Salad therapy – roast chicken & rocket

We shared with you a simple recipe to use up some of the Christmas leftovers in a hearty corn soup – here’s another recipe using the remainder of the leftover chicken.   What initially started of as a filling for a Vietnamese rice paper roll ended up as a topping for a warm salad (had a bag of rocket leaves that was going to go past it’s expiry date and needed to be used).  In hindsight, we think this would have worked even better on a bed of iceberg lettuce or on some plain boiled Jasmine rice.  We have used the same core ingredients as with the tarragon butter made for the roast chicken (recipe below) and embellished it with more fresh herbs to give it a Vietnamese slant.  We have managed three wholesome meals with one medium sized bird – the humble Christmas roast chicken – the gift that keeps giving 😉


What do I need to make it?

  • 1 bag of rocket leaves
  • 500 gm shredded roast chicken
  • 2 Thai red chillies chopped
  • 2 long red chillied chopped
  • 4 large closed cup mushrooms sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • Handful of fresh tarragon chopped
  • Handful of Thai basil, mint and coriander leaves chopped
  • 100 gms of peanuts roasted, skinned and pounded to a coarse powder in pestle and mortar
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

2 large portions or 4 side salads

How do I make it?

Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan and saute chopped garlic for 30 seconds.   Add the chillies and stir for another minutes before adding the chopped tarragon and sliced mushroom.   Saute over medium heat for a few minutes – sprinkle some salt and then add the shredded chicken.   Warm the chicken through for five minutes – switch of the heat and add the remaining fresh chopped herbs.   To serve, place a generous portion of the warm chicken on a bed of rocket and garnish with the ground roasted peanuts.  Enjoy.

Salad therapy – Kerala dry chicken with coconut & yogurt dressing

We had a relative visit us over the weekend and had prepared some of Anna’s mum’s dry roast chicken curry as a snack.  We had some left over and this has formed the inspiration for this salad.  The dressing is simple to make and probably could work well with any Indian grilled/baked chicken dish (ie. tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala).   The recipe for the chicken  (Chicken Ularthiyathu) was posted in an earlier blog – link below.


The Dressing

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander and mint
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

100-150 ml

How do I make it?

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.   Place warmed left over chicken pieces over salad leaves of choice and drizzle the dressing over.   Enjoy.

Related Links:

Chicken Ularthiyathu –

Roast chicken and root vegetable – Indian style

We had a lovely roast for lunch a few days back with enough left over to make spicy chicken Vietnamese summer rolls last night.   Both of us like our food spicy and this was an opportunity to try something different with a traditional roast.  End result is a succulent bird with a bit of an Indian kick to it.  We used traditional vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnip and swede) for the roast and added garlic, button onions and green chillies from the garden and Indianized it further by adding a dollop of ghee and roasted cumin seeds before cooking in the oven.


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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 medium chicken washed and patted dry
  • Wet marinade
    • Handful of fresh coriander
    • Handful of fresh mint
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1″ piece of ginger
    • 4-5 green chillies (increase/reduce to taste) – we used the Apache chillies from our garden which was fairly pungent
    • Salt to taste

Put all the ingredients into a blender and puree to a fine paste.

  • Dry marinade
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Roast all the ingredients over a medium heat for a few minutes.  Grind to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar.

  • 100 gms butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Season the chicken with a bit of salt and then rub in the wet marinade all over the bird.  Remember to rub some in the cavity and lift the skin above the breast and rub in some marinade.   Next sprinkle the dry marinade over the chicken till you have an even coat.   Cut the lemon in half and place inside the cavity.   Cut the butter into pieces and place under the skin above the breasts, on the legs and wings.  Place the bird on greased baking pan in a 200 degree pre-heated oven and cook for an hour or till chicken is cooked.   Periodically remove from oven and baste the chicken with the melted butter and juices.   Half way through the cooking process put your root vegetables in and fifteen minutes before the chicken is done add the boiled potatoes.  Sunday roast done!


Vietnamese summer roll – roast chicken and herbs

A couple of days back I cooked a roast chicken for lunch and had some left over in the fridge.   I am hooked on cooking a whole chicken having successfully done so the last couple of times.   The addition of fresh rosemary from the garden in both the chicken and vegetables makes it all the more tasty.   Today’s lunch was fairly quick to prepare but it packed some flavour (fresh basil and mint from the garden).  If you haven’t eaten a Vietnamese summer roll try it and you will give up the fried spring rolls.

