Tag Archives: chicken

Tjoef tjaf…hoender- en blomkoolpilaf

Tjoef tjaf…hoender- en blomkoolpilaf

Deesdae tussen die woel van die werk, die inboks, die verkeer, die afgraderings en om by die Zuma-proteste te wees, is daar nie tyd om te lank in die kombuis te werskaf nie. Ek weet wragtig nie hoe my ma en pa met voltydse werke, vier kinders, twee honde en vier katte deur hulle lang lys van verpligtinge gekom het nie én dan was daar nog elke dag ‘n feesmaal op die tafel.Ek sukkel klaar om my vol-nonsens-Ier elke aand kos te gee tussen al my moet-doen-dinge vir die dag en my twee hondekinders, Frankie en Robbie. Was die mense van duisende jare terug ook so besig?

Chicken Pilaf

Ja, ons voorvaders was altyd aan die gang met ‘n oorlog of drie, hulle moes heeldag slawe aanmoedig om stene te kap, te trek en bo op mekaar te pak, en dan moes hulle ook so nou en dan ‘n steniging bywoon. As hulle ‘n epos wou stuur het hulle lank gesit en dit met ‘n bytel en hamer uitgekap. Daar was ook nie ‘n Woollies of kitskos restaurante om die hoek nie. Hulle het gaan soek vir hulle vleis en kos, dit self verwerk en dit kon dae lank geduur het voor ou Flintstone met iets oor die skouer by die grot aangekom het.

Chicken and cauliflower pilaf

Onse voorouers het wel toe al rys geëet om hulle honger mae vol te hou – dit is al toentertyd suksesvol gegroei en verwerk. Dit kon, baie belangrik, vir lang tye gestoor word en ook saam gesleep word as hulle vyande op hulle spoor was, of as hulle moes wegskarrel van wettelose barbare.

Pilaf was een van die disse wat die Indiërs, die Turke en die inwoners van antieke Persië geëet het vir daaglikse voeding asook vir godsdienstige feeste. Dit is ‘n fancy woord vir gegeurde rys wat sy naam kry van die Turkse pilav en is gesond, heerlik, veelsydig en vinnig om te maak. Die gewas word eers in olie saam met geurmiddels gebraai en word dan in ‘n aftreksel gaar gekook. Jy kook dit nie met water soos ons met Tastic-rys maak nie.

Vandag gebruik ek die heerlike Oosterse geure komyn, mosterdkorrels, borrie en rissies om my pilaf te geur. Die blomkool en hoender werk perfek saam en met ‘n bietjie kruisementjogurt en vars koljanderblare is dit ‘n gesonde, lekker en vinnige ete in een pan.

Minted jogurt
As jy ook een van daai mense is wat saam met die hoenders opstaan en saam met die uile gaan slaap, beveel ek dié vinnige pilaf aan…nie net om jou tyd te spaar nie, maar ook om jou familie te beïndruk. Vir my is dit boonop ideaal, want die oorskiet pak ek deesdae na ‘n Zuma-optog as padkos in. Viva Pilaf.

Vinnige hoender- en blomkoolpilaf
(genoeg vir vier)
45 ml olie
450 g hoenderfilette, in blokke gesny
1 medium ui, fyn opgekap
375 ml basmati rys (of rys van jou keuse)
5 ml borrie
7.5 ml komynsaadjies (of fyn komyn)
7.5 ml mosterdsaadjies
5 ml rissievlokkies (opsioneel)
625 ml hoenderaftreksel
400 g blomkool, in klein stukkies gebreek
1.25 ml sout
een suurlemoen, in wiggies gesny
een groot handvol vars koljander, gekap

Verhit die olie in ‘n groot pan of pot oor medium-hoë hitte. Braai die hoender vir ‘n paar minute tot bruin. Skep uit en hou eenkant. Draai hitte af na medium. In dieselfde pan braai die ui tot sag. Voeg die rys, borrie, komyn, mosterd, rissie by, roer goed deur en braai vir drie minute. Voeg die aftreksel, hoender en blomkool by en kook stadig met deksel op vir omtrent 25 minute of tot die rys gaar is en die pan effens droog is. Geur met sout en bedien met suurlemoenwiggies, vars koljander en kruisementjogurt.

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Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

I don’t like chicken liver pâté … I LOVE it. My mother-in-law, Marie Robertson, makes a mean, charming old-school chicken liver pâté. It has a nice chilli bite and enough brandy to give it a good kick. It’s smooth and tasty and is, with the pink peppercorns and my bacon-onion jam, one of the best pâtés I have ever tasted.
_Hoenderlewers - Foto Anel Potgieter 800

chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam


My mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with pink peppercorns

Enough for 4
15 ml olive oil
15 ml butter
250 g chicken livers
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
30 ml brandy
1.25 ml salt
1.25 black pepper
125 ml cream
30 ml butter
5 ml pink pepper corns

Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken livers, garlic and chilli. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured – but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.
Pour in the brandy. If you’re using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the salt, pepper and cream and continue to blitz. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Melt the butter and pink peppercorns in a little pot. Spoon over the pâté. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour.

