Lemon Pepper Chicken with Blended Rice and Mushrooms with Garlic and Herbs (4)

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Lovely, healthy mixture with the ingredients cooked separately then combined at the end. The chicken breast is amply sprinkled with lemon pepper – one of my favorite new spices (Simply Organic brand – you may have to order it online). The rice is a blend of rices – white, brown, wild and red (quite easily found in the supermarket) and the mushrooms are cooked with garlic, parsley and thyme.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 x large chicken breast – poached and cut into small bite size pieces

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and lemon pepper

1 cup of rice blend

1 1/2 cups boiling water, seasoned with salt

8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 x large garlic cloves – grated

1 tbsp. fresh parsley plus a little extra for garnish – finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh thyme – finely chopped

Place chicken breast on aluminum foil in a baking dish, pour over the lemon juice and 1 tbsp. of oil, season with salt and a good sprinkling of lemon pepper. Cook in oven for around 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Cut chicken into small bit seize pieces.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice and mushrooms.

Bring the rice to a boil, stir, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for a further 15 minutes.

Place the other tbsp. of oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in a frying pan. When just sizzling add the garlic (do not let garlic brown) and let cook for a minute or two then add the parsley and thyme and cook a further couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so until mushrooms are cooked but there are still some juices left in the pan.

To assemble, place rice in a big mixing bowl. Add the chicken pieces followed by the mushrooms, herbs and their juices. Mix all together and season to taste. I added some of lemon juices from the poached chicken to moisten the mixture. Place in a nice dish, garnish with parsley and serve immediately, maybe with a tossed green salad.

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Jo’s Thai Pho Bowl (4)

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This is, without doubt, the most authentic Thai dish I have created. By tasting and re-tasting each step of the way I think I have come up with a recipe that tastes really genuine and using fresh lemongrass made all the difference.

Lemongrass seems quite tough even when you have taken off the outer layer, but I read that if you chop it into fine slices and then process it in a food processor (my thanks go to http://www.thespruce.com for this information) it will add a great flavor and also be edible.

It is important to use good rice noodles that don’t go too soggy (I use Annie Chung’s brand). You can cook this recipe with either small pieces of chicken or tofu.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and white pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves – grated

1 ‘thumb’ of ginger (measured from base of thumbnail to bottom joint) – grated

1 x 6 inch piece of lemongrass – peeled and chopped

1 x 13.5 oz lite coconut milk

16.2 fl. oz. chicken broth

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2tsp. fish sauce

8 oz. chicken tenders – cut into small bite size pieces

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

2 handfuls of frozen peas

4 oz. rice noodles

Heat the oil seasoned with salt and white pepper in a cast iron Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onion and let brown a little before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two until you can smell the flavors.

Place the chopped lemongrass in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk and whizz together then add to the onion mixture along with the rest of the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, fish sauce, chicken tenders and cilantro.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes before adding the peas and rice noodles.

Cook for another 5 minutes or so until noodles are tender and serve immediately.

Tomato and Chicken Tray Bake (4)

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I love the ease of tray bakes. Everything goes into the oven together on the same baking tray and cooks at the same time – in this case baby tomatoes, French green beans (the thin ones), new potatoes, black olives from the deli counter and bite-size pieces of chicken. This same mixture can also be a salad. (see Tomato, Green Bean, Potato and Olive Salad) though of the two I think I prefer the hot dish as it produces some nice juices and cooking the olives brings out their saltiness (so don’t season until you have tasted it).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 dry pint or 10 oz. baby tomatoes

8 oz. French green beans

8 medium new potatoes – quartered

20 black olives

2 tbsp. olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, pour over the olive oil and toss well together, then tip on to a baking tray and cook in oven for 30 minutes.

