Spicy Chicken and Bean Stew

Slow cooking has to be my cooking method of choice at the moment. I love cooking something for hours on a weekend, without having to turn on the oven! Plus the volume of food you can make is excellent for stocking up the fridge for a good week.

This chicken and bean number came about completely from cupboard ingredients (and a couple of chicken breasts). I’d had the tin of mixed spiced beans in the cupboard for ages and had been planning to fajita or taco them originally but never got around to it. Fast forward a few weeks later and they cried out to me when I started perusing the cupboards for things to cook the chicken with. I think beans are so underloved – they’re cheap, delicious, and if you buy them tinned, very easy to cook. Perfect for bulking out a stew.

Spicy-chicken-bean-stew

I added some chorizo in at the end too for extra spice, I’ve found it’s better not to slow cook chorizo as you lose the flavours and the texture can go a bit weird. Better to add in right before serving, and throw in all that lovely red oil too. Yum.

Recipe after the jump!

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Slow Cooker Chinese Hoisin Chicken

With Chinese New Year around the corner (the Year of the Dog!) I’ve been thinking about my favourite oriental dishes. Chinese is definitely one of my favourite takeaways but I rarely make the dishes at home because they just never taste quite the same! My go-to order is usually beef in black bean, or a classic chicken chow mein. I just love those noodles!

I was over the moon with the way this hoisin chicken turned out, it really tastes as good as takeaway and is super simple to make. I can’t tell you if it’s any healthier though as I imagine the sugar and salt content isn’t great but trust me this tastes amazing.

Coating the chicken in cornflour gives it a really nice texture and the sauce is cooked low and slow to get all sticky and delicious. If you’re looking for a new Chinese recipe, I heartily recommend this dish!

You completely don’t need to slow cook this if you don’t have time, it’s fine on the hob. In fact if you cut the chicken up small enough you don’t need to slow cook it for very long either, just 3 hours or so is fine. Any longer and your sauce will dry out!

slow-cooker-hoisin-chicken

I served this with egg fried rice (in a packet, I’m ashamed) and crispy ‘seaweed’ which is actually kale! I’ll save that recipe for later this week so for now, here’s the chicken!

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Warming Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

I made this on a very, very snowy weekend and it was the ultimate comfort food cuddle. Crispy flaky pastry, oozy creamy sauce and slow cooked chicken. Heaven. It’s actually a bit of an adaptation on previous recipe you can find here for my Wintery Chicken Casserole – I just omitted the pasta (y’know, double carbs) and used the stock to make a thick sauce. I wish I could make my own flaky pastry but sadly, I’m really not gifted in the baking department, so this recipe features ready-made puff pastry. You could also use shortcrust, but puff is my favourite.

chicken-leek-mushroom-pie

I hate my worktop btw.

chicken-leek-mushroom-pie2

I put a heart on it, obvs, because I REALLY heart pie. Also yup, that’s my pjs in the background.

chicken-leek-mushroom-pie-3

I served this with winter greens (purple sprouting broccoli and kale) but you could easily up the stodge with some mash, which would be really good with that creamy sauce. This is such a good cold weather dish I feel warm even writing about it! Recipe after the jump 🙂

 

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Creamy Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Kale Spaghetti

I am such a huge fan of Heck! Chicken Italia sausages. Not only are they lean they are also absolutely delicious! You can use them like you would pork sausages (in a sandwich or breakfast) but they also really come into their own in creamy dishes like this, just like chicken breast would.

Note this totally isn’t an advert for Heck!, and other chicken sausages are available. They’re just really, really good.

The sausages are waaaaay easier to cut up if you cook them first so be sure to do that to make your life easier. You also get a better colour on the skin through grilling them rather than frying. Kale can be swapped for spinach too if you prefer, and I used wholegrain spaghetti because I like it but again that’s up for change.

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Mushroom, Leek and Leftover Chicken Risotto

It’s been quite a couple of weeks over here. I’ve managed to have food poisoning twice (from eating out) plus a tiny cold. So I’ve not been cooking that many interesting things, hence being a bit quiet on the blog front! I’m back to normal now and I’ve got a tasty risotto recipe to share with you.

Ok, ok, risotto isn’t that summery, but with little pops of green leek, soft mushrooms and tender leftover chicken it’s savoury and completely passable in hot weather. Top it off with plenty cheese and you have yourself a year-round winner.

You can leave the chicken out of this if you’re veggie, it was only because I had some hanging around in the fridge that it ended up going in. It would be completely fine without it.


