Tag: chicken

Make-Me-Better Citrus Salad

Since returning from New York, I have been holed up in the apartment moving from my bed to the sofa and back to bed again. Pregnancy seems to mean that a cold that would last a few days is stretching out over a whole week with no signs of letting up. With the extra time off work, we have been making hearty and wholesome meals, slow cooked lamb shanks in tomato with pasta, a Moroccan tagine with plenty of spices and chickpeas, and lots of fresh and crunchy salads in the hope of a miraculous recovery. This one is a zingy citrus salad using the best of the Californian produce- there seem to be at least twenty different citrus fruits for sale at our local shop. Please excuse the iphone photos- finding the proper camera seemed more effort than it was worth!

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Make-Me-Better Citrus Salad

Flesh of 1/2 a pomelo
2 small blood oranges, sliced
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced
Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Rocket
1 cup quinoa
Juice of one lemon
Olive oil
Salt

For the chicken
2 chicken thighs
1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Olive oil
Salt

Start by making up a paste with the spices and oil. Rub this all over the chicken and pop in the oven for about twenty minutes at 180. At the same time, cook your quinoa- it should take about 20 minutes too. While these are cooking, you just need to combine the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. It is just the pomelo that takes time as you have to get the flesh out of each individual segment. I waited for the quinoa and chicken to cool before combining with the rest of the salad and a simple lemon, salt and olive oil dressing. The result was fresh and tasty, an easy way to brighten a dark winter evening. Although, I imagine it would be even better with a glass of rosé in the summer sunshine…

 

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Passing Time

I am sitting at the table by the window, nail polish drying on my finger nails, cup of tea close by as I try to distract myself from my impending job interview. One o’clock must be one of the worst times to have one. I feel like I can’t really do anything this morning, because what if I am late? I am very good at being late. But it is also a long time to sit around drinking tea and wondering what questions they might ask, what questions I should ask them…

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So instead, I will tell you what we had for dinner last night.

Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos

For the chicken

2 chicken thighs
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp spicy paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of brown sugar
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Enough water to cover the bottom of your dish

For the slaw

1/3 small red cabbage
1/3 small green cabbage
1 big handful of baby spinach leaves
1 handful of fresh coriander
3 radishes
2 spring onions
1 small tin of pineapple
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil
Salt

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Place your chicken thighs, bone in, skin on, in a dish with a lid. Combine the ingredients and pour on top of the chicken -they want to be snuggled in there quite tightly so they don’t lose all the delicious flavours.  Add some water to the bottom of the dish – this stops it from drying out- and put in the oven at 150 degrees celsius/300 fahrenheit for about two hours or until the chicken falls easily off the bone with just a fork. Take the skin off, pull apart and then pour all the delicious juices over the top.

While the chook is cooking, finely slice all the ingredients for the slaw, combine in a bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and a splash of the juice from the can of pineapple for the dressing. You can use whatever you want for the slaw, you just want to make sure you have a combination of flavours so there is earthy, spicy, tart and sweet crunching in your mouth.

Serve on either corn or flour mini soft tortillas and top with hot sauce should you wish. We have this amazing stuff that is made by firefighters in Palo Alto- sounds too good to be true huh?

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Normally by the time we have finished dinner the wind is blowing and the mist is swirling, but last night the evening was surprisingly balmy, so we climbed up to top of Buena Vista Park and looked out over the lights of the new city we call home.

A weekend of finding free things!

This week things have started to fall into place. I have managed to get myself a subbing job in a bookstore, met up with some old friends, made some new friends and found some awesome free things in our area. Friday night was an album release party at The Mill with a band playing, free Josey Baker breads, 4505 nachos plus BYO beers- it felt like a really fun house party in a cool space. Saturday was more free drinks, live music and food at the Public Bikes opening in Hayes Valley. So after that and an afternoon of eating ice cream in the sun, we wandered up the hill for a dinner at home. Herb crusted roast chicken with yummy summer salads.

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Herb Crusted Roast Chicken

1 onion quartered
1 lemon quartered
A big handful of fresh herbs – I used parsley, mint and basil as that is what I had, but wintry sage, rosemary and thyme would also be a good combo
Small handful of capers
3 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of a lemon
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
BIG glug of olive oil
Sea salt

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First of all, stuff the cavity of the chicken with the onion and lemon. Next, finely chop the herbs, garlic and capers and mix them with everything else. Slather all over the chicken and pop her in the oven for about an hour. While she cooks, pull the tray out of the oven and scoop up the liquid from the chicken and pour it back over so the chicken doesn’t dry out.

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I served the chicken with an insalata caprese – three types of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and plenty of good olive oil and sea salt – and a zucchini and quinoa salad – three types of zucchini, loads of fresh herbs, slowly cooked onion, quinoa and a smokey dressing. It was lovely, the company was great and we found that the wine from Bi-rite is very good.

