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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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)

Mini Pizzas (no base mix)

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This is great snack food or dinner if you don’t like doing bread/pizza base mixes for doing your own pizzas they are also really quick and fun to make and extremely versatile in what you can put on them.

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The ingredients were a pack of crusty white bread rolls (pack of 6 makes 12 mini pizzas) 1 bag of mozzarella (about half used), 1 pack of deli chicken (can be pepperoni or bacon or ham or any other loved pizza topping) and a tube of tomato puree (again not all of it is used)

I started off by cutting all the rolls in half and spreading the puree over the bread upto the edges but not making it too thick (this is a personal preference and you can put as much as you feel like on the bread). You will need to preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit)

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Next I put the mozzarella on putting enough on that when it melts you get a good covering but not so much that it will run off the bread in the oven taking the toppings with it.

 

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Next i put the chicken (or topping) onto the pizza in small pieces so when you eat it it dosent take all the toppings with it in the first bite, I also added a small amount of extra mozzarella on top of the topping which helps keep the toppings in place when cooking. And I added a fresh chilli (large one) onto half of the pizzas (as I wanted chilli but my fiancee didn’t) I cut it up using a pair of kitchen scissors as its easier and quicker than cutting it up with a knife.

 

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After around 10-15 mins in the oven when the cheese has melted and started going brown they are perfect to take out and enjoy.

 

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Chicken Pasty

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These started off with the leftover chicken from the chicken pies (https://piespizzaandpasta.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/slow-cooked-chicken-pie/) and were made for a lunch time meal but you could use a whole chicken and make more to make it into a dinner meal or lunch for more than just 2 (2 pasties were made)

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This is all that goes into the pasties and it is 1 pack of pre rolled puff pastry, the leftover chicken from the chicken pies (https://piespizzaandpasta.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/slow-cooked-chicken-pie/) and a small amount of thick gravy. You also need to preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit)

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this is how i made 2 but you can make more larger or smaller depending on how you feel and how much pastry and chicken you have, but to start i cut 4 squares of pastry about 5 inches square and piled the chicken on in the middle leaving about a inch around the outside and piling it up about 1-1.5 inches high in a dome in the center.

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Next I made some thick gravy up and put about 2-3 tablespoons of gravy over the chicken not to fully cover the chicken because that would cause the pastry to go soggy during the cooking process but 2-3 tablespoons over the top is enough to keep the chicken moist and to add a little extra flavor, also you need to brush around the edge of the pasty with some milk or beaten egg to help with the seal in the next step

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This is the final stage before cooking and this is where you put the 2nd square of pastry over the chicken and using a fork press down on the edges making a seal all the way around the outer edge and using a sharp knife cut an x in the middle to allow the steam to leave the top of the pasty during the cooking so the pasties don’t go soggy, before cooking you need to brush the top with a little milk or egg wash (whisked egg) this allows the top to go golden brown and not just burn the pastry. Then cook for around 10-15 mins or until the tops have gone golden and then enjoy.

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