Bacon-onion jam
250 g bacon, diced into cubes
15 ml oil
3 medium onions (350g – pealed), grated
15 ml Dijon mustard
2.5 ml powdered ginger
170 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml dark brown sugar
2 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
50 ml water

Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon has started to crisp. Add the onions, mustard, ginger, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper and water. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook undisturbed for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove the top, stir again and then partly cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until most of the liquid is gone and the onions have achieved a dark brown jam texture, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, and allow to cool slightly. Spoon the jam into a jar or bowl, then allow to cool completely.

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prawn + chicken skewers on the #braai – #ShareTheOriginal

prawn + chicken skewers on the #braai – #ShareTheOriginal

Chicken and Prawn Skewers

To celebrate a 100 years’ of Sedgwick’s Old Brown, I made summery prawn and chicken skewers – marinated overnight in a Sedgwick’s marinade. It was a delightful combo of flavours with the sweet marinade giving the skewered chicken and prawn a deep and enchanting taste. I also made a crunchy salad with a lovely dressing. The result… a perfectly, light yet satisfying summer lunch. Scrumptious, healthy and just irresistibly delicious.

The Original Sedgwick’s Old Brown has been part of the South African history and culture for a 100 years now. No, it’s not a ‘60’s thing or a 70’s thing… it is not something that just your folks used to enjoy. Ask your grandparents…I bet they will be able to tell you a Sedgwick’s story or two…and such stories go back generations to 1916. At that time World War I was going on; the light switch was invented and Albert Einstein completed his formulation of a general theory of relativity. Since 1916, The Original Sedgwick’s Old Brown has become part of our heritage.

#ShareTheOriginal

In my student days, come June every year, we made the trek to the Grahamstown Festival. And those who know the Eastern Cape … well June is freezing cold. We used to stay in tents on the outskirts of the town, in the evenings we huddled around the fire, old faithful Sedgwick’s kept the conversation going – and kept us warm at night. I remember the many hours we sat around the fire mesmerized by Johannes Kerkorrel en die Gereformeerde Blues Band and Johnny Clegg. We also could not stop talking about the talent of Paul Slabolepszy and Andrew Buckland. More often than not, the length and depth of those conversations, depended largely on how many bottles of Sedgwick’s we had… 🙂 Those were the days.

Sedgwick's Old Brown
Prawn and chicken skewers on the braai
Serves 6
18 prawns
500 g chicken, big chunks
Marinade
100 ml Sedgwick’s Old Brown
60 ml red wine vinegar
5 ml salt
1 garlic, grated
45 ml coriander, chopped
juice and grated peel of ½ lemon
2 pinches smoked paprika (optional – I just love the smokey flavour)
5 ml chilli flakes (optional – I also love a bit of a bite)
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and marinade the prawns and chicken for at least 4 hours. I left mine to marinade overnight. Thread chicken and prawns onto skewers (soak wooden skewers in water first to prevent scorching on a braai or grill), leaving a small gap between each piece for even cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Braai for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the prawns have turned bright pink.

Crunchy vegetable salad

Serves 6
500 ml cabbage, sliced
2 large carrots, grated
200 g green beans, thinly sliced
200 g baby corn, thinly sliced
100 g unsalted cashews, crushed
2 spring onions, chopped diagonally
a large handful coriander, chopped
Salad dressing
30 ml sugar
30 ml Sedgwick’s Old Brown
45 ml vinegar
15 ml sesame oil
30 ml sunflower oil
15 ml soy sauce
1 red chilli, chopped

Chop and grate all the fresh ingredients. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients well. Mix everything together.

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moroccan chicken with flatbreads

moroccan chicken with flatbreads

Photograph taken with my mobile phone

Photograph taken with my mobile phone

I made this hearty Morrocan chicken and flatbreads on Expresso this morning. The Moroccan flavours with the lemon provides a heavenly taste. The flatbreads are really easy to make and together it is a perfect winter weekend dish.
Photograph taken with my mobile phone

Photograph taken with my mobile phone


Moroccan chicken with flatbreads
3 large, garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml smoked paprika
2.5 ml normal paprika
5 ml turmeric
5 ml ml cumin seeds
2.5 ml cinnamon (optional)
25-30 ml olive oil
6 large chicken thighs
25 ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut in half, thinly sliced
salt
black pepper
20 green olives, pits removed
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method
Crush the garlic cloves and sea salt with a pestle in a mortar. Add the smoked paprika, paprika, turmeric and cumin seeds and grind to a paste. Add just enough olive to make the paste runny enough to pour, but thick enough to coat the chicken. Place the chicken thighs into a bowl, pour the spice paste over them and toss well to coat all of the meat. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as time allows, overnight if possible. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan, then cook the onions until softened. Add the chicken thighs and cook until coloured lightly on both sides. Add the lemon slices and pour in enough water to come halfway up the chicken pieces. Season with salt and black pepper, cover with a lid and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season again. Add the olives and fresh coriander and serve.

