Tag Archives: chicken

Spicy Apricot Chicken

This spicy apricot chicken is my twist on the classic apricot chicken recipe my mum used to cook us all the time. It was my favourite of mum’s go-to weekly dishes. Dwayne also loves the original apricot chicken and often craves it. However, now that I have dressed it up somewhat and given it a touch of Oriental piquancy, I’m not sure we will ever cook the classic apricot chicken again.

This chicken has the sweet and savoury flavours of the original, but the addition of garlic, ginger, five-spice and chilli gives it a taste of Asian yumminess.

If like us, you enjoy cooking on a campfire, you’ll love this dish. So easy to make. However, it is just as easy to cook in your oven or slow cooker. Follow each step but instead of placing the ingredients into a camp oven, put them into your casserole dish or slow cooker. Cooking with coals and oven instructions are below.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked this delicious, hearty dish while camped at “The Gap” on Yorke Peninsula.

South Australia

Ingredients

6 Maryland chicken pieces, skin removed (joint each piece into leg and thigh if you prefer)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
2 teaspoons of Chinese five-spice
2 teaspoons of chilli flakes
820g tin of apricot halves in natural juice or apricot nectar
40g French onion soup mix

Method

Place the flour in a ziplock bag and add the chicken. Close the bag and shake well to lightly coat the chicken.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden, and place into the camp oven.

Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onion until soft, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the five-spice and chilli and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the can of apricots & juice or the nectar and the soup mix, bring to the boil. Mix all the sticking spices from the bottom of the pan. Pour over the chicken (in the camp oven or slow cooker).

We cooked it in the camp oven for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the chicken was cooked and falling off the bone.

To cook in the oven

Preheat oven to 180c. Follow the above instructions, placing the ingredient into a casserole dish with a lid. Cook for 1 – 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

For more instruction on cooking with hot coals

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn a good amount of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook with. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if time or good wood is in short supply, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the casserole too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the chicken after 10 minutes to ensure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

Alternatively, hang the pot over the heat with a tripod (or, in our case, a star-drop acting as one) and then top with coals.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the oven.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If it is windy, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

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Pie Maker Chicken Pies with Green Peppercorns and Tarragon

I have made these tasty chicken pies for years now. In fact, I think they were the first pies I made in the pie maker we purchased sometime early last decade. Now that we live on a boat I no longer have the pie maker. I simply do not have the room for that sort of thing. If we get a pie craving while sailing I make the pies with pie tins and cook them in the oven.

However, due to COVID we have been land bound for the best part of 2020 and 2021 and couch surfing with friends and family. Thankfully these couches usually come with a double bed and ensuite. LOL

This week while at my mum’s I noticed a pie maker in the cupboard and suddenly I have a craving for chicken pies with peppercorns and tarragon. So I set about making these super tasty treats.

Ingredients

1.2kg chicken thighs, chopped
150g flat Swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 1/2 Tablespoon of plain flour
1 cup of chicken stock
3/4 cup of sour cream
2 1/2 Tablespoons of green peppercorns
1 Tablespoons dried tarragon
6 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen puff pastry, just thawed

Method

Heat a large frypan and add a little oil. Add the diced onion and fry for a few minutes until soft, and then add the garlic and cook a further two minutes.

Add the chicken and diced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, sour cream, peppercorns and tarragon, bring to the boil, reduce temperature and simmer until it thickens and is a good consistency for the pie filling.

Follow pie maker instructions.

Use the pie maker pastry cutter to cut 16 large and 16 small circles from the pastry sheets. Press 4 large dough circles into the pie holes. Spoon mince mixture over dough base until level. Top with the four small dough circles. Turn on the pie maker. Close and cook for 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Repeat with the remaining pastry and chicken mix.

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Crumbed Chicken Balls with cream cheese & bacon

These crumb chicken meatballs stuffed with cream cheese and bacon are ‘ball number two’ that has evolved from the idea of a ‘crumbed-ball-off’. Number one of the crumbed balls was Turkey Balls with Camembert and Cranberry Red Wine Sauce.

To recap where this idea came from – after Christmas this year, while sailing down Australia’s east coast, we decided to have a ‘crumbed-ball-off’. My son, Jedd, kick-started the idea by saying he would make a turkey and camembert crumbed meatball. Dwayne then piped up that he was going to make a crumbed meatball also.

It soon became known as the “crumbed-ball-off”. All three of us were going to make a crumbed meatball and pick the best one. The winner was not going to have to cook for a week. The “crumbed-ball-off” never happened as Jedd flew back to Adelaide sooner than expected. This crumbed chicken ball was my creation which I came up with by simply using ingredients already in my fridge that I needed to use up. It is super tasty, though.

four chicken meatballs served with salad

Ingredients

For filling
1 rasher of bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped sun-dried tomato
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil
150ml cream cheese

For chicken meatball
1kg chicken mince
100ml fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For coating the chicken ball
1 Cup of fine bread crumbs

Method

To make the cream cheese filling. Mix all ingredients well. Put the mixture into a container or wrap it in foil. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).

Mix the ingredient for the meatballs well using your hands.

Place a large tablespoon of chicken on your palm and flatten. Using a melon scoop or a teaspoon, scoop about 1 tsp of cream cheese mix and place in the middle of the flattened chicken.

Shape chicken around the cheese and roll into a ball. Coat the chicken ball with crumbs and place it on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken mince.

Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour (or longer).

Cook the chicken balls

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a saucepan, and heat oil to 190c. When the oil is at the correct temperature, add the balls in batches. Deep fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove the chicken balls from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Serve with salad or vegetables. I served mine with a simple salad of capsicum, cucumber, tomato, olives and sun-dried tomato.

