It was pointed out to me recently that I haven’t written any recipe posts here in a while and I would like to apologise for that! Between writing other posts, and writing recipes for Bloggers Tribe, I seem to have neglected you all for too long! So here’s one of my all time favourite recipes for any time of the year.
Today’s recipe is the Chicken Jalousie and it really couldn’t be easier to make, but tastes great! I cook this when I’m having lots of people over, and the leftovers make a great lunch! The ingredients and method below will give you 6 good portions, and can be served with salad, garlic bread, or anything that takes your fancy on a particular day!
2 packs of frozen puff pastry (defrosted) *
1 egg, beaten to glaze
6 chicken breasts, diced
1 pack bacon, diced
1 small tin sweetcorn
1 medium tub of Philadelphia cream cheese
250g mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, diced
* You can, of course, make your own puff pastry! This may work out cheaper, however I use the premade stuff just for speed and simplicity. Just please remember to defrost it fully! I keep forgetting to do this…
Cook your chicken, bacon, onion and mushrooms and leave aside to cool completely.
Preheat your oven to roughly 200 degrees C and lightly grease a baking tray.
Roll out your pastry to fit the tray.
Drain the cooled chicken, bacon, onion and mushroom. The less liquid getting into the pie, the better! No soggy bottoms here…
Mix your now cold chicken, bacon, onion, and mushrooms, with the sweetcorn and Philadelphia cream cheese.
Pour out your mixture and spread it on the pastry, leaving 1cm around the edges. Cover this 1cm border in the egg.
Roll out a second sheet and cut a slit in the centre (allows steam to come out) and carefully lay this on top of the mix.
Seal the edges together by pressing them together or folding where possible to keep the mixture in, then glaze the entire pie in the egg.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden, and serve with whatever sides you choose!
So a simple enough recipe for anyone who likes pie! Let me know if you give it a try and what you think of it!
Hello again! So yesterday was a pre-scheduled post, and it’s been so long (well… almost a week) since I got talking to you all properly. I’ve missed it, believe it or not. You’re actually such an important part of my life and it feels weird when I’m not taking the time to sit and talk to you.
Well, anyone who has me on Snapchat – and if you don’t, why don’t you? – will hopefully have seen that last night I decided to try and create my own sticky chilli chicken recipe. It was somewhat based on this video that I saw while walking home from my programming lab (don’t ask me about it, it was a nightmare and that’s all you need to know). I knew I needed to cook the two chicken breasts I had sitting in the fridge but had no idea what to do with them, and here was the perfect opportunity to try something completely different!
Ingredients (serves 1):
2 tbsp oil
1 chicken breast
salt and pepper to flavour
1 egg, beaten
25g plain flour
1 pepper, sliced (I used half a green and half a red just to mix things up)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red onion, sliced
1 chilli, chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tortilla wraps
In hindsight, I would probably also add a handful of sliced mushrooms to this and serve with rice.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat.
Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breast and slice into chunks.
Dunk the chunks of chicken in the egg then cover in flour.
Add the now floured chicken to the hot oil and seal.
Next, add the sliced pepper to the pan and soften.
Remove the chicken and pepper from the pan before adding the garlic, chilli, onion, soy sauce, tomato purée and water to the pan. Mix well.
Lower the heat to a medium heat, and allow the liquid to come to the boil.
Leave it to bubble until the sauce looks ‘jammy’ and has reduced in volume of liquid.
Add the chicken and peppers to the sauce and mix well. If using, add the mushrooms at this stage too.
Continue to cook over a low heat until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has reduced more.
Heat your wraps, or cook your rice according to the instructions on the packet.
Serve when the chicken looks sticky and you are happy with it!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! I’m so excited to have the left overs at lunch today. Let me know if you try it or if there’s anything you think you’d do differently. I love people leaving comments!
As we start Day 6 of Blogmas (that word still looks funny), I decided to share my Christmas Dinner with you all and how I prepared for it, cooked it, and just the general fun I had on Sunday. It was a magical day, and it really set the mood for Christmas Day! All that would’ve made it better is snow…
And yes, I just had to put in a bit of Michael Bulbé. While cooking, I found it very helpful to have some Christmas music playing, and a large glass of wine to hand! So without further delay, here we go:
Being paranoid about forgetting something, I started my shopping list back around the 14th of November. To do this, I found it best to sit and make a meal plan. The actual planning can be the slowest part for me as I have to think everything through fully to make sure it’s all gluten free for Nuala, no tomatoes for Jason, and not too creamy for me. I think Mary might actually be the easiest to feet out of the 4 of us… that’s a strange thought… Anyway, I’m getting distracted! To plan my meal, I wrote it out as if we were are a restaurant. That way, I could go through and see exactly what I was cooking. The next step for me was to write out the individual shopping lists for each course, before finally combining the lists into the ultimate food shop, remembering to omit the things I already have in the flat. All this can be seen below.
