Mediterranean-style chicken and rice

I’ve been a long time reader of A Healthy Slice of Life and when Brittany posted her One Pot with Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice recipe, I just had to try it.  Let’s face it, despite almost 20 years away from Asia, anything rice-based gets my heart fluttering.

I used white basmati rice and in future (perhaps tonight – I’ll check with the gang if they fancy this again), will use about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of chicken broth. : 1 cup of rice.   Another modification, I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, cooked it on the griddle pan and served it with the rice as opposed to cooking it in the pot.

Both Hubby and I really enjoyed the dish.  We have been stuck in a perpetual food rut and it’s great to come across easy, tasty recipes such as this one.  Definitely a keeper.

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Hainanese chicken rice – revisited

Hainanese chicken is another childhood favourite.   I’ve attempted it at home several times over the last few years and is a good remedy for when I’m in need of a health-boost.  This time, I poached the chicken for 45 minutes with spring onions, garlic, ginger and peppercorns and then baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.  As is customary, I used the poaching liquid to cook the rice (with more ginger – I couldn’t get enough!).  It was a Sunday afternoon, and feeling lazy, I used bottled chilli sauce as a condiment. Drizzled with sesame oil, dark soy, the chicken is served with sliced cucumber, rice and some broth.  Simple and delicious.

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What we ate this summer

Our glorious summer seems to have come to an abrupt end.  Only a week ago were we basking in glorious sunshine, replaced in a blink by wet and breezy conditions.   Warm days call for very light, but still tasty, food.   Here is some of the meals we ate this summer, a mixture of home-cooked and store-bought food.

Omelette with roasted peppers and rocket

Omelette with roasted peppers and rocket

I made the above omelette for breakfast on a rather lazy Saturday morning.   Hubby and I enjoyed it with a dash of sweet chilli sauce!

Chicken kebabs, curried cauliflowers and spinach-tomato salad

Chicken kebabs, curried cauliflowers and spinach-tomato salad

Our local butcher sells a variety of pre-marinated meats during summer.   Their garlic and butter chicken kebabs were a hit in our household, cooked over the barbecue.

Spicy Jersey potatoes

Spicy Jersey potatoes

We went to Hayling Island on a day trip one Sunday.  I bought the above terracotta pot in a local shop and served spicy Jersey potatoes (ala patatas bravas) in it.

Store-bought avocado sushi

Store-bought avocado sushi

On another warm Sunday, we had a picnic on Primrose Hill.   We stopped by at a Japanese grocer on Finchley Road and bought packed fried rice, noodles and the above avocado sushi which was absolutely delicious.

Grilled Tiger Prawns with mixed salad

Grilled Tiger Prawns with mixed salad

I bought meaty tiger prawns from Ocado and marinated them in chilli powder and dark soy.   They only needed a few minutes on the griddle pan on either side.  I served them here with a mixed salad.   Simple and yet very satisfying.

Pimms and lemon

Pimms and lemon

 

Pimms, the drink synonymous with summer.    I mixed mine with lemonade, mint leaves, strawberries and lemon.  Fab.

Last night was cold.   I made a big pot of squash and carrot soup.  Not pictured here.  Perhaps one reserved for next season’s post.

Baked chicken and aubergine parmigiana

If you are a chicken/aubergine parmigiana purist, look away now.

I have previously attempted both dishes here and here, but found they took a bit of time and effort to put together.  Time and effort are precious commodities these days and I decided to combine both dishes in one albeit with a shortcut.   No dredging in flour/parmesan/beaten egg before hand, this modification results in a much simpler recipe but a show of hands at home proved that it was still a winner in terms of flavour.  The bear sat on Hubby’s lap and helped herself to everything on his plate.  Now, that’s a compliment.

Ingredients: (serves 2 adults, and possibly one small bear 🙂 )

  • Fry lite
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, a handful of basil, a handful of parsley
  • 1 can (400ml) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 medium aubergine, topped and tailed, cut into 1 cm slices lengthways
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large mozzarella ball
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees
  2. In an oven-proof pot, spray some Fry Lite and sauté the onions for 2 minutes, add the garlic and herbs and leave to cook for 30 seconds
  3. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, ketchup and water and bring to a simmer
  4. Place the chicken and aubergine slices into the sauce, season with salt and pepper
  5. Put the lid on and transfer into the oven
  6. Leave to cook for 30 minutes (or slightly longer depending on the size of the chicken)
  7. Use oven gloves to remove the pot from the oven and place it carefully on your stove
  8. Remove the lid, tear the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on top of the chicken/aubergine
  9. Scatter Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella and transfer the pot back into the oven for a further 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted
  10. Switch off the oven and remove the pot.  Leave it on top of the stove for 10 minutes until the sauce has stopped bubbling
  11. Serve with steamed green beans and a carb of your choice – potatoes, orzo, couscous and don’t forget some crusty bread to mop up the sauce!

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Chicken in Madeira wine

For a recent Sunday lunch, I made Pierre Koffmann’s Coq au Madiran.  It was a simple, one pot dish which suited our rather busy household.   I did modify the recipe by omitting the liver and bacon, and added some red wine as well.  The result was tasty, succulent chicken which I served with roast potatoes and sautéed green vegetables.

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‘Paella’ chicken

I was going to make chicken paella for dinner tonight, but we’d had rice earlier in the day.   I decided to retain the paella flavours, but replaced the rice with potatoes instead.   I enjoyed making this dish, as the only effort goes into blending the ingredients for the ‘sofrito’, and the rest was a pretty much one-pot trick.

IMG_5812Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 red tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 chicken thighs (or a mixture of thighs and drumsticks)
  • 10 baby potatoes, par-boiled for 7 minutes and drained

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees
  2. Line a baking tray with foil
  3. Place the tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic and oil in a blender.  Blend into a fine paste
  4. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients (except the chicken and potatoes)
  5. Place the chicken and potatoes into the baking tray and pour the mixture on top
  6. Use a wooden spoon to evenly spread the mixture over the chicken and potatoes
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  8. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving with a side of vegetables, a squeeze of lemon and crusty bread to mop of the lovely sauce

 

Daily dinners in photos – Tuesday

We had a busy day yesterday and come 3pm I could feel my energy level dipping.  The temptation was there to ditch the meal plan and dine out.   As a compromise, I used a ready-made sauce for my chicken dish instead of making one from scratch.   I baked chicken thighs and drumsticks in the oven for 20 minutes, and then cooked them in a pot on the hob with a packet of honey-chicken sauce and plenty of vegetables (carrots, broccoli, mangetout) for 10 minutes.  I served the chicken with rice and sliced cucumber.

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