Tag Archives: Chicken

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

This recipe comes from the Skinny Food book of the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook series, which is just full of great ideas for healthy, but still interesting meals.

There’s no cooking involved and it takes less than 15 minutes to throw together so it’s great if you are in a rush to an impromptu dinner.  It’s the perfect way to jazz up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store with a Vietnamese flair.

The salad is one of the most popular salads in Vietnam, where it is known as ga xe phai.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly

Ingredients

  • 100g (3.5oz) snow peas, trimmed
  • 4 cups shredded chicken (we used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery)
  • 4 cups finely shredded Chinese cabbage (can also use iceberg lettuce if you are in a pinch but be sure to slice it very finly)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce (or soy if you are vegetarian)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup crispy fried wontons (optional)

Preparation

Place snow peas in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water.  Drain immediately.  Then cover the snow peas with cold water and let stand for 2 minutes.  Drain and then slide thinly.

Combine snow peas in a large bowl with shredded chicken, cabbage, chives, onion, and mint.

Combine sambal oelek, oil, lime juice and sugar in a bowl and mix well (it works even better if you put it in a container with a lid and shake well).  Drizzle salad with chilli lime dressing; toss gently to combine, then sprinkle coriander and crispy wontons over salad.

Serves 4

Nutrition: 8.5g fat, 222 calories per serve

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FFwD: Chicken B’stilla

I’ve missed the past 4 weeks of French Fridays with Dorie because I’ve been setting up shop in my new home of Brisbane, Australia.  When I saw the Moroccan B’stilla on the agenda for this week I knew I had to make it!

I love the blend of ginger, cinnamon, and coriander that’s common in Moroccan cuisine and love pies even more (see previous post on Harry’s Cafe de Wheels) so this was a winning combination for me!

I found it somewhat time consuming to make but totally worth it.  The crunch of the almonds and the filo were the perfect contrast to the warm, gooey pie filling, and the spices were present enough to give you a little taste of Morocco without being overwhelming.

It was definitely a posh pie, and we came up with so many possibilities for it while we were eating – from making a large version in a casserole dish and serving it in square slices as an appetizer to making mini party pies.  I already can’t wait to make it again!

As always, I can’t post Dorie’s recipe for the B’stilla but highly encourage you to buy her book Around My French Table to check it out.

I did find a B’stilla recipe from another blogger, The Last Ditch,  who swears that her B’stilla recipe is the best.  I haven’t made hers so I can’t compare it to Dorie’s, but it sounds delicious!  You can find it here.  Regardless of whose recipe you use, I recommend using chicken thigh meat to get the most flavor and not to skip the almonds!  Also, don’t even think about using any other pastry than filo because it won’t do the pie justice.

Vietnamese Chicken

My boyfriend’s mum, Dallas is an excellent cook and a real master of ad-libbing in the kitchen, which is a skill that I’m hoping to learn from her.  I typically follow recipes, since that’s how I taught myself to cook over the past few years, but I think it’s high time that I cut loose from recipes and learn to have a bit more fun in the kitchen.

Dallas took a simple Vietnamese beef recipe and turned it into a chicken stir fry, throwing in whatever ingredients that she had on hand.  I’m learning from her that it’s ridiculous to get so wrapped up in a recipe that you have to include every single ingredient, which can cause a lot of unnecessary stress in the kitchen – especially when you have to run to the store in the middle of making the dish!

I absolutely loved this simple stirfry because it leaves a lot of room for creativity.  You’ll notice that several of the ingredients are marked as ‘optional’ on the list below and I highly encourage you to branch out and experiment with some of your favorites to personalize the dish!

Vietnamese Chicken adapted from International Cooking Series: Vietnamese Food

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (or 500g) boneless chicken thighs (breast meat will dry out)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 cup sliced spring onions (green parts only)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (500g) bamboo shoots, drained & sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas (optional)
  • 1 cup snow peas (optional)
  • 1/2 can baby corn (optional)
  • Rice noodles

Preparation

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or heavy bottomed fry pan over high heat.  Add the chicken thighs, drop the heat to Med-High, and cook until browned on all sides.  Remove chicken from the pan.

Add green onions, garlic, ginger, and bamboo shoots.  Saute until tender.

Add the fish sauce and sesame seeds and toss to coat.

Add the chicken back in to the pan along with the peas and baby corn (or other vegetables of your choosing).  Cook until heated through.

Soak the rice noodles in hot water that has just been boiled.

Serve the stir fry over the rice noodles.

FFwD: Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

I was excited to see that the translation for this FFwD recipe’s title is ‘Roast Chicken for Lazy People’ because I hoped that it would teach me how to make a roast chicken even easier than it already is.  Even though it didn’t make it any easier (an impossible feat since it’s ridiculously simple), I still learned a fabulous new trick, which is to place baguette rounds under the chicken in the pan before putting it in the oven.

When the chicken comes out of the oven the baguette rounds have absorbed all of the flavor from the chicken and the herbs that are stuffed in the chicken.  The baguette crisps up on the bottom but is soft on top, making the perfect textural combination.  Dorie was right when she said to eat these quickly before anyone else comes into the kitchen and finds out about them!  They were so tasty that I would seriously consider buying another whole chicken just to be able to taste the goodness again.  It was perfection.  Ok so enough of the rant but that’s pretty much the best thing I learned from this roast chicken recipe.

For those of you who don’t know how to roast a chicken you will be surprised at how easy it really is:

*Please note this cooking time is for a 5lb whole chicken

  • No need to wash the bird – Dorie explains why in Around My French Table
  • Rub the bird with salt and pepper
  • Stick garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage in the cavity of the chicken
  • Put some more herbs around the bird in the pan & a vertically sliced whole bunch of garlic (see picture below). Add a few tablespoons of oil, white wine (or water) to the pan.
  • Bake the bird at 450F for 45 minutes (some say 350F but 450 works the best for a crispy skin)
  • Some say to flip the bird over after 45 minutes but I was a lazy person and didn’t.  It turned out fine. Surround the bird with potatoes, onions, carrots and put back in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the juices run clear (instead of pink or red) when the meat is pierced.

She's ready for the big dance....

The baguette rounds - my new favorite part of roasting a chicken!

Here’s an instructional video from howdini if you need more help:

Aarti Paarti’s Baby’s First Chicken Curry “Murg Tamatar”

I am a sucker for curries so I searched Aarti’s blog for the word ‘curry’ and found this fairly simple recipe.  As it turns out, Aarti is scared of making curries! Mainly because it’s so easy to burn the spices, which is quite easy to do if you cook them any longer than 30 seconds.  I foolishly decided to give this 5 garlic clove containing curry a try right before going to a Halloween party….that involved drinking beer.  Now everyone knows what happens when you drink beer – you get the burps.  Having the burps after eating a garlicy curry will create a room-clearing smell.  Thank god my boyfriend and I were in costume.

This just so happened to be the party where I met Aarti’s co-star on America’s Next Food Network Star, Herb Mesa.  Hopefully he didn’t notice that I smelled like Aarti’s curry…..

Room-clearing breath aside, this curry was a delicious tomato based curry that I would highly recommend for a NIGHT IN.

Baby’s First Chicken Curry “Murg Tamatar”

1.5lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts will dry out)
1 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic
4 chiles de arbol
1/2″ ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp honey
14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
1 tbsp white poppy seeds (you can find ‘em at the Indian shoppe), blended in 1/4 cup milk
(OR, bypass the poppy seeds & milk, use 2 tbsp yogurt)

1) Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large deep pot over medium heat. Add onions and bay leaves. Saute until pinkish-golden brown. (Aaarti’s technique is to tamp them down in the center of your pot, allow them to cook for 30 seconds or so until they get a nice crust, then re-stir and repeat).  Don’t undercook your onions, else you will have a weak curry!

2) Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, whiz together garlic, chiles, ginger, turmeric and paprika with a little water until as smooth as possible.

3) Once onions are cooked, add the masala from the blender. Cook, stirring often until deepened in colour, and oil droplets appear on the surface of the masala.

4) Add honey and chicken, coating the meat with the masala. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes until masala sticks to the chicken.

5) Pull tomatoes out of the can and squish into the pot, crushing them with your hands. You should have about 4 or 5 tomatoes in that can. Add a splash of tomato juice too. Stir, bring to a simmer, semi-cover and cook about 20 minutes until chicken is tender and gravy has thickened. Turn heat down, add either poppy seed-milk mixture or yogurt and stir gently. Taste for seasonings. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve over rice.

Aarti Paarti’s Baked Samosas

I love anything that comes in the form of a pocket – pierogies, empanadas, ravioli, calzones, and especially samosas; however, I’m not one for deep frying things in my kitchen because of the smell and the mess, which means that I usually don’t make my own pocket food.  I was a stickler for fresh samosas when I traveled in India so when I saw Aarti’s baked samosas I knew I had to try them, despite the fact that they looked pretty time consuming to make.

I watched her video to learn how to correctly fold the dough of the samosa and followed her recipe pretty closely.  Next time I might get a little more creative with the filling but I had to at least give Aarti’s a shot first.

Here’s the recipe:

Baked Samosas adapted from Aarti Paarti

Ingredients

For pastry:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (you can use 1 cup all-purpose flour if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • Big pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ajwain seeds (optional)

For filling:

  • 1 big russet potato, boiled until soft
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, poached and shredded (here’s how)
  • 1 mango, finely diced
  • Zest of 1 lime, plus juice of half of it
  • 5 tbsp chipotle sauce
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Big handful cilantro, minced
  • Salt and pepper

1) To make pastry: In large bowl, combine flours, buttermilk, oil, salt and ajwain seeds (I left out the seeds). Bring ingredients together into a dough. Knead for 5 minutes until it has softened a bit. Allow to rest, at room temperature, for 15 minutes. You can put this in the fridge too, but make sure you let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, in order for it to soften.

2) Make filling: Combine all ingredients with your hands until it’s well mixed up. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.

3) When it’s rolling time, preheat oven to 425 degrees f.

4) Roll the dough into a short cylinder. Slice into two. Slice each half into two, so you have 4 bits. Roll each bit into a ball. Flatten ball into a disc, then, on floured surface, roll into a 1/8″ thick, 7″ wide circle. Cut into two semi-circles.

5) Place a tablespoon or so of filling in the center of one of the semi-circles. Have a small bowl of water handy. Dip your finger in the water and run it along the edges of the semi-circle. Arrange semi-circle so the flat side is facing away from you. Grab the left corner and fold it over dough in a triangular motion, so that this corner lands on the bottom right side of the filling. Do the same with the other corner. (see video for better illustration!). Squeeze bottom shut, and fold over, sealing with water. If you like, seal using a fork. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat, until you have 8 big samosas ready for baking!

Filling should be a little bigger than a golf ball

Turn one corner over and seal with a little water

Turn the opposite corner over and pinch to seal (I used a fork)

6) Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then turn heat down to 375 and bake 10 more minutes. You can flip them over just before you turn the heat down if you like.

7) Serve hot, with the chutney…

For more help you can watch Aarti’s instructional video here:

Aarti Paarti’s I Ain’t Chicken Chicken

Some of you may know my obsession with watching the Food Network.  It’s the only reason why I pay for cable TV.  I watched every episode of the Next Food Network Star and fell in love with Aarti Sequeira’s style of cooking.  During the show I started following Aarti’s blog because she takes everyday dishes and adds an Indian twist to them, which give them the pep they need to wake up thetaste buds.  I was lucky enough to meet one of her co-stars, Herb Mesa, at a Halloween party last weekend and he said that she’s just as awesome in person as she is on camera!

So in honor of Aarti I am going to have Aarti Paarti week on my blog!  Every day this week I’ll feature a different recipe of hers that I’ve tried.

For those of you that don’t know about Aarti Sequiera, she was the only food blogger contestant on the show (yay for food bloggers!).  She quickly proved herself to the judges with her complex, flavorful Indian cooking and ease in front of the camera.  And let’s not forget her beautiful British accent!  She won the title of America’s Next Food Network Star and after airing 6 episodes of Aarti Paarty on the Food Network she has been signed for a second season!

I tried several recipes from her show/blog this week.  They were all a success taste-wise but I have to admit that one of them was a bit of a disaster and almost started a grease fire in my oven.  The first was her ‘I Ain’t Chicken, Chicken’, which seemed easy enough to make so I thought I’d start with that one.  I followed the instructions exactly – except I tried to be clever when it came to how to arrange the pans for baking.  I am not sure how this went wrong but there must have been so much grease dripping off the chicken that some of it dripped off of the cooling rack on the pan that I used to elevate the chicken (as directed) and onto the oven burner plate!  Anyone who has done this knows that this will smoke out your entire oven and kitchen.

Here’s the recipe and accompanying video.  My advice to avoid the kitchen smoke-out that I experienced would be to slightly elevate the chicken in a roasting pan or casserole dish rather than on a rimmed baking sheet.  That way the walls of the pan will be high enough to catch any of the grease that might try to jump out.

Needless to say…I did not take a picture of this one.  The good news is that the smoke didn’t affect the taste and it still turned out fine.

I Ain’t Chicken Chicken adapted from Aarti Party

Episode: What Storms May Come

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small red new potatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 large orange, zested
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 4 airline chicken breasts, on the bone, skin intact

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or large casserole dish with a cooling rack and a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with a little olive oil, thyme leaves and salt and pepper, to taste. Put the potatoes on the sheet tray lined with the parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, ground cardamom, orange zest, ginger, salt and pepper, to taste. Stir together with a spoon until well mixed.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Poke a small opening in the clear membrane between the skin and the flesh of the chicken breast. Glide your index finger through the opening, loosening the skin from the flesh, without removing it completely. You’re creating a big pocket in which the butter will sit! Repeat with the other chicken breasts.

Put a spoonful of the butter mixture through the opening you made in the skin of the chicken breast. Once it’s in there, smooth out the butter by gliding your finger over the skin, until it’s evenly distributed. Repeat with the other breasts. Arrange the chicken breasts in the roasting pan or casserole pan lined with the cooling rack (don’t set the rack across the top of the pan because the grease from the chicken will drip off the edges!). Wash your hands thoroughly.

If you wish, drizzle the skin with a little oil, for extra crispy skin. Season with salt, to taste. Put the potatoes and the chicken into the oven, and roast, turning the pans once halfway through the cooking time and stirring the potatoes, about 30 minutes.

Chicken is ready when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, but not touching the bone, registers about 160 degrees F. Remove the pans from the oven and tent with foil. Allow them to rest about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a serving platter and serve.

Check out Aarti’s blog here: http://www.aartipaarti.com

Check her out on the Food Network starting in December!