Chicken Katsu Curry


Chicken Katsu Curry (2)

Wagamama serve a dish called Chicken Katsu Curry. I have never actually eaten it, but in theory it sounds wonderful. Crispy, breaded chicken with a flavourful curry sauce and fluffy rice.

As we are trying to save money, rather than head out to try this dish, I thought I’d make my own version at home. It was all guess work really, but it turned out well – hubby declared it ‘restaurant quality’, but he is the biggest fan of chicken in any sort of crispy coating so he is biased.

The chicken and curry sauce worked really well together. It’s not the sort of meal you could have every night, but for a hump day treat, why not give it a go?

Try this recipe, and if you’ve had the Wagamama version you’ll have to let me know if it’s at all similar šŸ™‚

This will serve 2, and takes around 40 minutes to make.

Chicken Katsu Curry (1)

Chicken Katsu Curry

4 tbsps vegetable oil

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

2 tsps curry powder

60g plain flour

400ml coconut milk

2 tbsps tomato puree

2 chicken breasts

2 eggs

100g panko breadcrumbs

250g cooked rice, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Start by making the curry sauce. Chop the onion, and put in a large saucepan with 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and all of the spices. Stir well. Add 1 tbsp of the plain flour, stir, then add the coconut milk and tomato puree. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt if required.

3. For the chicken, place the breasts between a piece of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to squash a little. Take 3 dishes. Pour the remaining flour into the first, break the eggs into the second and beat them, pour the panko breadcrumbs into the third.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Coat the chicken breasts first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Add to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

5. To serve, slice the chicken and serve with the curry sauce poured over the top, and a pile of rice on the side. Enjoy it!

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Chicken Skewers with Giant Cous Cous


Chicken Skewers with Giant Cous Cous (1)

I am back again, after another absence due entirely to laziness. So, new week, new resolve to share my recipes with you again. I have a backlog now! But, I’m sharing tonight’s dinner with you regardless because it is such a perfect Monday night meal.

Mondays are busy days. Or at least, it feels that way perhaps because of the shock of having to actually do things after the weekend!

I always get my food shopping delivered on Monday evenings, which means I have to plan a very quick meal because I’m never quite sure when it’s going to arrive, which is why this one is so perfect.

This would also be wonderful if you’re chancing the Spring weather and having a barbeque – the skewers would work brilliantly over charcoal.

This particular meal is ready in 15 minutes, and will serve 4. Enjoy, it’s a tasty one!

Chicken Skewers with Giant Cous Cous (2)

Chicken Skewers with Giant Cous Cous

400g diced chicken breast

1 tbsp ras-el-hanout

2 tbsps olive oil

300g giant cous cous

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 spring onions

1 pomegranate

100g feta

1 handful mint leaves

Salad leaves, to serve

1. In a bowl, mix your chicken with the ras-el-hanout, half of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. When all of the chicken is coated, thread each piece onto wooden skewers (about 4-5 pieces to each skewer) then cook in a griddle pan or on a barbeque over a high heat for approximately 10 minutes (until cooked through), turning often.

2. Meanwhile, pour the cous cous into a saucepan with about 600ml boiling water. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until soft, then drain.

3. Pour the cooked cous cous into a large bowl and add the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sliced spring onions, pomegranate seeds, crumbled feta and chopped mint. Mix well, taste, and season if necessary.

4. To serve, have a skewer each with a pile of cous cous and a handful of salad leaves.

Chicken Pittas with Spicy Rice


Chicken Pittas with Spicy Rice (1)

Due to a busy weekend and general laziness, this is actually the recipe I cooked on Friday night. However, I’m sure it works just as well on a Tuesday šŸ™‚

When I asked hubby what he would like to eat on Friday, I was given this very specific request “Chicken Pittas with Spicy Rice please”. I have never made such a recipe before, however on delving further realised that this is what he eats whenever we visit a particular popular Portuguese chicken restaurant. I am sure you know the one I’m talking about.

I’d never tried the spicy rice at this restaurant before, and so tried to make it as close as possible to the description I was given by hubby. In the end, it wasn’t spicy in any way whatsoever (but it was delicious) – you could pimp it up with some chilli powder if you wanted to.

This is a great recipe to try when you want a healthier (and cheaper) version of this particular restaurant’s menu!

This will serve up to 4, and will take no more than 30 minutes to make.

Chicken Pittas with Spicy Rice (2)

Chicken Pittas with Spicy Rice

For the pittas:

4 pittas

1 tbsp olive oil

250g diced chicken breast

1 tbsp smoked paprika

100g halloumi

Lettuce, to serve

For the spicy rice:

500g cooked white rice

3 tbsps tomato puree

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

3 spring onions

1 red pepper

1. For the spicy rice, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced spring onions and chopped red peppers and soften for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, cook for a further minute then add the rice and enough water to loosen it – 200ml should do. Stir in the smoked paprika and cook until heated through – around 7-9 minutes (stir often so that the bottom doesn’t catch).

