Monday, 21 May 2012

Chicken Liver & Almond Pilaf

Armed with a copy of the Hairy Bikers Cook Book, Hubby mooched back into the kitchen this weekend to make their Chicken Liver and Almond Pilaf and oh my, it turned out very very well indeed.  Hubby really seems to have caught this cooking bug and I am not complaining he is more willing to try recipes that I would normally overlook and so far they have all been delicious.

I will include the recipe for 4 people below even though we altered the quantities for just the two of us.  It works out about about 18 WW Pro Points per serving.

Chicken Liver & Almond Pilaf
Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbs flaked almonds (we used whole almonds for added crunch)
1 tbsp currants (we used a currant, raisin mix and would definitely add more that a tbsp next time)
1/2tsp allspice
1 tsp dried basil (Had none in the cupboard, so used oregano/marjoram mix)
450g chicken livers, chopped
bunch of dill chopped (We used more than recommended, but it was none the worse for it, love dill)
bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped
340g long grain rice
850ml chicken stock

Melt the butter in a pan and add the garlic & onion, sweat for a few minutes.  Stir in the pine nuts and currant, cook for a couple of minutes then add allspice, basil and chicken livers, brown lightly.
Season them with S&P and add most of the chopped dill and parsley then remove mixture from the pan and set aside.
Toss the rice in the butter residue until well coated, pour over the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the rice has absorbed some of the stock.  Fold back in the chicken livers and then cover with a lid and stand for 15 minutes.
Serve with the leftover dill and parsley and enjoy.

I cannot express how scrumptious this recipe was, the chicken livers were soft, there was an initial hit of dill followed up by the delicate allspice, crunch of almonds and the sweetness of the dried fruit mmm, mmm

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Chicken with Tarragon Sauce

Ooh looky, a recipe from me without any tomatoes in it!

Another modified one from Weight Watchers, nice light, but creamy and tangy also.

Chicken in Tarragon Sauce
Serves 2  Est Pro Point per serving 8

2 medium chicken breasts, skinless
1 leek, sliced
nice big handful of sliced mushrooms
big handful of spinach leaves
25ml dry white wine or in my case fino sherry
50g low fat Philly cream cheese
100ml chicken stock
1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon chopped

Spray a frying pan with lo-cal spray and fry the chicken breasts for 8 mins, turning once until golden.  Add the leek and mushrooms and cook until softened.  Pour over the wine/sherry and bubble up.

Whisk together the stock and philly, add the tarragon and pour over the chicken, leek & mushrooms, toss in the spinach.  Season.

Cover the pan with foil and simmer over a low heat for 25 mins.

Serve with new potatoes and more green veg, if you don't think you have enough already!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Moroccan Chicken One Pot

Honestly, how many times can I cook a tomato based one pot dish and not get sick of them, but the truth is I don't get sick of them, each one I post is slightly different in flavour, ingredients and is served better with it's own range of sides or lain on a bed pasta, rice or pulses.  Luckily hubby likes them too and I am free to indulge my passion.

This recipe is one I have altered slightly from the May issue of Good Food Magazine

Moroccan Chicken One Pot
Serves 2 Pro Points per serving approx 16

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into chunks
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp olive oil
1 can cherry tomatoes
1 generous tablespoon Harissa paste
2 tsp runny honey
1 courgette, sliced into rounds
1 can chick peas, drained
1 onion sliced

Season the chicken with cumin and pepper, add the oil to a large pan and cook the chicken and onions for about 8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with 100ml water, stir in the Harissa, honey, courgette and chick peas.
Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.  Serve

I had this dish by itself in a bowl, hubby had it with some leftover rice, but equally it would be great with boiled potatoes or a leafy salad.  The originally recipe called for Chicken breasts not thighs, but I was working with what I had in.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

It's been a long time since I posted, April went by in a flurry of activity.  It was my hubby's 40th Birthday which we were going to celebrate with a picnic for family and friends, but the weather was so bad it was in doors, not that we minded.  I made some lovely mini chicken and tarragon pies which went down a treat and I will blog about the next time I make them as they were very delicious.  Hubby's lovely sister made his birthday cake (boat shaped) and a wonderful almond & orange cake that I will have to get the recipe for and loads of shortbread. 

Hubby has been continuing his forays into the kitchen with various breads and savoury scones, I think he is really getting the bug for this baking mularky! We will have to put together a special post just for his accomplishments.

The Birthday was swiftly followed by my whisking him away to Cornwall to stay in Mevagissey for Easter week, we had a wonderful time lots of fresh fish and seafood, then the rest of April was strict dieting on weight watchers to lose the weight we put on during the holiday and bread eating.

So now at the start of May I feel refreshed enough to start trying new recipes.  This one came straight off the WW home page, I have modified slightly to suit the ingredients I had at home.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach
Serves 2 Pro Points per serving 7

50g Spinach
2 Skinless chicken breasts about 200g each
Fresh Basil leaves
4 strips thin pancetta
2 bell peppers, red and yellow, chunky chopped
3 medium carrots, chunky chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano, dried

Put the spinach in a colander and pour over boiling water, then run cold water over the leaves so the wilt.  Squeeze the leaves dry.
Cut a pocket in to the chicken and pop in a couple of basil leaves and the spinach.  Take two strips of pancetta per breast and wrap around the chicken.

Place the peppers, sweet potato and carrots into a roasting pan, add the oil and oregano and mix together.  Place the chicken on top and season well.
Cover with foil and place into oven at 190oc and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes.

I served with mange tout and it made a super colourful and filling dinner but pretty light on the points.  The WW recipe called for half a jar of pepperdew peppers, which if I had got would have added a lovely peppy tang to the dish.