Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Home Made Chicken Stock

I can't take the credit for this recipe.

I always thought that making your own chicken stock was a complicated affair. But.... I was watching River Cottage Australia when they ran through the recipe and I was happily gob smacked at how simple it really is. 

I then of course changed it. A little!

We buy a bbq chook every so often - which never ceases to thrill the furry pants off our two Tibetan Spaniels who can smell it 5km away! 

Once I've removed the drumsticks and chicken wings, removed and shredded all the meat for us and the bits for the pooches, all I am left with is a carcass filled with stuffing! I used to throw the bones and mankier looking bits out. Now I use them to make super easy stock. 

I put all the bones, stuffing, even skin in a saucepan. I roughly chop a carrot and by roughly I mean it's not peeled and it's cut into chunks. I do the same with a brown onion. If you have celery, cut up one stick and add it to the saucepan, leaves and all. Parsley, same deal. Whatever you have that you think will compliment the taste. Season with salt and pepper and add some mixed herbs. 

Cover all of this with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 1 hour. 

Drain the liquid from the veggies and carcass and discard them, reserving the liquid which is now your stock! 

I pour mine into containers and freeze it. I then will often use it as the base for my chicken and sweet corn soup.

Easy peasy!

From this....

To this!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chicken Korma - Slow Cooker Tuesdays

I am all about short cuts in the kitchen.  

I love making a dish from scratch and used to balk at the idea of using a jar of anything.  

Then I had kids and time constraints hit me in the kitchen.

I still of course love flavour and I love making a variety of dishes.  Heck, you only live once, you might as well try everything on offer!

I also love improvising, much to my husband's dismay.  But in my defense, my improvising works. Mostly!

On this occasion, I came across a jar of simmer sauce when I was doing the groceries and figured it would work in the slow cooker.  Isn't that what a slow cooker does anyway?  Simmers (kind of) throughout the day?  Well, that was how I justified it in my mind.

For this recipe (fancy I can even call it that!), I used:

1 brown onion, roughly chopped
500g chicken tenderloins
1 jar Korma simmer sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 zucchini (corvette the courgette) diced
Garlic Naan
Jasmine rice
4 tbsp plain Greek yoghurt
1/2 Lebanese cucumber diced

I don't believe in browning anything before putting it into the slow cooker - that's how much of a short-cutter I am these days.

I tossed the chopped onion in first with the chicken and cauliflower on top.  I poured the simmer sauce over this, then filled the empty simmer sauce jar about halfway with water, put the lid back on, gave it a shake to get ALL the sauce off the sides (I hate waste) and poured that into the slow cooker as well. Gave it a good stir to coat the chicken and cauli in the sauce, put the slow cooker lid on and I set it to LOW.  Low and go slow!  

That was at about 7.30am.  

At about 1pm, I added the zucchini.

Come 5pm I put the rice cooker on (I know.  I used to do it myself on the stove once upon a time....)  It was also at this stage that I threw into the slow cooker some left over cooked pumpkin that I had in the fridge to warm up before serving.

With my spare time (!!) I decided to whip up a 'not quite' Raita. I diced the cucumber and mixed it in with the yoghurt and seasoned with salt to taste.

The plus with the Korma is that it is mild, so the kids enjoyed it immensely.

This is such a simple, effortless (quite literally) yet impressive dinner to make. 

Here's cheers to improvisation!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Vegetable Cous Cous

I still can't leave it alone. A simple packet, meant as a side dish. 

Hubby is out and all I see is a main meal for one waiting to happen.

Here's how it went down:

1 zucchini (courgette) diced
1/4 red capsicum (pepper)
1/4 yellow capsicum (pepper)
1/4 green capsicum (pepper)
1/2 cucumber diced

Cook the cous cous to packet directions. Whilst it is sitting, waiting to be fluff ready, cook the remaining ingredients in a small fry pan. This will take up the 3 minutes cous cous sitting time. Add the veggies to the cous cous and fold in to combine.
Wella!  You have yourself a vegetarian main meal. 

Or, I will often have this with a piece of salmon.

Note to self (and others) Do not fluff cous cous then tap the fork on the side of the saucepan. Unless you want to see cous cous fly!