Thai chicken and almond stir fry

I have a love hate relationship with stir fries. The boys love them which means I should do them way more often than I do. I guess I find they always end up tasting the same. This is based on a Weight Watchers recipe I got in the ‘so you’re breastfeeding’ brochure. The hint of sweet chilli and the fish sauce give it a great flavour – very much on par with what you’d get in a Thai takeaway, only better.

Thai chicken and almond stir fry

  • 800g chicken breast, cut into thin slices
  • 1tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300-500g green beans (this is personal preference, I know it sounds like a lot but it actually works*)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs fish sauce
  • a dash of sesame oil
  • handful basil (or thai basil) leaves
  • blanched almonds (doing the WW thing I had allocated 8 almonds each – 2 points – but really, knock yourself out and put in 100g)
  1. Slice the chicken thinly then toss with the garlic and sweet chilli sauce
  2. Heat the oil in the wok and cook the chicken for two minutes (I did it in batches) and then remove
  3. Toss the beans into the wok (I added a dash of water to aid their cooking and the fact I wasn’t using anymore oil) and cook for about two minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the wok
  5. Add the basil and almonds and sauces
  6. Toss until warmed through
  7. Serve with steamed rice

Now, for those fellow WWs, this was a 10point dinner (the bonus of breastfeeding, you get more points) but I couldn’t eat the whole serve (go figure).

* For some inexplicable reason Woollies didn’t have green beans today and I didn’t have time to get to my favourite fruit and veg shop at Terrey Hills so I used McCain frozen baby beans – they worked a treat.

Nigella Lawson’s Ritzy Chicken

Chef was only working dinner tonight, so we had another day together. After reading this review, we headed into the city for a feed at Two Good Eggs (on Goulburn Street in Sydney). Another round of deliciously gooey poached eggs on spongey sourdough with a decent hot chocolate.

Then we scooted over the Balmain to Belle Fleur for some divine hand made chocolates. My current obsession is its lemon meringue, although today I sampled its Creme Caramel and it gave the lemon a decent run for its money.

Then we picked up a new cot mattress on the way home, which was too big (even though I reassured Chef and the shop assistant that no, it was the right size) and I had a snooze before picking the boys up from school and Jasper from daycare.

Then tonight, another sensational dinner with a thank you to Nigella once more.

Ritzy chicken

Nigella Lawson, Feast 
I’ve added some garlic to the marinade ingredients and used tenderloins whereas Nigella uses chicken breast she’s bashed flat and cut into strips, but that’s about it. In her book Feast, she says to panfry them, but on the TV series she oven bakes them. I did the oven bake version because quite frankly, I hate pan-frying anything – not for the taste, but for the cleaning afterwards.

  • 12 chicken tenderloins
  • buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, smooshed under a knife
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 packet Ritz crackers, crushed
  1. combine all the marinade ingredients in a large snaplock bag.
  2. add the chicken and marinade for a few hours to two days. (Mine only had about 2.5 hours this afternoon)
  3. preheat the oven to 200C
  4. line a baking tray with baking paper and give a light spray with olive oil spray (I did this for the hell of it, you probably don’t need to but your choice really)
  5. pour the crushed Ritz crackers into a tray
  6. take a piece of chicken from the marinade and dredge in the crackers
  7. place on the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once

I served them with chips (frozen variety, that cooked on another tray at the same time as the chicken) and peas.

A dinner winner.

Oh, and I’m still pregnant and significantly uncomfortable.

Nigella Lawson feast from Feast: sage and onion chicken and sausages, chocohotpots, peas and lettuce, potato gratin

Monday night saw me make the most kick-arse dinner for some months. It was all from Nigella Lawson’s Feast cookbook, something I am somewhat obsessed with, so bear with me…

This is what it all looked like come dinner time:
Sage and onion roasted chicken and sausages

Nigella Lawson, Feast
I saw her make this and was intrigued. Intrigued enough to cook it, and MY GOODNESS was it seriously delicious.

  • 2kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or 10 drumsticks or thigh pieces or whatever you choose)
  • 12 chipolata sausages (she suggests anything from a traditional English sausage, to Italian or Chorizo)
  • 1 large onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 lemon, juiced and rind cut into eighths
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard
  • cracked pepper
  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large snap-lock bag (this is a great Nigella tip as it cuts down on washing up and lets your really mush the marinade into the meat)
  2. add the chicken and really mush the marinade and chicken together. Depending on when you do this, either refrigerate or leave at room temperature (I made it on a cold wet day and left it at room temperature for about an hour and a half)
  3. preheat oven to 220C
  4. pour the whole lot into a baking dish and tuck the sausages in around the chicken pieces
  5. sprinkle over the fresh sage
  6. bake for 1hr 15mins, turning everything occasionally so it all browns evenly.

