Simple Curried Chicken and Jacket Potatoes

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This only requires 3 items

4 Baking potatoes (I used the ready baked microwave version by McCain because it was just easier and  its what I had in the freezer), 300-400g of chicken breast fillets baked (takes about 30-40 mins in a roasting dish I use one with a lid as well so the juices help self baste the chicken giving you soft juicy chicken. and one jar of curry sauce (I used a tikka sauce but you can use a madras or a sauce of your choosing)

This was simply done by cooking the potatoes and chicken so that the chicken came out 10 mins before the potatoes so that you can cut down the chicken into nice sized chunks, then in a pan on a medium heat you heat the curry sauce up and put the chicken into the sauce stirring well so that all the chicken is nicely covered in the thin sauce.

Then when the sauce is nice and hot and the potatoes are cooked to your liking put 2 potatoes in a bowl and cut open the potatoes and put the sauce and chicken over it and enjoy.

This is one of my favourite feel good foods that never seems to get old or boring

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Beef Mince Cannelloni

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The ingredients for this were

  • grated mozzarella
  • dried cannelloni
  • mushrooms
  • breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce
  • 1 pack beef mince
  • and some fresh chilli (I used some love bomb which is a Spanish jar of preserved diced chilli)

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to start with I took the pack of mushrooms and separated out 75% of them to one side to fry up and the other 25% to dice up very small to mix in with the mince while it is cooking so when you are filling the cannelloni it all goes in easily.

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next in a wok (I prefer using a wok as it cooks evenly) I put the diced mushrooms and mince and cooked on a medium heat until it was cooked evenly and all the way through, while on a low heat the 75% of the mushrooms that have been chopped up are slowly cooking in some water to soften them up.

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next I put half a jar of sauce and a large spoonful of the chilli paste or 1 or 2 fresh chilli peppers (diced up small like the mushrooms)

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I used piping bag but if you have a strong heatproof bag or you can spoon the mince, mushroom, sauce, and chilli.

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Then after filling the cannelloni laying the cannelloni I poured the rest of the 2 sauces over the cannelloni and put the softened mushrooms in with it so when served up it has something a little extra in the bowl or plate.

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Then before adding the cheese put the dish into the oven for around 20 mins at about 350 farenheight (or 180 Celsius) then add the mozzarella and breadcrumbs (to give a crispy cheesy topping) and put back into the oven and after about 15 mins the cheese should be golden and melted evenly. This can be used to feed around 4 people with garlic bread or 2 if you just want to eat the cannelloni.

Stir fried Pork shoulder/sizzle steaks

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I did this meal twice once with pork sizzle steaks and once with pork shoulder steaks so I could see the difference and it wasn’t much but the sizzle steaks were easier and quicker to cook but the shoulder steaks had more flavour to them. This is for 2 people but can made into a 4 person meal just by doubling up the ingredients or if you are just wanting a light snack this can be used for 1 wrap each for 4 people.

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In this I used

  • 1 pack of pork shoulder steaks/sizzle steaks
  • 1 pack of mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 tortilla wraps
  • 1 fresh red chilli

This difference between shoulder steaks and sizzle steaks are that the sizzle steaks are thin steaks (double the thickness of standard bacon) and are from the belly of the pig and not the shoulder.

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I started by cutting up the onion and placing it into a small sauce pan (milk pans work) and liberally covering in water and setting on a simmer for around 10-15 mins to make it soft (as my partner she is a little fussy on onion and it needs to be soft) if you don’t want super soft onion you can stirfry it in the wok first before you add the mushroom to get it cooking.

 

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while the onion is cooking I cut the pork into strips and the mushrooms to be prepared as this meal cooks fast.

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then I add the onion and its water to the wok with the mushrooms and have them on a high heat for around 5 mins stirring constantly to get the mushrooms soft and cooked, then using a large sauce pan lid to keep the contents in the wok. I drained the water from the pan and added the fresh chilli that has been diced up nice and small as well as adding the pork.

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Then around 5-10 mins of stirring the pork should be cooked though so there is no pink in the pork at all. The taste of the chilli should have seeped into the pork and onion and there will be a pleasant spicy kick to this meal. the sizzle steaks will cook a lot faster than the shoulder steaks and will be done in around 2-5 mins.

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this one is the shoulder steaks and the picture below is of the sizzle steaks where I didn’t use mushrooms but both are equally enjoyable. This can e done without the chilli if you are not a fan of spic foods and will still be just as enjoyable.

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Chicken Camembert Pasta

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This is a creation I have been making for a long time for special occasions as it can be expensive to make but most certainty well worth the little extra it costs to make. It may not look very good but the taste is divine and addictive to eat. I cooked it this time for my fiancées birthday as she wanted it, so more than happily I cooked it.

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The ingredients are

  • 1 pack of bacon (smoked or unsmoked)
  • 1 whole chicken (1.2-.15kg will feed 2-4 people)
  • 1 jar of pesto (I used a red pesto that had chilli in)
  • 2 tins of whole button mushrooms (can use fresh if so use 1 pack of fresh mushrooms usually 150g)
  • 1 whole pack of camembert cheese
  • 200g of pasta (I find that smaller pasta shapes (like shells or spirals) works best but not mini pasta shapes)
  • and gravy to cook the chicken in the slow cooker (if you want to roast the chicken the gravy is unneeded and a roasting bag is recommended as the chicken needs to be very soft and juicy)

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I started off by slow cooking the chicken in the slow cooker for 5 hours to make sure the chicken was as soft and juicy and perfectly cooked as possible.

