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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Fish Congee

We had a family ritual when I was a kid.  Every Saturday evening after dad’s game of tennis, he’d treat us to congee at a local hawker stall.  I always opted for fish or chicken porridge.  A big bowl was always too much for me, but I would do my best to make a dent.

Congee (or bubur) is essentially a rice porridge, cooked with lots of water/stock, and typically served with slivers of ginger, a pinch of ground white pepper, fried shallots, soy, sesame oil, chopped spring onions and many other condiments of one’s choice.

I recently made a big pot of fish congee – it was a Sunday night and the congee lasted until Wednesday.  As the days passed, the flavours deepened and I was genuinely sad when I scooped out the last of the congee.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice, washed (I used basmati)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1inch ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine (Shao Xing)
  • 300g cod, boneless and skinless cut into chunks (marinated in 1 tbsp soy, 1/4 grated ginger, a pinch of salt, white pepper, 1 tbsp rice wine)
  • salt

To serve

  • dark soy
  • ground white pepper
  • sesame oil
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and julienned
  • fried shallots
  • spring onions, finely sliced

Method

  1. Use a big, deep pot.  Add the rice, water, ginger and rice wine.  Leave to simmer for 40 to 50 minutes over a low heat until 3/4 of the water has evaporated.  The rice should resemble mush
  2. Drain the marinade from the fish.  Add the fish to the pot and leave the congee to cook for a further 15 minutes
  3. Once cooked, remove the pot from the stove
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with the condiments

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King prawn fried rice – Nasi goreng (revisited)

I’ve posted a few versions of fried rice (nasi goreng) here on the blog.   I had some leftover cooked rice from dinner last night, and decided on fried rice for lunch.  What I wanted to avoid was a carb-heavy dish bearing in mind I had the baby to run after all afternoon.   I prepped a good portion of salad (gem lettuce, mixed herbs, cucumber, tomatoes), and then cut back on the portion of rice I would have used otherwise.  The recipe below serves one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten and seasoned with a pinch of salt and ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste (or sambal oelek)
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
  • a handful of mushrooms, chopped
  • a handful of chopped broccoli
  • 4 to 5 king prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 3/4 cup of cooked rice, cooled (overnight is best)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy (kicap manis)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • a good portion of salad (mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce)

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok
  2. Once oil is hot, pour the egg into the wok, swirl it and leave to cook for 2 minutes until you have an omelette, golden in colour.  Remove the omelette to a plate and reserve for later
  3. Add the remaining oil in the wok.  Once hot, add the chilli paste, followed by the diced carrots, mushrooms and broccoli
  4. Stir well and leave to cook for a minute
  5. Add the king prawns, rice, soy and fish sauce
  6. Stir over high heat for 2 minutes until the prawns are cooked and the rice and other ingredients are combined well
  7. Cut the omelette into strips and toss them into the wok.  Stir for 30 seconds and turn off the heat
  8. Scatter the salad onto a plate and dish out the fried rice on top of the salad
  9. Eat whilst hot!

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Nasi lemak

It’s another hot day.  We’ve been cooling off with plenty of ice cream, Frappucinos, some beer, fizzy drinks and fruit.   I craved a good lunch and ended up making us Nasi Lemak – coconut rice, chicken curry, sambal ikan bilis  and added salted peanuts and sliced cucumbers to our plates.   I gave eggs a miss – they were out of date.

It was a lovely lunch, probably too heavy for a hot day but it made a pleasant change from all the sugary, cool treats we’ve been having!

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Chicken pilaf

I stumbled upon a recipe for Chicken Pilaf in Bill’s Basics cookbook earlier today.  Bill Granger’s recipe calls for apricots and pistachio.  I omitted both and added cashew nuts instead.  Whilst it is a simple recipe, it isn’t one I’d hope to attempt for a midweek meal as it took a good hour between prep and cooking the dish.

The rice has a subtle kick and the chicken was very tender.  I flash fried the chicken pieces in a frying pan after fishing them out of the pot of cooked pilaf as they looked a tad anemic and I like my chicken to have a bit of colour.

All in all, a good recipe and one I’d bookmark for weekend dinners.

 

Claypot chicken rice

I didn’t think cast-iron-pot chicken rice would have the same ring.  I don’t own a clay pot, and therefore resorted to cook this childhood favourite in my cast iron pot instead.  I found various recipes for claypot chicken rice on google, and this is my take on the dish (serves 2).

A) Marinade

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp kicap manis (dark soy)
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground pepper

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge

B) Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  •  1 tbsp dark soy
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp warm water

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl

C) Chicken rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • a handful of chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • a handful of chopped broccoli
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and julienned
  • a handful of chopped spring onions

Method

  1. Cook basmati rice in a cast iron pot (with enough water measuring an inch from the surface of the rice) for 10 minutes with the lid on, over a low heat
  2. Lift the lid and add the chicken and marinade, chopped shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and julienned ginger
  3. Drizzle 1/2 of the sauce (from part B) over the rice and chicken
  4. Put the lid back on and leave to cook over a low heat for 20 minutes
  5. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the rice, turn the heat to a medium and give the dish a good sizzle for two minutes
  6. Turn the heat off and garnish with chopped spring onions

I am still feeling under the weather, so this was the perfect dish for me tonight.  I love the combination of ginger, shiitake mushrooms and broccoli – I find it very soothing, especially the ginger.  The sauce and marinade delivered the flavours of the chicken rice I grew up eating, but what was missing was the extra charry flavour which you’ll only get from cooking this dish in a clay pot.  Still, beggars can’t be choosers, and it was a lovely meal.

Hubby’s treat

No, this isn’t a PG13 post.

We stocked up on squid and king prawns a few days ago, and the plan for this evening was to cook seafood paella.  I asked Hubby if he’d like to have a go at cooking, and he agreed but asked if I could supervise.  Now for those who know me probably think that I talked Hubby into cooking, and he relented, but I’m far too bossy to relinquish control in the kitchen. No siree, that wasn’t how it happened at all.

Anyway, it was probably the best paella I’d eaten in a long time – much better than my last attempt.   The flavours were spot on – tangy, smokiness from the paprika and there was a lovely crust on the bottom of the paella.  The seafood was perfectly cooked – prawns were sweet, and the squid was tender.

Well done Hubby – have you been practising?  Thank you – it made my day.