Coronation Chicken

I have to admit I am a huge fan of Coronation Chicken in it’s many forms. In the UK, you can find a Coronation Chicken sandwich in most shops or deli’s. But the mayonnaise drenched version, that is often found, is very far from the original recipe that was created for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation – hence the name!

The recipe below is a mix of a few that I found on the internet including Felicity Cloake’s How to Cook Perfect Coronation Chicken and Gordon Ramsay’s version. I adjusted them slightly but I did make my own mayo as both of the above suggest. I think that it probably adds a certain level of richness but I don’t think that many people would notice if you used Hellmans. I planned to use mango but Rich kindly went to the shops and came back with a very unripe one. Hence, the recipe below uses the traditional sultanas.

Yet again I seem to have written a recipe that has (what seems to be) a lot of ingredients. It is mainly the spices (as always) and these can be played around with. I would highly recommend seeking out the Nigella seeds (otherwise known as Onion seeds) as they add an original flavour and also look pretty.

Recipe: Coronation Chicken

Summary: This makes a beautiful summer lunch. If you don’t have all of the spices below don’t worry, a decent curry powder should give you a nice flavour. I think that next time I will add more turmeric (one more ingredient) to add an additional yellow colour.

Ingredients

  • 4 x Chicken Thighs
  • 5 Peppercorns
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Sultanas
  • 1/2 Portion of Mayonnaise (about 3 tbsps if you aren’t making your own)
  • 1 tbsp Mango Chutney
  • 1/2 Red Onion – Sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Nigella Seeds
  • 1 little Gem Lettuce

Instructions

  1. If your chicken has skins remove them and trim off any excess fat.
  2. Place the chicken into a saucepan, cover with water and add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, cumin and coriander.
  3. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through (you shouldn’t see any blood coming out when you poke them with a knife) and leave to cool in the cooking liquid; this will take about an hour but you can speed it up slightly by putting it in your fridge.
  4. Before you put the chicken in the fridge, put a couple of ladles of cooking liquor into a bowl and add the sultanas. If you have one, put it into the microwave for about 30 seconds which will help plump up the sultanas otherwise you can heat it up on the hob.
  5. In a bowl mix the mayonnaise, mango chutney, onion and remaining spices. Taste the mix to see if it is to your liking – it should be slightly sweet and spiced but not hot.
  6. Once the chicken has cooled, shred it away from the bones into bite sized pieces; add to the spiced mayonnaise and add the sliced onions.
  7. Strain the sultanas and add to the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Give everything a final mix, check for seasoning and serve on a bed of lettuce. I would use either iceberg or iced gem, as you want something with texture that doesn’t fight with the delicate spicing in the chicken.

Quick notes

A really nice accompaniment to this is to boil new potatoes in the spiced, chicken cooking liquor. The end result is a delicately spiced potato which goes perfectly with the chicken and doesn’t need any butter!

Variations

This recipe has endless possibilities. I have only ever made it with leftovers before but I think that poaching the chicken adds another depth of flavour.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: English

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Vietnamese Style Beef Salad

Recipe: Vietnamese Style Beef Salad

Summary: A healthy way to use up rare roast beef in the summer time. It looks like loads of ingredients but most of them are store cupboard staples.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Palm Sugar (or caster sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 Chilli – Finely Chopped
  • 1 Small Clover of Garlic – Grated
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger – Grated
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds – Toasted
  • Cooked Beef – About 50g per Person – Very Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Iceberg Lettuce – Shredded
  • 1/2 Red Onion – Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Courgette – In Ribbons
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Mint
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Basil

Instructions

  1. Mix the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, water, chilli, garlic and ginger in a bowl. If your palm sugar is in a big lump grate it first otherwise it won’t dissolve.
  2. Put all of the other ingredients (apart from the sesame seeds) in a bowl or on a large plate.
  3. Pour over the dressing and mix together thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve

Variations

I have used courgettes as I have a glut from the garden but carrots or any other crunchy vegetable would work just as well. Feel free to use other green herbs if you have them in stock – dill or coriander would work perfectly in here. If you would like some carbs add cold noodles but increase the amount of dressing.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced carbohydrate

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Vietnamese

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Pumpkins

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Tomato Salad

Recipe: Classic Tomato Salad

Summary: This salad goes with most things and is great for bbqs; I haven’t put any quantities down as it depends on how many tomatoes you have.


