Apr 212014
 

The Easter long weekend was the perfect mix of fun, social and relaxing.  After a visit from some family and a chance to see Brisbane through a tourist’s eyes, I spent today puttering around the house, cooking for the week ahead and doing odd jobs.

Ethiopian chicken stew

Tonight’s dinner was this delicious Ethiopian-style chicken from Food 52.  I used chicken drumsticks instead of chicken pieces and served it with a simple side of green beans.  It was a delicious start to the week, after a weekend of indulgence and copious amounts of chocolate.

Aug 022012
 

This is a lovely dish that unfortunately just doesn’t photograph very well (or at least, not with my limited photography skills!).  It’s lucky it’s so tasty then!

I only discovered lentils, green puy lentils in particular, in the last 3 or 4 years.  However, they are now on high rotation in our household.  I find them enough of a meal on their own, perhaps with a poached egg on top, but this dish adds in a hearty piece of chicken as well.  It’s a great winter recipe for those cold nights that Brisbane has been having lately.  We live in an old Queenslander, which is built to be beautifully cool in summer, but has the added disadvantage of being absolutely freezing in winter.  Any excuse to turn on the oven is welcomed at this time of year.

I know I got this recipe from someone else’s website.  Unfortunately, when I printed it out it appears I failed to make a note of it.  So I apologise for not being able to give credit where credit is due!  Although, as usual, I have made quite a few changes to the original recipe, so this is my own spin.

Chicken and lentils

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 rashers bacon or proscuitto (diced)
  • 4 chicken thighs or marylands (skin on)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 cup red cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • bunch parsley (diced)
  • 2 cups green puy lentils (rinsed well)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (more as needed)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180*. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
2 Fry off the bacon until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.
3 Season chicken with salt and pepper and add, skin side down, to the pot (cook in batches if required).
4 Sear until golden on all sides over medium-high.
5 Remove chicken from pan and pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat.
6 Add onions, celery, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent.
7 Stir in the cumin and add the vinegar and half parsley, briefly saute.
8 Add the lentils, stock and cooked bacon.
9 Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer on the stove.
10 Once simmering, cover with the lid and place the whole thing in the oven.
11 Cook for about an hour, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has absorbed (you may need to add more stock to get the lentils to the desired consistency). Add the red cabbage for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
12 Season to taste and serve. I recommend crusty bread to mop up any excess lentil sauce.
May 062012
 

This recipe is evidence that cooking doesn’t need to be complicated or fussy.  When I made this recipe (taken from the April/May 2012 issue of Donna Hay Magazine) one weeknight it came together so quickly I decided to have a bath while it cooked!

When we sat down to eat it (in front of the tv – I may be a food blogger but I never claimed I was classy ;) ) J turned to me after his first bite and proclaimed “this one needs to go into our high rotation list!”  I have to agree.  If I was organised, I would actually compile these quick, easy, high-rotation recipes somewhere…I guess that’s what the blog is for!

So, go forth and eat chicken!

Fennel chicken, tomato and bean bake

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
From magazine Donna Hay

Ingredients

  • 1 can tinned tomatoes (whole)
  • 1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 5 sprigs oregano or rosemary
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs (bone in if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind (finely grated)

Method

1 Preheat your oven to 200*.
2 Line a deep baking dish with baking paper.
3 Combine and tomatoes, beans, brown sugar, garlic and rosemary in the dish.
4 Add salt and pepper.
5 Place the chicken thighs (skin side up if they have skin) on top of the tomato mixture.
6 In a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel seeds and extra salt.
7 Sprinkle over the chicken and then drizzle with a little olive oil.
8 Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on whether your chicken is bone-in). Chicken is cooked when the juices run clear.
9 Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon rind before serving.
10 Serve with green beans or salad, and perhaps a chunk of crusty bread.
Aug 112011
 

Flaky pastry, chicken and leek filling rich with the aroma of thyme and some fresh green beans for the side. Sounds like a great winter night to me!

I made this dish (adapted from the Donna Hay Winter 2011 issue) when we had guests over for dinner (Hi S and D!). The reviews were positive and there were even leftovers for my lunch!

[singlepic id=243 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=center]

[recipe-show recipe=chicken-and-leek-pie]

Jul 212011
 

[singlepic id=238 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=center]

Risotto in the pressure cooker?  Worth a crack I thought!  It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me at all if Not Quite Nigella hadn’t posted recently about her Bolognese Risotto.  Only problem – I had chicken I needed to use instead!  Not to worry, trusty Google to the rescue.  I found this recipe, which I adapted based on what I had in the fridge at the time – here is my version.

[recipe-show recipe=pressure-cooker-chicken-risotto]

May 242011
 

[singlepic id=231 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=left]  Holidays are a wonderful thing, but when I arrive home the first thing I feel like cooking is a meal with lots of vegetables!  I love my vegetables and I notice the tiny portions when you go out to a restaurant (unless it’s a vegetarian restaurant).

There was also a noticable lack of chicken in my diet while I was away – the amazing abundance of seafood in Tasmania had a lot to do with that.  So, a quick flick through my new(ish) Nigella Lawson cookbook “Kitchen” found this recipe and thus an easy and quick Tuesday night dinner was born.

Some minor changes to Nigella’s recipe – I didn’t have any apricot jam, so I omitted it.  I wouldn’t recommend this – it left the sauce a little bit bland.  Also, I used a tin of pineapple (using the juice for the sauce) and threw in the pineapple pieces towards the end.  I was actually a little surprised that pineapple wasn’t an ingredient – I’m pretty sure it’s compulsory in sweet and sour (right?).

Overall, I really liked the addition of Chinese 5-spice, which is not a mix I use often.  The dish is also packed full of good for you vegetables which made me happy.  You can serve with rice, or noodles like I did.

My apologies for the inadvertant blogging hiatus – there was a wedding and a honeymoon to contend with a blogging fell  by the wayside.  Rest assured, I have a big backlog of posts (lots of restaurant reviews) that will be heading your way over the coming weeks.

[recipe-show recipe=sweet-and-sour-chicken]