoil that special someone without fretting. This is one of the few occasions where frozen shrimp is OK to use. By the way, if you need a few ideas of what to give a man as gift, check out MensGifts.co.za (good for 2 people)

What you need

Cooked pasta – enough for 2 people
1 medium onion finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g shrimp
100g smoked salmon
small bunch chopped fresh chives
Zest of 1/3 a lemon
150ml fresh cream
splash of white wine or about 30ml
1 teaspoon fresh chopped Thyme
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the oilve oil in a pan on a medium heat and toss in the onions. Let them cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are nice and soft.

Now add the shrimp (thawed and dried if you used frozen) and cook for about another 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.

Toss in the chives, lemon zest, salmon, cream and then the wine. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes or until warmed through.

Pour the sauce into your cooked pasta which you have left in the pot and mix to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Serve with a side salad and some crisp warm bread. It is yummy I tell you. Take a look through the other pasta recipes

Lancashire hotpot recipe

Lancashire hotpot recipe

Lancashire hotpot

A traditional Lancashire hotpot uses lamb kidneys but I am not a big fan of offal so have left them out and made it more like a really great lamb casserole that has a crunchy potato topping. There is a really great hotpot version made with Chicken which you should also try.  Chicken hotpot, Chinese Chicken hotpot. Serves about 5 or 6 people.

What you need

650g lamb meat cubed (leg of lamb is best)
4 medium onions sliced
1 tablespoon flour with a pinch of salt in it
approx 600g potatoes thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (1 teaspoon if you use dried thyme)
200g thickly sliced button mushrooms
Salt and pepper
about 6x 1cm square cubes of butter
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

The process

In a large pot on a medium to high heat, add the oil and onions and cook for about four or five minutes stirring from time to time. Add the meat that has been sprinkled with the seasoned flour and brown nicely on all sides. They should have a beautiful nutty brown colour on the outside.

Remove the meat and onions from the pot and place into the bottom of a casserole dish that is about 20cm square and about 10cm high.

Now add the mushrooms in a layer, sprinkle over the thyme and toss in the bay leaf and give it a season with salt and ground pepper.

Now pour over the chicken stock and place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes over the entire top. Overlap them a bit to use all or most of the potatoes and then place the butter cubes randomly over the top.

Put it into a 190 Celsius oven for about 2 hours, check after 1 1/2 hours and if the potatoes are browned and looking crisp, you are done. If not, leave it for another 1/2 hour.

Enjoy it folks and serve it with the best dessert on the planet, an Eaton Mess.

Pan fried chicken with mushroom sauce

Pan fried chicken with mushroom sauce

pan fried chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Pan Fried Chicken

If you are dieting this one is not for you. By flattening out your chicken breasts as if you were making a chicken schnitzel they cook a lot quicker, are beautifully tender and smothered in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, well what can I say, they are seriously good.(4 people)

What you need

4 – 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts butterflied
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil

Mushroom sauce

2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion grated
100ml dry white wine (or chicken stock)
200ml fresh cream

Tagliatelle pasta cooked

The process

Butterfly your chicken breasts by slicing them almost through, opening them out, placing a piece of cling film over them and giving them a pound with a rolling pin or wine bottle.

If you have a meat mallet, be gentle, you don’t want to break them.

Season with salt and pepper and cook in a pan on a medium to hot heat with the oil until browned on the outside. Be careful not to overcook them, they really do take just a few minutes.

Place the cooked chicken in a serving dish that has been warmed in the oven.

Now reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and butter to the same pan and cook for about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Pour in the white wine, bring the heat up to high and allow to simmer allowing the liquid to reduce by about half. Add in the cream and stir, stir, stir until it has reduced again by about half.

Place some pasta on a plate, cover with a little sauce, then a chicken piece and top with a generous amount of the mushroom sauce.

I like it with a salad, veg just seems wrong!

Try some of the other chicken recipes, or a healthy chicken recipe.

Baked chicken Parmigiana

Baked chicken Parmigiana

baked italian chicken

Baked Parmagiana

This is a real treat, it’s a variation of Chicken parmigiana that is rustic and very morish. I never mess with it too much and serve it with either a green salad or a pasta on the side that has also been tossed in a little marinara sauce.

It takes a little longer than some of the other Italian recipes but is worth every second.

What you need

1 egg well beaten (or half a cup of milk)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and have a non stick oven tray ready.

