Tag Archives: chicken

#ThankGoodness for two quick tasty Bolognaise recipes

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge to create a nutritious mid-week family meal. And as one of the first 100 to sign upto the challenge, I received a bundle of groceries from Tesco.

Tesco Dolmio hamper

When it comes to cooking on a school night, a jar of sauce like Dolmio, is a great bonus for a speedy meal. And son2 prefers the flavour of it, compared to when I do make a tomato sauce from scratch.

What Is In A Jar of Dolmio

A jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners. Always a plus point as far as I’m concerned. And a jar provides 1 of your 5 a day portions of fruit and veg for a family of 4.

What a lot of food in the delivery. Certainly more than enough for two meals, which is what I’m going to share with you now. The first night I decided to make a Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables.

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 chicken fillets
1 500g jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce
1 aubergine
1 green pepper
1 courgette
1 large carrot
1 medium onion
2-4 tbsp olive oil

Method

Peel the onion and carrot.
Deseed the pepper.
Prepare the vegetables, chopping the aubergine and onions into discs and the other vegetables lengthways.
Cover the wire rack in your grill pan with foil.
Preheat grill to a moderate heat, using combined grill / fan setting if you have that functionality.
Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add chicken to wok and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning regularly.
Meanwhile place carrots on the foil and drizzle with olive oil, brushing the oil over them.
Place under the grill.
After about 5 minutes, add the aubergine, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the onion, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the courgette, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the pepper, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
Throughout this, keep turning vegetables as required to avoid burning.
If necessary, cover those vegetables that are more well cooked with those that are less cooked.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, pour jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce over the chicken.
Allow sauce to heat fully.
Serve and enjoy.

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

A really tasty meal. The next night I went traditional with a Spaghetti Bolognaise with the addition of some more of the fresh vegetables for the adults. The boys prefer theirs just as it comes.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)

500g beef mince
1 500g jar Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce
250g spaghetti
1 onion
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
200g mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Method

Peel the onion and deseed the pepper.
Chop the vegetables.
Add a few drops of olive oil to a pan of water and bring to the boil.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan and heat gently.
Add the mince to the wok, turning regularly.
Add the spaghetti to the saucepan and cook for 8 – 10 minutes.
Add the onion to the frying pan.
After a couple of minutes, add the rest of the vegetables to the onion. stirring regularly.
Grate the cheese.
Once the mince is fully cooked, pour jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce over the mince.
Allow sauce to heat fully.
Drain the spaghetti.
Tip spaghetti onto dishes.
Cover two portions of spaghetti with the bolognaise.
Stir vegetables into the bolognaise before serving the other two portions.
Serve with grated cheese and black pepper.
Enjoy.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Yummy bolognaise and some leftover for me to take to work tomorrow.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

We all enjoyed both these meals. And I’ve still got plenty of the groceries left to use.

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Disclosure. This post mentions products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.

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Chicken and New Potato Hash

When I was a child, my dad used to grow most of our own vegetables, but he never bothered planting potatoes, as he said they would strip most of the nutrients from the soil, so that there wouldn’t be anything left for the following year’s crop. Instead my parents used to buy huge sacks of potatoes straight from the farm which would last us for months. But occasionally when they came into season, my mum would buy some new potatoes from the greengrocer. I loved how the texture and taste always seemed better than the potatoes we ate the rest of the year.

Nowadays we don’t have to wait for the British crop of new potatoes to be in season. Good job as it is the middle of winter. Instead just pop along to the supermarket, where in Tesco, you’ll find Cypriot new potatoes on the shelf in branches nationwide until the end of March.

Cypriot New Potatoes

I received a free £10 Tesco voucher to purchase ingredients including Cypriot new potatoes for a tasty recipe. For me, a new potato is all about the texture, so no point mashing it, making soup or using it in the slow cooker. Instead I’ve opted to boil my new potatoes and then make them into a yummy hash.

Chicken and New Potato Hash

Chicken and New Potato Hash

Ingredients (serves 4)

500g new potatoes
100g frozen spinach
150g mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
150g cooked chicken
2 eggs
salt
pepper

Method

Scrub the potatoes to remove any blemishes, no need to peel.
Chop into small pieces.
Allow the spinach to defrost.
Chop mushrooms into quarters.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes.
Boil for about 10 minutes until just cooked.
Add oil to wok and heat gently.
Add the mushrooms and then the potatoes and stir-fry gently for about 5 minutes.
Mix in the spinach and chicken.
Season with salt and pepper.
Crack the eggs directly into the wok and mix in.
Cook until egg has set.
Serve and enjoy.

