Healthy, Mexican, Poultry

Paprika Chicken with Pico de Gallo

Serves: 4

This Frank Camorra dish is a doozy.

Super simple, super healthy (haloumi aside I guess), super weekday cooking.

It is Monday night in a nutshell when you need a glimmer of hope – and possibly a vino – to know that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are within reach.

Save the calories for Friday night and start the week with a Mexican-style chicken breast.

(We used the leftover Pico de Gallo with some pan-fried tuna the next night, adding olives and chopped preserved lemons… two for one and another weekday win!)

Ingredients

1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts
4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
½ bunch coriander, leaf and stalk chopped
1 Jalapeno chilli, finely diced
2 limes, juiced
400gm haloumi cheese
Salt
Salad greens to serve

Method

  1. Mix the paprika and oil in a bowl; add the chicken and mix well until coated. Cover with clingwrap and leave to marinate for an hour.
  2. Add the tomatoes, onion, coriander, chilli and lime juice to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Heat the barbeque or grill. When hot, grill the chicken until well coloured on both sides and cooked through.
  4. Cut the haloumi into 4 eve slices and grill for a few minutes on each side. Cut into smaller pieces.
  5. Slice the chicken breasts in half and place on your plates. Place the cut haloumi around the chicken and then spoon the Pico de Gallo liberally over the chicken.
  6. Serve with the salad greens.
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Asian, Healthy, Poultry

Steamed Chinese Chicken with Ginger and Shiitakes

Serves: 4

This is one of the simplest, most effective, tastiest dishes you can cook.

And the most healthiest.

Read through the ingredients and you’ll understand why you are almost obliged to serve it with some steamed rice… because otherwise, there is almost literally nothing there.

Which is not to say it is subtle, though it is delicate.

Thank the rice wine, sesame oil and ginger for that.

I promise you will cook this again and again and you will never be bored of it.

Brilliant.

Ingredients

4 x 150gm chicken breast fillets
Salt and white pepper
1 ½ tbsp Chinese rice wine
8cm piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
6 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, stalks removed and sliced
1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots
1 bunch Chinese broccoli (gai lan), chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
Spring onions, thinly sliced to serve
Coriander leaves to serve
Steamed Jasmine rice

Method

  1. Slice the chicken on an angle (1cm slices) and combine with the rice wine, salt and plenty of white pepper in a bowl. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Place chicken, overlapping onto a heatproof plate. Scatter ginger and mushrooms over the chicken.
  3. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 8-9 minutes or until cooked. (If you have a multi-level steamer, place the carrots and chopped broccoli on a plate on top of the chicken for the last 3 minutes of chicken cooking time until just tender; otherwise, blanch in boiling water.)
  4. Divide chicken, carrots and broccoli among serving plates. Drizzle oil on top and scatter with onion and coriander. Serve with steamed rice.
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Healthy, Poultry, Stew

Spiced chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Serves: 4

So, between the time of writing this and next Friday (4 days away), Maxy Ashes Beerworth will be born.

A little man destined to make – and break – our lives, at least in the short-term. (The making will be a much longer-term affair though the immediate focus is on the cannonball that will interrupt any concept of sleep, dancing with tequila in the kitchen late at night or eating out on a whim.)

But kids are a long-term game and I am so bloody excited, words do not describe.

But back to the short-term play.

We will need food and at a time when the sous vide and micro herbs probably won’t play a part.

Herein starts a short series of posts dedicated to Maxy, our sanity and eating well.

And this bloody marvelous stew is a great way to kick it off.

It takes a while and I have adjusted the recipe to add a touch more spice – of which you could certainly add more – and I recommend it it without hesitation if your little Maxy is about to enter the world.

Or you just want an awesome, super-healthy stew for lunch.

Seriously, she is good.

Ingredients

Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
200gm baby spinach, fresh
8 chicken thighs, chopped
500ml chicken stock

Spice mix

2 red onions, chopped
2 red chillis, chopped with seeds
1 tsp paprika
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
400gm can tomatoes
2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped

To serve

Coriander
Pumpkin seeds, toasted

3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped
Warmed naan bread

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend all of the spice mix ingredients until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the spice mix for around 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the stock and reduce over a medium heat until thick; an hour at least, likely two. You want a thick stew and the chicken breaking apart.
  5. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Season the chicken with pepper, add the sweet potato and spinach. Combine for a minute or two.
  7. Serve with coriander, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of chopped, preserved lemon.
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Kids

One Pot Chicken and Veggie Pasta – Kids

 

One Pot Chicken and Veggie Pasta – Kids

Serves: 8

We recently employed a nanny to help with the boys at night.

