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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Baked Chicken

I used drumsticks (as you can see) for this recipe. I think I could have added a little more salt to the flour mix to bring out the flavour a little more. Other than that it was a very pleasant and simple way to prepare chicken pieces.

We had ours with broccoli and roasted crushed potatoes.

I imagine that any soup sachet that you have on hand would be suitable to substitute for the tomato. Even 2 or 3 tsps of powdered stock would work at a pinch.

Baked Chicken
Serves: 4

750 g chicken thighs
1 cup flour
1 x 50 g sachet tomato cup a soup
All purpose seasoning
Seasoning, to taste

Mix flour, soup sachet and seasoning in a plastic bag.
Dip chicken into water.
Place chicken, a few pieces at a time, in coating mixture.
Shake to coat.
Place on baking tray lined with baking paper and sprayed with oil.
Once all chicken has been coated, spray with oil and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes until golden brown, turning once.

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Chicken Vesuvio

There is a phrase (winner, winner, chicken dinner) that has gained sudden popularity or regained, I imagine, as it seems to have originated in the 70’s or there abouts. I hate it, it is one of those nonsense things that should not bother me but it really does and then I get annoyed at myself for being annoyed, vicious circle….

anyway, while I struggle with my little neurosis it at least brings me to todays meal…

Chicken Vesuvio

8 chicken drumsticks
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 large potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 180C.

Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat
oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add chicken; cook 3
minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Add potatoes to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Return
chicken to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt,
broth, white wine, fresh oregano, and minced garlic; bring to a
simmer.

Cover and bake at 180C for 40 minutes or until chicken is done and
potatoes are tender.
Makes 4 servings.


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Chicken stuffed with Fetta and Spinach

I have mentioned in passing that I was overseas for a period of time recently. I went to South Africa again and travelled around a bit.

Firstly we stayed a few days in a self-catering cabin the mountains in a farming community, beautiful, misty mornings, green grass, cool weather, rocky gardens, horses, dams stocked with bass, just lovely. Not very ‘African’ though, more like England.

We moved on and spent the second half of our visit at a game lodge with much more of an ‘African’ atmosphere. It was called Shayamoya .

Visit the Shayamoya web page!

There were game drives and boat cruises, tigerfish fishing trips or even in house massage available all of which was very enjoyable (except the massages, I don’t go in for all that touchy feely stuff, I am sure if I did they would have been wonderful though, everything else was). The rooms were comfortable and private (with private outdoor showers, which I loved. There is a bath inside if you are not so inclined)

But of course the one thing that I would take note of over all others was the food and it was well worth the notice! The kitchen staff, under their head chef, outdid themselves night after night. Everything that came out of that kitchen was amazing, even on the night that a snake took up residence under the refrigerator and put a real scare into the staff, they danced around it and still managed to prepare a meal fit for kings.

The gardens that the cabins were set in were beautifully maintained and contained a very interesting collection of aloes and other plants, clearly marked with their names and the view over the wetlands was amazing from our balcony.
It was honestly one of the most relaxing and enjoyable holidays I have ever had and I have to shout out a big thank you to Lindy and her staff for making it so lovely and enjoyable. Trust me, I will be telling everyone, if you want somewhere great to spend a holiday that is relatively inexpensive (at least compared to Australia) book yourself into Shayamoya, you won’t regret it for a second. And the food is fabulous!

Chicken stuffed with Fetta and Spinach

2x chicken breasts
Baby Spinach
Chili Marinated Fetta
Parmesan Cheese

Cut a pocket into each chicken breast. Stuff with as much spinach and fetta as it will hold.
Sprinkle with parmesan and pour a little of the fetta oil over each breast.
Bake in a moderate oven until cooked through.

Garlic Butter Beans

Green beans
Butter
Garlic
Salt & Pepper

Cut green beans as desired (slicing them lengthwise is nice if you have the patience)
Boil or steam to your preferred crispness.
Drain and stir in butter and garlic.
Salt and pepper to taste.


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Chicken Stuffed with Peppadews

I couldn’t get to my nice new grocer at the beginning of this week so I resorted to visiting my local supermarket for some fruit and vegetables as I was running low and have been enjoying the fresh produce so much that I didn’t want to run out completely. I did hope that with the new competition showing them how to do it, things may have improved. Sadly I was wrong. The lessons in pricing, ripeness and quality seem to have flown right by unnoticed and produce is still so unripe that it is would take a decent chip out of the wall should I choose to throw it in frustration and still double the price of my new grocer. The notable exception being the grapes that were wet with their own juices as they turned brown where they lay.

Urrrk!

Needless to say I grabbed the best of what was on offer, bugger the prices and hightailed it out of there. My daughter has kindly offered to run me to the new grocer today, she isn’t impressed with the pickings in the fridge either. I go with a long list prepared and tomorrow we shall feast again!