Potato gratin

Nigella Lawson, Feast

I had been craving this for weeks and this seemed like the perfect occasion to satisfy it. The recipe was essentially the same as the potato dauphinois that I’ve been making for years, but it features this fancy thing with an onion. Mind you, on eating, it tasted no different, so I leave the decision on the value of the extra effort to you…

  • 2kg potatoes
  • 500ml milk
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 cloves, one stuck into each half of the onion
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3-4 bay leaves (although it was too wet for me to bother going out to the garden to get these)
  • good pinch of sea salt (Nigella says 1 tablespoon, I say woo down nelly on the salt)
  1. Preheat oven to 220C
  2. Bring the milk and cream to the boil with the onion, nutmeg and bay leaves, turn off the heat, put a lid on and let the onion infuse the milk.
  3. Peel the potatoes and slice 1cm thick – I use a mandolin for this as it turns a painful, time consuming job into something relatively painless.
  4. Put the potatoes into the milk mixture and bring it back to the boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
  6. Grease a large baking dish (about 30x37cm) and as you transfer the potatoes remove the onion and cloves and the bay leaves.
  7. Pour over the milk mixture and then bake for about 15 minutes or until its all golden and bubbling.
  8. Seriously one of my most favourite dishes of all time.

 

Peas with lettuce

Nigella Lawson, Feast

I have never ever been one for the cooked lettuce concept, but this, this has changed my world.

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 45g butter
  • 1 baby cos lettuce, finely shredded
  • 250g frozen baby peas
  • 125ml chicken stock
  1. Cook the onion in the butter until soft, then add the lettuce and cook until it has wilted.
  2. Add the peas and stock and cook over a robust simmer until the stock has reduced slightly and everything is tender.

(Nigella – on the episode she cooks this on – says to cook for 20 minutes or so but I think 10 is ample)

For dessert I did my Chocolate Sludge, but it was weird and didn’t go sludgy at all. I think it’s because it was cooked and we didn’t eat it for a while, so the sauce component sort of got absorbed into the cakey top.

As there was enough of everything to feed the whole family again on Tuesday night, I made a new dessert – Nigella’s Chocohotopots.

 

Chocohotopots (makes 4)
Nigella Lawson, Feast

  • 125g butter
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C and grease 4 small ramekins (I used 1 cup size and you fill them about half way)
  2. melt the butter and chocolate together and let cool slightly
  3. in a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar, then fold in the flour
  4. pour in the melted choc butter mix and fold together
  5. spoon the gooey mixture into the ramekins
  6. cook for 20 minutes – the tops go all cracked and lovely and inside is just this gooey goodness.

I mean how easy is that? And can I just say, they are a.m.a.z.i.n.g. – and that’s from someone who really doesn’t do chocolate.

(Note: the recipe in the book adds 100g white choc chips, which you fold through at the end, but this just sent them over the edge. Chef and I agreed they would be divine with some raspberries folded through them.)

Ginger sesame chicken and rice

A delicious dinner you can have on the table in under 30 minutes

*updated September 30, 2015*

There’s much fuss about quick dinners these days. You can start this and have it on the table in under 30 minutes, EASILY. I promise.

I’ve been making it for more than seven years about once a fortnight but never less than once a month. I guess it’s this family’s spag bol.

The only thing that has changed since I started making this is I now tend to use chicken tenderloins rather than faffing around with chicken breasts and my ginger shallot sauce is a compulsory accompaniment (also now added to recipe below).

Sesame ginger chicken and rice for #everyfuckingnight with ginger shallot sauce.
Sesame ginger chicken and rice for #everyfuckingnight with ginger shallot sauce.

Ginger sesame chicken and rice
 
A fabulous quick and easy, one pot dinner.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tblsp peanut oil
  • 1 tblsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 500 g jasmine rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 500 g skinless chicken breast, cut into thin slices across the fillet or chicken tenderloins (easier)
For the ginger shallot sauce
  • Green ends of a whole bunch of shallots, finely sliced
  • 8 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp salt
To serve
  • Finely sliced green shallots
  • Freshly chopped red chilli
  • Fresh coriander
  • Soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat the oils in a heavy based saucepan over a medium-low heat
  2. Add the onion and stir occasionally until its soft but not browned
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains in oil
  5. Add the stock and bring to the boil
  6. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Place the chicken in a single layer on top of the rice
  8. Cover again and simmer for a further 7-8 minutes or until rice is just tender and chicken is cooked through.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside with lid on for a further 5 minutes.
  10. Serve topped with sliced shallots, chilli and drizzle with soy sauce.
For the sauce
  1. Heat the oil, salt and ginger until bubbling
  2. Add the green stems and cook over a gentle heat until wilted
  3. Try not to eat it all

 

ginger sesame chicken and rice
Happiness

White cut chicken with ginger shallot sauce

Incredibly simple, outrageously tasty white cut chicken recipe with the compulsory ginger and shallot sauce.

The first Hainanese style chicken recipe I ever made and I still basically follow these principles. To take it to the next level, use the poaching liquid to cook the rice in.

White cut chicken with ginger shallot sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken
  • the white bulbs of a bunch of spring onions/shallots - sliced (keep the green ends)
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • ½ cup peanut oil - warmed then cooled
Ginger shallot sauce
  • All the green stems from one bunch of spring onions
  • 8 tblsp peanut oil
  • 2 tblsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
For the chicken
  1. Place the chicken in a pot just large enough to hold it snugly and cover with cold water.
  2. Add the spring onions, ginger and salt
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes
  4. Turn chicken over and simmer for another five minutes
  5. Put a lid on, turn off the heat and let the chicken steep for 1hr
  6. Lift the chicken out and pat dry with paper towel and brush all over with the peanut oil
  7. Serve with the spring onion and ginger dip
For the ginger sauce
  1. Finely chop the green stems
  2. Gently warm the oil with the ginger and salt
  3. Add the spring onions and stir for a moment until they wilt
  4. Remove from the heat.