Now, I like to use Tesco Delivery, but you’re free to go shopping or try a different supermarket, but if you were to use Tesco to buy all these items as I did, You could expect to spend about £72 to feed four people with plenty of left overs. This would work out at roughly £18 per person for a 4 course meal plus whatever’s left over.
Once again, I found myself at the planning stages. Yes, I had all my food on its way, I had fully planned the food, but the next step is to figure out timings. This is crucial when it comes to cooking a dinner of this style and size. I like to work backwards in this situation ie figure out out what time you would like to be sitting down to each course, and subtract times from then to figure out when each thing should be done. It also helps, especially when in a student flat, to figure out which dishes will be needed for each course, however I won’t bore you with that side of my planning. Just know that it took me a good three hours to figure it all out, especially tying to work out how on earth I managed to fit them all in the oven last year!
Now, as you can see from the schedule attached here – christmas-cooking-schedule, for a dinner on Sunday I started preparation on Friday. This may seem a little stupid to you but the terrine I decided to make as a starter was actually a 3 day thing. If you’d like to follow my schedule, feel free. However, below I have included the 4 courses, their required ingredients, and how to make them. Hope you enjoy!
Starter – Pork Terrine
200g skinless duck breast
200g skinless chicken breast
150g pork loin fillet
2 crushed garlic cloves
3 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp oil
250g thin rindless streaky bacon
1kg sausage meat*
150ml double cream
4 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp tarragon
1 tbsp thyme
salt and pepper to season
Mix the duck, chicken, pork, garlic, brandy, 2 tbsp thyme, oil and pepper in a large bowl. Cover this and leave it to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
Drain the meats and cut them into small chunks before browning them on the stove. Season, and then leave to cool.
Grease a loaf tin (roughly 1 litre in size), and arrange the bacon on the base and sides – double layering the base, and leaving enough over the sides to fold over the top.
Soften your sausage meat with cream and the rest of the herbs before mixing in the now cold meat. Scoop this into the loaf tin, pressing down well, before covering with more bacon over the top.
Heat your oven to 180C (for a fan oven) and double wrap the top of the terrine in foil. Place the loaf tin in a large deep-sided roasting pan and pour boiling water up to half way.
Bake for one hour before removing from the oven and leaving to cool. Place this in the fridge overnight.
Place the tin in a pan of just boiled water in order to soften the bacon. Once softened, you should find it easy to remove the tin from the terrine.
Slice and serve with salad.
The next part is the fun part. Ever watched your parents stress on Christmas Day and wonder why? It’s because there are so many elements to the main course and half the time they aren’t even eaten! Here’s how I prepared the main course:
1 turkey crown (most come with it written on the side how many it serves)
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp thyme leaves
Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Our oven is a little strange with temperatures so I always adjust the temperature to match the oven. Only you know your oven so go with your gut instinct!
Mix, in a small bowl, your maple syrup, orange juice and thyme. This is your glaze.
Put your turkey crown in a roasting tray – piece of advice, a disposable one is perfect for this and you’ll appreciate it when it’s time to do the dishes. Generously brush the skin with the glaze. Season well with salt and pepper.
Pour chicken stock into the roasting tin around the turkey up to a depth of around 2cm (roughly 500ml). Again, depending on the people you’re cooking for, you might want to check your stock cubes to see if they contain gluten!
Calculate your cooking time. Allow 20 minutes per kg plus an extra 70 minutes. Of course, a lot of the turkey crowns now come with this already calculated and written on the packaging so check there to save yourself any calculations!
Place your turkey tin in the oven and remember to re-glaze every 20 minutes or so. As you can see, I’ll be setting timers for everything!
When time is up, remove your turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. To check your turkey is cooked through, check the juices are running clear.
Roast Potatoes – Now this is one that you can easily cheat – buy a pack of ready made and shove them in the oven! However, as a family we always have homemade roasties on Christmas Day. And with Nuala being unable to eat the ready made ones, I get the fun of making my own!
approx 650-700g potatoes. Maris Piper work best in my opinion
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour (gluten free in my case)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 200°C (notice that here’s your first problem – two different temperatures for things that need to be done at the same time!) and peel and half your potatoes. For larger potatoes, you may wish to quarter them.
Put your empty (yes empty) roasting tray in the oven to preheat.
Parboil your potatoes for 8-10 minutes on the hob in a large pot of boiling water.
Drain your potatoes and dry them, before tossing them in the mix of flour, oregano, turmeric and salt and pepper.