Chicken and New Potato Hash

I’d love to hear what is your favourite new potatoes dish?

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Disclosure. This post is an entry into the #CypriotNewPotatoes Challenge with Tesco and Foodies100. It mentions products I purchased using a voucher I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Chicken and Lemon Traybake

I was inspired to try cooking a traybake by Easy Peasy Foodie who shared her Christmas Turkey traybake here. This sounded ideal for our Christmas dinner as I was planning to cook it at my parents’ house but also intending to arrive around midday, so time would be a limiting factor. However I wanted to try cooking a traybake in advance of Christmas, to avoid anything going wrong on the day, so this is the recipe that I came up with.

Chicken & Lemon Traybake

Chicken and Lemon Traybake

Ingredients (serves 4)

8 chicken legs and thighs
1 lemon
3 large potatoes
1 medium onion
8 mushrooms
2 sweet red peppers
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Chop the peppers into quarters lengthways.
Chop the lemon into 8 pieces, removing any pips.
Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces.
Peel and chop the onion into 8 pieces.
Add the oil to a large roasting tray.
Heat in oven for about 1 minute.
Add all the vegetables except for the tomatoes.
Add the chicken.
Turn everything a few times to baste with the oil.
Sprinkle in the rosemary.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with foil.
Cook in preheated oven for about 1 hour, basting at intervals.
Remove the foil.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with a selection of green vegetables and enjoy.

lemon & chicken traybakeWe all agreed it was a very tasty meal. And I felt happy and ready to then follow up by cooking a Christmas turkey traybake for 10 people. I used 3 roasting trays for such a large number and did as much vegetable prep as possible in advance at home before driving to my parents’ house. I used turkey steaks and a selection of vegetables comprising potatoes, baby carrots, parsnips, sprouts and sweet peppers, but cooked the pigs in blankets separately since the meal needed to be gluten-free for one person. Sorry no photos of my Christmas traybake, as too much else going on.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a traybake?

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Lemon Chicken

Happy New Year everyone. Shall we start the year with a recipe?

I’ve been trying to find a chicken meal that appeals to both boys. Son1 loves chicken curry best which son2 hates, although he loves plain chicken. And now I think I’ve found the answer with Lemon Chicken.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)

450g diced chicken
1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
100 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp olive oil

Method

Grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze.
Mix together the lemon juice, chicken stock, honey and soy sauce in a jug.
Mix in the cornflour.
Stir in the lemon zest.
Microwave for about 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Meanwhile tip the plain flour into a flat dish.
Add the chicken and turn several times until it is fully coated in flour.
Add the oil to a wok and gently heat.
Add the chicken and fry for about 10 minutes.
Add your choice of vegetables and fry for about 5 more minutes until vegetables soften.
Stir in the sauce and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Serve with fried sliced potatoes and enjoy.

lemon chickenI’d love to hear what is your favourite chicken meal?

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Freezing a Cheesy Turkey Cobbler

When I’m cooking a meal, I like to cook additional portions to freeze to use later. Not only is this more energy efficient by filling the oven, it also means we have a supply of home-cooked food in the freezer. This is great for days when I’m working as I can get something out of the freezer ahead and it is ready to heat when we arrive home. So much more tasty than relying on shop-bought ready meals and as I’ve mentioned previously, it is vital in our household that we always have an early evening meal, since son1 has to have a food-free hour either side of his daily chemotherapy every night.

So I was very pleased when Just Catering Supplies offered to send me a selection of my choice of their products free to review.

Just catering supplies

I received the following items.
A pack of 9 Kingfisher medium foil food containers & lids
A double portion size foil container and matching lid
A mini portion size foil container and matching lid
A circular foil container and matching lid
Roasting bags
Non stick baking paper
Cling film

I was very pleased to see that they offer a wide range of foil containers from mini to bulk catering. Prices are very good, starting at 5p for some sizes and even lower per unit when you purchase in bulk.

Just catering supplies


First I chose to cook a Cheesy Turkey Cobbler. With the different size foil containers, I was able to vary the ingredients slightly according to everyone’s taste. Son1 prefers raw vegetables on the side rather than cooked whilst son2 is happy with broccoli only. So two individual portions for the boys, a double portion for me and my other half plus an extra single portion ready for freezing.

