Tag Archives: chicken

Things I have been cooking lately #161: Chicken and pancetta tray bake

I have already made this tray bake twice because it was so easy and delicious, once for Mr O and I and then once for a pot luck Sunday lunch at N’s new house now that he has moved out of our flat. While it does take a little bit of time to make, actually throwing it together is really quick and the flavour is completely worth the wait.


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Things I have been cooking lately #152: Chicken with chorizo and mozzarella

Recently a South London chap called Joe Wicks has become a bit of a diet and exercise sensation in the UK. He advocates a programme of easy, highly nutritious large portion recipes that you can make quickly along with high intensity workouts that you can do in fifteen minutes (he is also more than a little bit dishy). When Mr O put me onto him I was already most of the way through my weight loss programme, which was working for me but I really like his approach and was thinking about trying it out… but then I almost immediately got pregnant and the workouts were too high intensity for me.

Joe, also known as The Body Coach, released a recipe book called Lean in 15 in December and I bought a copy for Mr O as a gift. The book has two sections, one of low carb recipes for non-workout days and a higher carb section to fuel workout days.

With the diet I have to follow to keep my gestational diabetes under control the low carb recipes are perfect so I have been experimenting with this section of the book. This was the first recipe I tried,  I did modify the recipe a bit to make enough for 4 people and of course I added my own secret ingredient but it was epic. Thanks, Joe!


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Things I have been cooking lately #137: Chicken, butternut and quinoa stew

I decided to make this stew on a week night… which was a terrible mistake. This was not because of the stew itself but because I massively underestimated how long it was going to take me to make it (almost 2 hours) and we ended up eating at 10pm. So I am putting that out there as a warning. This is a Sunday lunch type of affair not a quick mid-week dinner. It is so incredibly worth ever minute of effort though. This stew is not only gloriously flavoursome, it’s also very wholesome. What are you waiting for?

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Things I have been cooking lately #124: Spicy chicken and avocado salad

I feel like at least half of my recipes are spicy something. When I was younger I wasn’t a big fan of spicy food but Mr O is a complete spice addict and the more time I have spent with him the more adventurous I have gotten with my flavours. This chicken and avocado salad makes a delicious lunch, especially if you leave it overnight for the flavours to develop.


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Things I have been cooking lately #110: Spicy mango chicken with brown rice

I like easy meals that you can just chuck in the oven and with just a little prep up front this tasty chicken dish comes together really easily. I liked it so much I ate it for lunch three days running but I have to warn you that Mr O was not a fan. He doesn’t like sweet and savory together and especially not fruit and meat so if you have similar dislikes, this one isn’t for you. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #106: Italian chicken bake

During the week I really like recipes that are easy. Most of nights by the time I have gotten home from the gym it’s late and I’m tired and hungry and something I can just chuck in the oven is ideal. This recipe definitely fits the bill. It requires minimal prep, everything gets cooked in one dish and it’s really, really tasty.

Italian chicken bake

Adapted from BBC Good Food

1 red chilli
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves
8 skinless chicken thighs
500g new potatoes
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
140g cubetti di pancetta (or smoked bacon lardons)
400g plum tomatoes (either full size or baby but if you go for the big ones, quarter them)

Preheat your oven to 200 C.

If you don’t like your food too spicy, cut open your chilli and scrape out the seeds. Otherwise put the chilli in your blender with the tomato paste, olive oil and garlic cloves and process to a paste.

Place the chicken thighs in a baking tray big enough to hold them and the potatoes in a single layer. Spread the paste over the chicken thighs, add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and then mix everything together well with your hands. Sprinkle over the thyme and roast for 30 minutes.

Stir in the pancetta and return to the over for 15 more minutes. Then add the tomatoes and return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.

Serve straight from the pan with green salad and crusty bread if you like.

Serves 4 – 6


Things I have been cooking lately #102: Chicken with green olives

This Moroccan style recipe is another gem from the Leon One Pot cookbook. Not only is it really tasty but like everything from Leon it’s healthy too.

Chicken with green olives

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
500ml chicken stock
300g skinless chicken thighs
1 240g tin of chickpeas, drained
1 strand of saffron
50g pitted green olives
60g preserved lemon slices
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
A small handful of fresh coriander

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Peel and slice the onion. Saute the onion in the olive oil until just soft. Crush in the garlic and add the coriander and ginger and saute for a few more minutes.