One thing I must pick up is a new container of stuffed peppadews. These mild little chillies, stuffed with cream cheese are a new favourite of mine and I have been finding things to do with them other than just popping them in my mouth whole.

Having a freezer pack jammed with chicken breasts right now, I have been stuffing them with all and sundry and crumbing or just seasoning then popping them in the over. The peppadews seemed to lead themselves to this idea so I gave it a whirl. Good choice!

Chicken Stuffed with Peppadews

2x chicken breast fillets
Stuffed Peppadews, halved
Parmesan cheese
Italian herbs
Salt and pepper

Make a pocket in each chicken breast. Stuff with peppadews, as many as will fit.
Place chicken in a tray, rub with a little oil and sprinkle with parmesan and herbs.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place in a moderate oven and bake until cooked through.


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And we are back online….Hooray!

So, internet is down, life as I know it has ground to a halt. Can’t work, can’t play, can’t publish. Just washed the dishes for something to do. Decided to write this offline so that it has a chance of being published today, if our net comes back.

It is kind of interesting. What did we all do before the internet? I read the news online 28 times a day, check my face book a couple of times, blog less often than I should, sometimes I get sucked in to the weird portion of YouTube and realise I am watching things I can never again unsee. A lot of the time I play online games and of course I work a bit too. It all requires a server and an internet connection to keep me connected. Even my phone line is digital.

About the only hobby I have that is not entirely dependent on the web is cooking and even then my database of recipes is stored online and I often check recipe websites for new recipes and inspiration when I have particular ingredients to use up. So even then I am not completely disconnected.

Fact is that I enjoy the online environment and the connections that I have to it so I don’t suppose anything will change, just because I am currently experiencing some downtime. However, it is a good opportunity to wash the dishes and do all those odd jobs that I put off because playing on the internet would be much more fun. So here is a recipe from earlier in the week, its good, try it.

Prosciutto chicken drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
8 thin slices prosciutto

Use a small sharp knife to cut 2 slashes in the thickest part of each drumstick on both sides.
Place in a glass or ceramic dish.
Add the oil, garlic, mustard powder, cumin and coriander, and turn to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to develop the flavours.
Wrap a slice of prosciutto around the thickest part of each drumstick.
Place, seam-side down, in a roasting pan.
Drizzle with remaining marinade.
Roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.


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Bread Bun Chicken Pies

Here is a mushroom heavy work of art. Okay it may not be art (that is subjective) but it’s amazing all the same, cute presentation and fun to eat if you like that kind of thing. I do like that kind of thing, because I don’t do it every day so it’s good to get up close and personal with my food once in a while.

You could substitute any powdered soup mix you like or leave it out entirely and just add some powdered stock for flavour. I had a packet of cream of mushroom left over in the cupboard so that is what I used.

We used the bread excavated from the rolls to dip and soak up the mushroom gravy in the rolls and then enjoyed eating the crunchy roll itself with the inside soaked in gravy and tasty chicken pieces. This was a great meal with only a small amount of preparation and it ended up both tasting and looking really good.

Bread Bun Chicken Pies
Serves 4

4 medium, round bread rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
100g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
350g chicken thigh fillets, finely diced
45g packet cream of chicken soup mix
300mls light thickened cream
½ cup milk
½ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped – optional

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Slice the top off the bread rolls. Set aside.
Using a teaspoon or fingers, gently remove bread from the inside of the rolls, leaving a 2cm thick crust on base and sides.
Brush inside of rolls and underside of tops with 1 tablespoon of oil.
Place on prepared baking tray. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp.
Heat remaining oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat.
Add onion and button mushrooms cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.
Add chicken. Stir until well combined.
Cook for 4 minutes or until just cooked.
Sprinkle packet of soup mix over chicken and stir until well combined. Remove pan from heat.
Slowly add cream and milk, stirring constantly.
Return to heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Stir through parsley if using.
Spoon chicken mixture into prepared bread rolls.
Bake for 5 minutes or until heated through.
Serve.

 


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Chicken Casserole

For a super quick meal this turned out really well. I had beans in the fridge that were nearing their use-by date and a hungry family to feed. Even the kids ate the beans (that never happens) so it must have been tasty.

I usually have a can or two of soup in the cupboard, although I wouldn’t just eat it as a soup, it makes a great base for an easy casserole.

Chicken Casserole

1 kg cubed chicken thighs
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
3 bacon rashers, chopped (I used bacon bits)
440 ml tin cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Pepper and salt

Place bacon, butter and onions in a large frying pan and fry until onion is transparent.
Add chicken pieces and cook until chicken is done.
Add soup and pepper and salt along with beans and parsley and cook until beans are crisp and sauce is thick.
Serve with rice.