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Tag Archives: Chicken

Baked Camembert with Garlic, Maple & Thyme and ‘Things to Serve it With’

First up, I’d going to recommend buying a Camembert and eating it fairly swiftly. You should certainly not buy it, leave it in the fridge for 3 weeks wondering why the fridge stinks every time you open it then pack it into the car boot, spend the day driving to Ikea, back again and then driving to Oxfordshire.  Because by the time you get to Oxfordshire, your car will reek riper than ripe. And you probably will to. This may or may not have happened to me! It is however worth it because whilst rather decadent, a whole baked cheese treated as a fondue is bloody delicious.

My Camembert was sold as a ‘baking camembert’ and came with a little ceramic dish to bake it in. More often than not, they come in flimsy cardboard boxes – simply dispose the lid then line the box with tin foil. The box/dish will stop the cheese from spreading as it bakes.

I cooked this as a lunch to share between two but it would equally make a great starter with some lighter ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 2 or with heavier ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 3 or 4.

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Ingredients:

1 Whole Camembert
1 Garlic Clove
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Things to Serve it With:

 1 Red Onion
2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread
6 Baby Potatoes
6 Cherry Tomatoes
Leftover Roast Chicken
2 tbsp Olive Oil


Turn the oven on to 200c or equivalent. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

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Slice 1 Red Onion into chunks and lay in a lined oven tray and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a small pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Pop into the oven and keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven when soft all the way through and crispy around the edges.

Prepare 1 Whole Camembert by carefully slicing off the top layer of rind trying to keep it in one piece.

Tip – This will be much easier if the cheese is fridge cold.

Finely slice half of 1 Garlic Clove. Using a sharp knife, poke slits in the top of the cheese and poke the slices of garlic into the slits.

Sprinkle 1 tsp Dried Thyme, 1 tbsp Maple Syrup and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes over the cheese then replace the lid and press down.

Put the cheese in the dish or foil lined box and pop into the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

Cut 6 Baby Potatoes into quarters and put in a small saucepan, cover with some of the boiled water and put on a high heat to boil.

Meanwhile slice 6 Cherry Tomatoes in half and warm some Leftover Chicken in the mircrowave or small pan.

Toast 2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread, rub the remaining half garlic clove over the toast and drizzle over 1 tbsp Olive Oil. Cut into soldiers.

When the potatoes are cooked through, drain and toss with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.

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Once the cheese is cooked, serve in the centre of a plate with all of the other elements presented around it.

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To eat, remove the rind lid (make sure to eat it or scrape of the gooey cheese!) and dip away.

Have a rennie on standby.

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Sweet Potato Tagliatelle in a Creamy Chicken, Bacon, Mushroom and Pea Sauce

I don’t overly condone pasta substitutes and I’d never for a moment pretend that any kind of spiralized vegetable can fool you into thinking that you’re eating pasta. I’m not however crazy about pasta in a way that a lot of folks in my generation seem to be – truthfully we didn’t eat it in my house growing up so perhaps it isn’t ingrained in my psyche as with others. (I do however love macaroni cheese and at some point I intend to share my recipe/method for carbonara my way!). I am however like most folk working on ways to eat more veg so when I saw packs of ready made Sweet Potato Tagliatelle in Sainsbury’s, as I already love sweet potatoes, I thought it sounded like something worth trying.  Well its my new favourite ingredient.

Of course I could buy sweet potatoes and a spiralizer but lets be honest, its not happening when I get in from work at 7pm starving.  I followed the packet instructions to cook (hark at me) – basically prick the bag and nuke it in the microwave for 3 minutes. It came out feeling a bit crunchy and I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t just going to taste raw but I simmered it in the sauce for a minute and after the first couple of mouthfuls of getting used to the texture, I was sold – if you cooked it though until its soft, the tagliatelle is going to become sweet potato mash – a little be like what happened when I tried to part-boil (I know its ‘par-boil’ but what an awful word) these Butternut Squash Waffles (or ‘Squaffles’).

