Tomato-Based Salad (4)

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This is a no-lettuce salad and is literally a selection of green vegetables mixed with some cold, cooked chicken heaped on a base of slices of a ripe, beefsteak tomato.  If you buy a pre-cooked chicken this dish takes no time at all and if you omit the chicken you have a vegetarian/vegan meal. Very easy to transport either as a lunch or to assemble for a picnic.

1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato

4 oz. frozen peas

4 oz. edamame beans

4 oz. asparagus (take the tips and an equal amount of the asparagus stem)

1 cooked chicken breast

Cut the tomato into 4 slices and place on a serving dish.

Place peas, edamame beans and asparagus in a pan and pour over boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain veg. and place in a bowl of iced water to prevent further cooking.

Cut cooked chicken breast into small pieces.

Place veg. and chicken in a mixing bowl. Pour apple cider vinaigrette (see below) over and mix well together.

Place a good serving of veg/chicken mixture on each slice of tomato

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk mustard and apple cider vinegar together until smooth.

Whisk in the olive oil until mixture is emulsified

 

 

 

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Steff’s Meat Sauce (4)

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When I cook I try to make the dish healthy by cutting down on fat and sugar where possible. So, for this recipe I replaced ground beef with a mixture of ground chicken and ground turkey – a tip from my friend, Steff. I also bulked up the sauce with cannellini beans.

Because both chicken and turkey give out a certain amount of water, you may find that the sauce is a bit too runny. If so at the end of the cooking time cook for a little longer at a higher heat to reduce the liquid.

Just before serving I add small pieces of goat’s mozzarella which start melting and going gooey (more credit to Steff) and I serve this sauce over rice noodles – the thicker kind if you can find them – but it would be good with a baked potato, over rice or zucchini ‘pasta’.

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

1 large onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 pound of ground chicken

1 pound of ground turkey

1 cup passata

1 cup chicken broth

2 oz. goat’s mozzarella – cut into small pieces

Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and, when sizzling, add the onion and let soften and brown, then add the garlic, stir and let cook for a few minutes.

Stir in the ground chicken and turkey and break up the meat so it isn’t in clumps. Let the meat brown as this will add more flavor to the sauce.

When the meat is nicely browned stir in the passata and the broth and bring to the boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Serve before the cheese fully melts.

 

Chicken with a Rub (4)

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Have you ever wondered what the spices are in a rub? You can buy various pre-prepared spice mixes in the supermarket and just sprinkle them over the meat of your choice but I wanted to come up with a combination of spices of my own and I did and the blend uses fairly basic spice cupboard ingredients – cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic salt, paprika and salt and pepper.

Good hot or cold – I sliced the chicken breasts and had with a salad. Would be good with black beans and rice too.

4 x chicken breasts

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

For the spice rub

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place chicken breasts in a roasting tin and coat with oil on both sides.

Put all the spice rub ingredients in a bowl with a lid on and give it a good shake.

Sprinkle over the chicken breasts and cook for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees

Tamarind and Orange Chicken (4)

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Tamarind paste is a key ingredient in Thai cooking and you will probably have eaten it without knowing it. However, if you taste the paste by dipping a finger in it and licking your finger you will find it has a sour, tangy taste which startles the taste buds. When combined with other ingredients its taste is changed. Tamarind paste is easily found in Asian stores or online if it is not stocked in your local supermarket.

Messing about in the kitchen with tamarind paste and coconut milk, ginger and garlic to prepare a Thai dish, I found that the tamarind flavor came through too strongly. It needed something sweet to dampen down its unique taste and I chose freshly squeezed orange juice. The resulting dish was no longer particularly Thai but it did produce a new chicken dish with a lovely thick, glossy sauce which I then topped with chopped cilantro. Brown rice is a good accompaniment.

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

4 x skinless chicken legs

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 2 inch piece of ginger – grated

1 tsp. turmeric

1 can of lite coconut milk

1 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

Cilantro – finely chopped (enough for sprinkling over the top)

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the chicken legs and sear on both sides until nicely browned – set aside.

Add onion to the casserole dish (you can add more oil if needed) and let soften and brown before adding the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes until you can smell the spices.

Stir in the tamarind paste and when smooth pour in the coconut milk.

Place chicken legs in casserole dish, bring to boil and simmer for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over brown rice.

 

 

 

Citrus Honey Chicken (4)

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Chicken often needs a sauce or herbs or a good gravy to make it less bland and because I poached the chicken in the citrus juices it was also very moist. At the end of cooking some of the juices were added to a honey and soy sauce mixture and then poured over the chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce

1 tbsp. honey

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the chicken breasts in and put it in a roasting pan. Place chicken breasts on top and pour over the oil followed by the various juices then season well. Wrap the chicken breasts well in the foil ensuring that none of the juice escapes.

Cook for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

When cooked remove the chicken, cut into slices and place on a warm plate.

For the sauce mix the honey and soy sauce together then add 2 tbsp. of the citrus juice that the chicken was cooked in.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Chili (4)

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Finally, the perfect blend of spices – not so mild that you don’t know you are eating chili and not too spicy that your mouth feels on fire. Exchanging the traditional beef for chicken makes the dish lighter. To get the best flavor I softened and browned the onions and garlic and also seared the chicken pieces on all sides before putting them in the crock pot. If you can find a good quality chicken broth that makes a difference too.

 

1 tbsp. oil seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2  chicken breasts – cut into bite-size pieces

1 x 15 oz. can of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed

1 x 15 oz. can of black beans – drained and rinsed

1 scant tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. turmeric

3.5 oz. canned mild green chiles (they come roasted, peeled and diced and the brand was ‘La Preferida’)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Heat the seasoned oil in a skillet and when sizzling add the onion and let cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Continue cooking until nicely browned, stirring frequently. Then tip into the crock pot.

Place chicken pieces in the same skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Then place in the crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and place on ‘high’ for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Eldred’s Chicken Salad (4)

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My dear friend created this salad for me avoiding the foods I can’t eat. I really appreciated her effort and this salad is a real winner. My ‘dressing’ is actually the juices the chicken is cooked in, which makes for a tasty dish.

2 poached chicken breasts – place breasts on aluminum foil and sprinkle over 2 tbsp. olive oil and juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Handful or two of baby arugula

3 oz. blueberries

1 large avocado (the large kind from S. Africa) or 2 smaller avocados – diced

Poach the chicken, sprinkled with the olive oil and lemon juice and wrapped in aluminum foil for 40 minutes in oven heated to 350 degrees. Leave to cool, then slice.

Place arugula, blueberries, avocado and cool sliced chicken in a salad bowl.

Pour over the lemon oil cooking liquid and toss well.