Add the chicken thighs, saffron, chickpeas and stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. In the meantime halve the olives and slice the preserved lemon slices.

Add the olives and preserved lemons to the saucepan and simmer for 5 more minutes. Roughly chop the coriander.

Add the creme fraiche and coriander and turn up the heat to reduce for 5 more minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. We had ours with brown rice but I imagine it would also have been really good with couscous.

Serves 4


Things I have been cooking lately #102: Chicken kiev with broccoli mash

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of cookery books for Christmas. Clearly people know me well. So I have been cooking up a storm in the Christmas/New Year break. This recipe comes from the latest book in my Jamie Oliver collection, Jamie’s Comfort Food, which was a gift from my in-laws. Mr O and I had this for our New Year’s Eve dinner and it was delicious and a lot less fiddly than you think.

Chicken kiev with broccoli mash

Adapted from Jamie’s Comfort Food

100g pancetta lardons
olive oil
4 skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of plain flour
2 large eggs
150g fresh, white breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 lemons


4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of fresh, flat leaf parsley
4 knobs of butter (at room temperature)
A pinch of cayenne pepper

Broccoli mash

800g potatoes
1 head of broccoli
1 knob of butter

Fry the pancetta in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C.

For the butter, peel and crush the garlic then finely chop with the parsley. Mix into the butter with the cayenne pepper. Divide into four log shapes and place in the fridge to firm up.

Beat the eggs and pour onto a small plate. Also set up separate plates with the flour (mixed with a little salt and pepper) and breadcrumbs.

Take each chicken breast and pull back the loose fillet on the back. Put your knife in in the opposite direction and slice to create a long pocket. Open up the pocket with your fingers and push one of the logs of butter into the pocket. The push in a quarter of the bacon. Fold back and seal the chicken to completely enclose the filling. If you are worried about it coming out you can secure it with a couple of toothpicks.

Take each chicken breast and lightly coat with the flour mixture. Then dip in the egg, shaking off any excess and finally dip in the breadcrumbs, patting them on until you have a thin even coating.

Shallow fry the chicken breasts in 2cm of vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden.

While this is on the go, peel your potatoes and chop them into chunks. Also chop the top leafy bit of the head of broccoli into chunks. Put the potatoes on to boil in salted water for fifteen minutes. When the potatoes have eight minutes to go, add the broccoli.

Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

When the potatoes and broccoli are done, drain and then leave to steam dry. Mash with a knob of butter and a little salt and pepper. Divide the mash into four and put onto plates. Add a chicken kiev to each plate. Lightly dress the spinach leaves with a little olive oil and lemon juice and then sprinkle onto the plate to garnish.

Serves 4

chicken kiev

Things I have been cooking lately #97: Spiced chicken with bacon and lentils

This tasty weeknight supper is another winner from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. Not only is it quick and delicious but it packs a really big vegetable punch as well helping you towards your five a day. As always with any of the Jamie Oliver quick meals, be prepared to work FAST!

Spiced chicken with bacon and lentils

Adapted from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

For the lentils

1 onion
1 carrot
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Olive oil
2 400g tins of Puy lentils
1 ripe tomato
200g baby spinach
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt

For the chicken

4 skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh thyme
4 rashers of smoked pancetta
300g asparagus

Olive oil

A loaf of crusty bed to serve.

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Get out your food processor with the bowl blade in. Put a large lidded pan over a medium heat and a large frying pan over a medium heat.

Peel and halve the onion and carrot and then process with the rosemary leaves until fine. Put the carrot and onion mix into the large pan with a tablespoon of oil.

On a large piece of greaseproof paper toss the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Fold the paper over and bash and flatten with something heavy (like a rolling pin) until 1.5cm thicken. Put into the frying pan with a tablespoon of oil, the unpeeled whole garlic cloves and the thyme, turning after 3 of 4 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Stir the tinned lentils and their juices into the veg pan with the roughly chopped tomato and put the lid on. Put the bread in the oven to warm.

Roughly chop the spinach in the process and add to the lentils and the red wine vinegar. When the lentils are boiling and the spinach is wilted, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the pancetta and trimmed asparagus to the chicken pan and fry until golden and crispy.

Tip the lentils onto a platter, then marble through most of the yoghurt. Remove the chicken to a board, cut in half at an angle and serve on top of the lentils with the pancetta, asparagus and garlic. Dollop over the remaining yoghurt then serve with crusty bread.