2. For the chicken pittas, sprinkle the smoked paprika over the chicken along with some salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, then add the olive oil. When hot, add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until cooked through.

3. To serve, slice the pittas and stuff with chicken, finely sliced halloumi and salad. Serve with the rice on the side. Amazing!

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas


Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (3)

I got this idea when I was recently making tostados. I love pizza, I love tostados, I love any dough-based dish with cheesy toppings which you can eat with your hands. So, why don’t people make Indian style pizzas? (Feel free to educate me if I’m wrong!)

This is a classic quick weeknight dish. If you have people coming round on a weeknight and don’t have time for something seriously fancy, try making these! Your guests will be impressed that you’ve managed to whip up something so exciting so quickly.

I used shop bought naans – make your own if you have time, it’ll be much tastier and I’ll do this next time I make them.

You could easily make this veggie by leaving off the chicken, and why not have a play around with the toppings? I think lamb and red pepper would work beautifully too, or beef and okra.

This was one of those experiments which goes unexpectedly well, and I implore you to try it!

This will make enough for 2-3, and takes no more than 30 minutes to make.

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (1)

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas

2 large plain naan breads

200g fresh spinach

100g cooked, shredded chicken breast

150g paneer

2 tbsps olive oil

1 small piece ginger

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsps garam masala

150g tomato puree

1 tsp sugar

Yoghurt and a small bunch fresh coriander, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Wilt the spinach in a saucepan with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When it is all wilted, take off the heat and leave to one side while you make the sauce.

3. Finely chop the ginger and garlic, then add to another saucepan with the remaining olive oil. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the cumin, coriander and garam masala. Cook for 1 more minute then add the tomato puree and 100ml water. Stir well, then add the sugar and a little salt. Remove from the heat.

4. Spread the tomato sauce over the top of each naan bread. Squeeze the spinach to remove any excess water, then dot it over the naans. Sprinkle over the chicken. Chop the paneer and add this too.

5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the naans are crisp and the paneer is golden. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander and with the yoghurt on the side for dipping.

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (2)

Chicken and Lentil Soup


Happy hump day everyone!

After pancake day yesterday, I’m sure you (like us) need an injection of health to counterbalance the over indulgence.

Chicken and Lentil Soup (1)

Now that lent has started, I can’t think of any ingredient in this soup that anyone will have wanted to give up (apart from meat perhaps?) so it’s a fairly safe bet.

This soup contains tonnes (not literally) of protein, and it uses my leftover lentils, so is packed full of vitamins, minerals and other good stuff too. It is truly an angelic recipe!

This will take you 20 minutes to make, and will serve 4.

Chicken and Lentil Soup (2)

Chicken and Lentil Soup

200g smoked bacon lardons

300g chicken breast, diced

600ml chicken stock

1 tsp ground coriander

400g leftover lentils

Natural yoghurt, to serve

1. Put the lardons in a large casserole dish. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until golden.

2. Sprinkle the coriander over the diced chicken breast, then add to the pan with the lardons. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

3. Tip in the chicken stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Blend about half of the soup with a hand blender – you still want the soup to be fairly chunky, but blending some of the lentils will thicken it.

5. Serve each bowl with a dollop of natural yoghurt in the centre. Enjoy!

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew


Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (1)

Chicken and chorizo is a fantastic combination – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. To celebrate the swiftly approaching weekend, I decided to treat my husband to this – one of his favourite dishes.

Hubby loves chorizo. When I buy and slice up a chorizo ring, I always give him the raw ends attached to the string to chew on. Typing does make it sound a little as though he is a dog, but I promise he is human.

This is a really warming stew; the broth is flavoured almost entirely by the chorizo – so make sure you buy a fairly decent one, if you can afford it. The spinach and chopped tomatoes add a nice bit of health, and the butter beans make it very hearty. We had a nice loaf of ciabatta on the side of our stew, but you don’t really need it – we used it simply for its juice mopping capabilities.

This will serve 4, and take about 40 minutes to make.

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (2)

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

250g chorizo ring

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

200g button mushrooms

1 smallĀ  glass red wine

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g tins butter beans

100g spinach

1. Slice the chorizo and add put in a large casserole dish over a high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the whole chicken thighs. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is browned.

2. Add the sliced mushrooms, then tip in the red wine. Let it boil down, then add the chopped tomatoes. Fill the chopped tomato tin with water, and add this too. Put a lid on the dish, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the drained butter beans and cook with the lid off for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, stir through the spinach, and when it’s wilted, you’re done!