Flatbreads
350 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
350 g natural yoghurt

Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball). With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick. Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.

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whole #chicken pie – 16th century tudor style pie

whole #chicken pie – 16th century tudor style pie

This is a chicken pie with a difference. Something quite unusual. I took all the ingredients of a chicken pie and placed these under the skin of the chicken. I then baked the chicken whole – under a blanket of puff pastry. It is easy, yet delicious and very 16 Century – A real Tudor style pie.

Whole Chicken Pie

Whole Chicken Pie

Whole chicken pie
1 whole chicken, 1.3 kg
250 g mushrooms, finely chopped
30 g butter
125 g bacon, chopped
1.25 ml ground cloves
10 ml fresh thyme
salt and pepper
15 ml olive oil
a pack puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
String
Aluminium foil

Preheat the oven to 190 ° C. Fry the mushrooms on high heat in butter until brown. Remove from the heat and add the chopped raw bacon, cloves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Loosen the chicken skin with your fingers – also the skin of the thighs and wings. Insert the mushroom and bacon mixture everywhere under the skin of the chicken. Rub olive oil all over the chicken. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Cover the wings with foil. String the wings and thighs together. Bake in oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and string and let the chicken cool for 15 minutes. Place the puff pastry over the chicken. Press and softly close the pastry on the sides. Brush with egg yolk and bake for another 40 minutes until golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes and then let the Tudor festivities begin.

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Homemade Spur #chicken wings with that famous #durky sauce

Homemade Spur #chicken wings with that famous #durky sauce

Chicken wings with durky sauceI love Spur’s chicken wings, but the person who loves them more than me, is my 84-year old mom. When I take Babs out for lunch, there is just one place she wants to go: “Spur, my child for those irresistible chicken wings.” It is an easy choice and one that I do not mind because the triple combination of the crisp, fatty chicken skinned wings dunked in that delicate Durky sauce with its blue cheese creaminess makes me weak too.

Homemade durky sauce

So the other day we decided to make our own. Our first stop however was the Spur around the corner – armed with pen and notebook and our detective taste buds. We had to decipher each of the ingredients before we made our own attempt at these moreish wings. After dipping and dabbing we came to the conclusion that making the wings and the blue-cheese dip was the easy part. Something more tricky was the Durky sauce. After many test tastings and conferencing between ourselves, we worked out that garlic flakes, onion, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, paprika and a dash of salt were the fundamental elements of this sauce.

blue cheese sauce chicken wings

With our clandestine operation complete, we headed home with list in hand to test out our version of these wings and Durky sauce. After multiple attempts, I think mom and I came up with a version that could stand its own – albeit a homemade version of those famous Spur wings.

Homemade buffalo chicken wings
Serves 3-4 as a starter
12 chicken wings, cut in half at the joints
fine table salt
oil for deep frying

Blue Cheese Sauce
125 ml mayonnaise
125 ml sour cream
100 g blue cheese (crumbled)

Durky sauce
140 ml vinegar (white)
350 ml water
1.25 ml chilli powder
2.5 ml tabasco sauce (optional)
10 ml garlic flakes
15 ml onion, diced into small blocks
15ml sugar
5 ml salt
3ml paprika
2.5 ml maizena

Wings: Season the wings with salt. Deep fry in oil until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on some paper.
Durky sauce: Mix all the ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to stand for about an hour so that the garlic flakes can flavour the sauce.
Blue cheese sauce: Mix all the ingredients together.

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chicken burger + beer

chicken burger + beer

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Our next client function at dhk architects is a “burgers and beer” evening.  I am not much of a beer drinker (that’s hubby’s department –  I do love my wine way much more :-)) … but being the curious sort that I am I needed to establish what beer might go best with our burgers….

During the course of my tasting expedition, I eventually came upon an ale that seemed to find resonance with me and my palate.  The ale was smooth and lovely and I decided to pair it with a chicken and minted pineapple burger. It was a perfect beer and burger combination.

The pineapple is definitely a good pairing with the chicken, with the mint lifting the whole dish to something that is both fresh and light … the Parmesan cheese gives it that rich salty flavour – without overpowering the chicken or pineapple.

This is really so easy to put together for a Friday evening spent with your besties.  Just make sure the beer is cold… even better pop a few beer glasses in the freezer before serving the beer.