Pour your oil into the hot tray and stick it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow your potatoes to sit out in the open during this time as it helps crisp them slightly.
Add your potatoes to the oil and toss them so they’re fully coated in the oil. Roast for approximately 40 minutes, remembering to turn them half way, and take them out when golden and crispy.
Mashed Potato – Again, this is something you can cheat by buying the ready made stuff. Alternatively, you can make your own in advance and then shove it in the microwave for 10 minutes before serving!
900g potatoes (can use the same ones as above!)
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut your potatoes, same as in the roast potato section.
Pop them in a pot and pour in enough water to cover them.
Add a pinch of salt and bring the water to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat so it’s simmering until the potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes) and drain.
Return the potatoes to the pot and add your milk and butter.
Using either a masher or an electric beater, mash the mix until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Carrots and Parsnips – Now, at home we tend to have this mashed and so it’s cooked the exact same way as the mashed potato recipe above (without the milk and with extra butter) however as a flat, we prefer the roasted vegetables.
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Peel your vegetables and preheat your oven to 220°C. As with the roast potatoes, put an empty tray into the oven to heat.
Slice your vegetables into halves or quarters, so they are all a similar size.
In a large bowl, mix the oil, honey and mustard. Add your vegetables and toss thoroughly to evenly coat the pieces.
Place them on the hot tray and roast for around 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Note: I tend to cheat for this and instead, I only mix the mustard and the honey, before adding the vegetables to the same tray as the potatoes! Saves on dishes, and means I save a little oil!
Brussel Sprouts – the bane of all Christmas dinners. Who actually enjoys these? And yet I couldn’t count it as a Christmas dinner without these! So here’s how I make them slightly more tolerable.
15 sprouts halved length-wise
1 and a half tbsp butter
1 and a half tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat.This is where I miss my gas hob at home! Do this until the butter is ‘foamy’
Reduce the heat a little before adding the garlic. Cook this until it is lightly browned and then take it out and bin it (yes really)
Add sprouts cut-side down, cover and cook without stirring on a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Serve them up!
For the Gravy, Pigs in blankets and Stuffing I would recommend just buying ready made or powers that you just add water to for the gravy and stuffing. It saves a lot of time and hassle! Follow the instructions on the packaging and keep quiet when people compliment your skills on these three things!
Dessert – Chocolate Mousse
The penultimate course! Our flat is filled with a strange mix. Nuala can’t eat anything glutenous, Jason tends to like most things but can be quite straight when telling you his opinion on something, Mary isn’t a fan of mixing sweet and savoury, none of the three of them like Christmas pudding, and I really am not a fan of cream. So we’re a bad bunch to make dessert for! This is why I settled on a nice mousse.
200g dark chocolate
2 tbsp brandy (optional)
3 egg whites
50g caster sugar
100ml whipping cream
Grate 50g of the chocolate and set it to one side.
Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl before stirring in your alcohol if you are using it.
Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks.
Spoon in half the sugar, whisk into stiff peaks again, add the rest of the sugar and whisk again.
Whip your cream in a separate bowl.
Fold your melted chocolate into the egg and sugar mix. Once fully folded in, fold in the cream and two thirds of the grated chocolate.
Spoon the final mixture into individual cups and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
Serve with the remaining grated chocolate sprinkled on top, and if you’re feeling fancy add a strawberry or some raspberries!
And finally – Citrus Crush.
This has become a traditional pudding that I make. Actually, while writing this post I’ve just realised that I need to find new dishes to serve the mousse in as I had planned on using the dishes I use for citrus crush! Whoops… Anyway, this is a recipe for what can only be described as something somewhere between a sorbet and a slushy but it is so so tasty!
250g caster sugar
2 grapefruits (halved)
4 oranges (halved)
2 limes (halved)
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pot on the hob. Remove the sugary water from the heat and leave to cool.
Juice the fruit and sieve the juice into the now cooled sugar water.
Pour this into a container, roughly pour in 2-3cm in depth but I find this doesn’t overly matter.
Freeze this for 2 hours. Remove, and ‘fluff’ (I mash) it with a fork.
Return it to the freezer and now fluff every half hour between now and serving. I tend to forget so I don’t think it overly matters but just as long as you give it a chance to fully freeze. Mash it before serving though!
And that brings us to the end of a very long Christmas Dinner Recipe! I hope you find it useful, and if you do decide to try making it let me know how it goes!
I was dozing off last night when I realised it’s been almost a fortnight since I was snapchatting about the dinner I made for my friends, and I forgot to share with you how to make it. This is one of my favourite meals for at this time of year. Considering I’m not a fan of stews, Mum always made this for me and Rachel as an alternative and it has now become a top dinner in the flat. Just realised I haven’t shared what it is with you! Chicken, chorizo and chickpea casserole. It’s simple to make and you can change things up if you want.
