Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London


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Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

I think everyone has a ‘go to’ meal that they cook when they have people over, or if they’re feeling like cooking a safe option. And my dish is Mediterranean Chicken – no idea where I got the recipe, but it’s super easy, tastes great and is quite a convivial dish to cook if you have people round for dinner. There’s lots of chopping and a bit of a saute that you can do before your guests arrive, and then you just bung it in the oven and chop up some crusty bread to serve with it. Then open a bottle of wine and start gossiping! The flavours are classic – it’s basically chicken with Boursin cheese under the skin sat on the top of a chunky ratatouille-type thing. There’s little liquid goes into this dish so you might worry it’ll be dry. It won’t – the balsamic mingles with the juices from the tomatoes and courgettes, along with the chicken juices as it cooks.

KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 7.5/10

Mediterranean Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts with skin on
  • 115g Boursin cheese
  • 450g courgettes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 450g plum tomatoes (or regular will do)
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 275g onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ciabatta or crusty bread, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190C. Loosen the skin of the chicken breasts without removing it, to make a pocket. Divide the cheese into four and stuff one quarter under the skin of each chicken breast so it forms an even-ish layer.

Cut the courgettes and peppers into similarly sized chunky pieces. Quarter the tomatoes and slice the celery sticks.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, shallow flameproof casserole. Cook the onions and garlic for 4 minutes until they’re soft and golden.

Add the courgettes, peppers and celery and cook for a further 5 mins.

Stir in the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Season well.

Place the chicken on top, drizzle over the rest of the oil and season with salt and paprika. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Serve with plenty of ciabatta or crusty bread.

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Greek Chicken Flatbreads with Tzatziki

Greek Chicken Flatbreads with Tzatziki, Olive Magazine May 2014

Greek Chicken Flatbreads with Tzatziki, Olive Magazine May 2014

I’ve been a bit absent of late, but I’m going to try and get back into the habit of posting a couple of things a week. I do have flurries of cooking, but I also seem to have flurries of posting the recipes too! I need to be better at writing these posts and focus on doing little and often! Anyway, since the weather here in London has taken a nicer turn over the last few weeks, I thought I’d post a recent recipe I tried from the May edition of Olive Magazine – Greek Chicken Flatbreads with Tzatziki. This is really simple to make and quite healthy, but it is full of flavour and definitely one I’ll be doing again. The only change I’d make is having some kind of chilli sauce to serve with this. After eating the first wrap, I felt something was missing, and Paul was spot on when he said it needed a kick of heat. I had some hot chilli sauce which worked perfectly, but reckon sweet chilli sauce or fresh chillies would work here too. I ended up serving this with a zingy salad (post to follow in a few days), but it worked on its own.

KB rating 8/10. PR rating 8/10.

Greek Chicken Flatbreads with Tzatziki (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and half zested
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 4 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 warmed flatbreads
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Tomato and red onion slices, to serve

Method:

Whisk 1 tbsp olive oil with the lemon zest, oregano, half the garlic and season. Coat the chicken in the marinade, and then griddle for a few minutes on each side until slightly charred and cooked through.

To make the tzatziki, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, remaining garlic, cucumber, mint and season. Spoon the tzatziki onto the breads, add the salad and top with the chicken.


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Chicken Pie with Leftover Roast Chicken

Chicken Pie with Leftover Roast Chicken

Chicken Pie with Leftover Roast Chicken

I’ve said before just how much a I love a roast chicken on a Sunday, but it does mean I have to think about how to use the leftovers for a midweek dinner. I usually make pasties with puff pastry, chicken, tomato and pesto but I fancied a change and ended up finding a recipe for Chicken Pie on the Good Food site. It sounded pretty simple but the end result was greater than the sum of its parts. The chicken is used alongside mushrooms, leek and bacon in an easy to make sauce. It was genuinely impressive and a really good way of using up leftovers. I will absolutely be making this again in the future.

KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 8/10

Chicken Pie (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry
  • Half a cooked chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 leek, chopped (or onion)
  • ½ packet of smoked streaky bacon cut into little pieces
  • ¾ oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1 cup of water (approx 240ml)
  • ½ cup milk (approx 120ml)
  • 1 oz plain flour
  • ½ oz butter and a little oil (vegetable or olive)

Method:

Chicken Pie Portion

Chicken Pie Portion

Strip carcass of chicken, cutting meat into large pieces. If you prefer you can buy uncooked boneless chicken but you would need to pre-cook it at this stage.

Saute leek (or onion), bacon and mushrooms in the butter and oil. When soft, add flour.

