Tag Archives: Chicken

Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

11 May

CCC Stew ServedI need to admit right away that there isn’t terribly much skill involved in this recipe.  In fact all you need to get it right are some chopping skills and a good dollop of patience. Although it’s an easy recipe, it’s not a quick one.  In fact it does take quite a bit of time, but when it’s a blustery, rainy day outside it is a recipe that is very soothing, both to prepare and to eat. You know how stress reliving punching a punching bag and imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face can be.  Well with this recipe there is an awful lot of chopping and trust me imagining the face of you boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work under your knife is ENORMOUSLY stress busting.

CCC Stew INGTo start take:

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • two small chorizo sausages
  • 2 tins of chopped tomato
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • a few garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-4 courgettes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper and smoked parika
  • Fresh Thyme (to taste) and a Bayleaf or two.

CCC Stew ChickenRub the olive oil into the chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper.  Heat your largest wok and place the the chicken skin side down in the pan.

CCC Stew Crisp ChickenCook on both sides for ten to fifteen minutes until the juices from the chicken clear and the skin is golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave the oil that has been rendered from the chicken in the pan.

CCC Stew OnionsFinely slice the onion imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face under your knife.

CCC Stew GarlicChop the garlic into really fine pieces and then add both the onion and the garlic to the wok with the chicken oil and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent.  This should take about 5-10 minutes (Did I remember to mention the  patience as well as chopping skills needed for this ? )

CCC Stew Softened OnionsAdd the smoked paprika to the onions and leave to simmer and then chop the rest of the vegetables.

CCC Stew LeeksChop the leeks and celery into very fine pieces.

CCC Stew CarrotsDice the carrots.  Each of these ingredients adds a beautiful level of flavour to the dish, the carrots add a soft sweetness and the celery a delicious pepperiness.

CCC Stew with Bay LeafAdd these ingredients along with the bay leaf to the onion mix and allow it to all soften together.

CCC Stew ChorizoChop your chorizo, courgettes and red pepper and add to the vegetable mix in your wok and cook on a slow heat to let the flavours mingle (about 10 mins)

CCC Stew TomatoOpen your tins of tomato and your chickpeas, add them to your veggie mix.

CCC Stew BoilBring your stew to the boil and allow it to thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook over a low heat for about half an hour.

CCC Stew Served

Serve with rice, cous cous or mashed potato!  Enjoy.

 

Chicken Cacciatore

21 Jan

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So the 21st of January 2013 is supposed to be the most depressing day of this year.  It’s cold and gloomy outside and it’s still months before it’s going to warm up. Payday is still days away and with most of us stretching ourselves thin over Christmas, making things better with some retail therapy isn’t an option.  AND we’ve all been dieting since the start of the year and let’s face it people depriving yourself of chocolate is going to make you feel just a little bit glum. My solution is the culinary equivalent of a hug; Chicken Cacciatore.  Now mine isn’t an authentic recipe, but it’s yummy and warming and it’s packed with tons of veg, so you’re not even really breaking the diet.

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To start take:

  • 800gm of chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • two large or four small carrots
  • two sticks of celery
  • a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • an onion
  • a pepper
  • a punnet of mushrooms
  • a clove or two of garlic
  • a stalk of rosemary
  • a bay leaf or two
  • about 50gms of flour seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme
  • olive oil

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Dice and saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and peppers in the olive oil until softening.  Slap your forehead and take out the chestnut mushrooms you bought especially for the dish, but then forgot to photograph for the ingredients picture.

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Cut the mushrooms in half and add them to the veg mix and blame blue Monday for your forgetfulness with a sigh.

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While the veg is softening, add the seasoned flour to a ziplock bag and piece by piece coat the chicken pieces in the flour.  I tried, by the way, to take an attractive picture of raw chicken, but I just don’t think it’s possible. Sorry. Image

Remove the veg from the pan and add a splash more olive oil and then brown the chicken in the pan. Image

Once the chicken looks yummy, open the can of tomatoes and chuck the tomatoes on top of the chicken.  Add the veg from earlier, the two bay leaves and some chopped rosemary (to taste.)

