I have to confess that generally speaking, for meals, I improvise: a bit of this and a bit of that. I am lucky to have a wonderful teacher in my mother who cooked according to this style of cooking. Use fresh ingredients, use what you have in your pantry and fridge, trust your taste buds.
But as my gf son is now cooking for himself, I look for recipes that will suit his budget, has an easy to follow recipe, is versatile and can be made easily from what he has in-house.
A simple way to prepare vegetables for a stir fry is to immerse them in boiling water quickly and the drain them before tossing them into your stir fry. The vegetables don’t burn, they remain crisp and their colour is retained.
800 g chicken breast fillets, cut diagonally into 2 cm wide strips
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
2 bunches steamed, halved Chinese broccoli or Pay Choy (or vegetables of your choice)
¼ cup kecap manis (use gf soy sauce)
2 tablespoons chilli garlic sauce
1 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup water
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Cook chicken, in two batches, in an oiled large, non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat, for about 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan.
Add sauce to pan and gently boil for 5- 10 minutes. Return chicken to pan, stir chicken and coat in sauce. Simmer for 3 – 5 minutes.
While chicken and sauce are cooking, cook rice and steam vegetables.
Serve chicken on a bed of rice and vegetables.
(New Idea : New Food Ideas)
I cook a lot with chicken followed closely by mince. Both are versatile and can become a Mexican or Thai or Italian meal without too much effort.
I found this chicken recipe on the back of the tetra pack of chicken stock, also another important staple in my kitchen. The bonus is that not only is it a one pot recipe but also that once the preliminary preparations are made it is then baked in the oven. Remember for many of the supermarket products we buy, you can find recipes on their websites.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100 g bacon rashers, thinly slice
500 g chicken thighs, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
1 tablespoon rosemary finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
Finely grated parmesan, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof ovenproof dish over medium heat.
Cool the onion and bacon in olive oil until golden brown about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and cook, stirring for 3 – 4 minutes or until golden.
Add garlic, lemon zest and rosemary and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute to coat the grains.
Mix the tomato paste and stock n a jug and pour over rice. Stir.
Bake covered for 35 minutes or until rice is just tender and the liquid has almost been absorbed.
Stir through parmesan. Serve.
5 cups chicken stock
400 ml can coconut milk
1.5 cm fresh ginger sliced
1 small red chilli sliced, deseeded (extra for garnish)
125 ml rice vermicelli noodles
400 g chicken breast fillet, sliced thinly
1 bunch pak choy, steams separated, rinsed, slice into strips
2 limes, halved, to serve
Fish sauce (optional) to serve
In a large saucepan combine stock, coconut milk, ginger and chilli.
Partially cover and bring to a simmer over medium – low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove ginger and chilli with slotted spoon.
Place noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes then drain.
Add chicken to soup and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 3 minutes.
Add pak choy to soup and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes or until just tender.
Divide noodles among bowls. Ladle over soup. Serve with extra chilli, lime and fish sauce.
(coles.com.au – from their Magazine)
We forget, we get caught up in the world wind of fads and fashions in food. We are bombarded with cooking programs on television highlighting how we need to be cooking. We read about food trends and new products and subliminally we think we need to be serving up restaurant quality meals at the dinner table and go on a around the world culinary tour every night of the week.
Good old fashioned classics might be difficult to photo shoot or plate up looking like a Masterchef meal but more importantly, the old classics are tasty, easy family meals and should not be forgotten.
My sister is compiling a cookbook “Tastes and Memories of Our Childhood” for a family reunion. She has encouraged our cousins to dig out recipes that our mothers and grandmothers made. It has been an interesting journey and reminds me that I need to go back to my basics, play to my strengths and cook with my senses.
coq au vin
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
200 g bacon, diced
30 g gluten free flour
2 teaspoons tomato puree
3 cups chicken stock (Masterfoods is gf)
500 g red wine
250 g button mushrooms
Bouquet garni – (bay leaf, thyme, parsley tied up with kitchen twine)
In a heavy based frypan, add oil, heat on medium to high and brown the chicken well for about 10 minutes turning once. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Return pan to heat and fry onion for 3 – 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
Add flour, stir and cook for 1 – 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, stock, wine, chicken and bouquet garni and heat to a simmer. Cooke for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
Remove bouquet garni and remove chicken. Increase heat to medium high and reduce sauce.
