Tag Archives: Chicken

This was chicken…

16 May

No really it was. Once.

And now it’s not. And it’s not tea either.

What a waste.

image.jpeg

Advertisements

A Right Roasting

14 Jul

I’ve always said that there are SOME things I can do. I can turn out a reasonable fry-up and my roast dinners aren’t too bad.

Actually, apart from the fact they are usually far too large and not presented that well, my roast dinner is probably my best cooked dish.

As long as the meat is something nice and easy like a chicken, rather than a slab of beef – which I would overcook and serve in dried out hunks.

But a Roast Chicken Dinner I CAN DO. Look:

Roast1

Proof!

Admittedly I’ve given up trying to make my own Yorkshire puds and my vegetables come ready prepared and easily steamed but still, it’s not bad.

I also make quite a good gravy using the meat juices. See, you’d never think that about me would you? Using meat juices.

I can also make roasties, I use the Delia par-boil method, give ’em a shake and straight into hot oil. Works for me.

Also a roast dinner HAS to have stuffing – either in slabs, balls or direct from the chicken’s arse. Also bread sauce is a deal breaker. I won’t eat or serve without.

However – and of course there is a however – I absolutely destroy the kitchen. I use every single pot and pan and usually something ends up on the floor.

Sometimes the whole family wonder whether a roast dinner cooked by me is worth the absolute devastation. I know I should clean as I go but I find everything kind of comes together all at the same time and pans, knives, serving spoons, jugs are all needed all at once and so kind of get left.

Roast2

For which I get… a right roasting.

Another Stab at Chicken Risotto… this time I’m done!

29 Apr

I love risotto – who doesn’t? But how on earth can anyone actually make it, at home, themselves, without going to a restaurant or getting it out of a packet? It just does NOT COMPUTE.

Anyway – I have a history with this favourite rice dish, in that I just can’t make it.  My previous attempt turned into cement that you could actually hold above your head in a pan without it moving a millimetre. You can read about that poor slice of sludge here!

My most recent attempt wasn’t much better, this was another try using chicken and this time some red pepper too. Despite doing the recommended pouring and stirring I still managed to miss the sweet spot when you can reasonably call your dish a risotto before the rice sucks up ALL OF THE MOISTURE IN THE WORLD and turns into porridge.
chick1It actually made a rather good chicken fried rice though. So all was not lost.

Although I managed to kill yet another poor pan. I worry they’re all going to leave home one day. Look at what I do to them here and here!

The pan just about survived to live another day – my desire to perfect a risotto however is DEAD. I’m done.

chick2

Davina’s Sugar Free Chicken Sinks

22 Apr

Regular readers will know I like to dip in and out of various eating plans with varying degrees of success quite often – basically if there is a bandwagon rolling by I will almost certainly jump on it (Remember Gwyneth Paltrow’s Detox Week? I do!)

I’ve been aware that we all need to cut back on sugar for ooooh years now and so happily snapped up Davina McCall’s new tome ‘5 Weeks to Sugar Free’ thinking it would help me do just that.
I don’t really have a sweet tooth – I’d much rather snack on crisps and nuts than chocolate and doughnuts – but still know there is plenty of hidden sweet stuff in the ready meals I have to eat regularly (because I would starve if I had to rely on my own cooking every day).

The recipes looked quite easy and because I already had some chicken and some yogurt thought a good place to start would be the Yogurt-Marinated Chicken (no flies on me). It really is quite simple, just add things like lemon juice, ginger, garlic, curry powder and onions to yogurt and marinade pieces of chicken in the mix overnight before baking in the oven.

How simple is that? Almost as simple as my meat and veg tray bake signature dish!

Anyway, me being me thought I would add something else to it – just to muddy the waters – and because I had one going a bit soft popped a red pepper in too. So I assume it was this that turned my expected crispy coated dish into a sunken mess?

Look at this, where has all this water come from? And why has it all congealed into one lump?

YogchickenThis is what it is meant to look like, sorry Davina:

FullSizeRenderWhat I managed to rescue from the chicken swimming pool actually tasted ok, but I couldn’t help thinking it lacked something in the presentation?

Still – sugar free – go me! I must try something else one day.

Another Classic

2 Apr

Ah my Signature Dish has let me down!

Well I might have let myself down by spending too long in the bath.
chickDoesn’t look good does it?
Tasted ok though, so I suppose presentation isn’t everything.

Friends Provide The Spice of Life

12 Feb

I have some very lovely friends who often help me out with kitchen tips and ideas.