And when I suggested that she might like to encourage their cooking skills by cooking suitable dinners together, she loved the idea.

Tonight’s dinner was really good and kid friendly on all fronts. And one-pot pasta is genius on so many preparation/cooking/cleaning/genius levels.

And when I say ‘good’, I mean, I had a bowl and loved it good. Local cafe good.

If you have kids and want them to cook/eat, this is a great recipe to try.

If you want to cook/eat, you could do a whole lot worse.

Simple.

Ingredients

500gm chicken breast, cut into 2cm pieces
3 cups chicken stock
Penne pasta (packet)
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 bunches broccolini florets
1 cup sundried tomatoes
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Method

  1. Season the chicken.
  2. Over a high heat in a large pot, add the chicken, 2 cups of the stock and the pasta.
  3. Bring to the boil and boil for 7 – 8 minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add the broccolini, remaining cup of stock and the yogurt.
  5. Stirring well, cook for another 7 – 8 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cheese and sundried tomatoes.
  7. Season and enjoy.
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Healthy, Poultry, Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Serves: 8

You want a healthy, tasty chicken salad right?

Who doesn’t?

It is one of my top searches for a weeknight meal or a Saturday lunch.

You want your back covered?

Nat’s got it!

With this awesome, super healthy, utterly moorish number: something I would make en-masse and ready to serve as a lunch or a snack all week.

240 calories per serve. 240!

Nat and this salad are genius.

Ingredients

1kg chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅔ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp dried tarragon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 ½ cups, red seedless grapes, halved

Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 230c.
    2. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer and pour the stock around the chicken. Bake until cooked through, around 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle and then cube the meat.
    3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts on a baking sheet until slightly golden; around 6 minutes. Allow to cool.
    4. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the celery, grapes and the cooled chicken and walnuts. Stir to coat and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve on a bed of salad: lettuce, tomato, avocado, diced red onion, cucumber, whatever!
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Italian, Poultry

Pollo alla Cacciatora

Pollo alla Cacciatora

Serves: 4.

I had completely forgotten how good Chicken Cacciatora was until I did this number.

What a fool!

Seriously, this is so good. The richness, the warmth, the depth of flavour. And so easy.

This is a Jamie Oliver version and served with some Italian potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts, it was just glorious.

And served on some toast the next morning for breakfast?

You would have a queue at your cafe if you simply did that. Genius.

I substituted chicken thigh for the whole chicken simply to make things easier; if we were entertaining, the whole chicken would have been the go.

Either way, do this old-fashioned Italian dish and you’ll be a hero.

Ingredients

1 x 2kg chicken, jointed (or 1kg of chicken thigh)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 clove of garlic peeled (1 crushed, 2 sliced)
½ bottle of Chianti (the other ½ is for you, my friend)
Flour, for dusting
Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
A handful of green or black olives, stoned
2 x 400gm tins of tomatoes

Method

  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and put them in a bowl. Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and the crushed clove of garlic and cover with the wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour and preferably overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c. Drain the chicken reserving the marinade and pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Dust the chicken with flour and shake off any excess; especially important if you are using thigh meat only.
  3. Heat a large saucepan, add a good splash of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and set aside.
  4. Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic. Gently fry until golden brown and then add the anchovies, olives, tomatoes and chicken pieces together with the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours.
  5. Skim any oil that has collected at the top of the sauce, remove the bay leaves and rosemary stalks, season and serve.
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BBQ, Greek, Healthy, Poultry, Salad, Uncategorized

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a great lunch, so simple, fresh and healthy.

Marinate the chicken overnight and heat up the grill; a glass of cold white and a bowl of the salad on the side. By the pool, the boys loved it; everyone loved it.

A totally no-complaints lunch.

In fact, whatever the opposite of no-complaints is.

Ingredients

1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into strips
(Toasted) pita bread

Marinade

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp low fat Greek yoghurt
1 ½ tbsp dried oregano

Tzatziki

2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 cups low fat Greek yoghurt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salad

3 tomatoes diced
3 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
½ red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped

Method

  1. Mix the marinade in a bowl, combine with the chicken in a ziplock bag and marinate for 2 – 24 hours.
  2. Heat your grill/BBQ over a high heat, thread the chicken on skewers, drizzle with a little oil and grill-until cooked.
    Toast the pita bread on the grill, basted with some oil.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and the salad ingredients in another bowl.
  4. To serve, place chicken and salad in the center of the pita bread, top with the tzatziki and roll up tightly.
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