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On Sunday we went down to Civic Center to watch the final of the world cup and it was awesome! Heaps of people, flags, food trucks and cheering. It seems to me that there is plenty to do in this city without having to pay. Here’s to a week to follow up a good weekend.

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Chicken in a New Pot

Yesterday was made a whole lot better by the arrival of my set of blue La Creuset kitchen delights- a casserole dish, a skillet and a little sauce pot. They are just so beautiful I had to keep walking into the kitchen to look at them! They are an incredibly generous wedding present from some family friends in New Zealand, and so we had a special dinner last night to honour them. DSCF3338

Chicken in a New Pot
4 chicken thighs, bone in
2 onions
8 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes Handful of cherry tomatoes
Big handful basil
8 little potatoes
1 cup frozen spinach
A generous amount of olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

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This is a really easy recipe (I think it is based on a Jamie Oliver one I made a while back? Still waiting on my cookbooks to arrive). In a casserole pot or roasting tray, lay out your chicken thighs, the onions cut into wedges, the garlic peeled but left whole, the tomatoes cut into quarters, the cherry tomatoes halved, the potatoes halved, the spinach and the basil. Douse with olive oil, salt and pepper and put in the oven. Done deal. I left the lid on for the first hour, and then took it off for the second. This meant some of the liquid from the vegetables dried off a bit and the onions started to caramelise. My new oven is a gas one- new concept to me- so I am still getting my head around cooking in it. It seems a lot harder to make things nice and crispy, but I am sure I will master it over time, maybe with some tips from my dear readers?

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We shared some wine while we ate, and watched the fog roll in over the houses dotted on the hills opposite. This windy colourful city has kept me fuelled for another day.

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When an orange and a chicken become friends

I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. I know people love it and get all in touch with their inner voice, get all stretchy and flexy and then love drinking coconut water afterwards – I get that. I just get a bit bored. Where’s the competition? Where’s the running around and shouting? I often feel like I spend enough time in my head as it is without being forced in there for 90 minutes straight. But I have signed up to a yoga studio just round the corner from our apartment to keep me busy and hopefully meet a few people. I am giving it another go, and yes I do feel better afterwards. Plus, an added bonus is that I have been thinking about some great food to make for dinner while I spend all that time in my head. This one came to me last night and I popped into the Bi-Rite on the way home to pick up some chicken, asparagus and an orange.

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ORANGE CHICKEN SALAD

Serves 2
2 big chicken thighs- skin on
A bundle of asparagus
1 avocado
Rocket
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp marjoram
Zest of one orange
Salt
Olive oil
Juice of half a big juicy Californian orange/ juice of a whole normal one

Peel the skin back from the chicken thighs and rub them with the orange zest, cumin, salt, olive oil and margoram then tuck the skin back in. Just like making a bed. Pop them into the oven at 180 degrees celsiusand while they are getting started, snap the woody bits off the asparagus and cut into thirds. After about ten minutes, add the asparagus to the roasting dish. You can now decide how fatty you want to be- either take the skin off the chicken or leave it on. Up to you. By the time the chicken is ready, the asparagus will be too. Add it to a bowl with the sliced avocado and rocket and dress it with the orange juice, olive oil and salt.

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This salad is just sooooo tasty. The orange flavour goes so well with the asparagus and chicken. I imagine it would be even better with duck if your budget stretches that far, but we were pretty happy with this for a Thursday evening in.

Cooking in a new kitchen

I have a kitchen. My very own, do whatever I want, fill it with whatever I want, kitchen. With this comes the fact I have nothing to go in the kitchen. A crate of things from New Zealand comes over in a couple of months, so it is a matter of working out what we can do without, and what we need immediately. Luckily we went out for dinner with a couple of new American friends on Sunday night to a cool wee local gastro pub called Magnolia with delicious beers and burgers. Steph lent us a pot, 2 knives, forks and spoons so we are good to go for a while! This means I am having to get creative with one pot. Here’s my first attempt…

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ONE POT WONDER

Pinch of fennel seeds
Pinch of chilli flakes
Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
1 onion
1 stick celery
4 cloves garlic
2 chicken thighs
1 cup green lentils
1 tin tomatoes
1 cup of stock
Handful of green Sicilian olives
Handful of fresh parsley
Grated parmesan

Fry the onion, garlic, celery, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and thyme slowly in lots of olive oil. Once they have softened, turn up the heat a bit and add the chicken thighs so they lightly brown on each side. Then add the tin of tomatoes, the lentils and the stock, season well with salt and pepper then put the lid on and walk away. After about half an hour/45 minutes (I may have forgotten to check a clock) your lentils and chicken should have cooked. Try to schmush up the tomatoes as well as you can- they should have fallen apart a bit by themselves- and add the olives.

Serve this in a bowl with parsley and parmesan on top and some chunky sourdough bread on the side to mop up all the delicious juices.

This is served in our beautiful new bowls from Heath Ceramics– such an inspiring shop. We got a voucher for there from some amazing friends and got to spend it this weekend. Definitely worth checking out. Thanks guys!

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