PS: I spoke to Boston Beers and they suggested you drink their Boston Lager with this specific chicken burger.

Cheers mate.

Watch me make these burgers by clicking here.

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chicken burger + beer
 
Chicken burger with minted pineapple salsa and parmesan
Author:
Ingredients
  • Skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • Burger buns
  • Olive oil
  • Pineapple
  • Mint, chiffonade
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan Cheese, shaved with potato peeler
  • Baby tomatoes, sliced
Instructions
  1. Season your chicken with salt and pepper and grill to taste on the braai or on a griddle plan.
  2. Paint some olive oil onto the hamburger buns and grill on the griddle pan.
  3. Cut your pineapple into small blocks and add the mint to make a salsa.
  4. To assemble: Generously add mayonnaise on the bun, add the lettuce, chicken, Parmesan and top it with the fresh pineapple mint salsa.

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picasso’s chicken

picasso’s chicken

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them”- Pablo Picasso

When I saw Anke’s article in Fresh Living magazine using Picasso as one of her inspirations, I knew that I would have to look no further. The first thing that came to my mind was the Spanish painter’s beautiful chicken drawings. These were not paintings, just beautiful drawings. It was like he wanted to be normal – to be like us, to draw and not paint. But these were still no normal chickens – these were Picasso’s chickens.

{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #8 competition}

Picasso's chicken

I could never match up to his artistic genius, but to a certain measure our philosophical palette shares similar thoughts about life.

“I am an artist too, you see, when it comes to cooking, I cook ingredients the way I think of them, not the way I see them.”

My food creation is something of a deconstructed paella – just without the rice of course. Each of the ingredients – including the sherry can be found in your traditional Spanish paella.

I really wanted a smoky paprika taste to my chicken so I char grilled the peppers and added them with the chorizo under the skin and then used the peppers with garlic and lemon on top of the skin. The garlic mash was a layer of colour and flavour I added to this food canvas and works brilliantly with chicken.

So this is my culinary interpretation of a Picasso’s chicken. Remember … we are all artists in our own right and we must remember to draw inspiration from the canvas of life. Carpe diem!

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Tips for char grilling peppers

Oven: Preheat the grill. Half your peppers and coat with olive oil. Place the peppers skin side-up under the grill. Grill until the skin is blackened. Place the charred peppers into a plastic bag and allow to sweat. Remove the skin filament from the peppers ( I love to keep the skin on).

To grill: over a gas hob: Using a tong (or long braai tong) hold the peppers over the open flame until blackened. Place directly on the hob and rotate over the open flame occasionally. Put in bag to sweat. Remove skin.
Preserve: Add the peppers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to a jar. Leave in closed jar in fridge. Delicious on sandwiches – try it on toast too!

picasso's chicken
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chicken and marinade
  • 1.3 kg chicken spatchcocked and cut in half
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Sedgwick’s Old Brown Sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • 1tsp milled black pepper
  • Chorizo Stuffing
  • ½ onion, chopped into small blocks
  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into small blocks
  • 1tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • ½ red char grilled pepper, chopped with skin (see below tips how to char grill a pepper)
  • Wet smoky pepper rub
  • 2½ red char grilled peppers, chopped with skin on
  • 2 tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • ½ tsp milled black pepper
Instructions
  1. Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and rub into chicken and marinade for about 1 hour. Set aside. Turn a few times.
  2. Chorizo stuffing - Fry the onion in the butter until translucent.
  3. Add to all the other ingredients. Don’t fry the chorizo, we want it to cook underneath the skin so the fat can seep in and flavour the chicken. Set aside.
  4. Wet smoky pepper rub - Blitz all the ingredients together to a pulp. Set aside.
  5. Basting, stuffing and roasting the chicken
  6. Chicken - Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.
  7. Take the marinated chicken and loosen the skin carefully with your fingers – as far as you can down the thigh and wing as well. Stuff the chorizo mixture under the skin. Take toothpicks and fasten the sides. We don’t want the stuffing to fall out or to lose the flavour of the chorizo fat.
  8. Then generously pour the wet rub over the chicken. Make sure the whole chicken is covered.
  9. Roast for 40 minutes until cooked through. The juices must run clear.
  10. Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving into portions.

 
garlic mash
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 650 g boiled potatoes, skinned and passed through a potato press
  • ¾ cup milk, warmed-up
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes and mash. Add the milk and salt.
  2. Fry the garlic in the butter – wait for the butter just to start to discolour then add it piping hot to the mash. The garlic must just slightly brown and crisp up – not burn. Mix through and taste for seasoning.
  3. Serve immediately.

