Kung Pao Chicken

What a burst of flavour this was. So much better for you than the take away and you can probably make it quicker than it would take to pick it up. The sauce is so authentic and something you can knock up at home in minutes.

Serve with white rice, prawn crackers and a glass of chilled white.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

1 red pepper – diced

1 green pepper – diced

2 medium onions

4 spring onions

Glug of sesame or chilli oil

Marinade

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Sauce

200ml chicken stock

5 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese wine vinegar ( or rice wine or cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

Half tablespoon ground ginger

4 cloves garlic – minced

Half teaspoon chilli flakes

Method

Dice up your chicken and rub over your marinade. Set aside while you chop up all your peppers and onions.

Pan fry your chicken in your hot sesame oil for 5 minutes, moving round the pan all the time.

Now add your diced peppers and onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Mix up your sauce, pour over and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Tip: Serve with your white rice and prawn crackers. Pour yourself a nice glass of chilled white.


Smokey Maple Chicken Skewers

Let’s change up chicken, rice and salad. Such a good option when keeping meals light. I love mine with lots of fresh lemon squeezed over.

Smokey maple chicken skewers are even better on the bbq so don’t forget to save this recipe for when the sun comes out later in the year.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Juice of a lemon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 lemon wedges to serve

4 skewers – soak in water before cooking

Method

Pre- heat oven to 200c / 180c fan.

Firstly make sure your skewers have been soaked in water for few minutes if they are bamboo. This will stop them burning.

Cube your chicken and set aside.

Mix up your marinade in large mixing bowl and place all of the chicken cubes in it. Mix to coat all the chicken fully. Leave for as long as you have but 20 minutes or so will be fine, overnight all the better.

Thread your chicken cubes onto your skewers. Place on a lined baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and with lots of fresh lemon squeezed over. Can be served hot or cold.


Healthy Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Such a great mid-week meal to cheer up January. It’s healthy but won’t leave you feeling hungry.

Tomato is the base of the sauce to keep it on the lighter side. Coriander, cumin, garlic, chilli and ginger bring the flavour. Bulk it out with as much veg as you like to pack in the vitamins and fill you up. I like peas and courgettes. Lentils for added texture and protein. This is one I make on repeat.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

1 cup of frozen peas

1 onion – diced

Thumb size piece of ginger – grated

1 red chilli – thinly sliced

Half tablespoon ground coriander

Half tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon medium curry powder

1.5 tins of chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon mango chutney

1 courgette – sliced into discs

Pinch of salt

Carton of ready cooked lentils – drained 230g

Half cup of water

Glug of ground nut oil

Method

Cook your diced onions in the glug of ground nut oil until they start to soften. Now add your ginger, chilli, garlic and 2 tablespoons water along with your spices, salt and chicken cubes and courgette.

Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring all the while.

Pour in your tomatoes, peas and lentils and simmer for approximately 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the courgette is tender.

Stir in your mango chutney to add a little sweetness and your water to loosen. Stir to fully combine and serve with white rice, chapatis and extra mango chutney.


Chicken Schnitzel

We eat chicken quite often and I never tire of thinking up different ways to serve it. Chicken schnitzel is a delicious recipe that’s so versatile and I serve it with cheese and bacon potato skins, salad and a sour cream and chive dip. It’s lovely in a brioche bun with mayonnaise or in a wrap with some green salad and chilli jam.

It smells amazing when the rosemary in the breadcrumbs is sizzling away in the pan. Imagine how chuffed I am that it’s rosemary growing in my garden especially since it’s the only surviving herb in sight!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 teaspoon onion granules

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon rosemary

2 slices brown bread

Cup of plain flour

1 egg – beaten

2 chicken fillets – flattened

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Add your onion granules, salt, pepper and mix to fully combine.

Whizz up your bread snapped into pieces and your rosemary in a separate mixing bowl with a stick blender or pop in your blender. Add your onion granules, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Wrap each chicken breast in cling film or wax wrap and flatten with a rolling pin.

Heat your olive oil in a frying pan.

Remove cling film or wax wrap and dip the chicken into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly the crumbs mixture making sure every inch is coated.

Pan fry turning every now and then until fully cooked through.

Serve when they are golden and crispy.


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