Creamy nutty chicken (gluten & dairy free)

chicken

I roasted a chicken over the weekend and made this dish with some of the leftovers for tea last night. It only took about ten mins to make and to be honest I wasn’t really expecting much, but it was so yummy I just had to share. Having wonderful seasonal veggies like asparagus, cauliflower and leeks readily available (and at their best right now) makes these types of meals really easy. I have a feeling this will end up becoming a regular mid-week feature for hubby and me over the coming months.

Ingredients (for two, could easily be doubled or tripled up for a bigger portion):
Handful of cooked chicken
Handful of cooked root veg
Large leek or two small ones – chopped chunky
Leaves from a large cauliflower – thoroughly washed and chopped fairly small (cabbage would also work)
6 spears of cooked asparagus – chopped in half
Tbsp coconut oil
Tbsp tamari
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter (cashew or almond butter would also work)
160ml tin of coconut cream

Method:
– sautée the leek in coconut oil over a med-high heat until soft

– stir in the tamari, fish sauce and nut butter, mix well then add the cauliflower leaves/cabbage

– turn the heat down low and cook with the lid on for about five minutes until the leaves are soft and flavours have mingled

– add the chicken, asparagus and potatoes, give it all a good stir then pour over the coconut cream. Cook for a further few minutes until piping hot, and serve immediately

The Perfect Roast Chicken

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My main food focus so far this year has been about getting away from supermarkets and shopping more locally. I’ve managed so far and have been buying our meat in bulk from the farm shop or farmers markets. I can safely say I’m a convert and won’t be going back.

A decent sized (1.5-1.8kg) farm assured chicken should cost around £10, and supermarkets flogging them for a fiver or less is criminal in my opinion. By doing this they’ve falsely created an idea that chicken is cheap, and subsequently people want it that way. They don’t care what conditions those poor birds have to live in and be subjected to. They don’t care that it’s been pumped full of water, growth hormones and antibiotics. They just want it as cheap as possible. I live in hope that more people start shopping locally, and buying their meat from smaller farms that actually care about their livestock. It’s time for us all to start taking responsibility for the food we put on our tables.

Sorry, rant over! My point was supposed to be telling you my method for roasting a chicken not going off on a tangent about animal welfare! This is my fail safe step by step, you don’t need any seasoning or extras and you’ll be left with a stunning tasting chook.

Method:
– preheat your oven to 200C fan/220C non-fan/425F/GM7

– remove the packaging and butchers string, and pluck any stray feathers

– place the bird on a large non-stick baking tray and blast it for 20 mins if it’s under 1.3kg, and 30 mins if it’s over

– remove from the oven and flip the bird over in the tray so it’s breast side down

– place back in the oven and reduce the heat to 170C fan/180C non-fan/350F/GM4

– continue roasting for 20 mins per 500g of meat

– remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins before serving

Really Easy Chicken Nuggets (gluten & dairy free)

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We had a delicious roast chicken for dinner the other night, and there was lots leftover. A moment of inspiration led me to give this a try, and you know what? It really worked. Such a simple way of creating a much loved favourite, it will definitely be my go-to recipe in the future. Served up with home made chips and another favourite in our house – peas – this meal got the seal of approval from both my girls. Who needs McD’s or ‘Shergar King’?!

Ingredients (for 2 little people):
12x 1inch sized pieces of skinless, boneless cooked chicken
3 gluten free oatcakes (I like Nairns)
Free range egg
2 tbsp light olive oil
Tsp tamari
Med sized potato

Method:
– preheat the oven to 190C fan/200C non-fan/400F/GM8

– peel the potato and cut into thin chips. Coat in one tbsp olive oil and the tamari then arrange on a small non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 mins

– when your chips have had ten mins, beat the egg lightly in a bowl, add the chicken and mix well to ensure each piece of chicken is covered with egg

– in a pestle & mortar or bowl using the end of a rolling pin, crunch up the oatcakes until they resemble breadcrumbs. Lay them out flat on a plate

– at this point put a large non-stick frying pan on the hob, and start warming the other tbsp of olive oil over a med-high heat

– coat each side of the chicken pieces in the oatcake crumbs, then add to the pan

– cook for 2-3 mins on either side until nice and golden in colour

– leave to cool before serving with the peas and chips (which should be ready to come out of the oven the same time as the chicken comes out of the pan)

Lemon & lime chicken drumsticks

lemon lime chicken drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are fab party and picnic food – easy to eat, super tasty and loved by children and adults. What’s not to like? My fail safe recipe couldn’t be simpler and always go down an absolute treat.