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chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich

chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich

This deliciousness of a sandwich was introduced to me by my work colleague, the lovely American – Madeleine. I just love the combination of the fresh ingredients and the fantastic salad dressing that just lifts each bite. I realised once again how delicious homemade salad dressings are … and together with the coleslaw + chicken makes for a tangy-crunchy, rich-tasty, but above all healthy easy meal. For an even healthier option you can just grill your chicken.

What is also super is that you can use the coleslaw as a salad on its own – I added some fennel + flavourburst micro leaves + bean sprouts to give it extra flavour and crunch. This salad fits in perfectly with one of those impromptu braais that we so enjoy.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

chicken and coleslaw

chicken and coleslaw chicken and coleslaw chicken and coleslaw

chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Slices of bread
  • 300g Crumbed chicken pieces / steaklets
  • Coleslaw
  • 50g White cabbage, finely sliced
  • 50g Red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 Spring onions or salad onions, chopped
  • 2 Baby fennel bulbs, finely sliced
  • 40g Mung bean sprouts or any sprouts
  • 1 Red chilli, chopped
  • 10 g Parsley, chopped
  • 10g Flavourburst micro leaf salad (optional)
  • Salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 10g Parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Large pinch of milled black pepper
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C and bake the crumbed chicken pieces for 20 minutes – or as per the instructions indicated on the packet.
  2. Mix all the coleslaw ingredients together.
  3. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and drizzle over coleslaw. Mix well and make sure you coat all of the coleslaw. Season to taste.
  4. Place the just fried or oven baked chicken pieces onto your bread and top it with the coleslaw.
  5. Note: I don’t butter my bread but you can if you want to.

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roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken

roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken

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It’s winter and its time to cook something that will help keep the chill of winter at bay. For this, there is nothing better than a wonderful curry.

I was very fortunate to spend a weekend with renowned Chef, Reza Mahammad a month or so ago and he told me about the new trend that he had started – “Frindian cuisine” – yip Frindian … this is where you combine classic French cooking techniques with the wonderful variety and diversity of Indian spices.

This is a not an easy task but Reza, the genius, makes this work so brilliantly.

Back home I decided to try my own Frindian chicken – by roasting a chicken the French way { the technique I always use is from the book “Le Cordon Bleu at home”} and using my own Indian spice mix – this dish was such a hit around the table there were only a few bony morsels left. This is the kind of dish where you need to get stuck in with your hands and eat this with gusto – it’s delicious, tasty and extremely alluring. Not only does the dish dress up to impress, but the taste is hot and complex. The flavours seem to just stitch two continental food styles in seamless fashion and so worth the effort.

On how to truss a chicken click here.

Frindian Chicken

 

 

roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 Chicken – about 2 kg’s
  • 3T Butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1T Vegetable oil
  • My spice mix – mix all the ingredients below together.
  • 1T Grated fresh garlic
  • 1T Grated fresh ginger
  • 2t Chillie flakes – you can replace these with 1 or 2 chopped strong red chillies depending on your individual taste
  • 2T Masala mix [strong curry powder]
  • 1T Cumin seeds
  • 1T Coriander [fine]
  • ½t Cinnamon [fine]
  • Fresh coriander for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Loosen the skin on the topside of the chicken and take the Marsala mix and try to massage it under the skin – make sure you rub it all over the chicken. Do it carefully and take your time. You don’t want to break the skin at any point. Even try and get some Marsala into the little legs and wings. Rub the spice on the inside of the chicken as well.
  4. Now season the cavity with salt and pepper.
  5. Truss the chicken.
  6. Then rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the chicken on the side in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes.
  8. Then turn the chicken onto its other side and roast for another 20 minutes.
  9. Finally turn the chicken with the breast side-up, add a ½ cup of water to the pan and roast till the juices run clear – about another 20 – 30 minutes.
  10. Let it rest for 15 minutes covered with aluminium foil. The juices will be absorbed into the meat and it will be far easier to carve.
  11. While resting the chicken, bring the remaining juices in the roasting tray to the boil on top of the stove – scrape to release any cooked meat that is still at the bottom of the tray. Add a bit of water and reduce till ⅓. Spoon this over your meat at the table.
  12. Remove the twine, carve and enjoy your Frindian chicken with your bestest friends.

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chicken + chorizo paella

chicken + chorizo paella

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A few weeks ago I was invited to meet Jose and Lisa Gomez owners of Perfect Paella … and all I can say of that night is that the Spanish truly love their Paella, they really know how to throw the best parties and boy can they dance! Just so you know Perfect Paella is selling the most amazing paella pans (and very affordable too) and even give cooking classes if you want to really learn from the Masters.

But for me the paella is one of those dishes that I think has become victim to its own success and modern day popularity – hence the reason why it has so many different interpretations or variation. Now my question today is – to chorizo or not to chorizo? A purist friend of mine said to me he heard that you traditionally don’t use chorizo in paella! This caught me completely off-guard – for one, I have always cooked my own paellas with chorizo and I honestly thought that it is the way to do it! I had to immediately ask one of my best friends Louis who lives near Valentia: would I be defiling an ancient and respected recipe by including chorizo in the paella or not?

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Within 5 minutes of my email, Louis responded as follows: “Nella… NO chorizo if you want traditional paella…my mother-in-law would turn in her grave. The paella with chorizo is more for tourists in Spain and in the South of Spain (Andalucia) . If you throw anything in then it’s just a rice ensemble and not a paella.”

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So there you have it folks – in Spain they don’t use chorizo in a real Paella … But now … I am not a purist or a traditionalist so I love chorizo and love adding it to paella. So my paella is probably a rice concoction of sort in Spanish terms but for me it’s a damn good paella. I also steered well away from the tradition by substituting the wine with some South African “Nagmaalwyn”. My paella is also on the blonder side (not yellow) – another note to self – I need to stock up on some fresh saffron. It was one of the most soulful paellas I have yet to taste – try it and let me know …

 

Paella

chicken + chorizo paella
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 800g Chicken pieces – I take each piece and cleave it into two pieces
  • 2 Chorizo sausages – sliced (+-250g)
  • 2T Olive oil
  • Marinade
  • 2 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1t Black pepper
  • 1t Salt
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 50 ml Nagmaalwyn (Sherry)
  • Other Ingredients
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – sliced thinly
  • 1 Red pepper – cut into blocks
  • 1 Handful of fresh origanum (or replace with ½t dried origanum)
  • 5 Sprigs of fresh thyme (I use the whole sprigs)
  • 1t Smoked paprika (I did not have smoked paprika so I used normal paprika and added 6 drops of liquid smoke to my stock)
  • 1 Big pinch of saffron - soaked in a little bit of water
  • 50ml Nagmaalwyn
  • 500g Paella rice
  • 1.75L Chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and marinade the chicken for about ½ hour.
  2. Fry the chicken with the chorizo on medium to high heat until nice and brown.
  3. Take out of the pan and add all the rest of the ingredients except the Nagmaalwyn, rice and stock.
  4. Fry for about 5 minutes and then add the Nagmaalwyn to deglaze the pan. Scrape all the beautiful fried pieces from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Then pack the pieces of chicken in the pan – so they are spread evenly and add the sliced chorizo.
  6. Now add ½ of the stock to the pan and then the rice. Make sure all the rice is submerged in the stock.
  7. At this stage you don’t fiddle with the paella – don’t touch it with a spoon, ladle or anything. Cook over medium heat. When the paella looks dry add the rest of the stock and cook till done – about 40 minutes.
  8. Pour yourself a glass of good wine, rope in a few hungry friends and enjoy the flavours and the moment.

 

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chicken meatballs with apple + cumin + mint salsa = for january budgets

chicken meatballs with apple + cumin + mint salsa = for january budgets

Indian chicken meatballs with Indian bread

The start of each year invariably sees most of us stretched to the limit after all the expenses over the festive season, the food, the gifts, the wine – it all adds up and still somehow it manages to be more than we originally budgeted for. I was fortunate enough to spend a few short days in Europe over the past month and swapping Rands for Euros is something that could make one quickly lose ones appetite. But it was wonderful and it was worth it. Just experiencing the different cultures, the history, the food and the flavours provides an inspiration that goes way beyond currency conversions! I have so much to write about from the simplest foods from the street restaurante and pastelarias of Lisbon to the simple sophistication of Parisian cuisine.

But more of this in future chapters…. One thing that remains universal is the budget-beating chicken. It remains a constant on any menu the world over and it is definitely the protein of choice in Europe at the moment. We all make the mistake of taking chicken for granted but we must always remember the many ways in which it is spiced-up, dressed-up or served up from countries in Europe + India + Mexico to the shores of Morocco. With a bit of creativity you can delve into the delights of chicken in a thousand different international ways without ever having to leave your kitchen … and to boot, you can beat the budget blues!

As a start I thought I would share my Indian chicken meatball recipe today. It’s really simple and the apple + cumin salsa makes this dish something extraordinary. I served it in a phulka but you can serve it in anything like a roti + pancake etc.

Indian chicken meatballs

chicken meatballs
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Minced chicken breasts (skinned, with any fat pieces removed)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Medium onion (grated)
  • 4T Fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 1t Red marsala (wet) - click here for recipe
  • 2t Green marsala (wet) - click here for recipe
  • 2t Fresh ginger and garlic mix - click here for recipe
  • 1t Oil
  • ¼ t Turmeric
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 Squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the tempering of spice
  • 3T Cooking oil
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. Put all the chicken mince ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix through.
  2. Taking a handful of the mixture at a time, roll in meatballs (about the size of a golf ball).
  3. Tip: Keep a bowl of water next to you – wet your hand in the water so that the meat does not stick to your hand.
  4. Heat the oil in the pan on medium heat, adding the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks. Let it fry for about 3 minutes.
  5. Now add your chicken balls. Fry until cooked through and golden brown in colour.
  6. Tip: If you are in a hurry, add a dash of water to the pan and put the lid on.

 
apple + cumin + mint salsa
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Green apples (leave the peel or skin on)
  • 2t Fresh mint finely chopped
  • ½t Cumin seeds
  • 1t Green marsala (wet)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Juice of ½ to a whole lemon (all depends how juicy it is)
Instructions
  1. Chop the apples with skin still on into small little blocks.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.



phulka
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Flour
  • 1T Cooking oil
  • 1t Cumin seeds
  • 1t Salt
  • 1T Sugar
  • 10g Dry yeast
  • 375ml Luke warm water
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Put flour, oil, cumin, salt and sugar in mixer. Mix for a minute or two.
  2. Add the dry yeast and mix through.
  3. Add the luke warm water slowly till it forms a dough.
  4. Knead the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes till soft and elastic – it must still be slightly sticky to the touch.
  5. Put aside in a warm place and let it rise for +- 2 hours.
  6. Punch the dough down.
  7. Roll the dough out flat to approximately 2mm in thickness. Remember to sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface when you are rolling the dough out so it does not stick.
  8. Turn a drinking glass (tumbler) upside down and punch out circles of the dough.
  9. Heat the oil in a wok.
  10. Tip: To check whether the heat of your oil is right – stick the back end of a wooden spoon into the oil – if it bubbles and sizzles immediately around the spoon the oil is at the right temperature.
  11. Stick your dough circles into the heated oil for a minute or two. You will see it forms a bubble. Then turn it around till done - light corn-like colour.
  12. Take your deep fried dough circle out of the wok of frying oil and drain on a paper towel.
  13. To assemble - Open your little Phulka bread pockets.
  14. Add a meatball then add some apple salsa.
  15. I also like an extra squeeze of lemon juice just to give a fresh, zesty taste. Sprinkle with some coriander and enjoy.

 

 

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poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

We’re fortunate enough to live in a real suburban neigbourhood – picket fences, children in the streets, we don’t ever lock our doors and then we had this most amazing relationship with our neighbours.  Poppy (fromGreece) and Giuseppe (from Malta) were our neighbours for the past 8 years and they have  really become like a  second set of parents.  Poppy and I have always shared an incredible  love for food while the men shared the same love for their gardens.   When  I woke up in the mornings I would hear Poppy working in her kitchen – cooking and baking away on one of her many Greek creations.  There is no-one  in my eyes that  can cook like Poppy – or better than Poppy for that matter.  She is someone who can  take the simplest of ingredients and transform them  into these most amazing dishes.

At times when I was sad or  lonely when hubby was away I used  to sit in her kitchen in my pajamas, having a cup of coffee and waiting for a fresh bread or croissant coming out of her oven – she nurtured my body and soul. In the evenings I will hear a holler from over the wall….Aaa-néééél – then I rushed to the wall and there Poppy would be with a sample (enough for  Rick and I and another two people) of what she cooked during the day.

One of the dishes that she sent over the wall on several occasions was roasted chicken with orzo. Poppy taught me how to make this dish – yes, I have I added my own twist to it – but it’s still my Poppy’s dish.

Poppy and Giuseppe have since moved and our life is not quite the same without them but they are not too far away and never out of my thoughts.

I love you and miss you, Poppy. I made this specially for you on Dinner Divas.

roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Chicken
  • 6 Chicken thighs
  • 1t Dry oreganum
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Tomato Mix
  • ½ Tin (205g) Rhodes Oreganum and Basil Tomato Mix
  • 1 Tin (410g) Rhodes Whole Peeled Tomatoes – chopped
  • 1t Rhodes Tomato Paste
  • 3 Cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • 200g Cherry tomatoes
  • 125ml Dry white wine
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1t Ground black pepper
  • 1t Sugar
  • Pasta Rice
  • 300g Cooked pasta rice
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 250g Grated Halloumni cheese (if you don’t have Halloumni cheese you can replace this with hard grated feta cheese)
  • 1t Dry mint
  • 2T Fresh parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 T Fresh basil – finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C.
  2. Rub some olive oil onto the chicken pieces.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, sprinkle with the oreganum and then set aside.
  4. Add all the ingredients of the tomato mix into an oven roasting pan and stir well.
  5. Then place the chicken pieces on top of the tomato mix.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  7. In the meanwhile cook your pasta rice.
  8. Drain the pasta rice with a sieve (not a colander as the rice drops through) and wash under hot water.
  9. Add the olive oil and mix.
  10. Then add the rest of the pasta rice ingredients and mix well.
  11. After 35 minutes take the chicken dish out of the oven.
  12. Remove the chicken pieces and set these aside for the moment.
  13. Also remove the whole baby tomatoes as we are going to use these for the salad later.
  14. Add the pasta rice to the tomato mixture – mix well then add the chicken and thereafter put the whole dish back in the oven for 10 minutes and bake.
  15. Take out of the oven and taste whether further seasoning if necessary.
  16. Serve hot in individual bowls with the pasta rice serving as a bed on which to rest the roasted chicken breasts.