The summer roll started with the soaked rice paper layered with an iceberg lettuce leaf and filled with whole basil, mint and coriander leaves and a few chopped pieces of spring onion.   I heated up the left over roast chicken for a couple of minutes with some Chinese crushed red chilli sauce.   I added a good handful of the chicken on top of the herbs and wrapped the rice paper to form a roll.  I can’t wait to get Anna to try this when she gets back next week as I am sure she will love the freshness of the dish.

The roast chicken is simple to make.   I used a small bird, cleaned it up, placed in a roasting pan and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  I then rubbed the chicken with a generous knob of butter and placed a couple of knobs under the skin on either side above the breast.  I placed a lemon cut in half and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity and cooked in a pre heated 210 degree oven for an hour till chicken was cooked through.   During the cooking process I take the pan out and baste the chicken with the melted butter to keep it moist.  For the vegetable barring the potato (boiled and peeled it and added it to the roasting pan 15 minutes before chicken was done) I roughly chopped up some carrot, parsnip, celery and added some whole shallots, garlic cloves and button mushrooms – drizzled a little olive oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden.   I added the vegetables to the roasting pan half way through the cooking process.   The end results was a nice golden bird with roasted vegetables.


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Methi and spinach chicken

One of my favourite recipes from my food bible (Prashad by Inderjit Singh Kalra) is methi (fenugreek) chicken.  I made some a few days ago and added spinach to the recipe which works a treat.  As with every recipe in this book the outcome never seems to fail and the final product is worthy of any top class restaurant.  We had the chicken with brown rice string hoppers but it is a great dish to serve with your favourite Indian bread or rice pilau.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg chicken – we used skinless, boneless thighs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 300 gm chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 5 tbsp ginger (3 tbsp chopped and 2 tbsp julienned)
  • 6 green chillies chopped (de-seed if you want to reduce spiciness)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 250 gm chopped tomatoes
  • 150 gm baby spinach
  • 150 gm fresh fenugreek (if using dried fenugreek leaves – sprinkle 2 tbsp towards end of cooking process)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
  • Whole garam masala
    • 5 green cardamom
    • 1 black cardamom
    • 5 cloves
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • A pinch of mace
  • 1/2 cup of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Whisk yogurt in a bowl and add chicken, salt, chopped spinach and fenugreek leaves.  Leave this marinade aside for 30 minutes.  Heat ghee in a oven proof pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.  Add onions and saute until golden brown.  Then add chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies, stir for 2 minutes.   Dissolve the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder in 60 ml of water and add to the pan – stir for 30 seconds.   Add the tomatoes and cook(stir often)  till fat leaves the masala, add the marinated chicken along with marinade and about 1 cup of water.   Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and the fat leaves the masala once again.  Adjust the seasoning.  Sprinkle the ginger and coriander (and dried fenugreek leaves, ‘kasoori methi’ at this point if not using fresh leaves).  Cover with lid.   Mix some wheat flour and water to make a dough and seal the lid with the dough before placing in a 200 degree pre heated oven for 15 minutes.   Remove the seal, stir and serve hot with your favourite Indian bread or rice.

Garden fresh salad

Wanted to share with you a wonderfully simple salad we had the other night with leaves from our garden.  The salad was a mix of mizuna leaves, mustard leaves and tender carrot leaves.  The leaves were washed and chopped into bite size pieces and mixed with cherry tomatoes.  The dressing was a blend of walnut oil, lemon zest and  juice, grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Nothing to beat a fresh salad from the garden.

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A little taste of Jamaica

To celebrate our weekly indulgence in rice and Shiv’s return I decided to make a Jamaican inspired meal of jerk chicken with black bean rice.  Whilst the process might appear laborious it is actually quite straight forward and easy to make.


Jerk Chicken

What do I need to make it?

  • 4 chicken thighs with bone

Marinade I

  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Marinade II

  • Bunch of spring onions chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers deseeded
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice powder
  • 6 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

How do I make it?

Mix all marinade I ingredients and rub chicken thighs with marinade and keep aside.  Place all marinade II ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste.  Heat a griddle pan and brown chicken thighs on both sides before placing them in the second marinade.  Pre heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.  Place chicken thighs and second marinade (ensure the thighs are full coated with the marinade) in a baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes till chicken is done.  Serve hot with black bean rice.


Black bean rice

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 1/2 cups long grain rice washed
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (soak overnight and pressure cook if using dried variety)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 4 sprigs of spring onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 hot red chili pepper chopped
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat pan and add butter to it.  Add garlic and onion and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add cinnamon, baby leaves and dried thyme and stir.  Add spring onion, carrot and peppers and saute for another five minutes.  Add the washed and drained rice with the black beans and adjust seasoning and stir for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and then reduce flame and cover the pan and cook till all the liquid has been absorbed.  Serve hot with jerk chicken.