Take your chicken breasts and slice them so that you can open them and flatten them out like a Chicken Schnitzel. Give them a light pounding with a rolling pin or wine bottle to flatten a bit.

Have your beaten egg in a bowl and your bread crumbs on a plate. I recommend the corn flake bread crumbs from Kellogs.

Dip your flattened chicken breast into the egg(or milk), shake off the excess and then into the bread crumbs to coat well.

Place onto the oven tray and place into the oven for 20 minutes.

Once they are done, get a baking dish, pour a 1 cm deep layer of Marinara sauce into the bottom of the dish, place the cooked chicken on top and then cover with more of the Marinara sauce.

Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top and then the Parmesan.

pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes or so until the cheese has melted.

It’s rich, and seriously delicious.

You should always have Marinara sauce in the freezer, but if you don’t and you want a quick alternative, take a tin of chopped tomatoes and onion with basil in it, heat it up and use a potato masher to mash it up a bit.

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash

bangers and mash recipe

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash with a tomato and onion gravy is the easiest and tastiest recipe thanks to tinned tomato and onion mix. You can use pork or beef sausages, tastes just as good. You really must give this a try, it will become a regular in your household, simple tasty home style food.

Lets call it African Bangers and Mash, the British bangers and mash uses a brown gravy, here we are giving it some real flavour. This, along with the Scotch egg recipe need good quality sausages and the Woolies porkers or the Escort sausages are the ones you need. Over December I got some porkers from Checkers in Seapoint and they were truly terrible. (3 or 4 people)

What you need

8 pork or beef sausages
1 tin tomato and onion mix or chopped tomatoes
6 strips bacon chopped

5 or 6 large potatoes
butter (1 or 2 tablespoons)
milk (approx 100ml)
Salt and pepper

The process

Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into 8ths, place them in boiling water to cook while you prepare the sausages.

Cook your sausages in a pan on a medium to high heat until nicely browned. When you are half way through cooking the sausages, add the bacon and cook through.

Turn you stove to low and add the tomato mix to the pan and allow to simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. You want the tomato gravy to reduce a little.

Drain off the potatoes when they are nice and soft and mash very well adding about 100ml milk and a heaped tablespoon of butter and seasoning to the mash. The secret to light and fluffy mash is quite simple, mash, mash mash and stir stir stir. Get someone else involved in the mashing if need be, there is something really good about smooth light mashed potatoes.

This is a really good and economical meal that you will love. It’s weekday cooking at it’s best, easy, economical and quick.

Another great pub style recipe is the rare beef with dipping sauce, try it!

Green peppercorn chicken casserole

Green peppercorn chicken casserole

chicken casserole with green peppercorns

Peppercorn chicken casserole

I had a green peppercorn sauce at a restaurant in Cape Town over December and it really hit the mark, not to hot and peppery but a little spicy with a fresh aftertaste. Green peppercorns are sold in small bottles and pickled in brine, it also uses yoghurt as well which makes it everything you could ask for.

Try this for a change from your regular chicken casseroles, it is a real winner and you will be amazed at the flavour. It takes virtually no effort unless you want to remove the skins from the chicken. (4 people)

What you need

12 chicken drumsticks or small thighs
1 medium onion finely chopped (grate if you can)
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons drained green peppercorns
1 cup hot water
2 Chicken stock cubes
2 Tablespoons Maizena(Cornflour)
200ml plain yoghurt
Black pepper

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Take a large casserole dish with a lid and place the chicken pieces in the bottom. Add the onion, green peppercorns and crumble the two stock cubes over the top.

Now toss in the bay leaf and pour over the hot water, then cover and into the oven for 45 minutes.

Mix together the yoghurt and the Maizena, give it a good season with black pepper and then pour over the mixture. Stir it about a bit to combine, cover and then back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

It’s as simple as that, done and delicious. Serve with rice.

The Tuscan Chicken Casserole is also a great Chicken Casserole or take a look at all of the Chicken recipes.

Lemon Flan from Gatriles

Lemon Flan from Gatriles

Quick Lemon flan recipe

Quick lemon flan

For those of you who remember that fabulous restaurant in JHB called Gatrilles Son & Co and experienced the sheer joy of tasting their very popular lemon flan, you will be thanking me forever when you read how simple and tasty this recipe is. It’s a real South African recipe that uses Marie biscuits in it’s base.