Ingredients

  • Vine Ripened Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • Basil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes and onions
  2. Layer the salad in a shallow bowl by placing the tomatoes, onions, torn basil leaves in turn; season each layer as you go
  3. Once you have used all of the ingredients drizzle generously with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar

Quick notes

To make the salad look its best, use the “best” tomato slices for the top; these are the biggest ones from the middle section

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegetarian / Vegan

Diet tags: Low calorie

Culinary tradition: Italian

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British Grand Prix

Unfortunately we didn’t have any British drivers on the podium for this weekend’s Grand Prix; on a plus point at least Alonso won (I actually can’t believe that I am saying that!). Lewis also gained six places and had a dramatic finish with Massa.

Another plus point was that our good friends, Tim and Louise, got married and it was a brilliant wedding – including the best Best Man’s speech that I have ever heard, delivered by Steve.

But now on to the most important part of the weekend – what did we have for our British Grand Prix Dinner???

The easiest route would be to make a roast dinner and be done with it.

The problem was that it’s summer and I don’t really fancy a roast dinner with all the trimmings in the summer time. Don’t get me wrong, an English roast dinner is one of the best things in the world; especially if you are slightly hung-over. What I love about them is that for something so simple, they are so versatile and can come out soooo differently.We have an old man’s pub close by and the roast’s there are like something that you Nan would make. On the other side of the park there is another pub that serves whole chickens which you carve yourself

But I digress, what I wanted to make was something traditionally English and summery. Therefore we had home-made scones with jam and cream during the Grand Prix and Coronation Chicken with new potatoes afterwards

 

Come on boys - lets get Red Bull off the British Podium! Image credit: Nelson Wu

 

It’s the British Grand Prix next weekend which means British food. We’re going to our good friends Tim & Louise’s wedding on Friday which means that we will miss practise but I guess that it’ll be worth it. All I have to do now is work out what I will be cooking – the obvious thing would be a roast dinner but I am going to try to think of something a bit more original and Red Bull beating. I have to think like Adrian Newey and design the perfect dinner…

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Brighton

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European Grand Prix

To be honest I didn’t actually cook this for the Grand Prix. I was planning tom but Rich & I went to one of his friends for his Birthday, one drink led to another and the thought of driving back from St Albans to London for 12 o’clock did not sound that fun! I did make this for the Spanish Grand Prix (Rich only finished the frozen leftovers last week) but was planning to recreate it for Valencia and take some photos of it – I had bought the chorizo and everything. Instead I made this on Wednesday night after flying in from Eindhoven. Next season I will do better and make a paella (apparently it originated in Valencia), although it’ll have to be a shellfish free zone as I am allergic, which is the original.

Incidentally, I also made another banana cake as I had brought some bananas home from the office on the Friday but of course could make it on Sunday!

Recipe: Spanish Chicken

Summary: As this dish takes a bit of time I always cook a big batch of this and freeze some. It’s one of those dishes that matures and gets better at least a day after you have cooked it. It’s also one of the few “slow-cooked” dishes that works equally well in the summer as in the winter.

Ingredients

  • 4 x Cooking Chorizo
  • 8 x Chicken Thighs
  • 2 x Large Onions Sliced
  • 1 x Chilli Finely Chopped (optional)
  • 2 x Red Peppers Sliced into Strips
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic Crushed
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Tin Chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Chop the chorizo into small bit size chunks and fry in a heavy casserole dish on a medium heat; I always use my oval le cruset but to be honest a shallower, wider one would be better – unfortunately I don’t have the funds for one of those yet…There is no need to add any fat as the chorizo already contains plenty of delicious, smoky red oil. Once it is slightly browned, lift it out of the pool of oil and set a side in a bowl.
  2. Turn the heat up and add the thighs, skin side down, to brown – you don’t need to cook them through all you want is a golden skin. Also, be careful not to put too many in at once – I always do it in a least two batches. Once the skin is a golden brown, take out of the pan and put onto a plate for later.
  3. If you want to be healthy you can tip some of the fat out of the pan now, otherwise use all of the juices and fats that have collected from the meat for the next stage. Turn the heat down low, add the onions and put the lid on. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions soften, stirring every so often.
  4. Once the onions have soften, add the peppers, chilli and garlic. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the peppers are beginning to soften.
  5. Add the spices – cumin, coriander and paprika – cook through for a couple of minutes.
  6. Next add all of the browned meat (at this stage I usually steal a piece of the chorizo just to check that it’s ok…), tomatoes and chickpeas.
  7. Bring the stew up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low so that bubbles break the surface every so often. Cook for at least 45 minutes and ideally 1 1/2 hours, stirring once in a while to make sure that it doesn’t catch. If stirring is too much like hard work, put the whole thing in the oven on a low heat.

