Archive for chicken

Wild Rice & Chicken Soup

Posted in Cooking, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe, soup with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by helenphillips
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From this.... (the raw condition)

Wild Rice (which is actually a grass) grows in abundance in Minnesota, so it is unsurprising that it is a favourite in local cuisine. I had my first taste several years ago when we first visited the Twin Cities as part relocation decision making process. We spent a day being taken around various residences by a Real Estate agent so that we could consider where we would like to be living, and importantly, what we needed to budget for. At lunch time, we were taken to Lucia’s in Uptown. Lucia’s is a small restaurant that changes it’s menu weekly in tune with seasonal produce. On this particular day I did not feel like a large lunch, and fortunately for me the Soup of the Day was Wild Rice Soup. Just delicious.

So, when we moved here, wild rice was one of the first store cupboard items I bought, but it’s taken me longer than planned to do anything with it. My husband likes to have soup to take to work for lunch, so I like to keep a stock of various flavours in the freezer – roasted tomato, lentil & tomato, chicken & sweetcorn.   The soup I had at Lucia’s was a creamy one, but here I have left out the cream. It makes a lovely chunky soup, so if you are feeling virtuous you can always omit the side of bread and still feel satisfied. This makes 2 portions suitable for lunch or even an evening meal appetizer.

  • 1/4 cup uncooked wild rice – this gives just under 2 cups when cooked
  • 1 chicken thigh, diced
  • 1 small onion (or large shallot) sliced
  • 5 mushroom – chopped into small pieces
  • 0.5L chicken stock
  • Seasoning

There are 2 ways you can go about this – cook the wild rice ahead, or bung it all in together. I went for the former, because having never cooked wild rice before, I didn’t really know exactly how much it would expand by. You need to use 4 x the amount of water, so in this case 1 cup. Slightly salt, bring to the boil and simmer for around 50 minutes until the rice is cooked and water is absorbed.

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...to this.... (cooked rice)

Using a non-stick pan, I cooked the chicken pieces over a medium heat until sealed. Next I added the onions, and cooked for a few minutes, before adding in the mushrooms. Once the vegetables were soft, I added seasoning, and then the stock. I briefly raised the temperature to bring the soup to the boil, and then reduced to a simmer before adding in the cooked rice. I left it simmering for about 20 minutes, before decanting into pots ready for my husband to pack away for his lunch.

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...to lunch (wild rice soup)

 

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Chicken Sliders

Posted in Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , on November 17, 2010 by helenphillips

16th November 2010 - Chicken Slider

For the Non-Americans among you, sliders are simply miniature burgers. And as with most food in miniature, there’s something quite special about them. Inspired by the mention of chicken burgers in Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite, I decided it was time to break out the slider pan. Rather niftily, this press and pan in one makes 6 sliders at a time, which are around 2.5″ in diameter, and around 0.5″ in thickness. Very cute.

Usually home-made burgers are used by mixing minced meat (of whichever variety) together with the rest of the ingredients. I don’t have a mincer, so used the food processor to both chop and blend ingredients. So feel free to experiment!

The following ingredients were used to make a total of 12 sliders. I would estimate that the same amount would make 4 ‘normal’ burgers.

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each of parsley & chives
  • 1 egg
  • Seasoning

First of all I used the food processor to finely mince the red onion. Next I added the minced garlic, herbs and chicken thighs (rather lazily I threw these in whole, but the blades easily coped!). Once I was satisfied with the chicken was adequately chopped, I added the egg, and seasoning, and ran the food processor long enough to blend the ingredients.

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If you are making burgers the traditional way, then the next stage should be to fashion the mixture into patties, wrap tightly in cling film, and then put them in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Luckily for me (as my burgers ALWAYS fall apart), using the combined press/pan eliminates this. I was able to simply scoop the mixture (using the provided measure) into the pre-heated pan, press, and cook away for about 5 minutes. Of course, there are several alternative ways to the cooking stage – oven grill, outdoor grill / barbecue, griddle. Whichever way you choose, I find brushing a little olive oil on the burger (or the griddle) before cooking prevents sticking. Depending on how thick you make the patties, they should take 5-10 minutes to cook using a medium heat, but as this is chicken, please ensure it is cooked right through before serving!

All that remains are the final touches – add the sliders/burgers to buns loaded with your favourite items. In my case, I had green salad, tomato, burger relish and ketchup. These sliders fit perfectly into just half a small bun! Out of view is the huge pile of oven cooked potato wedges that I served as a side dish.

Stir-Fried Chicken with Noodles

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by helenphillips

When it comes to ‘stir fry’, my husband likes lots of ‘sauce’. It is difficult to feed him stir-fry that doesn’t come from a packet – simple soy sauce and spices is not sufficient. However, whilst flicking through an old Good Food Magazine, I came across a recipe that uses sweet chilli sauce and thought that maybe here was something I could use.  So, I read through the recipe, which turned out to be entirely cooked using a microwave (something we no longer own), and then decided to put it away, and see what I could come up  with using my trusty wok, a bottle of sweet chilli sauce, and of course soy sauce.  The inclusion of chopped peanuts isn’t one I would have thought of, so I owe that to the magazine recipe. The coriander gave it a lovely fresh tang, without being over powering – in fact it reminded me of the Pad Thai I recently ate in Minneapolis – yum!

Serves 2 (possibly with leftovers, we both had seconds, but it’s healthy, right?)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Around 100-125g egg noodles (as per pack instructions).
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 spring onions
  • 200g beansprouts (fresh or tinned)
  • 2 tbspn sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 tbspns light soy sauce (I use the lower salt version)
  • 25g / 1 oz peanuts
  • handful coriander

1. Roast chicken in oven at 180c for approx 20 minutes (dependent on size) until cooked through. Shred using 2 forks, and put to one side.

2. Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, these can be cooked in advance, or in tandem with the rest of the stir fry.

3. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy based pan, at a medium high heat. Then add the red pepper and spring onions. Cook for around 2 minutes until the pepper starts to soften, then add the beansprouts. Stir-in, and add the shredded chicken.  Stir-in the chilli sauce and soy sauce, so that everything is evenly coated.

4. Roughly chop the peanuts (I use a hand blender), and add to the wok along with the roughly chopped coriander. Cook for a further minute or so before adding the noodles. Mix well, and enjoy!

We enjoyed ours simply with some prawn crackers, but if you fancy a vegetable side dish then Pak Choi or tender-stem broccoli would go beautifully.