I got it from a recipe book my mother put together many years ago and the recipe appeared in a magazine, have no idea which one but from the cutting looks like YOU mag or something similar. Give this one a try, you will be very pleased indeed!

It’s a 15 minute preparation from start to finsish but does need about 2 hours in the fridge before you serve.

What you need

1 Tin sweetened condensed milk (397g)
250 ml whipping cream
Juice of 4 large lemons

1/2 packet Marie biscuits
80 ml melted butter

20cm round flan dish or cake tin.

The process

First off, crush the half packet of Marie biscuits until quite fine by placing them in a packet and use a rolling pin or empty bottle to crush them up.

Then melt butter and add the crushed Marie biscuits, stir them until all of the crushed biscuits are coated with butter and then press into the base and sides of the dish firmly. Pop it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peak stage and then add the condensed milk. Mix well with a metal spoon to combine the cream and condensed milk evenly.

Lastly stir in the lemon juice and give it another good mix.

Get you shell from the fridge and pour in the lemon mixture, return to fridge for another 2 hours before serving.

Its seriously simple and very delicious… just does not get any easier than that, my kind of recipe!

Before serving you can finely grate a little lemon rind(or not) and serve with a nice dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Happy New Year…

Another great recipe is the lemon meringue pie recipe

I have been asked a few times about using Tennis biscuits in the base and yes you can, it is just as good but the Marie biscuits make a base that is easier to serve, the tennis biscuits tend to crumble.

Cornflake cookies

Cornflake cookies

cornflake cookies

cornflake cookies

Whenever I have been away for a while I like to replenish the cookie jars and these cornflake cookies are really great. They are great to have around when you are on the run, to grab a few on your way out the door when you have missed breakfast. They last at least a week in an airtight container… I have never tested any longer than that. (makes about 3 dozen cookies)

What you need

125g butter at room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg beaten
2/3 cup raisins/sultanas or even chopped glace cherries (whatever you like best)
1 cup self raising flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed cornflakes

The process

Take about 2 cups of cornflakes from the box and crunch them with your hands to break into smaller pieces, not powder or tiny pieces, just broken up which will be about 1 1/2 cups. Pour onto a large plate.

In a bowl, add the butter and caster sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. use an electric beater.

Now add the beaten egg and beat again until fully combined.

Sift the flour into the mixture and add the raisins or dried fruit of your choice. Mix together with a spoon using a folding motion until uniformly combined, dont beat, just mix.

Line a baking sheet with grease proof paper and take heaped teaspoons of the mixture, form a ball and roll them in the broken up cornflakes to coat well.

Place them on the baking sheet and flatten slightly with your thumb. Leave about 2 or 3 cm around each cookie to allow for spreading and rising.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and crisp up then dig in…

To store, place a sheet of grease proof paper in the bottom of your tin or tupperware and pile them up gently.

try this healthy energy bar recipe as well.

Summer prawn salad

Summer prawn salad

Quick Prawn salad

There are few things as good as a bowl of prawns straight out of the pan or off the braai with a good squeeze of lemon and this very quick dish is perfect to top off a salad on hot summer days. Simply make a nice leafy salad and top off with the beautiful fresh prawns that have come straight from the pan.(4 people)

What you need

1 kg fresh prawns deveined but shells still on
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 juicy lemon halved
Salt and pepper to season

The process

First off, take a trip down to your fishmonger or fresh seafood supplier and choose a kilo of queen or king prawns, ask them to devein them leaving the tails on. They usually don’t charge for this but if you are going to devein at home use a pair of kitchen scissors, I find it much easier to devein and shell and less messy.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan on a medium to hot heat and pop in about 1/4 of the prawns, give a grind of black pepper and add 1 teaspoon of garlic, cook for 2 minutes or so on each side until the outsides have turned pink and the flesh has gone white. Be careful not to overcook or they will turn to mush. Flesh should be firm to the touch.

Remove and place in a large bowl.

Repeat until all of the prawns are cooked, sprinkle over a little salt and squeeze over the lemon.

Thats it, top off your favourite salad and dig in. Tip add avocado or mango to your salad, they both go so well with prawns.
it’s a perfect summer meal served with fresh crusty bread.

This one has both avo and mango sprinkled with a few chopped roast peanuts and it works for me but add your own twist!