Add stock, stirring continuously then add the milk so that the sauce is rich and creamy. If the sauce is a little thick, add more liquid.

Add the pre-cooked chicken, and stir carefully until meat is completed coated and empty contents into a large pie dish.

Cover with pastry, making a vent in the pie top, and brush with milk.

Bake in oven on a high temperature (200C/400F/gas 6) for around 25 mins or until golden.

Tip: With the stockcube and bacon, there is no need for extra seasoning however, you could substitute some of the stock with a little leftover white wine.


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Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chilli

Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chilli, Katie Quinn 'What Katie Ate'

Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chilli, Katie Quinn Davies ‘What Katie Ate’

Sometimes it’s nice to make a dinner in the middle of the week that involves little more than putting some choice ingredients into a single pan and ending up with a tasty meal. And it would seem that Katie Quinn in her book What Katie Ate (see her brilliant blog here) wholeheartedly agrees. She mentions that, whilst the ingredients list for her Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chilli recipe looks very long, you’ll likely have the majority in the cupboard already. And I agree. This is really nice combination of flavours and it’s definitely going to go on my ‘go to midweek dinner’ recipe list! I do recommend including the garnish here – the chilli and sesame really finishes off the dish properly. It’s not just for show!

KB rating 7.5/10 PR rating 8/10

Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chilli (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken drumsticks and wings
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250ml tomato ketchup
  • 140g wholegrain mustard
  • 120g runny honey
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful each sesame seeds and finely sliced long green chilli, to garnish
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Method:

Start by removing the skin from the drumsticks. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin all the way around the circumference of the drumstick at the narrowest point of the leg (just above the knuckle bone). Slip your fingers under the skin to loosen it, then pull it up and off the flesh and over the other end of the bone. There will still be skin on the knuckle bone at the end, but don’t worry about this. The main aim is to get the skin off the fleshy part of the leg. Don’t bother skinning the wings – life is too short. Place the skinned drumsticks and wings in a roasting tin and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 160C fan, 180C, gas mark 6.

Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 mins. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 mins. Reduce the heat to low and add the ketchup, mustard, honey, sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Stir together thoroughly, then increase the heat to medium and simmer for 5 mins. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken in the roasting tin.

Transfer the tin to the oven and cook, basting often for 1¼ – 1½ hours or until the chicken is cooked through and sticky on the outside. Garnish with a scattering of sesame seeds and green chilli, and serve with basmati rice.


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Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce, Olive Magazine February 2014

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce, Olive Magazine February 2014

As mentioned in my last post, I am currently in the process of familiarising myself with the new Reidbury Kitchen. I had unpacked all my kitchen stuff on the first day, but remembering where I’ve put everything is quite a different matter! But I have to say, it’s all starting to feel like more normal now and, as my boyfriend stated the other day, the newly located Reidbury Kitchen is knocking out a few classics! That comment came off the back of this recipe I tried from the latest Olive Magazine (subscribe here – it really is worth it)!. It’s another of those recipes that doesn’t sound that interesting, but it is somehow far greater than the sum of its parts. I find skinless chicken breasts can be quite bland and boring as far as meat goes, but the marinating time really improves the texture and flavour of the chicken. But I’d say it’s the sauce that really pulls this whole meal together – zingy, fresh and works really well with the panko-crusted chicken.

The recipe below doesn’t really talk about a carby serving suggestion, just the chicken with some baby gem lettuce and a dollop of mayo. Erm, no. That’s not how I roll. So I added some buttered new potatoes and I’m glad I did! Given how nice this dish was, and that it was pretty simple to make, I reckon this might be one that becomes part of my permanent repertoire.

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8.5/10

Lemon Buttermilk Chicken with a Piccata Sauce (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 peeled and bruised and 1 finely chopped
  • 80g panko breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • Small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • 20g salted butter, chilled and cubed
  • Baby gem lettuce, to serve
  • Mayonnaise, to serve
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

Put the chicken breasts between two pieces of baking parchment or cling film and, using a rolling pin, batter the crap out of them so they’re flattened to approx 1cm in thickness. Put in a ziplock bag and add the rosemary, buttermilk, 2 tbsp lemon juice and the bruised garlic cloves. Season well, make sure the chicken is coated in the buttermilk mixture and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess before coating in the breadcrumbs.

Heat 0.5cm oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the chicken for 6-8 minutes until golden and cooked through, turning once. Remove and put on kitchen towel, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm. Clean out the pan and then add another tablespoon of oil.

Add the shallot and chopped garlic to the pan and fry until golden. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half. Stir through the remaining lemon juice with the zest, parsley and capers.