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Poached Chicken Breast with Ham, Herbs & Dijon Dressing

This scrumptious low fat poached chicken looks and tastes so good, you can easily use this recipe for a special occasion! Experiment with different ways of plating it up and match it with tasty vegetables.

Ingredients

4 x 170g single chicken breast fillets.
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup finely chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon olive oil
200g thinly sliced leg ham
4 spring onions, thinly sliced.

Zesty Dijon Dressing
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Low fat, herbs ham dijon

Method

Pound chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap (Glad, Saran, Cling wrap etc) until they are 1 cm thick. Combine herbs, garlic, rind and oil in a small bowl (or process in a food processor for a few seconds). Spread a quarter of the herb mixture on each chicken fillet and top with ham. Starting from one long side, roll chicken pieces tightly, enclose in plastic wrap and twist ends to seal. Wrap each layer in one more layer of plastic wrap to secure them.

Bring a saucepan, or large fry pan, of water to the boil. Add the prepared rolls, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove rolls and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Discard poaching liquid.

Meanwhile make the dressing by combining ingredients in a jar, securing top and shaking well.

Remove plastic wrap and slice rolls to about 1cm thick. Divide slices among serving plates. Sprinkle with spring onion, drizzle with dressing and serve with steamed veg.

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Poached Chicken Breast with Ham Herbs and Dijon Dressing #recipe #chicken #poached #ham #dijon #herbs

Laos Larb Kai (Chicken Salad)

I have made the point of naming this Laos’ Larb Kai because it came to my attention while we were travelling in Laos, that the delicious meat salad called larb, did, in fact, originate in Laos, not Thailand as many believe.

I have always enjoyed larb at the Thai restaurants in Adelaide, and in Thailand itself. I wasn’t surprised to see it on the menu in Laos, but I assumed, incorrectly, that the idea had derived from Thailand, not the other way around. In fact, it is regarded as the national dish of Laos – unofficially.

This spicy meat salad is served at room temperature with sticky rice or salad vegetables.

IMG_1889 (1)

Ingredients

3 Tbs of uncooked sticky rice (Optional)
300g of chicken mince
3-4 Asian shallots, finely sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onion, finely sliced (optional)
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
a handful each of mint and coriander chopped
1 Tbs chilli flakes
The juice of one lime
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 Tbs brown sugar

How I make my larb…

The first step is to toast the rice. I say optional for the rice because I have made it many times without the rice when I just wanted to make a quick meal. The toasted rice just adds texture.

To toast the rice, I just heated a wok on low heat without oil and added the rice. I continued to stir the rice until it browned and started to smell like popcorn about 10-15mins.

After I let the rice cool a little, I ground it in a mortar with a pestle to a powder and set it aside.

For the salad dressing, I mixed the juice of one lime with the fish sauce and brown sugar and set aside.

For the larb I added a little oil to my wok and fried up the chicken mince, breaking up any big lumps as I went. I removed the chicken from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This is when I prepared my vegetables (cucumber and beans) with which I was going to serve with the larb.

Once I was ready to serve I added the shallot, spring onion, and chilli flakes to the chicken in the wok and stirred it well (without heat). I then tossed in the mint, coriander, chopped red chilli and mixed well. I added the dressing next giving the salad a mix, before finally adding three tablespoons of the rice powder.

TIP: add the rice powder gradually as is will depend on the texture you want – I added one tablespoon gave the salad a good toss and did a taste test, before repeat that same process twice more.

Serve with rice or lettuce cups, or as I did with sliced cucumber and green beans.

IMG_1895_1

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Laos Larb Kai is an Asian style chicken mince salad with herbs. #recipe #chicken #mince #herbs #thai #laos #asian

Tom Kha Gai

Sawadee Ka!

Tom Kha Gai, aka Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is one of my absolute favourites! Now that we are back in Phuket I thought it was about time I made it. I first discovered this soup when Dwayne and I visited Phuket in 2007. I gotta say, I was a little reserved about trying a coconut soup… it didn’t look that appetising, but it was delicious! So flavoursome in fact, that I sat there tasting it and deciphering the flavours so I would be able to make it myself when I got back home. I think my tastebuds did a good job of recognising the ingredients and my Tom Kha Gai is delicious….. if I do say so myself! However, I don’t have a recipe to share with you as I cook it by taste every time I make it, and I forgot to write it down as I cooked it this time for the blog… doh! But I do remember what goes in it and what I did so I will explain it the best I can.

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

This is what I did…

I heated 1 cup of chicken stock and added about 8 kaffir lime leaves bruised and ripped apart, two sticks of lemongrass – the hard part remove and the inner white part bashed with a mallet; a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of galangal, thinly sliced, a 2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced and some chopped chilli.

I simmered it for 1/2 hour, then I added some chopped chicken and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk (approx 250ml) and a handful of enoki mushrooms*. I simmered the soup for another 5 minutes and then added fish sauce, to taste, and a handful of coriander.

To serve, I ladled the soup into two large deep bowls and garnished with some more chopped coriander.

It is so easy to make and delicious!

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

Notes:

When I make Tom Kha Gai for Dwayne and me, I do not remove the chunks of ginger, galangal etc when I serve it, as this is how I have had it served to me most of the time in Thailand. However, when I have prepared this soup for guests I have strained the soup before I add the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and coriander.

*Shitake, or oyster mushrooms are more often used in Tom Kha Gai but enoki mushrooms were what I had at the time.

Enjoy!

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Tom Kha Gai  - Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup. #chicken #coconut #coriander #galangal #thai #asian #dinner #lunch #lemongrass #mushroom #chilli #soup #recipe