Make up your marinade first: for every 10 drumsticks mix together the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon, half a lime, one tbsp of honey and one tbsp of soya sauce or tamari for GF. Pour all over the chicken and give it a good massage to ensure each piece is thoroughly coated, then arrange on a non-stick baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 180C/375F and roast up the chicken for about 40 mins, until cooked through and the skin is nice and golden. There will be lots of lovely juice at the bottom of the pan, which I like to reduce down to a delicious gravy to be used at a later date.

 

Chicken tray bake

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This awesome one-tray meal has become a family staple for us since I returned to work. It takes about five mins to prep and there is only one tray to wash up. Delicious from-scratch cooking does not get easier than this!!

Ingredients (for two adults & two kids):
1kg chicken thighs
1kg seasonal squash
Large leek
Juice of a lemon
Juice of a lime
Tbsp sesame oil
Tbsp tamari

Method:
– preheat the oven to 180C/365F

– chop the squash into 8 chunky pieces and thoroughly wash the leek, then arrange with the chicken thighs on a large non-stick baking tray

– in a small bowl squeeze out the lemon and lime juice, and pass through a sieve. Add the sesame oil and tamari, stir well then pour over the contents of the tray

– roast in the oven for 40 mins and serve immediately with seasonal veg (cauliflower, kale and spring greens are very good at the moment here in the UK)

 

Eat the fridge casserole

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This über flavoursome dish was inspired today by needing to eat up what was in my fridge, to make way for the christmas shopping. By sticking to the first half of the method, I’m certain you could use any leftover meat and still get really tasty results.

Ingredients (for two large bowls):
2 chicken thighs
2 rashers of bacon
6 chipolatas
2-3 tbsp fat (I used duck fat, although olive oil or butter would work just as well)
50ml stock
50ml white wine
Large red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 a celery
100g mushrooms
4 carrots
1/2 a butternut squash

Method:
– preheat the oven to 175C/350F and brush half of the fat over a large baking sheet

– peel your carrots, parsnips and squash and cut into small chunks. Arrange on the tray and roast for 30 mins

– in the meantime, melt the other half of the fat in a large ovenproof pot over a med-high heat. Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery, and fry until soft. Adding a little stock if necessary, to stop from burning

– peel and quarter the mushrooms and chuck in at this point. Cook for a few mins with the lid on to create some liquid, then put the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside

– return the pan to the heat, and brown off the chicken and sausages. Chop up the bacon and add to the pan. Pour in the wine and rest of the stock, then add the veg in the bowl and give everything a good stir

– turn the heat off and allow the pan to sit on the stove until the veg in the oven is ready

– when the veg has had half an hour, remove from the oven and add to the pan

– reduce the oven temp to 160C/325F and cook for an hour with the lid on. Serve immediately with green veggies

 

Finger lickin chick chick

This is a great recipe for adults and kiddies alike, tastes better (in my opinion) than take-away and is heaps lower in fat than the deep fried versions. The quantities below will be enough for two adults, and 8-10 nuggets for the wee ones…

Ingredients:
6 chicken thighs (four as is, and two skinless, boneless and chopped into two inch-ish chunks)
20 matzo crackers
4 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of a lemon
Tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp plain flour seasoned with a little bit of salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2-3 tbsp oil

– preheat the oven to 200, and generously oil a baking tray
– put the crackers, garlic, parsley, lemon zest & juice in a whizzer and blend into fine breadcrumbs
– put the chicken into a large plastic freezer bag with the flour and shake to ensure it’s all coated
– put the beaten egg onto one large dish and the breadcrumbs onto another
– dip each chicken thighs/pieces into the egg, then the breadcrumbs ensuring they’re completely coated
– bake the pieces for 8 mins each side and the thighs for 25 mins each side
– serve with home made potato and sweet potato wedges and salad