Chicken Bhuna

I can’t get enough curry recipes into my repertoire. We all love curry in our family even the children so I’m forever making it and experimenting with new versions. It’s such an easy dinner to make and share when you have a get together.

This chicken bhuna is rich, spicy and packed with flavour. Serving with mango chutney is compulsory along with some fluffy naan breads and basmati rice. I leave it all on the side and everyone helps themselves. Some more so than others!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 medium onion – diced

4 chicken breasts – chopped into pieces

3 cloves garlic – minced

Tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato pureé

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chilli powder

Glug of ground nut oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Method

Pan fry your diced onions in ground nut oil for a minute over a low heat. Add your spices and garlic. Cook your onions low and slow until fully softened. This part really helps enhance the flavour of the curry.

Add your tomatoes and tomato pureé and simmer for half an hour or so. Add your chicken pieces and simmer for another 20 minutes until fully cooked through.


Chicken, Leek and Asparagus Pie

Tell me it’s Autumn without telling me it’s Autumn! Filled with chicken, leek and asparagus with a puff pastry lid and hint of thyme for extra delight, this pie is divine.

I make only with a puff pastry lid to keep it lower in calories not that it should be a factor when making a pie but I can’t help a habit of a lifetime.

I serve with lots of fresh veg and smother in delicious gravy. Feel free to add a pastry bottom and buttered new potatoes for a bit of extra Autumn comfort.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts or 500g left over chicken

1 pack of ready roll puff pastry

200ml chicken stock

100ml double cream

Half teaspoon of dried thyme

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

5 asparagus spears – chopped into four

2 leeks – sliced into discs

Beaten egg to glaze

Dusting of flour to roll pastry

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c

Add your hot stock to a large saucepan with your chopped chicken, chopped leek and chopped asparagus. Simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through ( approximately 15 minutes). You can add your chicken in after 10 mins if you are using left over roast chicken.

Allow to cool and swirl in your double cream and thyme. Season according to your liking.

Meanwhile, roll out your puff pastry on a floury surface.

Add the filling to your pie dish and allow to cool, then place the pastry on top and crimp around the edges.

Brush with beaten egg and bake in the centre of your hot oven for 20 minutes. When the pie looks golden, remove and serve with delicious gravy and vegetables of choice.


Chilli Chicken Stir Fry

Fresh, hot and spicy. This dish is full of oriental flavour. I made it with noodles but rice would work too.

Packed full of mange tout, fresh chilli, peppers and onion it’s a plateful of crunchy deliciousness that’s so good for you.

If you can marinate the chicken overnight all the better but don’t worry if not it will still be lovely.

Serves 3

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)

1 lemongrass stalk (peeled and sliced thin)

1 red chilli ( thinly sliced)

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 tablespoons chilli oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 small red onion ( cut into strips)

12 mange tout

2 handfuls of beans sprouts

Half a red pepper – cubed

Half teaspoons salt

Half teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon cornflour

1 tablespoon ketjap manis

100ml water

Handful of coriander to serve (optional)

Method

Put your chicken strips, lemongrass, garlic, 1 tablespoon of chilli oil and fish sauce into a large bowl and mix together. Cover and leave overnight if time permitting. If not just set aside.

Heat your oil in a wok and pan fry your onion strips to caramelise. Add your your bowl of ingredients that you have marinated and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Now add your mange tout, pepper and bean sprouts and continue to pan fry for another 5 minutes or so until they soften.

Add the salt and sugar stirring all the time for another minute or so.

Throw in the soy sauce, ketjap manis and water.

Get a small measuring cup and scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the liquid and mix with the cornflour. Now stir it back into the pan of ingredients. Continue to cook stirring all the time until the sauce begins to thicken. Always ensure you add the cornflour to liquid before stirring into ingredients otherwise it can separate and not stir into the mix properly.

Once ready toss your noodles into the stir fry mixture and serve.

Tip: Top with loads of fresh coriander if you love it. It gives it such an elevated flavour.


Creamy Garlic Chicken in Prosciutto

Perfect mid-week dinner that’s quick and easy but feels like comfort food. I sometimes make this in the week if I haven’t got time to make a full roast but everyone fancies one.

I served mine with asparagus and honey glazed carrots but feel free to substitute the veg for any you have.

Perfect with a glass of ice cold sauvignon blanc.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

2 slices prosciutto

2 tablespoons cream cheese

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Tablespoon mixed herbs

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Mix your cream cheese and minced garlic together with a fork.

Slice your chicken breast across the centre of the breast and stuff with your cream cheese and garlic.

Wrap your chicken in a slice of prosciutto.

Sprinkle over half the mixed herbs on each chicken breast and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Place on a baking sheet in the centre of the oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Tip: Serve with a crispy, fluffy jacket potato and load up with mature cheddar and lots of fresh veg on the side.


Smokey Honey Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so popular and we have them a lot, so I love trying out new marinades for them. This one is definitely my favourite.