You could obviously make a myriad of sauces to go with the sweet potato but this is what I threw together. Equally you could make this sauce with actual pasta. The whole thing took my maybe 20 minutes at most.

Serves 2 – 716kcal per portion

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Ingredients:

2 Chicken Breasts (boneless and skinless)
4 Rashers Back Bacon
1 Red Onion
2 Large Handfuls Mushrooms
250ml Skimmed Milk
2 tbsp English Mustard
3tbsp Cornflour
300g (1 pack) Sweet Potato Tagliatelle
60g Light Mature Cheddar (grated)
1 Large Handful Frozen Garden Peas
Frylight Spray
Sea Salt Flakes


Start by cutting 2 Chicken Breasts (boneless and skinless) into bitesize chunks and putting them in a large saucepan over a medium high heat with 10 sprays Frylight.

Stir the chicken to stop it sticking occasionally whilst continuing with the next steps.

Chop 1 Red Onion into medium dice and add to a medium pan over a medium-high heat with 10 sprays Frylight. Also keep stirring the onions so that the don’t stick while continuing with the next steps.

Tip – if the onions are browning without softening a bit, add a little water to the pan.

Use scissors to chop 4 Rashers Back Bacon into small pieces directly into the chicken pan.

Chop 2 Large Handfuls Mushrooms into smallish pieces and add to the onion pan.

Tip – don’t forget to keep stirring both pans intermittently. 

Once the bacon is cooked to your preference (as always I prefer not so crispy), add 250ml Skimmed Milk and 2 tbsp English Mustard to the chicken and bacon pan. Bring the milk to a gentle boil.

Tip – Stir to make sure any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are released into the sauce – this is flavour. (Not ‘flava’ – thats different). 

Add the onion and mushrooms which should not be soft and cooked through with the mushrooms a little browned.

Mix 3tbsp Cornflour into a slurry with a little cold water and add in stages to the dish until a fairly thick sauce is formed. Reserve any remaining cornflour for later use if needed.

Prick the bag of 300g (1 pack) Sweet Potato Tagliatelle and microwave per the instructions – 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 60g Light Mature Cheddar (grated) and 1 Large Handful Frozen Garden Peas to the sauce and continue stirring the sauce.

Season to taste with Sea Salt Flakes. 

Empty the bag of cooked sweet potato directly into the sauce. stir well (but gently) to combine with the sauce and leave to simmer for 1 minute.

Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your preference with more cornflour slurry/milk as desired and serve.

Chicken, Mushroom, Thyme and Marsala Risotto (2 ways)

Whilst as I mentioned in my last post, December was a bit of a barren wasteland of cooking for me, I did make one new meal when my Godmother Sheila and her Daughter Hilary paid me a visit for lunch between Christmas and New Year. Sheila is a bit of a legend – in her 80s and with a social life to rival most 20-somethings she reminded me on this visit just one of the reasons I love her so much by asking “is the food ready?” barely 1 minute in the door! I think maybe a tiny bit of that directness may have rubbed off on me over the years!  Luckily someone’s penchant for pre-planning has also rubbed off on me and lunch was indeed ready.

I made a risotto to counteract all of the roast meats, veg and potatoes that are ubiquitous with Christmas. I wanted to make something super creamy and rich so I used all of the butter and all of the cream. I freshened it up a little with a topping of fresh rocket leaves and a couple of teaspoons of my favourite Graceburn Cheese. I made the dish again in early January when a friend came over for dinner but this this time I took a more low fat approach to proceedings although I did still garnish it with a little bit of Graceburn.  I have included instructions for both versions within the recipe – the ‘lower fat’ options are within brackets. Risottos are pretty forgiving – don’t worry about the specific quantities too much and feel free to mix and match the higher/lower fat options – use chicken breasts but cream, use chicken thighs but frylight, and trust your instincts – it’ll be just fine.

