A “Poule Au Pot” is a classic French dish originally made popular by Henri IV, whose ambition was for every family in his kingdom to be able to afford to eat this dish every Sunday. It is traditionally served with the carved poached meat and vegetables on a platter and the chicken broth in a bowl on the side, but I prefer to bring all the elements back to the pot and serve it as a hearty soup.
1 whole organic chicken, washed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2L chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 leeks, washed and sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
1) Place carrots, celery, onions, parsley and bay leaves in a large non-stick pan. Season with Salt & pepper. Place the chicken over the vegetables, pour in stock and add enough water to cover the chicken (I took the below photo before adding the extra water). Simmer on medium heat for 1.5 hour or until the chicken is soft and fully cooked through.
2) Remove the chicken from the pan leave it to cool down on the side. Bring the broth back to high heat and allow to reduce for 15 minutes. In the meantime, tear the cooked chicken into long chunks.
4) Once the broth has reduced by a third, throw the chicken back in the pan, add the leeks and simmer for another 10 minutes.
5) Remove the bay leaves and serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
For something a bit more substantial, add potatoes at the same time as the carrots and green peas as you add the leeks. This soup is delicious, nutritious and super healthy too!
This is a simple Nasi Goreng recipe I learned at a cooking class on my last trip to Bali.
The reason why I like it so much? Because it tastes really authentic, while a simplified version of the more complex recipes I have seen before. This means that you don’t have to get too many new spices and exotic ingredients to re-create it a home. In fact, this recipe is best improvised to use up overnight rice!
2-3 tsp vegetable oil
100g chicken, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp red chilli, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup steamed rice, cold
3 tbsp soy sauce
1tsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1tsp fish sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Small handful of coriander, chopped
2 tbsp Fried shallots
½ cup Chinese cabbage, shredded (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
1. If you’re not using left over rice, start by cooking the rice following packet instruction. Drain, cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for an hour or so. Note that it’s important to use cold cooked rice as freshly cooked rice is too soft and will absorb the oil.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes or until nice and brown. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Add the shallots, garlic and toss around for a couple of minutes. Add the chili, turmeric, and spring onion and fry for another minute.
4. Add the rice, mix and toss well. Add the Soy sauce, Worcester, ketchup and fish sauce. Season to taste.
5. Garnish with fried shallots and fresh coriander.
I didn’t include shredded cabbage or eggs omelette in mine, as I was serving it as a side to my chicken sate, but definitely add it in for a more substantial stand alone dish!
This tasty and healthy dish was inspired by my recent trip to Bali. Peanut sauce is one of the most popular local speciality, served with anything ranging from meats to vegetables. Chicken sate (or satay) is a wonderful alternative to a classic chicken kebab and also the perfect exotic addition to your next barbecue session!
Ingredients: Serves 4
3 garlic cloves
25g root ginger
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp each ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground white pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 lime leaves , thinly sliced (optional)
500g chicken fillet, finely sliced
Wooden skewers, soaked in boiling water
2 tablespoons oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
200g peanuts, unsalted & dry roasted
3 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
3 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml hot water
1. Peel & finely chop shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies. Measure spices and place into a separate bowl.
2. Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies for 1-2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water to help soften, stir in the dry spices and fry for a minute.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, let the mixture cool down, then blend to a paste and add the tamarind paste and shredded lime leaves if using. Season with salt.
4. Place chicken strips in a bowl, pour marinade over it, combine well and thread 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.
5. To prepare the peanut sauce heat the oil in a saucepan add chillies, garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft. Add peanuts and roast for another minute.
6. Place the mixture in a food processor; add salt, sugar, hot water and process again to make a thick sauce. Add fish sauce to taste.
7. Grill on the barbecue or griddle pan for 8-10 mins or until slightly charred on both sides and cooked inside.
Serve with peanut sauce, pita bread and a fresh cucumber salad for a light summer lunch or alternatively garnish with fried shallots and serve with a side of steamed rice or Nasi Goreng for a more authentic Indonesian meal.
Chicken pies and pies in general are the perfect feel-good food. Rich and flavourful, it’s the perfect home-cooked meal for your friends and family. It’s also pretty quick and easy, especially when using ready-made pastry. Once you’ve tried this classic, you will find yourself try all sorts of tasty variations of your own!
1 tbsp olive oil
300g chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2 medium clove garlic, peeled and crushed
100g shortcut bacon, finely diced
½ leek, finely chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/3 cup thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper, to taste
20g grated cheese (optional)
1-2 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 200°C and heat the oil in a large frying pan. Place the chicken in the pan, season with salt & pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan if necessary. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the bacon to the same pan and cook until lovely & crisp. Add the onion, garlic, leek to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown.
3. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock, then the milk. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened & creamy. Season to taste.
4. Grease a round baking tray and dust it with flour to make it non stick. Flip it over the puff pastry and cut around it to form the lid of the pie. Set aside. Repeat with the shortcrust pastry, but this time cut circles about 1.5cm from the edge of the tin.
5. Ease shortcrust pastry circle into pie the tin, spoon in the chicken mixture, sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese if you fancy it.
6. Top with the puff pastry. Cut a small cheminee on top to allow the steam to escape while cooking, press edges to seal, trim any excess pastry using a sharp knife and brush with the egg glaze.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve with a side of salad for a summer dish or with vegetable, mash and gravy for a heartier winter meal! If you don’t have short-crust pastry, you can simply use puff pastry for the pie base as well as the lid, it’s just not as traditional!