2 tbsp oil
500g chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
glass of red wine
275g chorizo, chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
200ml chicken stock
400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Heat half the oil in a large pan. Lightly brown the chicken thighs before removing them from the pan and keeping them warm somewhere – I tend to put them in the oven at the lowest temperature possible.
Add a bit more oil to the pan, before adding the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chilli. Cook this for approximately 5 minutes. Add a splash of your red wine (but not all of it!) and simmer until reduced by a half.
While doing this, in another pan heat the rest of the oil and fry the chorizo for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the rest of the glass of wine and cook until the chorizo is crisped.
Pour the chopped tomatoes into pan containing the vegetables and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and return to the boil.
Now add your chicken, chickpeas and chorizo and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Serve with chopped parsley and crusty bread!
The ingredients above serve for 4 people. It’s really easy to cook, and can appear so impressive!
Let me know if you make it and what you think of it! Have a great weekend!
Success in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of concentration and perseverance. – C. W. Wendte
Today I woke up feeling like I could lie in bed forever, but here’s why I can’t.
I’ve still to unpack from Paris. I am the world’s laziest traveller. Most of the time, everything ends up back in the laundry basket so I can have a few more days of doing nothing. But this time I’ve to unpack so I can repack to return to Northern Ireland. Great…
I need to wash my hair. It hasn’t been washed since Wednesday night and looks a state right now, so I’ve tied it up in the hope I can leave it until tomorrow.
My Paris blog post needs to be written. Except I’m waiting until my external hard drive arrives so I can save all my photos to it before writing the post.
I need to start packing for going home. Normally packing takes me 3 weeks, now I’ve to condense it to 2 days!
Dinner needs cooked at some stage…
My bedroom is a mess and the kitchen needs sorted
I’ve too much food and no idea if it’ll freeze or not.
Shopping needs done since I’ve got parts of meals but not actual meals
And probably so much more that I can’t think of right now! The first step will be getting out of bed. Wish me luck!
Well another Friday night and once again I’m in bed before 10:30pm. With nothing exciting happening today and being too tired for a film tonight, I thought I’d share a recipe with you that I used a few days ago.
It was a cold dark Wednesday morning and Rachel, Dad and I were debating what to make for dinner. Since mum hasn’t been to Tesco yet, we were kind of stumped as everything we thought of, we didn’t have the ingredients for. In the end Rachel suggested a chicken curry and we were just going to buy a jar from the shop across the road. “Stop a minute,” I thought to myself. “All year you’ve watched Paul cook a curry from scratch, why don’t you try it?”
And so, through the wind and the rain and the always judging eyes of my two biggest critics (Baron would never criticise my food, got to love dogs) I started to work on a simple recipe which I will post below.
If I do say so myself, it was delicious in the end. Even Rachel had to eat her words (sorry I couldn’t help it) and actually found she liked it! The best thing was it was actually fun to cook. The only slightly stressful part was adding the natural yoghurt to the hot sauce in the pan – you can’t let it separate! But even that worked well so I will hopefully use this recipe again in the future. It can be found on Chicken Curry Recipe
2 large onions, sliced
600ml chicken stock
2 tsp turmeric
3 cardamom pods
1 x 2.5cm piece cinnamon stick
4 black peppercorns
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp peeled and grated root ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp mild chilli powder
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, sliced
275ml fat free natural yogurt, bought to room temperature
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
Put the onion and 425ml of the chicken stock in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Cover the pan, bring to the boil and then boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, uncover the pan and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the onion is tender, golden and syrupy.
Add all the spices and garlic to the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the chicken and cook for a few minutes to coat in the spices, then stir in the remaining chicken stock.
Cover the pan and simmer very gently over a medium heat for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
Transfer the curry to a large serving bowl. Add 4 tbsp of the cooking sauce to the yogurt and stir well. Gradually add the yogurt into the curry, stirring continuously.
Season to taste with salt, and serve immediately with boiled rice, and garnish with the chopped coriander.
– See more at: http://www.slimmingworld.com/recipes/chicken-curry.aspx#sthash.T67yrRI6.dpuf
As it is my basic policy that I don’t cook with salt, we skipped the last step. Also, towards the end, I added about 2 teaspoons of mild curry powder, just to give it an extra kick. Another bit of advice would be to make sure the chicken is moist! Because I cooked it before lunch and then reheated at dinner time, the chicken had unfortunately dried up a bit however mum and dad said it was fine. You learn from your mistakes I suppose.
If anyone gives it a go and likes it feel free to leave a comment! Or even, let me know if you’ve any recipes I could try?
Thanks for reading!