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

300g Chicken Thigh Fillets – Skinned and Boned (300g Chicken Breast)
2 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
1 Egg White
7 tbsp (105ml) Marsala Wine or Sherry/Maderia
2 tbsp Garlic Paste
2 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 Medium Onions – red or white
80g Salted Butter (35 sprays Frylight)
100g Risotto Rice
2 tbsp Chicken Stock Concentrate
1 litre Hot Water
300g Mushrooms
100g Frozen Peas
6 tbsp (90ml) Double Cream (Low Fat Creme Fraiche)
Sea Salt Flakes
2 Handfuls Rocket
2 tbsp Graceburn Cheese or Parmesan


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Start by dicing 300g Chicken Thigh Fillets – Skinned and Boned or 300g Chicken Breast into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with 2 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch, 2 tbsp Marsala Wine, 1 tbsp Garlic Paste, 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.  Stir together and set aside.

Tip – You could do this a couple of hours ahead of time – just refrigerate it in the meantime. 

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Dice 2 Medium Onions and start gently frying them in 40g Salted Butter or 20 Sprays of Frylight over a medium heat in a large saucepan with a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Continue cooking until the onions are soft and translucent – a good 10/15 minutes.

Tip – For the version not using butter, I add a little bit of water after 5 minutes or so to help with the softening.

Add 1 tbsp Garlic Paste and 4 tbsp Marsala Wine to the onions and keep stirring until the wine has all but reduced.

Tip – I add the garlic this late so it doesn’t burn. I add the wine before the rice (as is the common instruction) so that the rice does not absorb the uncooked wine which can result in an acrid taste to the end of the risotto. I add the garlic at the same time as the wine as this also stops the garlic from catching.

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Add 100g Risotto Rice to the onions and stir to coat the rice grains in the fat and wine residue. Add about half a cup of 1 litre Hot Water and keep stirring until the rice has mostly absorbed the liquid. Add 2 tbsp Chicken Stock Concentrate and 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves to the pan along with another half cup of the water and stir while the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add the water a little at a time whilst you start to cook the other ingredients.

Tip – It is important to keep stirring the risotto. The stirring action helps to release the starch from the rice grains which results in a creamy risotto. It also stops the rice sticking to the pan and acts as a reminder to add the next batch of water when you feel the mix becoming too dry. Saying this, whilst it is important to stir almost continuously for the first 5 minutes or so, after that it is possible to take short breaks to deal with other aspects of the recipe. I wouldn’t advise walking away from it entirely tho – if you need to pee, just turn the heat off for a couple of minutes while you’re away.

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Quarter 300g Mushrooms and add to a large frying pan with 20g Salted Butter or no oil and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Fry over a high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown, soft all of the way through and any moisture released has evaporated. Put the mushrooms aside.

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Add the marinated chicken to the frying pan over a high heat with 20g Salted Butter or 10 Sprays of Frylight and fry until golden brown and cooked all of the way through – this will take a little longer if using thighs.  Once cooked set aside until needed.

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Once the rice has absorbed all of the water and is just cooked all the way through, add the cooked mushrooms and chicken to the rice along with 100g Frozen Peas and 6 tbsp Double Cream or Low Fat Creme Fraiche.

Tip – You can tell when the rice is cooked by tasting it! 

Tip – You may need more water than stated or a bit less – as with flour the absorption rate of the rice can vary with many factors. Trust your gut. 

Stir the risotto for a couple more minutes until the peas, mushrooms and chicken have had a chance to warm right through. Check the seasoning by tasting and add more salt as needed. Lastly, add the last 1 tbsp of Marsala Wine so that the flavour is good and prominent in the finished dish.

Serve in two pasta bowls with one handful of Rocket and 1 tbsp Graceburn or Parmesan as a topping. 

