Roast chicken and creamed corn soup with corn bread muffins

Here’s our contribution to the “What do you do with the left over roast from Christmas ?” conundrum.  On Boxing day we had made some corn muffins for a lunch get together with some dear friends.   Having used some of the creamed corn in the corn bread muffin mix we had planned to use the remainder in a soup combined with the left over roast chicken (using tarragon butter – recipe posted earlier) from Christmas lunch.   We think it is one of the better soups we have made in a while with the fresh tarragon adding incredible flavour and enhancing the overall deliciousness of the soup.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 handfuls of left over roast chicken
  • 300 gm creamed corn
  • 2 large closed cup mushrooms sliced
  •  1 Thai red chilli chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Handful of fresh tarragon chopped
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • Dash of pepper
  • Knob of butter

How much will I make?

2 hearty bowls

How do I make it?

Heat a pan and add a knob of butter followed by the garlic.   Saute for a minute over medium heat ensuring the garlic does not brown before adding the chopped red chillies.   Saute for another minute before adding the tarragon and left over chicken.   Warm the chicken through and switch of the heat.   I a separate pan add another knob of butter to saute the mushrooms for a couple of minutes.   Pour in 400 ml of water and add the stock cubes and bring to a boil.   Add the creamed corn and chicken to the stock and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Pour into your soup bowl and enjoy.

 

Corn bread muffin

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup of corn meal
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup skimmed milk
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup creamed style corn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
  • 1/2 grated cheddar cheese (substitute with your favourite cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

12 medium sized muffins

How do I make it?

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Add the chopped spring onions, jalapenos, cheese, milk and oil – mix thoroughly before adding well beaten eggs.   Fold the eggs into the mixture and spoon into greased muffin cases and bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade for 40-45 minutes till they are golden brown.  Enjoy on its own with some sweetened butter (honey mixed with softened butter) or as an accompaniment to soups.

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Christmas meal 2013

Both of us want our little ones to grow up with an appreciation for Indian traditions and festivals such as Vishu, Pongal and Diwali whilst at the same time embracing Western mainstays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We are trying to start our own special way of celebrating Christmas, including the decorating of the tree, buying of presents for dear friends and most importantly a family sit down lunch.  Our Christmas lunch menu comprised of a Gordan Ramsay inspired tarragon and red chilli butter roast chicken stuffed with a chickpea mixture (our table top oven can’t cope with a turkey!) – sides included rosemary roast potatoes, steamed and buttered Brussels sprouts (this year we used the Brussels sprouts grown in our own little vegetable patch – whilst not as big as the store bought alternative they definitely tasted a lot sweeter and better) and candied sweet potatoes (a favourite in the Southern States of the US).

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Tarragon & red chilli butter roasted Chicken

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 medium chicken washed and patted dry
  • 125 gm tarragon butter (see below)
  • Chickpea stuffing (see below)
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Tarragon butter

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  •  4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red chilli (we used 3 small Thai red chillies for a bigger kick!)
  • Handful of chopped tarragon
  • 125 gms soft unsalted butter
  • salt to taste

Use a pestle and mortar to pound the garlic, chillies and tarragon with a pinch of salt till you get a coarse paste.   Mix the paste into the soft butter and keep aside till you are ready to prepare the chicken.

Chickpea stuffing

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  • 400 gm tin of chickpeas drained, washed and boiled till soft (shouldn’t take more than five minutes)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 Thai red chilli chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped for garnish
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan – first add the cumin seeds and saute for a minute before adding the garlic.   Saute for a minute and then add the chopped onions and red chilli.  Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes – sprinkle the ground cumin and add the drained chickpeas.   Mix together, adjust the seasoning and garnish with the fresh coriander.   Keep aside and let it cool down before stuffing the chicken with this mixture.

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Grease an oven proof baking tray and place chicken on it.   Season with salt and pepper and place chickpea stuffing in the cavity followed by the lemon – use toothpicks to seal the cavity.  Lift the skin and form a pocket before massaging the tarragon butter all over the chicken.  Massage some of the butter on top of the skin and rub some over the legs as well.  Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree centigrade and cook for an hour or till done.  Once cooked, remove the stuffing and place in bowl as an accompaniment.  Carve the chicken and enjoy.

Candied sweet potatoes

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What do I need to make it?

  • 3 sweet potatoes – boiled, peeled and cut into 1 inch circles
  • 3/4 cup of light muscavado sugar
  • 5-6 cloves
  • Small piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat the cloves, cinnamon, sugar and butter with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil over a medium heat till you get a syrup that coats the back of your spoon.  Place the boiled sweet potatoes in the syrup and continue to cook for 5 minutes before transferring to an oven proof dish and placing in a 200 degree Centigrade pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes.  Serve hot.

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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