Turkey Cobbler

Ingredients (serves 5)

300g turkey mince
1 medium onion
100g broccoli
40g frozen sweetcorn
40g frozen peas
1 tbsp olive oil

For the cheese sauce:-
50g plain flour
50g margarine
500g milk
100g cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

For the cobbler topping:-
200g self raising flour
50g margarine
150ml milk
50g cheese
salt and pepper

Method

Chop the broccoli into florets and then cut further into small pieces.
Chop the onion.
Grate the cheese.
Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Add olive oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add the turkey mince and cook for about 10 minutes until browned.
Remove 2 portions of turkey and place in individual foil containers.
Add onion to the wok and continue to cook until soft.
Place in 1 double and 1 individual foil containers.
Add broccoli to all bar 1 of the individual foil containers.
Meanwhile cook cheese sauce as follows.
Melt margarine in jug in microwave.
Mix in plain flour.
Gradually stir in milk until smooth.
Heat in microwave until thickened stirring at 1 minute intervals.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix in grated cheese.
Pour cheese sauce over turkey.
Meanwhile make cobbler topping as follows.
Sieve self raising flour into a bowl.
Add salt and pepper.
Rub in margarine.
Add grated cheese.
Mix in sufficient milk to draw mixture into a ball.
Divide ball into small balls and flatten into rounds.
Place 2 or 3 rounds onto each dish.
Place foil containers onto a baking sheet.
Cook in preheated oven for approx 20 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy.

turkey cobbler

Cheesy Turkey Cobbler

I froze the extra portion after the sauce had cooled prior to baking in the oven, but alternatively you could bake it before freezing. Just remember to let it cool first.

Cheesy Turkey Cobbler

Secondly I find the most economic way to purchase chicken is to buy a whole chicken. Cook it, use what we require for that day’s main meal, remove the rest from the bones and split between fridge and freezer according to meal planning. The carcass can then be made into stock and frozen too.

So I placed the raw chicken into one of the roasting bags and cooked in the oven. Once it was cooked I cut a corner off the bag in order to tip out the juices. I used some of the juice in gravy whilst the rest was put aside for making the stock. I then removed the chicken from the bag, served what we needed for our meal, whilst leaving the rest to cool. I later shredded the rest of the meat. A little went in the fridge but most was frozen as follows. I laid baking parchment over a chopping board, folding it over the ends of the board. I then spread the chicken out in a single layer over the baking parchment and wrapped cling film right round the board and popped it in the freezer overnight. The next day I took it out of the freezer. It was nicely frozen in individual pieces. The mini foil container was a good size to hold a portion ready to go back in the freezer for later use.

cooking and freezing chicken

And watch out for another post soon when I share my salmon and pesto pie recipe. The circular foil container was ideal for this.

In summary, I was very pleased with these products, both for quality and price. Do take a look at the Just Catering Supplies website. They have lots of other products in their range like plastic containers, cake cases, paper plates, napkins and tablecloths. There are some nice Christmas and New Year party themes.

Finally I have a couple of offers to share with my readers. Firstly if you wish to earn extra cash, there is an opportunity to become a distributor for Just Catering Supplies. To find out more, click here. Secondly you may get £10 off when you spend £65 or more at sister company Just A Rug with code JAR10.

So do tell me what meals you cook extra and then freeze?

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Stir-fry chicken noodle with satay sauce

Although I often cook stir-fry, this is the first time I’ve ever tried making a satay sauce.

Chicken noodle with satay sauce

Ingredients (serves 4)

225g peanuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 tsp chilli oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
400 ml cold water
250g noodles
75g cooked shredded chicken
50g leek
1 large carrot
50g frozen peas
50g frozen sweetcorn

Method

Add 1 tbsp oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add peanuts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool.
Whizz in a blender.
Chop the onion and leek.
Cut the carrot into julienne strips.
Add onion and chilli oil to wok and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Stir in sugar, soy sauce and water.
Bring to the boil.
Add blended peanuts.
Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile cook noodles according to packet instructions.
Add 1 tbsp oil to a frying pan and heat gently.
Add leek and carrot and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the frozen peas and sweetcorn and chicken.
Continue to stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
Serve noodles topped with stir-fry topped with satay sauce.
Enjoy.

stir fry chicken noodle with satay sauce

This was a delicious flavour and I shall be making it again.

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Testing out the Epica Kitchen Thermometer on a Roast Chicken

I have received a free Kitchen Thermometer from Epica to review. And I have decided to put it to the test with a Roast Chicken. And to make the test two-fold, I also stuffed my chicken. It is vital to always ensure that chicken is thoroughly cooked to avoid food poisoning.

Epica Kitchen Thermometer

Epica Kitchen Thermometer

As a rule of thumb, chicken should be cooked in a preheated oven at 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 for 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes. But if you cook your bird with the stuffing inside, you need to allow extra time for the stuffing and for the fact that it cooks more slowly.