The smokiness of the paprika is a marriage made in heaven with the honey. The perfect blend of smokey and sweet. It works so well with both chicken or prawn. I like to add as many dips as possible with a big squeeze of lime. Great weekend food to enjoy around the table with your friends and family.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts or 300g raw king prawns

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cloves garlic – minced

1 teaspoon honey

Squeeze of fresh orange

2 glugs of olive oil

1 red, green or yellow pepper – cut into strips

1 medium onion – cut into strips

To serve

Fresh lime to squeeze over

2 wraps each

Cup of grated mature cheddar

Guacamole, sour cream or salsa for dipping

Method

Measure all your spices out and add to a large mixing bowl. Spoon out half a teaspoon of the mix for your peppers and onions later and set aside.

Stir to combine all the spices together. Cut your chicken into strips and add to the bowl of spices along with a glug of olive oil. Mix thoroughly so all of your chicken is coated in the spices. Alternatively if you are using prawns do the same with those.

Now add your minced garlic ( 2 cloves), honey and a squeeze of orange juice. This last bit of the marinade will give it a sweet kick. If you can do this overnight then all the better but to be honest I sometimes add my marinade at the time of cooking and it’s still full of flavour and delicious.

Add a glug of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium heat and add your onion and peppers. Cook them down with a clove of minced garlic and a sprinkle of the spice mix that you saved earlier. Once they start to soften set aside on a plate.

Now add another glug of oil to your pan and pan fry your chicken strips. When they are almost cooked add your peppers and onions back in.

Set your wraps out on the work surface and fill with the delicious chicken or prawn mix. Sprinkle over your cheese, fold the wrap and heat in the pan for approximately 1 minute so the outside of the wrap is slightly toasty and warm. If you have a griddle pan all the better.

Remove, slice in half and enjoy with all the dips and your friends and family.

TIP: Lovely served with couscous or rice and a fresh salad.


Chicken Tindian Curry

Can you tell I’m addicted to making curries? It’s our favourite food and the whole family eats it which is always a bonus. This is similar to my prawn version but the swap for chicken and the lentil addition makes it a lot more filling and a nice change.

I don’t know about you but if I can’t have mango chutney with a curry I’d rather not have it. Rather like going to Mcdonalds when they forget to give you the sauce for the nuggets! Fuming! You get what I’m saying. Add your mango chutney to the side, fluffy naan bread or crunchy poppadoms and this is on a level with the takeaway and nowhere near as many calories.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Half tin of chopped tomatoes

1 onion – thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Half teaspoons chilli powder

Half teaspoons turmeric

Half teaspoon salt

4 chicken breasts

125g asparagus

Half tin of coconut milk

1 teaspoon light soft brown sugar

Tablespoon ground nut oil

Can of ready cooked lentils

1 whole lime

Method

Pan fry your thinly sliced onions in your pan over a medium heat with the ground nut oil.

As the onions begin to soften add the garlic and all the spices. Now add your chicken strips and pan fry until almost cooked. You might want to add a dash more oil.

Add the chopped asparagus and tomatoes giving a good stir to combine. Now add the coconut milk and stir some more.

Once the chicken is fully cooked add your lentils and simmer gently for 10 minutes or so.

Finally squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir in a teaspoon of light soft brown sugar.

Tip: Fabulous served with naan bread, mango chutney and coconut rice


Chilli Chicken Pilaf

A great way to change up chicken and rice and salad, which to be honest I could eat every day.

Feel free to add your herb of choice. Parsley, coriander or dill all work fantastically with this dish.

It’s perfect as a side for bbq’s too but we love it for lunch the next day. Quick, simple, delicious and healthy.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chilli olive oil

2 cloves garlic – minced

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

1 red chilli – sliced into thin strips

2 chicken breasts

1 onion – sliced

300g basmati rice

750g vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon salt and cracked black pepper to season

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

Splash of dry white wine

3-4 broccoli stalks – chopped into small pieces

Method

Add your chilli oil, garlic and ginger to a large frying pan and add your onions. Slowly cook the onions so they are all soft and translucent. Now set them aside on a separate plate, leaving the oil still in the pan.

Add your chicken strips, fresh chilli slices, cumin and chilli flakes to the pan. Stir all around and make sure your chicken is almost cooked through. Usually about 5-6 minutes or so. Now add the rice to the pan and stir to coat in the oil. Slosh in your splash of white wine.

Pour in your hot vegetable stock, add your little broccoli pieces and simmer gently until your rice is fully cooked usually about 20 mins.

Tip: Lovely served with extra fresh red chilli if you’re brave enough and a wedge of lime each.


Chicken And Chorizo Arrabbiata

We all love this dinner in our house. It’s Mia’s favourite so I make it all the time. It’s simple and delicious and wonderful with a garlic flatbread and a glass or two of red wine. You don’t need to add the chicken or chorizo but we prefer it with. Fresh grated parmesan optional but personally I wouldn’t be without it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts – cut into strips

Half a chorizo ring – cut into slices

400g pasta of choice – I like rigatoni or conchiglie

Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Cup of sun dried tomatoes – buy the ones in oil

3 cloves garlic – minced

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Teaspoon chilli flakes

Tablespoon butter

50ml red wine

1 large onion cut in half

Tablespoon chilli olive oil

Method

In a large pan heat your chilli olive oil and pan fry your chicken strips, sliced chorizo and a clove of minced garlic. The chorizo will produce more oil and flavour and colour the chicken. Stir around the pan until the chicken is almost cooked through. Set aside.

In a separate large pan heat your chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, butter, balsamic vinegar, red wine and the rest of your garlic. Place a whole onion peeled and cut into halves in the middle of the sauce and simmer for approximately 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, I remove the onion and blend the sauce to a smooth consistency as the sun dried tomatoes are better like this. Transfer back to the pan and continue to simmer over a very low heat adding your chorizo and chicken that you set aside earlier. Bring another large pan of salted water with a vegetable oxo to the boil and once boiling add your pasta to the pan of boiling water.

Set a timer to cook your pasta according to the cooking time. My pasta is approximately 10 minutes for it to be al dente. Make sure you give it a stir now and then, pasta is not like rice it loves company. When your timer goes off have a taste to make sure your pasta is al dente and if so drain in a colander, tip it back in the empty saucepan and swirl in a knob of butter and transfer into your pasta sauce.

By now your chicken will be fully cooked ( obviously check) and the sauce lovely and hot. Serve immediately with lots of cracked black pepper and parmesan. Pour the wine and enjoy with the ones you love.

Tip: Feel free to add a few more chilli flakes if you like it spicier. Its lovely with some fresh torn basil too.


Quick and Easy Chicken and Vegetable Curry

I’m always making curry’s. This one is a favourite. Low fat but tastes amazing. I’d say above average amount of spice but won’t have you reaching to knock back glasses of water. You can sneak in veg the kids wouldn’t normally eat as they tend not to be so fussy when they are hidden in the curry.

I serve it as always with mango chutney to give a hint of sweetness. I add a few cardamom pods to my basmati rice while it’s cooking for a bit of fragrance.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts – cut into strips

Tin of tomatoes

Cup of frozen sweetcorn

A couple of tenderstem broccoli stalks

3 tablespoons medium curry powder

1 onion – diced

1 teaspoon brown sugar

3 cloves garlic – minced

Thumb sized ginger – grated

Basmati rice to serve with a few cardamom pods for fragrance

Mango chutney

Glug or 2 of oil – I used ground nut or vegetable

Method

This delicious curry couldn’t be simpler. I often make it when I’m busy during the week and pushed for time. It’s something we have often. I always start by cooking my rice at the same time as I’m making my curry as it will stand on the hob with the lid on and still be steaming hot when you are ready to serve your curry.

Start by heating a glug of oil in a large wide pan. When the oil is hot add your onions, minced garlic and grated ginger. You need to cook over a low heat to really soften the onions and cook them down as they hold all the flavour. When the onions are looking soft and fully cooked set them aside into a bowl with a slotted spoon keeping the oil still in the pan.

You may like to add another glug of oil and when it is gently sizzling add your chicken strips and a tablespoon of the curry powder. Move these around the pan with your wooden spoon for around 10 minutes or so until they are cooked through. The oil will still be full of the garlicky, ginger flavour in the oil and will add to the flavour of your chicken. Add your onions back in.

Now add the rest of your curry powder, tinned tomatoes and sweetcorn.

Simmer gently for another 10 minutes. At the start of this time place your broccoli on a plate and cover with cling film, pierce it and steam in the microwave for a minute or so just to speed up it’s cooking time. Now chop it and add it to the curry.

Just before the end of cooking time add your teaspoon of brown sugar, stirring through to sweeten the curry.

Tip: Add a few cardamom pods to your rice or a cinnamon stick for a bit of fragrance.


Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken

We love Chinese food in our house so this went down a storm. Bringing all the flavour, this is hot, spicy, sweet and delicious.

I served with fluffy white rice but noodles would work just as well.

If you like Chinese food this is the one for you! Double up the sauce if you’re extra saucy!

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts – cut into strips

1 red pepper – sliced

6 spring onions

1 red chilli

Small tin of pineapple cubes

2 tablespoons sesame oil

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons ketchup

4 tablespoons pineapple juice (reserved from the tin)

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Salt and cracked black pepper to serve

White rice or noodles to serve

Method

Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan. I like to use sesame oil as it gives a lovely Chinese flavour. Add your peppers, spring onion, sliced chilli and garlic. Once slightly softened set aside.

In a small bowl mix up your ginger, pineapple juice, ketchup, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, chilli flakes, salt and cracked black pepper. Once your chicken gets cooking you are going to pour this all over it.

Add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan and add the chicken strips and pour over your bowl of sauce.

Once almost cooked (about 8 mins or so), add the pepper and onion mix back in along with your pineapple chunks making sure everything is coated in the sticky sauce.

It really is that simple.