Finish the sauce by adding the butter and swirl in. Season and serve the chicken with the piccata sauce, gem lettuce leaves and a dollop of mayo. Oh, and the potatoes if you’re following my advice!

 

 

 

 


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Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style

Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style, 'The Fast Diet Recipe Book'

Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style, ‘The Fast Diet Recipe Book’

So as you will probably know by now, I’ve been half-doing WeightWatchers for a while and lost half a stone. But since my trips away to Spain, New York and Scotland, I got firmly out of the habit of point counting. And now I can’t be bothered with it. Meanwhile Paul has been on the 5:2 (or Intermittent Fasting) diet for about 3-4 months and has lost over a stone. So I decided to convert. And I think I must be the only person who seems to have put weight on doing this. It’s only my third week though, so hopefully my body will catch up soon!

There’s so much media attention on the 5:2 at the moment, with magazines, newspapers and websites dedicating space to appropriate ‘5:2’ meals. But really it’s just a super low calorie diet – women reduce their calorie intake to 500 calories a day for 2 days out of 7, and men have 600 calories. There’s some dishes already in this blog that would work really well on the diet – notably the Thai-Style Steamed Fish recipe here and I thought it’d be pretty easy to find recipes through the normal channels. But then I found myself in Waterstones, and one thing led to another, and I left the shop somehow with The Fast Diet Recipe Book which is the official 5:2 diet recipe book. And it’s absolutely brilliant – I thought it’d be a bit of a compromise somehow, but I found myself flicking through in the shop and actually wanting to try recipes on my non-starve days! Buy the book here

One of the first recipes I tried was Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style and it was excellent. It actually ends up being quite a plateful, so psychologically I felt like I was getting a good deal. Lots of flavour, and only 195 calories. Definitely a dish I’ll do again, on both my fast days AND my feast days!

Finally this recipe requires Szechuan pepper, and it’s a pretty key component. But Waitrose let me down and were out of stock. Instead I bought Wayanad pepper which sounded interesting – “intensely spicy with a slight citrus flavour” – and I thought it’d work well. It did, but I would like to try this again with Szechuan peppercorns should I find them.

KB rating 8/10. PR rating 8/10.

Calorie Count: 195 per person

Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small chicken breast, skin on (approx 110g)
  • A little olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a cucumber, sliced lengthways, deseeded and cut on the diagonal into crescents
  • Handful of coriander, including finely chopped stalks
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Half a teaspoon of ground Szechuan peppercorns, crushed (see comment above)
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced diagonally
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce (80g)
  • Lime wedges to serve

Method:

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

Oil the chicken breast lightly before seasoning with salt and pepper (skin to be removed after cooking). Bake, covered, in oven until cooked through and juices run clear – about 20 mins. Allow to cool.

Tear chicken into shreds and place into a bowl with cucumber, most of the coriander and mint.

Make the dressing from the Szechuan pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil, spring onion, lime juice and seasoning. Combine with chicken mixture and serve on shredded iceberg lettuce.

Garnish with lime wedges and remaining coriander leaves.


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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore, Weight Watchers

Chicken Cacciatore, Weight Watchers

So now I’m back from holidays I can track back through my previous recipes and work out what I’ve cooked! It did make me realise how much I rely on this blog to jog my memory on dishes I’ve cooked!

Keeping on track with Weight Watchers whilst I was in Spain proved very difficult, but here’s a recipe I cooked before I went – when I had got into a nice, smug point-counting routine! A very oddly titled Chicken Cacciatore – oddly titled because this is actually a spicy chicken pasta dish and I only realised that after committing myself to trying it. I’m actually really glad I tried it as, on paper, it’s not something I’d ordinarily go for. The full recipe is here

The picture on the website made this look really watery, but actually my version was like a rich tomato pasta sauce, and I packed it with chilli flakes to give it some welly. It turns out that if you’re on a diet it makes sense to whack chilli in everything – very healthy, very low calorie and peps up the flavour in any dish! Overall, a good ‘home from work’ supper.

KB rating 7/10. PR rating 8.5/10. Weight Watchers Pro Points – 8 per serving.

Chicken Cacciatore (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 225g pasta
  • 5 sprays of calorie controlled cooking spray
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • Half a medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium pepper (ideally green), diced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 450g chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • Quarter teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • (And optional, but I recommend – chilli flakes to taste)

Method:

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat low fat cooking spray in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and mushrooms and sauté for 4 minutes until vegetables are tender and mushrooms release juice. Add chicken and sauté for another 5 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add the basil, curry powder, salt, and pepper and stir to coat.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Transfer pasta to four shallow bowls and spoon chicken mixture over top.