The packaging for the thermometer does not include any mention of safe internal temperatures for cooking different types of meat but I know that it is recommended that chicken reaches a temperature of 75 deg C, measured at the thickest part of the bird between the breast and the thigh. Here is a useful temperature guide for cooking different meats.

However this time to test the thermometer out, I experimented with taking the temperature in different areas of the bird and at times way before it would be ready. And I found for instance that the wing temperature had already reached 75 deg C after only an hour cooking whilst the core temperature was still only 45 deg C. And when the stuffing reached 75 deg C, the core temperature was 60 deg C.

Epica Kitchen Thermometer

I had a reasonable idea of how long I was expecting my chicken to take to cook, which is useful in order to gauge what time to start cooking all the trimmings for my roast dinner. Also I observe the colour of the meat and juices. And my idea turned out to be pretty much spot on, but it was great to use a thermometer to back up my own judgement.

So we enjoyed a very tasty Roast Chicken dinner with sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, shallots, roasted peppers, broccoli, green beans, carrots and gravy. Delicious. Plus lots of chicken left over for other meals and I made chicken broth from the carcass. Watch out for another blog post on that.

Roast Chicken Dinner

The thermometer came with an LR44 battery already installed. The packaging indicated that it has a measuring range from -50 to 200 deg C and that it functions at ambient temperature of between 0 to 50 deg C. I turned it off after each measurement but if you forget, it will automatically turn off after one hour. It also has min and max functionality, so you can take several readings and check for both the minimum and maximum. And it can be switched to Farenheit, for those like my mum who still prefer to use Farenheit.

The thermometer currently retails on Amazon for £21.95 compared to an RRP of £34.95. I thought the probe was a good length for large joints of meat and liked that it came with a cover. A shame that you can’t use it as an oven thermometer though. A nice little kitchen gadget in my opinion but I’m not aware of how much similar products retail for.

As well as meat, I think it will prove very useful when making sweets and jams.

Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own. 

Chicken & broccoli pasta

I usually make a cheese sauce for most of my pasta dishes, but sometimes I want something a little healthier. And after all the mince pies and chocolates, now is one of those times. This is when I reach for a tub of Lightest Philadelphia, rather than a block of cheddar. And another bonus is it makes the meal even quicker to prepare. Also it includes plenty of healthy green vegetables and lean chicken. I have used white pasta as the children prefer that, but you could swap for wholewheat pasta to make the dish even healthier.

chicken & broccoli pasta

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)

100g cooked chicken breast
200g broccoli
50g leeks
360g Lightest Philadelphia (2x 180g tubs)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
250g penne pasta or similar (75g per adult and 50g per child)

Method

Chop the broccoli and leeks.
Chop the chicken.
Bring two large saucepans of water to the boil.
Add a tablespoonful of olive oil to one of the pans.
Add the pasta to this pan of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Add the broccoli to the other pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Then heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a wok and gently cook the leek.
Drain the broccoli and add to the wok.
Add the chicken.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and add to the wok.
Stir in the philadelphia.
Continue to cook for 2 minutes, to allow the sauce to heat through.
Serve and enjoy.

chicken & broccoli pasta

THE BIG HEALTH RECIPE CHALLENGE

Disclosure: This is my entry for the Big Health Recipe Challenge.

Chicken, Spinach and Sweetcorn Lasagne

Time to share my first recipe of 2015. Lasagne is a firm favourite family meal in our household. Here is one variant that I make.

chicken, spinach & sweetcorn lasagne

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)

6 sheets of lasagne
200g frozen spinach
100g cooked chicken
75g frozen sweetcorn
50g plain flour
50g margarine
600ml milk
100g grated cheddar
salt and pepper to season

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees.
Defrost the spinach in microwave.
Chop chicken into small pieces.
Grate the cheese
Melt margarine in jug in microwave.
Mix in flour.
Mix in about a quarter of the milk and heat for 1 minute on medium in microwave.
Continue to mix in milk, about a quarter at a time and heat for 1 minute each time.
Continue to heat for 1 minute intervals until sauce has thickened, stirring between heating.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in most of the grated cheese, reserving a small amount.
Stir in the sweetcorn, chicken and spinach.
Put about a third of the sauce in the bottom of an oven proof dish.
Cover with half the lasagne sheets.
Then cover with another third of the sauce.
Then cover with remaining lasagne sheets.
And then top with remaining sauce.
Sprinkle on the reserved grated cheese.
Cook for about 40 minutes in preheated oven until lasagne is soft, turning dish round halfway through cooking.
Serve and enjoy.

chicken, spinach & sweetcorn lasagne

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