Growing up in France, cordon bleu was my all time favourite and it was pretty easy to satisfy my obsession as you could buy pretty good ones from the frozen section of most supermarkets. As I left France, I started making my own one from scratch, which proved to be a really good move!
Ingredients: (serve 4)
4 large chicken breasts
4 large slices leg ham, freshly cut
4 slices Emmental, Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Unfold the first chicken breast and flatten it by pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin. The trick is not to pound to hard, but to pound firmly and evenly until it’s a somewhat uniform flatness and similar shape and size to your ham slices. Repeat with the other breasts.
2. Season each breast with salt & pepper and place a slice of ham and then cheese on top.
3. Cut any sticking out part to ensure the 3 layers all have the same shape and size and fold neatly.
Coat each cordon in the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs.
4. Pre-heat a large non stick pan on medium heat, add a splash of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the cordon bleus and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until nicely golden. Season with salt & pepper.
Serve it hot with a side of salad or Petit Pois a la Francaise! You could also make a few extras and freeze it for an easy dinner during the week!
Chicken stuffed with homemade pesto and wrapped in proscuitto ham…such a delicious combination of ingredients and so Italian! The ham and the pesto will not only give a rich flavour to the dish, but it will also keep the chicken moist and tender! Its extremely quick and easy to make, yet it looks really impressive on the plate!
Ingredients: (4 people)
4 organic chicken breasts
8 slices of proscuitto ham
1 small bunch of basil
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup of pine nuts
4 tbsp Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven on 250 degrees. To prepare the fresh pesto, blend the pesto, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts together. Add in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. To stuff the chicken, simply cut each breast open along one side to form a pocket and spoon in some of the pesto mixture.
3. Place 2 slices of prosciutto flat on the surface, overlapping slightly on one end and wrap the ham tightly around the first chicken breasts. Repeat with the other three.
4.Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Make sure you follow the cooking instructions in order to keep the chicken nice and moist. Serve it on a bed of fresh tagilatelle pasta, risotto or green beans for a healthier option!
This is a French classic and a perfect Sunday dinner, as it doesn’t take too long to prepare but just a bit of time to cook away slowly. Warning: it will fill the house with an amazing aroma, which will tease everyone and get them hungry, and make your next-door neighbours jealous and cranky!
Ingredients (4-5 serves)
1.5kg free-range organic chicken, disjointed
3 cloves of garlic, 2 slices and 1 crushed
3 Sprigs thyme, leaves picked
2 sprigs Rosemary, leaves picked
3 sage leaves
150g pancetta, diced
2 tbsp black olives, sliced
5 large shallots, peeled and halved
300g mixed mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1.5 cup of white wine
3tbsp Fresh cream
1 small bunch coriander
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Pre-heat 10ml of olive oil in a large non-stick heavy bottom pan. Add in the sliced garlic, sage leaves, chicken, rosemary and thyme and season with salt & pepper. Sizzle for 10 minutes or until the chicken is sealed and light golden brown and stir regularly.
2. In the meantime, pre-heat a separate frying pan with a small splash of olive oil and 10g butter and stir in the shallots, crushed garlic, pancetta and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. After 2 minutes, stir in the mushrooms and olives and cook until the mushrooms look brown and nice.
3. Combine the mushroom mixture and the meat in the bigger pan and top with the wine. Cook for 10 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half and the alcohol has evaporated. Close and place in the oven to cook for 40-60 minutes on low heat. If your pan isn’t oven proof, keep it covered on low heat and check regularly or transfer to a warm slow cook dish.
4. Check the liquid amount after 40 minutes. Take out any skin bits that have separated from the meat. If it looks a bit too dry, add a bit of water in. If it looks too liquid, cook uncovered for a few minutes. Once you’re happy with the texture, stir in the fresh cream, chopped coriander and season to taste.
Serve with salad and mash. You can also replace the fresh cream with a spoon of corn flour to thicken the sauce at the end or skip it altogether for a lighter version. You can also replace the mash with tagliatelle pasta for a change. If you don’t like the idea of disjointing a whole chicken yourself, you can also use pre-cut chicken legs and thighs, but make sure you buy good quality free-range chicken otherwise it could end up fatty and gristly.
I couldn’t guarantee that my chick-corn soup truly holds any medicinal properties…but it’s certainly really tasty, nutritious and comforting and I crave it every time I am feeling a little bit poorly! Although it’s probably just a good excuse to have it on a regular basis!
Ingredients (4-5 serves)
4 cobs of sweet corn
1 white onion, finely diced
2/3 spring onions, finely sliced
3cm knob ginger, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 tbs vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup Shao Hsing wine
7-8 cups reduced salt chicken stock
1 can of creamed corn
2 chicken breast, cut into thin slices
3 tbsp coriander, chopped
3 tbs light soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp sea salt
1. Start by removing the corn kernels from the cobs, using a sharp knife as per below.
2. Pre-heat the vegetable oil into a large heavy-based non stick saucepan and cook the onion, half of the spring onion, garlic, ginger for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and let it reduce for another couple of minutes. Add the corn and cook for a further minute, add the creamed corn and then stock. Let it simmer for 45 minutes on medium heat.
3. Remove impurities from the surface, add the chicken to poach in the soup, season with soy sauce & coriander and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in the egg for a few seconds.
4. Serve into large bowls and garnish with a few leaves of coriander, remaining spring onions.
Feel free to top it up with a few bits of red chili if you fancy…!