Chicken and Chorizo Mexican ‘Lasagne’

I usually host a London Christmas Dinner before I head home for the Christmas break. We do the full shebang – turkey, all the trimmings, trifle, sherry, after eights, the lot. But I’m going away extra early this year and it seemed a little silly. So I decided to host Thanksgiving. We’re not American, I’m rarely that thankful but it falls at the end of November and was supposed to give me an opportunity to cook something a little different and experiment with some classics usually only seen on sitcoms (marshmallow covered sweet potato & green bean casserole for example). I had the whole menu planned with help from various Americans in my life (thanks Gian and Shana) and the Sainsbury’s delivery booked. The week long preparation plan was loaded into my diary.

And then they went and elected Trump. What utter morons. And within seconds of hearing the news, my desire to celebrate Americana died. So by 10am I’d cancelled Thanksgiving and decided on a Mexican feast instead. Maybe next year I’ll reinstate Turkey Day, we’ll see.

The full menu involved Pork Pilbil, Green Rice, lashings of Guacamole (natch), Mole (mow-lay) Chicken Wings, Mushroom Quesadillas, Prawn Fajitas and this, a layered tortilla affair in the same vein as a lasagne. I’ve made variations of this a few times – you can vary the layers with what you have meat and veg wise – I’ve gone for a fairly classic chorizo and chicken version here.  Some sort of cheese or at least a white sauce is essential for moisture. I’ve not included coriander as there is some aversion in my group but it would be liberally included in every layer otherwise.

You can assemble the elements in any order that you please but it is best to start the actual assembly with everything ready to go. I’ve totally forgotten an element before and kicked myself later!

Apologies, I have no photo of the finished cooked dish – we ate it too fast!

Serves 4/6 as a Main Course or 8/10 as part of a larger feast.

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Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
6 Large Chicken Thighs (bone in and skin on)
Sea Salt Flakes
1tbsp Mole Sauce

For the Cheese Sauce:
30g Butter
2 tbsp Plain Flour
350ml Semi Skimmed Milk
190g Mexicana Cheese
Sea Salt Flakes

For the Garlic Mushrooms:
400g Mushrooms
1 tsp Garlic Paste
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight Spray

For the Veg Layer:
2 Medium Onions
250g Frozen Sliced Mixed Peppers
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight Spray

The Rest:

30 Slices Chorizo
100g Frozen Sweetcorn
6 Flour Tortillas


I started by roasting the chicken thighs the evening before I assembled the dish.

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Leaving the skin on and bone in, sprinkle on Sea Salt Flakes and roast 6 Large Chicken Thighs at 180c for around 45 minutes until cooked through and golden but still juicy.

Leave to cool thoroughly before removing the skins and tearing the flesh from the bones. Discard the bones and skin. (Who am I kidding, I ate the skin!)

Mix 1tbsp Mole Sauce through the shredded flesh.

Tip – If you can’t procure the mole sauce, mix through some fajita spice mix and a little vegetable oil to make it a thick paste or some sort of similar Mexican/south American spice mix/paste.

Set the chicken aside ready for assembly.

Next I made the Mexican cheese sauce.

Melt 30g Butter in a pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp Plain Flour. Stir over the heat and thoroughly combine. A thick paste will form.

Make sure there are no lumps before you start to add 350ml Semi Skimmed Milk a little at a time until a rich and creamy sauce has formed.

Crumble 140g Mexicana Cheese into the sauce and stir over the heat until its melted and totally combined.

Taste and season with Sea Salt Flakes if needed.

Set the cheese sauce aside ready for assembly.

To make the garlic mushrooms, chop 400g Mushrooms into thick slices and fry over a high heat with a few sprays of Frylight and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.

Once the mushrooms are browned and any moisture has evaporated off, stir in 1 tsp Garlic Paste and fry for 1 minute to cook it though and combine. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Set the mushrooms aside ready for assembly.

Roughly slice 2 Medium Onions with a few sprays of Frylight and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes and fry over a medium heat until softened.  Add 250g Frozen Sliced Mixed Peppers and fry until the peppers have defrosted and coloured a little.