Cover the lot and let it simmer away filling the kitchen with steamy deliciousness, which is almost as good as a hug, for about half an hour. Image

Pop it on top of some mashed potato and feel better. You deserve to.

Chicken Pie

27 Feb

Sorry, it’s been a while since I last posted.  Time  has not been my friend this week and speaking of weeks, this week is British Pie Week!  Now my better half, BH, has a more than serious little pie addiction.  In fact I still believe one of the reasons “we” chose to settle in the UK is how readily available pies are here.  You’re smiling and saying she must surely be joking, but this is a man who spent an entire road trip in search of the perfect chicken pie.

It of course, had to be a chicken pie.  The chicken pie is to savoury pies what the apple it to sweet, the pie standard if you will.  The judging criteria were strict, that it had to be tasty went without saying. The pastry had to be fluffy and light. There had to be more filling than sauce and solid chunks of chicken rather than tiny shredded bits. Potatoes, peas and any other ingredients used to bulk up the filling were a strict no-no.  The final factor was that it had to be awesome hot as well as cold.  The winner, by the way was the Steam Whistle Stop Shop in Sedgefield.  Below is my attempt, not to recreate the winning pie, but to meet all the criteria and kick its arse!

First rustle up some ingredients.  In the interest of saving time at a later stage, I always make enough filling for two pies and freeze half.

  • 1 kg of chicken, I use both thigh and breast meat (cut into chunks)
  • 1 pkt of bacon (sliced)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 1 carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 stalk of celery (finely diced)
  • 1 leek (finely diced)
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 gms of flour
  • 1 heaped tsp of paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 heaped tsp of salt
  • 500 mls of chicken stock
  • a glug of olive oil
  • 150mls of white wine
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

First add a good glug of olive oil to a deap pan and fry the bacon until cooked, but not crisp.  Set the bacon aside in a bowl and fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat.  Put the cooked mushroom in the  bowl with the bacon.  Then add the salt, dried thyme and paprika to the flour and dredge the chicken chunks in it.  For maximum shaking fun and minimum mess, I like to do this in a zip lock bag. Fry the chicken pieces,  on a medium heat, in batches until GBD, that’s golden brown and delicious!

Set the chicken pie chunks aside in a separate bowl to the mushroom and bacon.  Now look at your pan.  The flour has left it looking crusty and impossible to clean, right?  Don’t despair.  This is what’s going to make the tastiest sauce ever.   Lower the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Stir until all those browned bits dissolve into the wine.  Add the onion to the wine and let it soften for about 5 mins.  Then add the rest of the aromatics, the leek, carrot and celery, cover the pan and cook for about 10 mins. Add the left-over dredging flour and slowly stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice and zest.  Add the bacon, mushrooms and chicken back to the pan and allow to simmer for about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool.

While the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C and then cut the pastry sheet in half and roll out two circles.  Line a greased, floured pie tin with one of the circles and, once the filling has cooled, fill the pie pan with half the filling. (Freeze the other half. )

Brush the pastry with egg wash and top the pie with the second circle of pastry.  Crimp the edges, cut a few “breathing holes” into the pastry and brush the top pastry with egg. Use the left over pastry bits to cut out shapes to decorate the top of the pie and pop it into the oven for 40 mins.

Once the pie is done, take it out of the oven and serve it with something fresh like a tomato salad and green peas to make you feel less like crying when you think of your cholesterol levels.

So, how did my pie compare?  Well thanks to the holy trinity of lemon, thyme and wine invoking memories of roast chicken, BH was impressed with the taste.  Adding bacon helped with this criterion, because bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better.  We scored well on chunks and the lack of bulking ingredients.  I’d like to take credit for the fact that BH liked the GBD pastry, but my friends at Jus-Rol, get credit for that.  In fact it was almost a clean sweep, but we were disqualified right at the end as there was insufficient judging material to judge the pie cold.  I guess I’ll just have to make another one, but I think that’s the way BH wants it.  Can I claim a moral victory?

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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