Mediterranean Chicken Casserole with Cous Cous


Mediterranean Chicken Casserole (2)

Because my weekend has been a bit higgledy piggledy, I didn’t do my usual weekly shop yesterday. So, today, I have been hunting through the fridge and freezer for some ingredients before I restock them again tomorrow.

In the freezer, I found some mini chicken breast fillets. Bonus! I knew I had cous cous in the cupboard; there was a jar of green olives hanging around, along with a jar of roasted red peppers, and there we had it – a meal was made.

This was also seriously easy to make and took less than 30 minutes. This will serve 4. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Chicken Casserole (1)

Mediterranean Chicken Casserole with Cous Cous

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

400g chicken breast (chicken thighs would also work)

1 smal glass brandy

400g tin chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock

200g green olives

200g jar roasted red peppers

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 green pepper

300g cous cous

1 tsp ras el hanout

1. Chop the onion and garlic and add to a large pan with the olive oil. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the chicken. Brown for 2-3 minutes (they don’t need to cook all the way through) then add the brandy. Allow to reduce.

2. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, olives, sliced red peppers, smoked paprika and oregano. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding the sliced green pepper for the final couple of minutes.

3. For the cous cous, tip into a large bowl with the ras el hanout and a little salt and pepper, and add 400ml boiling water. Leave to sit until all of the water has been absorbed.

4. To serve, pile the cous cous into bowls and top with the casserole, making sure you get plenty of the juice.

Chicken Casserole with Parsley Dumplings


Today, the weather has been atrocious. I spent the 30 minutes walking home from work getting drenched – it was too windy for me to put my umbrella up – and I got home feeling miserable and cold.

I soon cheered up, because I remembered this was on the menu tonight! Mmm, a nourishing chicken casserole packed full of veg, as good for the soul as a classic chicken soup, and topped with soft, pillowy dumplings. What’s not to like!

As has been the case with the rest of my recipes this week, this is sort of healthy – in that it is healthier than a beef stew with dumplings, and if you really wanted to, you could leave off the dumplings and just eat a gorgeous chicken casserole. I don’t understand why anyone would do this though, the dumplings are the best part.

This is part 4 of my Cheap Eats project, I hope you’re enjoying it!

This recipe will serve at least 4 and takes approximately 1 hour to make.

IMG_1068

Chicken Casserole with Parsley Dumplings

1 tbsp olive oil

460g chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)

1 onion

1 carrot

4 celery sticks

1 fennel bulb

10g flour

600ml chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 sprig fresh thyme

150g button mushrooms

200g self-raising flour

100g beef or vegetable suet

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

1. Chop the chicken into bitesize pieces. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and add the chicken. Brown briefly (don’t cook all the way through), then remove from the pan.

2. Tip the chopped onion, carrot, celery and fennel to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, then return the chicken to the pan. Stir in the flour, then pour in the stock. Add the bay leaves, thyme and mushrooms, season, and bring to the boil.

3. Put a lid on the dish and pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

4. For the dumpings, tip the self-raising flour, suet and parsley into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add cold water a little at a time – you’ll probably need 150-200mls total – until it forms a pliable dough.

5. When the casserole has been in the oven for 20 minutes, take it out (leave the oven on). Form little balls (about 1.5 inches in diameter) with the dough and place evenly spaced on top of the casserole. This mixture made 14 dumplings.

6. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for another 25 minutes. Yum!

IMG_1070

Chicken Stroganoff Pie


This recipe is based on one by Simon Rimmer. Now that the weather’s getting colder and it’s dark by the time I’m home from work I crave comfort food, I’m sure everyone does, and pie is the ultimate comfort food.

This idea for a pie sounded delicious – I love stroganoff but I’d never had a chicken one, and everything is better with pastry. This is a really smoky, creamy pie which you could throw any veggies you have hanging around into – I had three peppers in the fridge which I used, but frozen peas or green beans would go wonderfully too.

This will serve 4 and takes around 1 hour to make.

Chicken Stroganoff Pie

1 tbsp olive oil

400g chicken breast

2 tbsps smoked paprika

150g bacon lardons

1 onion

150g button mushrooms

1 small glass white wine

450ml chicken stock

3 peppers, any colour

125ml soured cream

1 heaped tbsp chopped parsley

300g puff pastry

1. Slice the chicken breast into bite sized pieces and coat with 1 tablespoon of the paprika. Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat and add the chicken. Brown, then remove from the pan and put to one side.

2. Add the lardons to the casserole dish, brown, and then add the chopped onion and roughly sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the white wine. Allow the wine to bubble down, then add the stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the stock has reduced by half.

3. Chop the peppers and add to the casserole dish, add the chicken, the rest of the smoked paprika and the soured cream. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more smoked paprika if necessary. Stir in the parsley.

4. Tip into an oven proof dish and top with the puff pastry. Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.