Set the veg aside until ready for assembly.

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Time to assemble! I used my pie dish which is a little bigger than a regular tortilla at its base and I lined it with a disposable liner for easy clean-up.

Tip – Try to keep everything vaguely even and make sure to spread each layer of filling to the edges of the dish or you’ll end up with a mound in the middle of the dish.

Assemble in layers as follows:

Tortilla
15 Chorizo Slices

1/3 Cheese Sauce
Tortilla
Garlic Mushrooms
1/2 Shredded Chicken

Tortilla
1/3 Cheese Sauce
Veg (Peppers and Onions)
Tortilla

Tip – You have 6 Flour tortillas but only 5 layers of tortilla. As the pie dish gets higher, the surface area increases. The tortilla needed to cover the whole area increases. Look at my pictures carefully – Layers 4 and 5 are cut to space them out and I use the 6th tortilla to fill in the spaces.

1/2 Shredded Chicken
100g Frozen Sweetcorn
Tortilla
15 Chorizo Slices
1/3 Cheese Sauce
40g Mexicana Cheese – torn into small chunks (or freeze it and grate it)

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I wrapped this in cling film and froze it for a couple of days then took it out of the oven the night before serving and reheated in the oven for about 45 minutes. There is nothing to cook other than to brown the top and reheat everything so you can cook at about 180c or you could even microwave the whole thing for 7 or so minutes then just put it under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top.

 

An Alternative Roast Chicken Dinner

On a slightly hungover Sunday (these 30th birthday shindigs are ruining my constitution) and after a probably ill advised trip to Ikea with my new housemates (my Ikea catalogue knowledge is concerning as it transpires) I had the ridiculous notion that cooking a chicken dinner would be a good idea. Due to a lack of suitable ingredients and desire to go for the full roast, I decided to go for a super easy, bung it all in the oven fridge-clear-out type affair. And I have to say, I’d make it again!

My chicken was from my favourite butchers, was less than £6 and was worth every penny. New housemate Alex (later, and not to my face so I think he meant it) declared it “The best chicken of my life“. I’ll take about 5% credit for that and another 5% goes to the amount of butter involved but the rest was down to it just being a damn good bird to start with.

The process here assumes that you have a decent size oven with room to put 3 layers at once. If you only have a smaller oven, you may need to start a bit earlier and  roast the veg while the chicken is resting or roast the veg around the chicken in a larger tray.

Serves 4

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Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
1 Whole Chicken
100g Salted Butter (soft)
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
2 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
2 tsp Paprika
10 Sage Leaves (or 2 tbsp Dried Sage)

For the Roast Sweet Potatoes:
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsbp Sea Salt Flakes

For the Roast Red Onions:
4 Medium Red Onions
4 tbsp Low Fat Cream Cheese
6 Sprigs Thyme
1 tbsp Grain Mustard
1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

For the Maple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:
250g Vine-Ripened Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1tsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

To Serve:
4 handfuls Baby Spinach
2 tbsp Cornflour
Frylight


Preheat the oven to 200c or equivalent.

Using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, remove the wing tips, parsons’s nose (google it), the neck remnants, knuckles and any extra flaps of skin from around the opening of 1 Whole Chicken.  Place the chicken in a lined baking tray, not much bigger than the chicken.

Mix together 100g Salted Butter (soft), 1 tbsp Garlic Paste, 2 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes, 2 tsp Paprika and 10 finely chopped Sage Leaves. Spread the buttery mix all over the chicken, not forgetting the legs and underside.

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Put the chicken on the top shelf of the oven.

While the chicken starts to roast, peel 2 Large Sweet Potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. Add the chunks to a lined roasting tray and toss them in 2 tbsp Olive Oil and 1 tsbp Sea Salt Flakes.

Put the sweet potatoes on the middle shelf of the oven after the chicken has been in for about 30 minutes.