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Next came 3 stages I got a pan of water boiling for the pasta and got the pasta boiling, also I cut up the bacon and removed the outer edge of the white on the camembert but leaving the top and bottom white then cutting it up into smallish equal sized pieces. Then putting the cheese and bacon back in the fridge for a few mins while I sorted the mushrooms out. And also I cut up the mushrooms leaving some of the smaller ones whole so they would also be a rough uniform size.

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Next came taking all the chicken off the whole cooked chicken this can be tricky to avoid getting any bones in or burning your hands on the chicken as it will still be very hot but with a fork and knife it can be done after the chicken is off it needs to be roughly the same size pieces, usually I try for around and inch cube.

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I used a wok but a large pan can also be used I cooked the mushrooms then added the bacon making sure it is well mixed through to avoid the bacon bits sticking together, also before adding the bacon any water needs to be drained from the pan as the mushrooms will leave some water in the pan during the cooking process.

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Next you add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix through.

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And the pesto comes next and again make sure it is well mixed through so all the pasta is covered.

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Then the same with the chicken, at this point the heat under the pan needs to be turned down from hot to medium so nothing burns. this step will take longer as the chicken will be harder to mix through and get covered.

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The camembert comes in last and is a lot harder to mix in as it needs to melt in the pan sticking everything together this will take a couple of mins and will add the creamy taste to the dish that makes it addictive.

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once all mixed together you get to enjoy, if you need this to feed 3-4 people either add some fresh bead or some garlic bread because to extend the pasta for more people requires a second jar of pesto, a bigger chicken and more bacon so its easier to do some bread and the bread compliments the meal nicely.

 

Chicken/Turkey Tikka Bites

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This is great for a snack and can be done with either chicken breast or turkey breast

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You start off with 2 bowls and a plate, 1 pack of tikka powder (or any curry powder) and a pack of turkey breast chunks/slices or chicken breast cut down to around 1 inch square.

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Then in the first bowl you put your cut up meat and in the second you put the tikka powder (not the whole packet but around a quarter as not to waste any. Then taking one piece at a time you roll the meat in the powder making sure that it is liberally covered, then put it on the plate repeating the process until all the meat is covered.

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Then in a hot frying pan add some oil and gently fry the meat until its cooked all the way through I add a little cold water half way through to help the meat not stick to the pan, when cooking the meat add only enough pieces to not overlap the meat in the pan enabling you to turn over the meat half way through to make sure its not going to burn on the underside. once done put in a clean bowl and repeat the process until all the meat has been cooked.

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Then enjoy wrapped in a tortilla wrap or just as it is as an alternative to chicken nuggets.

This is one of my favourite things to cook as it makes the kitchen smell of curry and its just very enjoyable to nibble, if you cook enough these and serve with soft tortilla wraps then they make a fantastic dinner time meal.

Leftover chicken and cheese toasties

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These were made from the leftover chicken from the cheating Christmas dinner (or the chicken pies) they were made very easy by breaking down the leftover chicken into small bits and adding a medium covering of grated cheese (I prefer mozzarella but any cheese that melts easily can be used)

Then I use a small George foreman grill but any form of toastie maker can be used for this, you could add some butter to the outside and use a frying pan to toast the outside of the bread and melt the cheese that way but each gives a tasty lunchtime meal or small dinner that can be enjoyed as they are or as a main piece with chips (French/home fries)

A Cheats Christmas Dinner

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This is a simple xmas dinner which takes 30 mins after the chicken has been in the slow cooker for 5 hours or 2 hours in a roasting bag (which negates the need to baste the chicken)

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The ingredients I used were,

  • 1 1.2kg chicken slow cooked (can be roasted in a roasting bag)
  • 1 pack of rindless back bacon (can be smoked bacon)
  • 150g of stuffing mix
  • 1/2 a bag of frozen roast potatoes (for ease)
  • 1/2 a bag of frozen Yorkshire puddings

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To start with I put the chicken into a slow cooker with a thin chicken gravy to boost the chicken flavour for around 5 hours on the highest setting.

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Half an hour short of the finishing time for the chicken put the roast potatoes into the oven for the amount of time that the pack states.

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Then on a medium grill make the bacon and stuffing wraps which is around a desert spoon of make up stuffing wrapped in a rasher of back bacon (I prefer smoked bacon) these cook in around 15-20 mins on a medium heat grill turning over after 10 mins.

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Then 5 mins before the roast potatoes have finished you put in the Yorkshire puddings (3 medium puddings for each person), these get put on the bottom shelf of the oven where the potatoes are on the middle shelf.

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then to finish take the breasts of the chicken and give one to each person and the rest of the chicken can be used in a leftovers meal like the chicken pasties, pies or chicken toasties (next post)

Best way to finish off the meal is to add an amount of gravy (as much as is wanted)