Easy Peasy Chicken Bake

Some day’s you just gotta stop at the shop for a BBQ chook on the way home!

But here is what you can do with it when you get there.

Firstly, shred that BBQ chicken, make sure to get all the meat off it before disposing of the carcass. If your fam-bam is anything like mine, they’ll happily devour the skin for you!

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frypan & then sauté off 6 finely diced bacon rashers along with 2 finely diced onions. When they’re all lovely & cooked down, add in the shredded chicken. Combine that lot before pouring in 3 cups of chicken stock, give it a jolly good stir, then leave to simmer away for 5 minutes.

Season ever so generously with salt & white pepper, then pop in enough cooked rice to thicken the sauce up. Set it aside to cool a wee bit while your oven heats up to 180c.

Pour the filling into a pie dish, then top with whatever crumb floats your boat before crowning with shredded cheddar cheese & a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese too.

Bake in the 180c oven for 20 minutes.

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Chicken Korma

A flavour packed fabuliciouz meal that you can have on the table in just 30 minutes!

It’s another one from my post Ballet quickie arsenal! This taste of the Far East is slightly modified from the original Chicken Korma to make it just that wee bit lighter after a hard work out in the studio.

Start by peeling 4-5 potatoes (350g worth) before chopping them into either halves or quarters, depending on their size. You’re after nice wedges. Pop them in a saucepan & cover with water, then add a pinch of salt & bring the pot to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes before draining them & set aside.

Now get a pot of water on the burner to bring to a boil for the rice. Once the water is at the boil, add a pinch of salt then pop your rice in to cook.

While that’s happening, crack on with the curry.

Heat a good glug (1 tablespoon) of oil in a large saucepan before adding in 1 finely chopped onion. Sweat the onion right down to release all it’s sweetness & make it nice & tender. Next, pop in 500g of chicken mince, mix it all in together & continue to fry off until it’s cooked through.

Add in half of a 290g jar of Korma Curry Paste & allow it to cook off for at least a minute whilst you stir it through to coat everything.

Toss in the potatoes along with 150ml of boiling water, pop the lid on & gently simmer for 10 minutes.

During this time, you’re rice will probably be ready, so drain that off & scoop into the bottom of your serving bowls ready to soak up the luscious flavours that await it!

After the curry has driven all your neighbours absolutely mad with envy on the aromas emanating from your kitchen, remove the lid & throw in a handful (75g) of fresh baby spinach leaves to gently wilt through as you cook for about another minute, stirring them in.

Then dish up, Chef! Ladle that glorious concoction over the rice & It’s Chompin Time!

Chicken Mornay

This absolute Classic Comfort Food has been somewhat lost to the

inferior supermarket frozen cardboard box variety.

Well, no more!

You will be amazed at just how much more flavour you will enjoy from making the

proper, old skool, recipe at home.

I love busting out my old recipe books from the 1970’s to take a gander about the food from my childhood & then introducing fond classics to Hubby & Mini-Me. Being a farm kid, we did things a wee bit differently to the city folk, but simple food is quite often the best food.

Start off by dicing up 2 succulent chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. Heat a splash of oil in a fry pan, drop in a teaspoon of minced garlic to gently warm through before adding in the chicken. Season it ever so generously with salt & white pepper then cook it off properly & set aside.

Next, into a large saucepan goes 1 tablespoon of butter. Gently melt that over the lowest heat setting possible then remove & add in 1 tablespoon of plain flour along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a jolly good stir to incorporate before popping back onto that lowest heat setting & continue stirring for a minute or so to cook off that flour taste. Pour 1 & 1/4 cups of milk into the pot slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon & then season with salt & paprika to your taste (if you have a Hungarian Hubby, you’ll be heavy handed on the paprika!).

Add the chicken to the sauce & stir through. You may like to increase the heat to a medium flame at this point, just to give it a wee bit of thickness.

Pop the mix into a heatproof oven dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs & finally crown with shredded cheddar cheese & grated Parmesan.

That goes into the oven just to brown lightly & melt that luscious cheese.

Serve your Classic Chicken Mornay with rice on the side.

I like to boil my rice in chicken stock with a handful of frozen veggies thrown in & allow the grains to absorb all the liquid to plump up full of flavour!

Spiced Roast Chicken

Bring the intoxicating flavours of the Orient to your table this Christmas.

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Of course, everyone wants to bring out a show stopping main course on Christmas Day. The standard Sunday Roast Chook just won’t cut it for such a special occasion. With my easy marinade, you can tart up that old gal without breaking the budget!

Into a mixing bowl place, 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of Panaeng curry paste, 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of raw sugar & the juice of 2 limes.

Give that lot a jolly good stir to combine well.

Smear the marinade all over a whole chicken & spoon any leftover marinade into the cavity. That way you’ll get that luscious flavour the whole way through the meat!

Pop the chicken onto a rack in a roasting dish & place into a 180c oven for half of the cooking time before cranking that heat up to 220c for the second half of the cooking time.

Cooking time for chicken is 30 minutes per 500g.

Now you will need to keep an eye on it. Check regularly to ensure the marinade isn’t burning & just cover it in tin foil if it is.

When the juices run clear when you pierce the poultry in the leg joint, the chicken is cooked.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

A fabuliciouzly quick & easy curry that’s sure to please the whole Fam-Bam!

This is another gem of a dish from my post ballet arsenal that I can not believe I haven’t shared with you all already! Forget stopping for takeout on the way home, you’ll have this whipped up quicker than the store can!

Simply pop a pot of water on to boil, salt & cook off some rice before draining.

While that’s happening, grab a medium pot & bung in 2 diced up chicken thighs then pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk. Get that onto a medium heat to cook off the chook.

In a small pot, pour in a 400ml tin of coconut cream & gently heat it up before popping in 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste along with a splash of soy sauce. Stir it well to incorporate & then add it into the chicken pot. Give the whole lot a jolly good stir.

Whack in the cooked & drained rice & dish up!

Now that’s the base recipe! Back in the day, before Mini-Me, I used to use 4 tablespoons of the curry paste which makes it really pack a spicy punch! Also, if you have a wee bit of extra time, load that curry up with a gazillion veggies for a more substantial meal.

Chicken & Mushroom Mac Cheese

If you’re watching your weight or counting calories,

look away now!

Nobody can ever accuse this one of being healthy but sometimes, you just really need a hit of comfort food no matter what the consequences to your hips!

Start off by popping a pot of water onto boil, add salt & cook off an entire 500g bag of macaroni pasta before draining & bunging into a large oven-proof casserole dish.

While that’s doing it’s thing, bubbling away, you can multi-task ~ Da Da Dum!

Heat a wee glug of oil in a frypan & add in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with 500g of diced chicken thigh to cook off. Once lovely & golden, throw in a punnet of sliced mushrooms too. I prefer Swiss Brown Mushies but use whatever type floats your boat. Once everything is cooked, add it into the casserole dish & mix through the pasta.

Then we move onto making the cheese sauce. Far from being something to be scared of, it’s actually pretty easy to make so take a deep breath & here we go!

Bung 2 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan over the lowest heat possible. When it’s melted, remove from the heat & stir in 2 tablespoons of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Pop back onto the lowest heat, stirring to cook off that flour – you’re looking for when the butter ‘remelts’. Finally, slowly add in 2.5 cups of milk (you’ve just made a classic white sauce) before dumping in an entire 450g bag of whatever multiple cheese blend floats your boat (now you have a cheese sauce). Turn up the heat to medium to thicken it up a wee bit then simply pour over the pimped up pasta in the casserole dish. Stir through thoroughly before crowning your creation with copious amounts of grated cheddar cheese & a scrumptious layer of shredded parmesan cheese as well!

Whack that lot into a 180c oven for 20 minutes.

Korean Chilli Chicken

Succulent chicken marinated with a fabuliciouz depth of flavour leaving a  wonderfully warm mouth tingle.

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This wee number has absolutely impressed hubby & I with it not just being about blow your head off heat, but rather a real layering effect of flavour.

Grab yourself a bowl & bung in 500g of stir fry chicken strips before seasoning well with salt & ground black pepper.

Next, whack in the juice of a lime & 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Korean Chilli Paste – this is our new discovery at the local Asian grocer & it’s seriously good stuff!

Make sure you give it all a jolly good mix to coat that chook really well then set aside for half an hour to marinade. The lime juice will start to ‘cook’ the chicken so this is not one to leave for too long.

Get your wok to a stonking hot heat with a wee splash of oil & toss the marinated chicken through to cook.

It’s really that easy!

Japanese Karaage Chicken

Asian fried chicken that’s sure to be a big hit!

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Karaage Chicken is Japan’s answer to one of our Western favourites & these juicy wee nuggets have been fried to a delicious golden crunch. I just love how easy these are to prepare!

Grab a mixing bowl & bung in 5g of freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce & 1 tablespoon of cooking sake. Give that lot a jolly good whisk then add in 4 plump chicken thighs which you’ve diced into lovely bite sized pieces. Coat the chook well in the marinade, cover & pop in the fridge for half an hour.

When time is up, simply drain off any excess liquid before adding in 1/4 cup of potato starch & making sure that you get all those nuggets coated. Now if you can’t find potato starch, just use gluten free flour.

Get your oil nice & hot (about 180c) so that when you sprinkle a wee bit of flour in, it sizzles.

Fry off small batches of the nuggets so that the oil temperature stays high before whacking onto a wire rack to drain whilst you carry on with the rest.

Serve these fabuliciouz nuggets with Japanese Mayonnaise & rice.

Chicken Mousaka

This traditional layered dish is Greece’s answer to the lasagne & it is every bit as fabuliciouz! 

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This is a really easy dinner to prepare, it’s all about stages so just run with me here guys.

First, peel & slice an eggplant into thin rounds before placing on a tray & giving a liberal layer of salt. Set those aside for 15 minutes. The salt will draw out all the bitterness from the eggplant so you will notice them sweat. When time is up, simply dry them off with a paper towel & pan fry those babies.

Next, bung into a large mixing bowl 500g of chicken mince, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, 2 well beaten eggs then season ever so generously with salt, white pepper & dried oregano. Get you best kitchen utensils, aka your hands, in there to give it a jolly mix through before setting aside as well.

Finally, it’s a simple cheese sauce to knock together. In a saucepan, over the lowest heat setting possible, melt 2 tablespoons of butter then remove from the heat to add in 2 tablespoons of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix it together before returning to the lowest heat to cook off that flour, keep stirring it the whole time though. When you’re happy that the flour has been cooked off, basically the clumpy mess has turned nice & smooth again, start adding in ever so slowly 2 & 1/2 cups of milk. The trick to this is slow & steady wins the race – be the tortoise! Never stop stirring it so you avoid those icky lumps. Once all the milk is in, throw in a couple of cups worth of grated cheddar cheese. Crank that heat up to a steady medium to melt it in & slightly thicken the sauce.

Now it’s assembly time!

Into your oven proof dish goes half that fabuliciouz cheese sauce, then a layer of half of the pan fried eggplant rounds followed by the entire amount of seasoned chicken mince, top that with the rest of the eggplant rounds & then pour over the remainder cheese sauce. Crown your creation eloquently with yet more grated cheddar cheese & some grated parmesan just for good measure before whacking into a 180c oven for 45 minutes!

Spiced BBQ Chicken Thighs

This amazing marinade brings a fabuliciouz taste of the Orient into your backyard barbie!

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 This is a super quick & easy marinade that is sure to spice up your next BBQ! Team it with chicken, pork, lamb or fish for something a wee bit different to the standard snags & burgers.

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of your favourite curry paste (I use Paeneng), 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of salt, the juice of 2 limes & 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Give that lot a jolly good mix then whack in your meat to coat & pop in fridge to marinade for about an hour (remember that the lime juice is going to start the cooking process so you don’t want to leave it too long).

Hand them over to the man at the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) to cook on a medium heat with some tender flame kisses.