Return chicken to pan and serve on a bed of fettuccini or with cooked baby potatoes and steamed vegetables.
A recipe from Road Ahead, our state’s motor vehicle club’s magazine and submitted by Michael’s Oriental, this soup is simple with lots of flavour.
Also perfect without the egg, should family members prefer it this way.
An ideal gluten free easy meal for gluten free uni students or those on a tight budget.
Ingredients (for 1 serving)
1 tablespoon olive oil
40 g boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon corn flour
200 ml chicken stock (Campbell’s is GF)
100 g sweet corn
½ teaspoon sesame oil (or a splash if you find the taste a little strong)
Heat oil in a deep pan and gently cook the chicken.
Mix the cornflour with a little of the chicken stock in a cup before adding to pan with remaining stock and sweet corn.
Bring to boil, stirring continuously and simmer for 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat the egg then slowly pour into the pan and stir.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to bowl and serve.
2 chicken pieces
2 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
½ teaspoon brown sugar
Pinch dry mustard
Pinch curry powder
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon gf soy sauce
Place chicken in a casserole dish.
Gently fry onion and garlic in oil. When onions are transparent, add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
Pour ingredients over chicken.
Bake in moderate oven, 160C for 1 hour.
Found in the supermarket recently were these Texan Chicken Wing Nibbles. Perfect for a Sunday lunch served with a salad or a Footie night snack.
Spicy and sticky and full of flavour, a great standby for the freezer.
Robert’s One Pan Chicken Meal
200 to 300 g diced chicken breast
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
½ brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced finely
½ capsicum, cubed
½ cup uncooked rice
½ can crushed tomatoes
1 small can red kidney beans
½ teaspoon cumin (can substitute 1 teaspoon taco seasoning)
Sprinkle of chilli powder
1 ¼ cups chicken stock
1 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to season
Diced fresh tomates
In a large frying pan, saute onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until they start to soften.
Add chicken pieces and garlic and cook over medium heat until chicken has started to brown.
Move chicken and onion to one side of pan and in the other, add additional olive oil and uncooked rice. Saute rice for about 2 – 3 minutes.
Stir in kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and spices.
Bring to simmer, cover and reduce to low heat. Stir occasionally. Cook for about 20 minutes until rice is tender.
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and take off heat for a few minutes until cheese is melted.
Serve with fresh tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole: on a plate, in a wrap, with nachos.
½ cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon finely grated lime
500 g chicken tenderloins
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine the coconut and lime zest on a plate. Season lightly.
Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers.
Roll chicken in the coconut mixture, pressing to coat.
Heat the oil in a large fry pan. Cook chicken skewers , in 2 batches, trying only to turn once, for 6 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve on a bed of coleslaw or a quick salsa.
Make a tangy mayonnaise by adding lime zest and lime juice to a good quality mayonnaise.
750 g chicken thighs, cubed
250 g button mushrooms
Olive oil cooking spray
¾ cup roasted garlic and soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Thread alternate pieces of chicken and mushroom onto skewers.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a chargrill or bbq hot plate over medium-high heat.
Spray chicken skewers with oil.
Cook skewers for 2 – 3 minutes on each side of until chicken is golden and cooked through.
Serve on a bed of rice and drizzle sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup; either based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or based on sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). (wikipedia)
Fragrant. Fresh. Flexible.
While my son preferred his Laksa on a bed of rice and without the snap peas this is an easy and versatile recipe.
500 g chicken sliced into strips (or use leftover roast chicken and add with coconut cream and chicken stock)
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 cups chicken stock (gluten free)
1 tin coconut cream (or lite coconut cream)
Pad Thai Rice Noodles
2 tablespoons Laksa paste (or use ‘Always Fresh’ Chilli Jam)
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
* snow peas or snap peas (or capsicum strips or vegetable of choice for colour and texture)
1 lime, juiced
coriander to serve
red chilli, finely sliced to serve
* fresh bean sprouts (for texture)
- Fry chicken with oil in a heated fry pan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add laska paste and fish sauce and stir.
- Add coconut cream and chicken stock, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.* Add snow peas or snap peas in the last 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add lime juice and heat through.
- Prepare noodles by soaking in hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. Drain noodles and place in bottom of bowls.
- Pour chicken laksa over the noodles.
- Garnish with sprigs of coriander and red chilli slices.* Add fresh bean sprouts.