Hi Everybody, I hope you are all fairing up ok and making the best of the situation we all face. I plan to hunker down with a many good books, give huggles to loved ones and catch up on those box sets – I plan to watch Game of Thrones – I know, I know I am very late to that party and yes if you are reading this dear brother and sister-in-law, I do plan to start Clarissa by Samuel Richardson that you gave me for Christmas (it’s probably the thickest novel I have ever seen) – has anyone read it?
The sun is shining and spring is definitely in the air – I managed to cut the grass today (that’s as exciting as it gets round here at the moment) which has given our postage size garden that summer feel – we may well be spending a lot of time in it in the coming weeks. As we are all being told to slow down and not really go out we have to keep ourselves busy and our minds occupied. Video calls with multiple pals on each call, seem de rigour with our evenings literally scheduled back to back with calls to friends around the globe – checking in and keeping us all feeling upbeat. It’s important to keep in touch with family, friends and neighbours as much as we can and a call – especially a video call – is a great way to do this.
When it comes to food, a number of you were requesting some easy family chicken recipes that you can cook over the coming weeks. I’ve had in mind ones that don’t have too many ingredients, that you can cook and the whole family can enjoy together.
First up is the one that I cooked live on IGTV with my mini mini me at the helm of my camera (hence the low angle shots and the humming in the background – all very sweet), is ‘Smoked Paprika Chicken, Cannellini beans and Rainbow Chard’.
From start to finish it takes 20 minutes max and it goes a long way. You can eat it as is, or cook some rice (I made some red camargue and wild rice, which worked really well. ) or couscous on the side, or pop some cubed potato into it if you fancy. Take a look at the ingredients:
I actually ended up only using one tin of cannelloni beans but you can add two if you are feeding more than 4 people to bulk out the meal.
Smoked Paprika Chicken, Cannellini beans and Rainbow Chard
2 tbsp oil (I used my shallot confit and a little rapeseed, but olive oil works just fine too)
1 white onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
thyme leaves, 5 stems (or any herb you have that needs using up)
3 garlic cloves
4 chicken thighs, skin on
2 chicken breast, cubed
2 tsp smoked paprika (you can use sweet/hot paprika)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
4/5 stem and leaves of rainbow chard, diced (you can use spinach, kale, cavolo nero instead)
- Heat the oil in a pan and then add the onion and a little salt to speed up the cooking of the onions.
- Add the bay and thyme (or herb of your choosing)
- When the onion begins to soften add the chicken thighs – skin side down – and the chicken breasts and add some pepper.
- Add the garlic. Allow the chicken thigh skin to begin to bronze and then turn over.
- Add the paprika, tomatoes and tomato puree. Add a little water to loosen the ingredients.
- Place a lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
- Taste test and then add more seasoning as required.
- Add the rainbow chard/greens and simmer for a few more minutes, until wilted and soft and then serve.
Remember if you don’t have chard, use kale, spinach, cavolo nero or even peas.
Another crowd pleaser and one of my fav chicken dishes (that isn’t Indian) is my Spanish Baked Chicken recipe. I cannot tell you how BLINKING delicious this one is.
You can find the recipe HERE.
Next up is my Keralan Chicken Stew. Ok I am hoping you have some spices, if you don’t, then you’ll have to sadly pass on this one. I was taught it by a lovely lady in Kerala called Moly, who I spent the day with a number of years ago.
It does have Kashmiri chillies in it, but these are not hot in the slightest and the dish is nicely spiced as opposed to spicy and my girls love it.
OK, next up is one of my childhood memory dishes – Japanese Katsu Curry.
You can read WHY a Japanese dish featured so highly in my childhood by clicking HERE for the recipe.
If you are looking for a beginners curry then the one above ticks the box. It requires very few ingredients and will appeal to a palate that is not accustomed to spices.
You can find the recipe HERE.
My traditional Bengali chicken curry, above, is loved by my children and I hope yours will love it too. If you have a whole chicken cut the chicken into 10 and remove the skin and cook it on the bone – it tastes so good this way. If you are nervous about cooking like this then it is fine to cook it using simply thighs, breast – boned or unboned. It’s a one pot dish, although I often make some rice to go alongside it.
Now for this next chicken dish you can replace the barberries for cranberries, raisins or sultanas – don’t worry if you don’t have barberries – I know it’s not what most people have lurking in their pantry. This dish is called “Zereshk Polow” and it is basically the Iranian version of an Indian Biryani. Again if you don’t have saffron use a pinch of turmeric.
You can find the recipe HERE
As you know I love my broths so thought perhaps this one might be a good one to consider. Just tone down the chillies you add if you are giving it to children or you can take them out altogether. You can find the recipe HERE.
Finally I am going to leave you with a couple of recipes I found on the web that look super easy and don’t require many ingredients.
Creamy Herb Chicken and you can find it HERE
Sticky Chinese Chicken Traybake HERE
Let me know if you cook any of the above, would love to hear how they were received. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves, be safe and I’ll be back soon with another post.