Top, tail, halve (horizontally so you can see the rings) and peel 4 Medium Red Onions. Place cut side up in a small roasting tray. Cover with Frylight and put into the oven on the bottom shelf.

Halve (horizontally) 250g Vine-Ripened Cherry Tomatoes and lay in one layer in a small roasting tray. Sprinkle 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, 1tsp Garlic Paste and 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes over the tomatoes and put the tomatoes on the bottom oven shelf.

Tip – You could combine the onions and tomatoes into one tray to save space/washing up.

At this time take the chicken out of the oven and drain the juices into a small saucepan. Set the juices aside and return the chicken to the oven. Give the sweet potatoes a toss whilst you’re in the oven.

Mix together 4 tbsp Low Fat Cream Cheese, 6 Sprigs Thyme, 1 tbsp Grain Mustard and 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes. Set aside.

Once the chicken has been in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes, drain any further juice and return it to the pan upside down so the bottom will crisp up.

Toss the potatoes again, shake the tomatoes and take the onions out. They should be soft most of the way through by now.

Spread the cream cheese mix over the onions – a generous half tbsp over each onion half should be about even. Put the onions back into the oven.

20 minutes after the chicken last went back in, remove it from the oven, drain any more juices and check that it is cooked by slicing between the thigh and breast and checking if the juices run clear. If the meat is overly pink or juices are a bit pink, put the chicken back in and check it at 5 minute intervals. Don’t panic and overcook – trust your instinct.

Take the chicken out, turn it the right side up and cover with foil. Set aside to rest.  Add any remaining pan juices to the saucepan.

Check the sweet potatoes, tomatoes and onions. They can stay in the oven for anything up to another 15-20 minutes if needs be. They should be crispy around the edges but watch the tomatoes especially closely as the maple syrup can easily catch and burn.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tbsp Cornflour with cold water to make a slurry. Put the small saucepan of cooking juices onto a medium heat and once simmering, add the cornflour slurry a little a time whilst whisking. Keep adding until the sauce is a drizzling thickness of your liking. By this time some further juice will have collected around the rested chicken, add this to the sauce too.

Remove the sweet potatoes, red onions and tomatoes from the oven and carve the chicken. Serve the food between 4 plates along with 4 handfuls Baby Spinach and drizzle the sauce over the whole plate.

Nom.

Honey, Maple and Thyme Chicken Wings

Earlier in the week I suggested Saturday Night Cocktails and Games at my house to a friend. Somehow this escalated into me cooking dinner for 6 and I went for a pizza feast with a twist – pizza blogs are coming soon. In the meantime, any great pizza feast should feature wings but I wanted to avoid the BBQ sauce soaked number that I usually head for and make use of some of the herbs from my garden. Also maple syrup – any excuse. Its expensive tho so I bulked out the party with some honey.

I made these ahead of time by precooking the wings, leaving them overnight in the marinade and then rewarming and glazing them at the same time. You could alternatively cook the wings from scratch in the marinade and serve immediately.

Serves 8 as part of a feast. Serves 2-3 as a main.

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Ingredients:

2 x 700g pack of Chicken Wings (no wing tips)
6 tbsp Runny Honey
3 tbsp Maple Syrup
8 springs Thyme
2 tsp Paprika
4 tbsp Grain Mustard
Sea salt flakes
Frylight


Preheat the oven to 180c or equivalent.

Using scissors, cut 2 x 700g pack of Chicken Wings down the joint to create individual wings. Discard the useless wingtip if your wings come with them.

Add the cut wings to a large roasting tray lined with a reusable liner and cover with Frylight – about 10-15 sprays and toss with a pinch or two of Sea Salt Flakes.

Cook the wings for 25-30 minutes tossing them occasionally.

Remove the wings to a large Tupperware container discarding the cooking liquor.

Tip – Or keep the juice and add it to your next gravy or pasta sauce.

