Tamarind Orange Chicken (4)

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Tamarind paste may be an ingredient you are unfamiliar with but you will probably have tasted it in Asian or Indian cooking. The flavor by itself is sour so many recipes use some sort of sweetness as a counterbalance – in this case freshly squeezed orange juice zest. Tamarind paste is easily found in Asian or Indian food stores or online if it is not stocked in your local supermarket. This dish goes well with brown rice.

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

2 large skinless chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 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

Zest of half and orange

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

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let it just start to brown before adding the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes until you can smell the ginger then add the pieces of chicken and lightly brown.

Then stir in first the tamarind paste followed by the orange juice and zest and the coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro.

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Pomegranate Salad with Chicken (4)

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I love to sprinkle them over salads adding both color and taste. However this recipe uses the seeds as an integral part of the dish.  It is a lovely light salad and looks very attractive. Omit the chicken and it is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.

Arugula

2 x cooked chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1/2 pomegranate – seeded

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

1/2 an English cucumber

1 avocado – cubed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

 

Line the serving dish with arugula

Place the next 6 ingredients on top of the arugula, season with salt and pepper, pour the lime juice over the salad and toss well.

 

 

 

 

Chicken, Blueberry and Avocado Salad (4)

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A lovely light salad – good for lunch – served on a bed of arugula with a lemon dressing. If you want to cheat you can buy a pre-cooked chicken.

1 chicken breast – poached or equivalent amount of pre-cooked chicken

Arugula – enough to use as a bed to put the chicken

Juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp.  olive oil – if poaching

1 avocado – diced

4 oz. blueberries

If poaching chicken, place chicken on a piece of aluminum foil and pour over juice of 1 lemon and the oil. Wrap chicken into a parcel and place in over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through.

Line a serving dish with arugula.

Cut chicken breast into small pieces and arrange on  bed of arugula.

Scatter avocado over chicken pieces, then sprinkle with blueberries.

Toss with lemon dressing or serve dressing on the side.

Lemon Dressing

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice until smooth then add the oil and continue whisking until amalgamated or shake mixture in a small screw top jar.

 

Good Ol’ Chicken Stew (4)

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Love stews served with mashed potatoes to soak up the juices. Browning the onions and searing the meat makes all the difference to the end product by providing a depth of flavor to the sauce. I mashed half of the cannellini beans to thicken the gravy. Perfect autumn dish.

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

2 medium onions – finely chopped

2 chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups of chicken broth

8 oz. carrots – cut into 1 inch chunks

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

1 x 15 oz can of canellini beans – crush half of them with a potato masher

Heat 1 tbsp. of the seasoned oil in a Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onions and let soften and brown. Then remove them to a plate.

Add the second tbsp. of oil to the Dutch oven and when sizzling add the chicken pieces and sear on all sides.

Place onion back with the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.

 

Poached Chicken and Zucchini Parcels (2)

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

I my use spiraliser to make the zucchini into spaghetti-like spirals but am noticing that they are appearing in more and more supermarkets. The chicken breast is cut into think slices or even small chunks and placed on a sheet of aluminum foil and topped with the zucchini and the lemony sauce then steamed in the oven.

1 chicken breast – sliced

8 oz zucchini – spiralised

Place a piece of aluminum in an ovenproof dish, top with the chicken and zucchini and pour the sauce over (see below). Close the foil so you have a parcel. Place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.

Lemony Sauce

1 clove garlic – grated

1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of 1/4 of a lemon

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a small bowl in the order they are listed above and whisk together then pour over the chicken and zucchini.

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

 

 

 

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.