Creative cook Claire made me up a beautiful parcel of exciting foodie items to help me out recently and I’ve enjoyed trying out various things such as pomegranate molasses, vanilla sticks and harissa. As a big fan of flavours from around the world she also packed in two lovely new spice packs I had no idea even existed! Sumac (or Somaq) and Za’atar:

photo 1Claire gave me some ideas of what to do with them and because I love North African and Middle Eastern food plumped for a chicken and chickpea tagine. (Normally I would buy a paste or a packet marked with the words TAGINE or CURRY or SHEPHERDS PIE so there could be no mistake as to what I was attempting).

I hoped my new flavoursome additions would raise the basic taste of that lovely bird into something all together meatier. And indeed it did! I happily threw my spices around with wild abandon – you know me – and ended up with this gorgeous looking dish:

photo 2The Sumac added the citrusy tang of lemons and the romantic sounding Za’atar provided the spicy, warm depths.

See – It’s not all doom and gloom in my house when it comes to cooking. Sometimes I can spice things up a bit (with a little help of course). Thanks Claire!

But I’m nothing like Gwyneth Paltrow?

25 Nov

As much as I would like to dislike the woman I have a sneaking admiration for Gwyneth Paltrow. Probably the reasons I want to dislike her are precisely the reasons why I actually do like her – the smug lifestyle advice, the casual, smart dressing that no other mother can pull off, the hair, the hair, the hair. I’d like to absorb it all please.

But obviously I can’t and I won’t because Paltrow is probably perfect and can cook bloody well (if slightly sanctimoniously) and I obviously can’t. However, I’ll drop into Gwynnie’s world now and again for snippets of advice and was quite taken with her idea of a week long detox now and again. Of course the chummy ‘I’ll be there with you as I too need to lose a few pounds’ didn’t wash but the abstinence from gluten, dairy, caffeine, booze and sugar struck a chord. Now (just) the wrong side of 40 I do find my digestive system doesn’t seem to work quite as well as it used to – sometimes I only need to look at something edible and I blow up like a balloon and I know I drink and eat far too much.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and give myself a break, a boost, a detox, a bloody hard week, whatever you want to call it. Perversely I was rather looking forward to it.

I have absolutely no will power usually, I am one of those cupboard rummagers who will eat anything if it’s in the house, but can just about set my mind to something for about 5-7 days. Yes, a week long project is probably my limit – I’ve tried the Juice Diet and WeightWatchers and DietChef and yes a week is usually enough. (I’ll never be thin).

photo 2I wrote a little message in the kitchen to remind myself not to go heating up any croissants and I was on my way…

Following Gwyneth’s Detox plan and recipes to the letter I bought all the stuff needed and settled in for a week of vegetable soups, smoothies, salad and herbal teas. Waking up without a cup of strong and milky was hard but the warm lemon water upon rising is rather lovely really and I was happy to not feel full and bloated all the time from the amount of bread I consume. And I got a lot of warm satisfaction from not eating my son’s left over fish fingers and mini rolls as I smugly fed them to the dog instead of losing them down my throat as usual.

I did however probably alienate all friends and family – not from being grumpy, it didn’t affect me emotionally at all – but from the amount of onions, garlic and miso I was ingesting and then sweating out again. A couple of meals included a teriyaki chicken dish. Here is mine:

photo 1

Of course I messed it up royally – it looks nothing like Gwyneth’s example – but after three days of leaves in hot water I was glad of something solid no matter how dry it was. The charcoal taste was actually a welcome change.

I stuck at it religiously for five and a half days, you are meant to do seven but who (apart from Gwyneth herself) can deny themselves a bottle of Pinot Grigio whilst watching The X-Factor? Not me Paltrow, not me. It’s like Saturday night medicine to help the awful singing go down.

I have to admit that I felt a bit lighter and brighter whilst eating this way, and dare I say it a few good moods seemed to appear out of nowhere when normally it takes a trip to Disneyland to make me smile spontaneously.

There are lessons to be learnt here (for me anyway) and a few cleaner days are certainly in order. Probably in January and certainly after I’ve finished this new lime marmalade that is absolutely scrummy and best eaten with a spoon straight from the fridge with a hot croissant.

I might be back on it come the new year, I’m hoping I get the hair next time?

and I was on my way…

Following Gwyneth’s Detox plan and recipes to the letter I bought all the stuff needed and settled in for a week of vegetable soups, smoothies, salad and herbal teas. Waking up without a cup of strong and milky was hard but the warm lemon water upon rising is rather lovely really and I was happy to not feel full and bloated all the time from the amount of bread I consume. And I got a lot of warm satisfaction from not eating my son’s left over fish fingers and mini rolls as I smugly fed them to the dog instead of losing them down my throat as usual.