 

Coronation Chicken (4)

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The original recipe for Coronation Chicken was created in 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Any dish that has to cater for large numbers of people with a wide range of tastes cannot be too unusual and although the Coronation Chicken that was served at the coronation lunch contained curry powder it was hard to detect among the other ingredients – tomato puree, red wine, apricot puree, mayonnaise and whipped cream. My mother made a version that included curry powder, some canned Mulligatawny soup and apricot jam. Personally, I use a combination of mango chutney and concentrated curry paste and a little mayo diluted with the chicken juices from the poached chicken. I serve it surrounded by slices of melon and grapes but if you want to bulk it up you could accompany it by rice or a rice salad.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2 chicken breasts – poached in chicken broth

1 dessertspoon of hot mango chutney (Patak’s brand)

1 tsp. hot concentrated curry paste (Patak’s brand)

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. chicken juices

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

A handful of sliced almonds plus extra for garnish

Cantaloupe melon and a mixture of green and black grapes cut in half for garnishing

Place the chicken breasts on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, pour over 1/4 cup of chicken broth and make into a parcel. Cook for 45 minutes. Let cool and slice into small bite size pieces.

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the raisins and almonds.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the chutney, curry paste, mayo and cooled chicken juices.

Add the curry mixture to the chicken mixture and stir together well.

Place in a serving dish and surround with slices of melon and grapes and scatter with almonds.

Chicken One-Pot with Mushrooms, Peas and Potatoes (4)

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As summer draws to a close I find the type of food I eats changes too – the same as pulling out of winter into Spring. This recipe is lighter and less intense than a stew but is equally as filling and using dark thigh meat gives it a good flavor.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – finely grated

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

8 oz. new potatoes – cut into small chunks

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – chopped into small chunks, if necessary

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

8 oz. frozen peas

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion, turn heat down a bit and let soften and brown. Then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes. Remove from pan and place in an ovenproof dish.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and when sizzling add the chicken thighs and sear on all sides until browned. Remove from pan and place alongside the onion mixture.

Add the potatoes and mushrooms, pour over the broth and cook in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through.

Cook peas separately andn add to the dish at the last moment.

 

Chicken and Mushroom Skewers (4)

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Naturally it rained after I had prepared these and they were all prepped for the BBQ! On the other hand that is the good thing about them – they do quite as well in the oven. If you have wooden skewers they will need soaking 30 minutes ahead of time so they don’t burn. I clean my mushrooms in a pan of water with a tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar, then rinse them and wrap them in a dry T-towel. Then I wipe each one. If you leave the mushrooms soaking they will absorb the water/vinegar. The mushrooms and the chicken pieces are marinated separately in two different marinades for a couple of hours before threading on the skewer. The chicken pieces should be slightly less than bite size so that they and the mushrooms are both ready and juicy at the same time.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

FOR THE MUSHROOMS

8 oz button mushrooms – rinsed and dried – large ones can be halved

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 tbsp. fresh curly parsley – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mushrooms in a large zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients then pour onto the mushrooms and massage the bag so that they are coated with the garlic parsley mix.

Let marinade in the fridge for a good hour

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 pound of chicken breasts – cut into small pieces about the size of a baby mushroom

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh thyme – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken pieces in a zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken.

Rub the contents of the bag so that the chicken is coated with the marinade, then place in the fridge for a good hour or so.

Thread a mushroom then a piece of chicken and continue doing so on a pre-soaked wooden skewer until you have 4 skewers.

Place on a metal baking tray with a rim and cook in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

 

 

 

Mixed Grill Steeped in Rosemary (4)

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Hopefully you see this before you have planned your menu for a summer BBQ and if you are serving it with lots of other dishes it may serve more than 4 people. It takes about an hour or so for the rosemary and the olive oil to amalgamate and create a flavored oil. To do this several twigs of rosemary are place in a zip loc bag along with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer. The chicken sausage and steak will have a delicious undertone of rosemary.  Goes very well with my recipe for ‘Summer Potatoes’.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6 sprigs of rosemary

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 x chorizo sausages or German or Polish sausages – pricked with a fork

1 large (approx. 8 oz.) chicken breast – cut into slices

8 oz rib eye steak – cut into slices

Place rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper in a zip loc bag, then bend or snap the rosemary and crush the leaves with your hand and massage or use a rolling pin to release the flavor. Leave in the closed zip loc bag for an hour or more – out of the fridge.

When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer.

To serve, remove the meats from the pan and arrange on a serving platter. Pour over any juices and rosemary leaves but discard the sprigs.