 

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herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta

My mom, Babs, is in her eighties, extremely healthy and has been a size 10 her whole life. She is one of those “odd” people who does not like butter, cream, fatty foods, deep fried foods, chips and crisps or anything unhealthy and then she also does’nt like too much spices either – not like her not-so-small-foodie-wine-drinking-spice-loving-daughter! Lean proteins, huge salads, vegetables, different kinds of fruit and whole grains are part of her daily regimen – washed down with a cuppa tea or two or ten – and then … always a healthy strong whiskey every single night. I have to admit though that she has been prone to a bit of strong cheese and a dash of olive oil here and there just to keep the body parts in good working order.

So when Babs comes to visit I have to cook something healthy and therefore for our Sunday lunch recently I prepared a chicken breast covered in fresh herbs, some stem broccoli and I served it on parmesan + lemon flavoured pasta. It was delicious, fresh with a light and dreamy springtime flavour… but most importantly … mom approved. Enjoy!



herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the chicken
  • 4 Skinless deboned chicken breasts
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic – peeled and sliced in 4 slices length ways
  • 2 T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1T Fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the spaghetti
  • Cook enough spaghetti for 4 people
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 75g Grated parmesan cheese
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the stem broccoli
  • 4 or more stem broccoli
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Chicken: Make small incisions into the chicken breasts and insert a sliver of garlic into each breast.
  2. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all chopped herbs together – parsley, coriander and basil.
  4. Then press the breasts in the fresh herbs – so that the herbs coat both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Using a non-stick pan fry the breasts till done – while frying squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken.
  6. When done put aside.
  7. Pasta: Add the parmesan, olive oil and lemon in a bowl – mix well and add to the cooked pasta.
  8. Then mix the parsley through.
  9. Taste the pasta for seasoning – add some more salt and add the black pepper.
  10. Stem broccoli: Cook as per packet instructions – normally only 3-4 minutes.
  11. Immediately put in a bath of ice water.
  12. After a while, warm the broccoli up again in the same pot you have cooked them – add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  13. To assemble: Place the cooked pasta the bottom of the bowl. Add the stem broccoli and then the chicken breast. To serve, add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and parmesan shavings.

 

 

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let’s braai chicken

let’s braai chicken

I have been very fortunate to be chosen with my dear friend, Joani to partake in the Western Cape auditions of “The Ultimate Braai Master” competition (ultimatebraaimaster.com). So naturally I will be braaiing a lot more! I have been braaiing since a very young age … growing up with three brothers and a father that thought that going without a braai every couple of days was an insult to ones’ culture and constitution. My dad taught me how to make a fire, how to braai the perfect chops and “wors”, meat and “braaibroodjies”. We braaied a few times a week – sunshine or rain and through the years the braai became a part of my soul. Every time I smell a braai it brings back the fondest childhood memories of my dad. Nowadays I braai every Friday night – without exception. So last Friday I decided to brush up my chicken braaiing skills. I really believe in making your own marinades – I despise the “off the shelf” marinades – I don’t like the taste and you will never find it in my kitchen. I searched for different marinades and got some amazing marinades on Alida Ryder’s blog (simply-delicious.co.za). I love reading her blog – so please do yourself a favour and make time to read some of her recipes.


frankie + robbie helping me with the fire

Below are four of my favourite marinade recipes from Alida’s blog – each one of them is simply delish. I did add some chillies to the Indian and Moroccan recipes. Try it – it’s so easy and very moreish!

All these recipes will yield enough marinade for 1 large chicken – butterflied or cut into pieces. The method for all these marinades are the same, combine the ingredients, pour over the chicken and massage the little bird a bit – marinade for at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day) before braai-ing.

Moroccan
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp paprika
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsn honey
1 tsp salt
1-2 red chillies finely chopped

Greek
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2tbsn fresh oregano chopped (or 1 tbsn dried oregano)
1tbsn fresh mint, finely chopped (or 1tsp dried)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

Indian
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2tsp crushed ginger
2tbsn garam masala
1tsp ground coriander
1-2 red chillies finely chopped

French Provincial
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 sticks fresh thyme (or 1tbsn dried)
2tsp Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, crushed

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