I did however probably alienate all friends and family – not from being grumpy, it didn’t affect me emotionally at all – but from the amount of onions, garlic and miso I was ingesting and then sweating out again.

A couple of meals included a teriyaki
chicken dish. Here is mine:

photo 1Of course I messed it up royally – it looks nothing like Gwyneth’s example – but after three days of leaves in hot water I was glad of something solid no matter how dry it was. The charcoal taste was actually a welcome change.

I stuck at it religiously for five and a half days, you are meant to do seven but who (apart from Gwyneth herself) can deny themselves a bottle of Pinot Grigio whilst watching The X-Factor? Not me Paltrow, not me. It’s like Saturday night medicine to help the awful singing go down.

I have to admit that I felt a bit lighter and brighter whilst eating this way, and dare I say it a few good moods seemed to appear out of nowhere when normally it takes a trip to Disneyland to make me smile spontaneously.

There are lessons to be learnt here (for me anyway) and a few cleaner days are certainly in order. Probably in January and certainly after I’ve finished this new lime marmalade that is absolutely scrummy and best eaten with a spoon straight from the fridge with a hot croissant.

If you want to give the Goop Detox a go – it’s here – it’s apparently their most popular post. Let me know how you get on, I might be back on it come the new year, I’m hoping I get the hair next time?

How I Killed My Slow Cooker

11 Nov

Rather a sad tale this one.
As the weather has turned colder I have been keen to get the Crock Pot out again. I had some chicken last week but was unsure what to do with it. It seemed the perfect opportunity to dust off the slow cooker. In it all went with some onions and stock cubes but as I had no potatoes or suitable veg I emptied a bag of dry pasta and some sweetcorn into it.
Chicken and Sweetcorn Pasta Bake? Lovely!
After four or five hours the house smelt lovely and I was thrilled.
It looked rather odd when I took the lid off the slow cooker I have to admit, in fact there were no discernible pieces of pasta at all. The still slightly pink chicken was suspended in a kind of gelatinous mush:
photo 4Well at least it’s robust I thought and dished it all up.
Everyone was rather sad to discover that the delicious smelling dish was not a taste sensation. In fact as the pasta had broken down it had become a jelly like substance, and completely overcooked while the chicken was still just a little bit raw.
My husband even gagged as he tried to stomach a mouthful.
Inedible, it all came back into the kitchen. What a terrible waste!
photo 3Undeterred I bought some more chicken and this week put it in to the cooker very early in the day with garlic, carrots, onions and pearl barley as well as some stock. Couldn’t go wrong I thought with that?
But of course at the last minute I decided to throw in some dumplings (ready made mix of course I wouldn’t go it alone). The packet said to drop into the stew 15minutes before serving, which I suppose doesn’t mean in a slow cooker? Because after nearly 45mins they were still like white rubbery snowballs drifting around in a fast overcooking chicken dish.

I took the internal ceramic bowl out of the cooker and put it on the hob to hurry the dumplings along. The dish cracked over the flame and I had seconds to decant it before everything seeped out.

Unsure of whether it was full of china splinters I served it up. Again it was a half raw, half overcooked dish that looked terrible. My son declared it was ‘a vomit’ and my husband put some chips into the oven. The slow cooker went in the bin.
Ho hum.

 

Why Did The Mexican Push His Wife Off A Cliff?

4 Oct

That’s a rubbish joke.
Do you know what else is rubbish?
My Mexican night.

I’ve discussed my love for food from this country before here. So I won’t do it again. But I do love it…
I decided a TexMex night was way overdue (and I do love my themed nights) so bought an Old El Paso nachos kit (no sniggers at the back please) and some chicken, corn and rice, I mean how hard could it be to throw all that together?
I also had some hot sauce so knew whatever happened I could just smother everything in that.
Continue reading

Oh dear, Olives!

24 Jul

No, don’t laugh,

I do actually feed my family this stuff.

Cooking up a bit of simple chicken with some green pesto (love me a bit of pesto) I wasn’t sure what to add to it, I had no suitable vegetables so looking in the fridge I seized on a pot of green salad olives.
Same colour – it’s got to work right?
Pesto1Wrong! Olives, pesto and chicken do not go together.
Well not when made by me.
I mean who enjoys really hot green olives?
I did however manage to make a colour co-ordinated oily mess. (I do like my colour themed meals)
Pesto2All of this was quite nice when the olives had been shoved to one side.

When it comes to adding inappropriate ingredients to meals I’m a pro – for the time I added a tub of peanut butter into some chicken see here!

%d bloggers like this: