A healthy make-your-own chinese takeaway

Both Lau and I are huge fans of Chinese food, but sadly we can’t seem to find a decent one that will deliver in London. We keep trying new delivery places in the hopes that we’ll find the one, but so far no luck. So when I stumbled across a healthy version of a sticky ginger chicken dish in my well-loved Fay’s Family Food cookbook I knew I’d need to give it a whirl. And the result? The most simple and delicious, relatively healthy (compared to a takeaway anyway) chicken dish I’ve ever made. I loved it so much that I think it’ll become a speciality for me. So if you fancy a scrumptious Chinese meal, follow this recipe!

3tbsp of diced ginger in syrup
3 tbsp of runny honey
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
8 skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves crushed
2 limes – the zest of both and the juice of one
1 head of broccoli
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds (we used dried coriander as that’s all we had)

All you do is pop the chicken in an over proof shallow dish and marinade in the ginger, honey, soy sauce, garlic and lime and leave for a few hours in the fridge.

Then once you’re ready to eat just pop it in the oven on 210°C for 30-40 minutes until the chicken’s cooked.

It’s best served with rice and the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten:
Pop the florets of broccoli in an oven-proof dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with coriander, mix it up and pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 210oC. I honestly can’t tell you how scrumptious this brocolli was!

I guarantee you’ll love this meal and want to cook it all the time rather than ordering a takeaway! If you make it let us know what you think of it!

– Fi x

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A super-duper soup pie

So yes many of you might be thinking I’ve lost the plot judging by the title of this post, a soup pie, I hear you cry! But I promise you I haven’t and what I’m about to share with you will undoubtedly become one of your staple meals – just for the simple fact that it’s just so darn easy and tasty. I may have mentioned in the past that one of my all-time favourite meals is my Dad’s chicken and ham pie. It’s one of those meals where seconds are mandatory and where my sisters and I fight over who gets to carry the bowl over to the sink to be washed up as it gives us precious seconds to scoop left over sauce out the dish (or perhaps that’s just me…). However one thing stops me from making the pie often and that’s that I can never really be bothered with making a white sauce. Yeah I know lazy indeed!

Anyway this problem is solved by the genius that is a tin of Heinz condensed mushroom soup. You fling this into the pie dish with your other ingredients – pre-cooked chicken, ham, fried mushrooms and leeks and stir it up and gently place your pastry on top and you’re done. The world’s easiest pie – what’s not to love?

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I’d heard the waffling about soup being used as a sauce in the past but I’d never thought to give it a whirl, and now that I have it has revolutionised my life. Now I can’t stop thinking of what else I can use soups for – perhaps a tomato one for a cheats lasagna or a fajita sauce. And maybe I’ll even try a chicken soup as a pie filling in the future, that’s got to work too right?! What about you have you ever used a magic soup as your sauce and if so I need details please!

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Happy pie making! Fi xx

Chicken Liver Pate

A couple of weeks ago we were back at out parents house for a catch up after they had been away and they were preparing for a dinner party with friends. As is the Evans family way we pitched in and gave them a hand with the preparations before we headed back. This reminded me of the good old days when we used to always cook dinner together, it was so nice to be all cooking together again! As for what we made it was a bit of a mix – I helped Dad with the Chicken Liver Pate (who knew it was so easy), whilst Lau prepared the veg for the lamb course, baked bread and helped Mum with the crumbles – you can check out the finished products below. Don’t they look professional?

The recipe I wanted to share with you today though was the one for the pate as it was truly delicious and it’s something I always choose when out at a restaurant but had never considered making myself until that weekend. It really was easy to do – if you don’t mind touching squishy chicken livers or using an obscene amount of butter!

  • First off you’ll need:
  • 225g chicken livers
  • 225g butter (at room temp)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2tsps dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp powdered mace
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

and the recipe you should follow is…

  1. Melt 25g butter in a thick frying pan and fry the chicken livers over a medium heat for about 5 minutes (until cooked)
  2. Transfer to a blender, leaving the juices in the pan
  3. Add the brandy to the pan and pour all the juices into the blender
  4. Melt 150g of butter and add to blender along with the mustard, mace, thyme and garlic
  5. Add seasoning and blend until a smooth puree
  6. Pour everything into an earthenware dish about 425ml in capacity
  7. Melt the remaining butter (about 50g) and pour on top of the pate mixture
  8. Leave to get cold before covering with foil and popping in the fridge for at least 24 hours

See I told you it was easy! I’m so glad I’ve now tried it. I will most definitely be trying this again as it was honestly so delicious. Rumour has it that the dinner party guests were so full of this that the pudding had to be kept for another day – win!

– Fi x

Our very first Sunday Roast

One of my all time favourite meals is a roast chicken with all the trimmings, but for someone who writes a food blog, it’s a little bit embarrassing to admit that I’ve never made a roast dinner in my life!! This is particularly bad when I then go on to admit that growing up I ate a roast dinner every single week, yeah like I said it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve never cooked one. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been there when someone else has cooked it – I’m not that rude! – in fact I’m usually the chief potato and parsnip twirler and bread sauce maker. But I’ve never even attempted to make one myself until a couple of weeks ago that is. My friend was coming round for lunch and having stupidly told her I’d never made one in my life, she made me promise to  make one for her – eek!! So with that deal made I enlisted Lau’s help and we started researching recipes and trying to work out what to make. After a lot of discussion we ended up going for a ‘simple’ chicken, although I wasn’t sure how simple it would end up being on the day! With our chicken we also made roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli, leeks in white sauce, stuffing, roasted sweet potato, gravy and of course bread sauce (my all time fave accompaniment). Everything ended up being super scrumptious and miraculously it was all edible (well apart from the brocolli as it was a bit hard) AND most importantly everything was ready on time – hooray! I won’t bore you with the recipe for each and every item but I will explain how we made the potatoes super fluffy and crunchy, the chicken super moist and delicious and also how we made the nicest ever carrots and sweet potatoes!

The Chicken – We used this wonderfully easy recipe from the BBC Good Food website for our roast chicken. It was really easy to make the chicken delicious and perfectly moist, we simply stuffed the chicken cavity with bay leaves, lemon halves and garlic and then rubbed the top of the chicken with butter and lemon. Easy peasy, well apart from stuffing my hand in a chicken – not my favourite job!!

Super Fluffy Potatoes – Yet again we headed to the BBC Good Food site for help with our roast potatoes, see here. By adding the flour after the potatoes had been part boiled it made the potatoes nice and fluffy, so that some bits were extra crunchy and other bits were soft – perfect!

Perfect Carrots and Sweet Potatoes – We part boiled both the carrots and sweet potatoes and then cooked them with the potatoes. This made them lovely and sweet and very soft. Plus because the carrots were so small each morsel ended up being really crunchy.

All in all our first roast dinner went well – it was all delicious and not quite as hard or as complicated as I had imagined. So I think I’ll definitely be making one again, perhaps a roast beef with lovely crunchy yorkshire puddings next time.

– Fi xx

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Breadcrumbed Chicken

Today I wanted to share this recipe for breaded chicken, it’s another one of our favourite dishes to make. This recipe uses buttermilk which makes the chicken really moist and delicious. Seriously once you’ve tasted this you’ll want to make it all the time, it easily beats shop bought breaded chicken.

Ingredients for 2 people:
2 chicken breasts
1 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
breadcrumbs

First cut the chicken breasts into strips, (or buy goujons style chicken to start with) then place in a bowl and cover in buttermilk, leave this to soak for about 30 minutes.

Once the half an hour is up, get yourself a couple of bowls, fill one with the egg (beaten) and one with the breadcrumbs.

Next take the buttermilk soaked chicken and place in the egg, before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Do this for all the chicken.

Finally cook the chicken, just pop under the grill for about 5 minutes on either side, cutting to check it’s all cooked through before serving.

Breaded chicken is such a flexible dish and there’s just so many ways to turn it into a full meal, here are a couple of ways we serve it:

  • In warmed ciabatta with slices of beef tomatoes and mozzarella with a bit of pepper and basil – this is normal a meal we have when watching the football as it’s so quick and easy.
  • Add to some cooked pasta with veg and fresh pesto
  • Serve as an appetiser with pots of sweet chilli sauce
  • Or in a colourful summer salad. Simply toss mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers, grated carrot, chunks of (smelly) blue cheese and slices of warm pitta bread. Honestly this breaded chicken salad is one of our favourite meals and a staple during the summer months.

However you decide to eat it, I hope you enjoy it.

-Lau

Chicken Satay

Now I don’t know about you but chicken satay is always top of the list whenever we have chinese or thai food, so when we found this recipe we just had to make it! And since then we’ve become a little bit obsessed with this recipe, I think we’ve eaten it about 3 times in the last two weeks. But it’s so delicious and so easy to make, with mostly store-cupboard ingredients tdoes we just keep making it!! This is best served with rice and naan bread and lots of extra sauce, in my opinion but I know Lau likes it with noodles. It’s also equally good with pork or turkey.

The below recipe serves four people and only takes half an hour, bonus!

What you’ll need:
1/2tbsp ground corriander
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
500g chicken, cut into strips
400g vegetables, we like to do mangetout and baby sweetcorn
2tbsp medium curry paste
2tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1tbsp soft light brown sugar
100ml coconut milk
100ml chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon

Fry the garlic and ground corriander for 30 sec.
Add the chicken and fry until cooked.
Add the vegetables and fry for 3 minutes. Then set the meat and vegetables aside.
Add the curry paste, peanut butter and sugar to the empty pan and cook for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk and stock and stir until smooth.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the veg is tender and the meat is cooked through.
Stir in the lemon juice and serve.

– Fi

Prosciutto chicken

This is a great recipe to have up your sleeve as it’s really simple to make and the ingredients are things you’ll probably always have in the fridge. It’s also a really simple way to make chicken a bit more exciting. We have this with new potatoes that have been crushed up and mixed with a little olive oil, mint and chives.

2 chicken breasts
40g sliced gruyere cheese
75g prosciutto

Cut the chicken breasts to make a pocket and divide the cheese into the pocket.
Wrap the prosciutto around the chicken.
Wrap the chicken in cling film.
Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Fry in butter for 2 mins on each side to seal the prosciutto.
Cook in oven on 200°c for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

– Fi