Serves 4


Things I have been cooking lately#89: Tikka chicken salad

This is another recipe from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. This chicken salad is quick, packed with flavour and makes a great next day lunch if you can’t finish it all in one go.

Tikka chicken salad

For the chicken

2 chicken breasts
2 heaped tablespoons of tikka paste
4 chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

For the salad

4 spring onions
1 fresh red chili
1 heaped teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
olive oil
1 x 250g pack of ready to eat Puy lentils
1 ripe tomato
red wine vinegar
1 big bunch of fresh coriander
2 lemons
4 tablespoons of fat-free natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
1 heaped tablespoon mango chutney
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 small or 1 large naan breads
200g baby spinach
1/2 cucumber
1 carrot, peeled and trimmed
50g feta cheese

Put a griddle pan (if you have one, a normal frying pan is fine) over a high heat and a medium frying pan or saucepan over a medium low heat.

Over a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and tikka paste. Fold over the paper and then bash the chicken with something heavy until it’s about 1.5cm thick. I used a bottle of olive oil. Place in the hot griddle pan with the mushrooms, turning after 3 or 4 minutes until cooked through.

Trim and finely slice the spring onions and half the chili.

Put the mustard and cumin seeds and two tablespoons of olive oil into the medium frying pan/saucepan, followed by the sliced spring onion and chili. Add the lentils to the pan, squash in the tomato, add a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. Stir occasionally for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat.

Rip the leaves off the coriander and then put the stalks in your food processor. Add the juice of the lemon, the yoghurt, cashews, mango chutney and turmeric and whizz until smooth.

Removed the cooked chicken and mushrooms from the pan and add the naan to it. Tip the baby spinach onto a serving platter. Scatter over the lentils. Use a speed peeler to finely slice the carrot and cucumber over the top. Spread over the mushrooms. Slice the chicken, remaining chili and naans and spread over the salad. Crumble over the feta and dot the yoghurt dressing over  the top. Finish with coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4


Things I have been cooking lately #79: Pan-fried chicken with creamy porcini lentils

Recently Mr O and I did a free trial of something called Hello Fresh. Basically it’s like a dinner graze box that you cook yourself. They deliver all the fresh ingredients for three meals up to once per week along with recipe cards and then you make what they’ve sent you and since it’s exact quantities (for the most part) there’s no wastage. It’s a little pricy for us but if you have the cash and you don’t like thinking about meal planning it’s ideal. If any UK based friends want to try it out you can get £20 off your first box by using this code: R7N2X9. I didn’t love all three recipes that came in our box but this chicken one was definitely a winner. In the end it was Mr O who did most of the cooking on this one, not me but it was so good I still wanted to share it with all of you.

Pan-friend chicken with creamy porcini lentils

Adapted from HelloFresh

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
1 tin green lentils
3 sprigs fresh thyme3 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 stick of celery
1 medium carrot
1 leek
1 tablespoon dried porcini mushrooms
Olive oil

Soak the porcini mushrooms in half a cup of warm water. Trim the ends off the carrot and the celery. Peel the carrot and then dice both into tiny cubes. Cut the leafy top and the base off the leek and slice it into 1/2cm sections.

Strip the leaves off the thyme sprigs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, leak and thyme leaves to the saucepan. Add a good sprinkle of salt and cook gently until soft (about 8 minutes).

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of clingfilm and use something heavy like a rolling pin to bash them until they are  less tat 1cm thick all over.

Remove the porcini mushrooms from the water but do not throw the water way. Chop the porcini very fine and add them to the vegetables.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper on both sides while cooking.

Thoroughly drain and rinse the lentils. Add them to the vegetable pan with 3 tablespoons of porcini water and the creme fraiche. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture onto two plates, top with the chicken and serve.

Serves 2


Things I have been cooking lately #58: Chicken and sweet corn chowder

I grew up in a family where soup was one of the most loved and anticipated meals on the menu. My dad often joked that you could wake my oupa (grandfather) at 4am and asked him if he fancied soup and he would always say yes. This is probably because one of my grandmother’s specialities was bruine boenen soep, an incredibly filling Dutch bean soup she learned to make when my grandparents were living in Amsterdam. So when I spotted this chowder recipe in my new Save With Jamie recipe book, I had to try it out. I have made some adaptations though. Where Jamie makes his own chicken stock from scratch, I have to admit that I am a bit of a wuss and although I love saying the word carcass, I don’t much like smashing one up. If you do feel like skimming the scum off a pot of boiling chicken bones though, please don’t let me stop you. It probably would add to the flavour.