Quick notes

I tend to serve this with bread as it’s the perfect thing to mop up the paprika tinged juices. A green salad always goes well – as does a nice bottle of Spanish red wine.

Variations

You can use chicken breast which decreases the calories but also the flavour so you need to add in some stock at the same time as tomatoes. You can even take the chicken out completely but you can’t really make it vegetarian as the chorizo gives the whole thing structure.
As with most of my dishes, it is very flexible, you can add spinach at the end or replace the chickpeas with any other beans.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ????? 1 review(s)

 

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Sausages and Polenta

Sausages and Polenta with a Glass of Prosecco

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Canadian Grand Prix

I have been racking my brain since Monaco to decide what to eat for the Canadian Grand Prix and it’s been surprisingly difficult. For inspiration, I searched the web and I asked my friends. The best suggestions were either obvious – Maple Syrup – or something that I didn’t (or couldn’t) really make at home – Poutine and Nanaimo bars. My research brought me to the conclusion that Canada has a rich food history inspired from the many different cultures that settled there. Even Bannock, a bread popular with the First Nations, apparently originates from Scottish fur traders.

With that in mind I decided to take my inspiration from the only Canadian person I know (she is Indian-Canadian) and the fact that we were having vegetarian friends around for dinner. Hence for the Canadian Grand Prix we were having curry! It’s not actually such a great leap as there has actually been quite a large population of South Asian Indians in Canada since the late 19th century.

Recipe: Pumpkin Curry

Summary: This curry is real satisfying and doesn’t miss meat at all, the ingredient list may look long (as with all curry recipes) but once you have all of the ingredients you’ll have loads of fun playing with the flavours. As with all of my recipes they are designed to be played around with and adjusted to suit your own preference.

Pumkin Curry

Ingredients

  • 600g Pumpkin or Squash – peeled and cut into chunks – I used half a Kabocha but it works just as well with Butternut
  • 1 tbsp Oil – any light, flavourless oil will do, I used rapeseed
  • 4 x Large White Onions – finely sliced
  • 4 x Clove of Garlic – grated
  • 1 x tsp Dried Chilli Flakes – you can increase or decrease the amount for preference
  • 1 inch of Ginger – grated
  • 1 inch Fresh Turmeric – grated – you can use 1 tsp of dried powder
  • 2 tsp Curry Power – I use my homemade Roasted Sri Lankan Curry Powder but any good one from the shop will do
  • 1 tin Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Water – you can use lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Palm Sugar – grated
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander – roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy pan ( I use one of these Le Creuset Cast Iron Casserole) heat the oil over a gentle heat and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down as low as possible and place a tight fitting lid. Stir this occasionally, to stop it catching, for about an hour until the onions are sweet and golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric and cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Next add the curry powder, give a good stir and once you can smell the spices add the pumpkin and coconut milk and stir once more.
  4. Put the lid onto the curry and leave to cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The coconut milk should be gently bubbling not boiling; if the cooking is too rapid then the pumpkin will break up.
  5. Add the tamarind water and palm sugar and then season to taste. When tasting only the milk it should have quite a kick from chilli and have a slight sweet and sour taste from the sugar and tamarind.
  6. Test the pumpkin to if it is cooked – it should still have a bit of body but not be hard on the teeth.
  7. Once you are ready to serve add the chopped coriander and serve with rice.

Quick notes

Tip: If you don’t have much time you can speed the recipe up by softening the onions on a higher heat. They will be cooked but they won’t have the amazing sweetness and depth or colour that the slow cooking does.

Variations

You can substitute the pumpkin with other vegetables or even meat.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Indian (Southern)

My rating 4 stars:  ????? 1 review(s)

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Grand Prix Dinners

Rich and I are huge F1 fans. When it’s a race weekend our whole life revolves around practise, qualifiers and finally the actual race.

image creditjrewillis

As food is also a very big thing in our lives I decided to combine the two and make the food of the race location. We don’t slavishly follow it for the entire weekend but at least one of our meals is inspired by it.

Below are a list of the races of the 2011 season to give you an idea of the varied food that we will be eating!

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