This post was first published four years ago, but deserves revisiting – it’s a marvellous way to dress up chicken, but can also flavour lamb cutlets.
Don’t be alarmed by the garish yellow pigment in this finished meal: Yoghurt is a superb tenderiser for meat and adds a subtlety to meat not always associated with spicy foods.
Mix dried spices into yoghurt, then marinate chicken pieces for a delicious change to the everyday. This flavour base is Moroccan-inspired, but you can just as easily add turmeric, chilli, cardamom, coriander and fennel seeds for a curry based spice rub. Continue reading Day 8 – Chicken with Spicy Yoghurt
Katsu Chicken – or Tonkatsu, which uses pork – was introduced to the Japanese as an example of western food in the late 19th century, while the country flirted with all things European. In essence a chicken schnitzel, it was promptly adapted to local tastes and given a lightness of touch. It is astoundingly good comfort food. Continue reading Day 8 – Katsu Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce
It’s the night before payday and the next big grocery shop is still 24 hours away. The pantry is suspiciously bare except for some penne, some olive oil, an old red onion and a tin of lentils.
Continue reading Day 8 – Lovely Chicken Salad
In my part of Melbourne, food trucks are a common sight. There’s a range of different cuisines for sale that broadly span the dude-food arc. If it can be held in one hand, it’s on offer.
Needless to say, one of the most popular is a taco truck. I see it, perched on the side of Rucker’s Hill, next to a handkerchief-sized plot of grass where hipsters park their bikes and eat, themselves part of the spectacle. Perhaps that’s part of the attraction. Continue reading Day 3 – Chicken and Corn Fajitas
One of the great joys of family life is a chance to sit down at the table with everyone and recount our day. Sadly, that’s a rarity for me these days and I miss both the company of my family and the sort of meals that are perfect for sharing – roast dinners chief among them.
Then I went shopping and took advantage of a two for one special, of two small chickens, sold as a twin pack. Perfect for one or two people, I originally thought I would cut them into portions and use them across a few recipes. In the end, I roasted one and shared it with a friend.
Not just any roast chook, but one filled with a wonderful spice mixture that is fragrant rather than hot. I served it with an onion sauce and a lemony vegetable couscous and as it makes a spectacular display in the middle of the table, you can be forgiven for wanting to sit back and admire it before tucking in. Continue reading Day 11 – Moroccan Roast Chicken with Onion Sauce
Let’s hear it for turkey mince: high in protein and lean in fat, is a healthy and flavourful addition to any menu. And it’s cheap. But of course, you already knew that.
Don’t leave it until Christmas to eat turkey, it’s a fantastic resource throughout the year. Still, if you find it too strong a flavour, use chicken mince instead. Continue reading Day 7 – Thai-style Turkey Burgers
One of the great things about illness is that it concentrates both mind and body towards healing. It forces you to do its bidding.
While in hiatus I couldn’t, no matter how much I wanted to, avoid the need for an afternoon nap. After a week or two of thinking I was giving into premature old age, I gave in and surrendered to deep and dreamless sleep, a throw rug pulled up over me, waking in time for dinner. By which time I would be ravenous.
i craved certain foods. I was mad for dark chocolate, strawberries, eggs, but only cooked as simply as possible, not fried; I wanted ginger, a sprinkle of salt across everything (prompting me one afternoon to make the salted caramel in the previous recipe) and a salad with every evening meal. Most days I ate bananas.
Then I went shopping and stopped short in front of a huge display of ruby grapefruit and on impulse I bought two. Ordinarily, I hate grapefruit. Now, I wanted to add them to that evening salad. Continue reading Day 2 – Chicken and Ruby Grapefruit Salad
There’s nothing more welcoming, more comforting on a winter’s night than a hug from a loved one and in its absence that hug takes no better form than as a chicken pie. Often it’s even better than a hug. Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing is better than a hug, but still, this does warm you up from the inside out so it’s almost as good. Almost.
A chicken pie with potato dumplings seems a bit excessive, but these chilly mid-winter months are your one window of opportunity to feast on such hearty food. Why not?
If you don’t want to make individual pies you can easily make a terrific stew by popping potato dumplings into the chicken braise and letting it all cook off on the stove but I promise you this is even more than the sum of its parts the moment you place it in the oven. It’s sensational, needing nothing more than some green peas on the side.
Continue reading Day 14 – Chicken and Potato Dumpling Pot Pies
It’s mushroom time around the country. There’s simply no better time of year to get away from the mild – dare I say, bland – tasting button mushrooms we rely on throughout the year and to try something with a bit of interest.
Whether your tastes run to pine mushrooms to big flat beauties for barbecuing, or from tiny enoki to swiss browns, from morels to porcini, do try to mix it up a little.
In this case, I went foraging in the wilds of the Queen Vic markets and came away with a mixed bag; just like a pick ‘n’ mix for lollies, only with a decidedly earthy bent, I selected a few of everything from the mushroom stall. Even in supermarkets this time of year you will be able to grab more than your usual selection so don’t be shy. Then add them to some leek and a cooked chicken breast and stir the lot through some buttery fettucine. Continue reading Day 7 – Fettucine with Chicken and Mushroom
Colourful people fascinate me, not least because the expression is appropriated by media who throw it around when describing the shady types one could meet at a racecourse. It has been debased until only a cliché remains.
When I think of colourful people, I don’t think of those underworld characters and shonks; I think of those who very much live life on their terms. They may be eccentric. They are almost certainly clever, perceptive, street smart, funny as hell and inclined to bend the rules. I have found them to be generous to those they love but disinclined to put up with fools.
Most of all, I find them to have an amazingly pronounced sense of self – they know they are different from the rest of us and yet they don’t really care. And in the case of my friend Rosie, they carry it off with a considerable panache bordering on insouciance.
Continue reading Day 1 – Rosie's Chicken Casserole