Chicken and sweet corn chowder

200g leftover cooked chicken (from roast or similar), shredded
1 onion
2 carrots
1 large potato
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
2l of chicken stock
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
500g frozen sweet corn150m single cream
1 handful of cream crackers

Peel the onion and slice the onion. Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut into 1cm blocks. Finely chop the stalks of the parsley.

Fry the bacon in a large frying pan over a medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside to to drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Return the pan to the heat and add the onions, potatoes, carrots and parsley and cook gently for 25 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly.

Transfer the veg to a large pot and add the stock, chicken and corn. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Pour half the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until fairly smooth. Transfer back to the pot, add the cream and season to taste. Serve topped with the crumbled bacon and a couple of bits of crushed cream cracker.

Serves 4 – 6


Things I have been cooking lately #35: Warm Greek Chicken and Couscous Salad

As the weather has finally gotten warmer, I’ve been craving salads and light, fresh foods so I have been looking for new recipes to try out. This is warm chicken and couscous salad is from Jamie’s Fifteen Minute Meals and is quick (not 15 minutes but still quick) and very tasty. Just make sure you are careful when you’re bashing the chicken and don’t bash your finger like I did, ouch!

Warm Greek Chicken and Couscous Salad

300g couscous
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 fresh red chilli
4 spring onions
½ a bunch of fresh dill
200g frozen peas
1 small handful of black olives
2 skinless, chicken breasts
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp ground allspice
1 ½ lemons
½ a cucumber
250g fat free natural yoghurt
½ a bunch fresh mint
40g feta cheese
Olive oil

Put a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Put the couscous in a bowl with a pinch of salt and add 600ml boiling water and cover. Put a pan of boiling water over a high heat and add the frozen peas. Blanch for a couple of minute drain and set aside. Lay out a large piece of greaseproof paper and toss the chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, allspice and the zest of one lemon. Fold over the paper and bash the chicken with something heavy until it is about 1 1/2cm thick. I used an olive oil bottle. Jamie suggests a rolling pin but anything with a bit of heft will do. Add the chicken to the pre-heated frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn after 3 – 4 minutes until golden and cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, make the tzatziki. Coarsely grate the cucumber and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt. Now squeeze the cucumber with your hands to get out any excess water. Put the cucumber in a bowl with the yoghurt, juice of half a lemon, a pinch of pepper and the finely chopped leafy top half of the mint. Stir together.

Deseed the peppers and chilli and then pulse in a blender with the trimmed spring onions and the chopped dill. Scatter over a serving platter with the blanched peas. Tear the olives into pieces and add these as well. Squeeze over the juice of a lemon and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Scatter over the couscous and mix everything together.  Slice the cooked chicken and scatter over the platter. Crumble the feta over the top and serve with the tzatziki.

Serves 4

Warm chicken salad

Things I have been cooking lately #21: Easy chicken and butternut tagine

I love Moroccan food but the idea of cooking it has always made me a bit nervous… so bring on this slightly cheaty tagine that you can make on the stove top in under an hour without a tagine pot. Hurrah!

Easy chicken and butternut tagine

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 onions, one roughly chopped, one sliced
100g tomatoes
100g fresh ginger
3 gloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1 tablespoon dried cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried coriander
1 butternut, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks (or just cheat like I do and buy 2 packs of the ready prepared one)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
600ml chicken stock
100g dried apricots, halved
1 small red onion finely chopped
50g feta crumbled
A handful of mint leaves

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or deep frying pan. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on all sides in. In the meantime throw the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic into a blender and blend to a chunky paste.

Once the chicken is browned remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced onion to the pan and fry for about five minutes to soften. Then add the spices and fry for another minute to release the aroma. Add the paste and fry for a couple more minutes to soften.

Now add the chicken back in as well as the butternut, sugar, vinegar and stock and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer for half an hour until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pan, add the apricots and crank the heat right up to reduce the sauce down. While the sauce is thickening, break the chicken down to bite sized pieces.

Once the sauce is nice and thick, put the chicken back in and sprinkle over the red onion, feta and mint. Serve with couscous.

Serves 4 – 6