Mushroom, Leek and Chicken Risotto

Feeds 2

  • Around 150-200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint chicken or veg stock
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 leeks
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • Olive oil

Chop up the leeks into small 1cm rounds. Wash thoroughly. Crush the garlic and chop the mushrooms. In a big saucepan, soften the leeks in some olive oil until they are translucent and just about to brown. Add another glug of olive oil, and then the rice.

Stir the rice in the oil until it becomes opaque and then add the glass of wine and a little of the chicken stock. Pop the bay leaf in. Keep the risotto on a low heat, stirring occasionally and adding the chicken stock a little at a time so the rice is always covered in liquid.

Meanwhile in a seperate pan, cook the mushrooms in a little oil until they are tender. Add these in when the risotto rice is almost cooked, along with the cheese and the chopped up left over chicken. Let simmer for another 3-4 mins or until the chicken is piping hot and then serve with extra Parmesan and cracked black pepper.

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Healing and Tasty Chicken Noodle Soup

I might be the only person I know that actually makes their own soup when they’re ill. I do get bored if I have to rest up, so doing a bit of cooking in the middle of the day is a welcome mindless activity.

Anyway onto the goods. You can use any vegetables in this but I like to have something green (feels extra healing) like cabbage or pak choi, some left over chicken is essential and I like to throw in an egg for extra protein. Sup up and rest.

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Sweet Basil and Tomato Chicken

This is such a tasty recipe and a great one if you have a lot of ripe tomatoes on your hands. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen that often in the UK and definitely not at this time of year! So unless you have a really good crop you need to tomato it up a fair bit with some passata.
Butterflying the chicken means it cooks easily and (if you do it right, unlike me), your chicken goes in the shape of a heart. D’aww.
You do need fresh basil, the dried stuff won’t do this sauce justice. Simply pick up a basil plant from your local supermarket – though I always seem to end up killing them by accident. I’m just not green fingered ☹



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Smoky Chilli Chicken Stuffed Peppers

So last week I ended up eating Mexican food like three days in a row. We made these, had left overs still in stuffed peppers, AND leftover chilli mix, AND then I went out for Mexican food with friends. Crazy. Or as they say in Spanish, loco.

Let’s get down to it. These stuffed peppers are gorgeous and really filling! Eat them with a bit of salad and it’s a well balanced, tasty meal. You could omit the chicken if veggie, or throw in some chorizo to make it even meatier. Be warned, it’s hard to make a small amount of the filling so be prepared to have leftovers! It’s also a good way to use up cooked chicken if you have some.

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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

I can’t take credit for this recipe as I so rarely cook curry, I had to follow a recipe rather than make it up as I usually do.

I’ve kind of adapted this recipe here but used more curry powder (maybe mine was a bit weak) and added in yellow peppers and also butter, as this recipe didn’t actually use any! I also swapped whole meal flour for white. I don’t know if it’s very traditional as I think butter chicken usually uses baked chicken with a sauce poured over, but whatever this is came out really delicious, although it did curdle quite a bit during cooking. A little more yoghurt at the end fixed it though and it didn’t affect the taste.

For many years I’ve not been able to stand the taste of curry powder or garam masala but I’ve recently started to come around to it. It’s nothing to do with the spice or the heat, just the taste of it but I think my palette is changing. You might not find me going out for a curry any time soon but I’ll definitely be making something like this again.


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Heck! Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Spinach with Brown Rice

I’ve always wanted to try chicken sausage after seeing it used on various American blogs – where it seems to be freely available. It’s actually pretty hard to come across in your big four supermarkets in the UK, so when Tesco started stocking Heck Chicken Italia Sausage I was over the moon. I also had the pleasure of sampling these at the BBC Good food show earlier this year, and hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the savoury little blighters.

Their chicken Italia sausage is described as chicken breast and thigh meat with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Yum. For this recipe, I removed the sausage casings and cut into bite size pieces. This did mean that the sausage was a bit of a bugger to brown – they look very pale on the pictures but trust me they were in the pan for a good 15-20 minutes, I had to stop because I didn’t want them to dry out.

Anyway, they might look a bit anaemic but they were delicious, though maybe a tad salty. I did regret adding bacon to this recipe which won’t have helped the saltiness, but hey, you don’t know until you try. I also added asparagus to this recipe because I had some in the fridge, but it’s not essential.

Heck sausage brown rice

chicken sausage brown rice

heck chicken sausage brown rice

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