Add 6 tbsp Runny Honey, 3 tbsp Maple Syrup, 8 springs Thyme, 2 tsp Paprika and 4 tbsp Grain Mustard to the wings. Mix thoroughly and leave to cool then seal with the lid and leave in the fridge overnight.

Tip – At this point, I just put the oven tray back in the oven overnight and left it as I didn’t want to wash it up and then dirty another pan. There are potentially some hygiene issues here if you’re worried about that sort of thing, so wash it and use a clean pan tomorrow if you’re that way inclined. (No one died).

About an hour before wanting to serve, preheat the oven to 200c or equivalent.

Take the wings out of the fridge and add back to the roasting pan. Once the oven is hot, add the wings and leave for 15 minutes.

Take the wings out of the oven and drain any juice and reserve it.  Put the wings back in the oven for 30 minutes, giving them a toss and adding back the reserved juice after 15 minutes. This will give the wings chance to glaze and go crispy instead of boiling but without wasting any of the marinade.

Serve in a big communal bowl with plenty of kitchen roll and your preferred dip (I went supermarket garlic and herb).

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10 Minute Meal – Pan Fried Gnocchi with Chicken Meatballs and Pea Puree

This post is primarily about a super quick carb side and the whole dish is a compilation of items rather than a recipe but I’m aiming to give inspiration for an alternative use for gnocchi and a way to use up my freezer stash of Garlic Pea Puree – A prep ahead side. Its also a ‘get home from work and want to eat quickly without resorting to a bacon and egg sandwich’ type meal.

The chicken meatballs I used are from Ikea, I’m not a great purveyor of convenience foods but these are tasty, gluten free and microwaveable in 4 to 5 minutes from frozen so I like to try and pick up a bag when I go to Ikea – there are 6-8 portions or so in a bag so they work out a quite cheap meal too.

Onto the gnocchi and I guess that this is essentially another convenience food I do use fairly regularly too. If you’re not familiar, they are little Italian potato dumplings which are generally found with the pasta in the supermarket and boiled for a few minutes and then used like pasta in a sauce. I generally buy the fresh gnocchi from the supermarket and it keeps fine in the fridge for ages unopened and several weeks open – ignore the use-by dates, they’re hokum and you’ll know when they’re not useable anymore using your nose and eyes. I use these as a side for all sorts of things, they’re appropriate anywhere you’d serve boiled potatoes etc. Cooked this way they’re a little crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.

Serves 1 – 665 Kcal

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Ingredients:

1 Portion Garlic Pea Puree – A prep ahead side
9 (150g) Ikea Chicken Meatballs
1/4 Bag (125g) Fresh Gnocchi
1 tbsp Reduced Fat Crème Fraiche
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight Spray


Start by emptying the pea puree into a small plastic bowl and popping it in the microwave on full heat for 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan and add 10 sprays of Frylight. When quite warm, add 1/4 Bag (125g) Fresh Gnocchi  to the pan and shake the pan to coat the gnocchi in some of the oil.

Leave the pan for a minute before shaking again to turn the gnocchi over. There should now be little golden crispy bits formed.

Leave the pan alone for another minute then add 4-5 tbsp water to the pan.

Tip – You can just continue to dry fry the gnocchi but I find it’s quicker to use a bit of water and I think it makes the finished texture a bit fluffier.

Stir the gnocchi around the water a little and leave until the water has evaporated giving it the occasional shake.

By this time the pea puree should be heated through so pop 9 (150g) Ikea Chicken Meatballs into the microwave for 4-5 minutes on full heat in another small plastic bowl.

Returning to the gnocchi, when all of the water has gone and the pan is dry again, stir in 1 tbsp Reduced Fat Crème Fraiche and Sea Salt Flakes to taste.

Tip – Don’t be put off by the slight skin that will have formed on the bottom of the pan, this is just the starch from the gnocchi and it’ll stir in with the crème fraiche and add a little bit of crispy texture.

Serve the gnocchi with the warm pea puree and the chicken meatballs.