Crock Pot Chicken

It has been aaaaagggess since I last wrote a post but due to some fairly big upheavals I haven’t had much time to write recently!

I am back in the UK for a spell, so am enjoying a little spring time weather. Spring calls for a mixture of culinary delights as the temperatures can vary so much, with super sunny days like today, mixed up with grey days that crop up to remind you its England…and its cold.

At the moment I am also kitchenless, as Mum’s kitchen has been taken out ready for a replacement…in four weeks time. Crock pot it is then!

Crock Pot Chicken

Whole chicken (size it right for your crock pot/slow cooker), carrot, leek, mushrooms, green beans, half a glass white wine (optional), seasoning.

Slice up the vegetables and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Put the chicken on top. Stuff a few slices of leek in the cavity of the chicken then pour the wine in. Season the top of the chicken with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice – a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary would be excellent, dried is fine also. Turn your slow cooker to hot and leave for 6-8 hours. A lot of liquid will come out of the chicken to provide a stock for gravy or a thin sauce if you prefer.

If you have any left overs, blitz with a stick blender and serve as soup for lunch the following day (week…it was a big chicken…)

Chicken Tonight

Chicken is a mainstay of many people’s diets but until recently it was not something that I ate very often. On the boat we eat quite a lot of chicken though, we always have lots of it on standby and when it isn’t requested by the guests, I cook it for the crew instead. And so, I have had to find some interesting recipes that make eating chicken once a week delicious and new every time. Here are four recipes that make people excited when I say we’re having chicken tonight.

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken!

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken!

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Galley Wag

When I was little, my Father used to call me a scallywag. Apparently its a term of endearment between pirates and so I have adopted the phrase once more now I am a ship’s (yacht’s, its only got one mast…) cook. I have a kitchen again (its a GALLEY!), and I get to cook for the crew, the owner and his guests. I get paid to go food shopping…for normal women this is like getting paid to go shoe shopping; I am in heaven. So far this week I have been testing out some of my favourite recipes, and a few new ones, so that when the owner is here I can roll out some spectacular, made from scratch, healthy food for him and his guests. Two recipes that have gone down particularly well are Chickpea Salad and Sticky Soy Chicken with Veggie Fried Quinoa.

Chickpea Salad

A jar of chickpeas, a mix of tomatoes, spring onions, chilli, mint, basil, olive oil

Slice onions thinly, dice tomatoes, chop chilli finely and mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop mint and basil roughly and toss with other ingredients. Warm the chickpeas in a sauce pan, remove about ten percent and crush them with a fork. Mix this in to the other ingredients as it will give a slightly creamy texture to the dressing. Toss in the rest of the chickpeas whole and serve with another leafy green salad and a crusty loaf of bread.

Sticky Soy Chicken and Veggie Fried Quinoa

Chicken breast, mushrooms, almonds, red onion, garlic, honey, soy sauce, black pepper

60g quinoa per person, stock cube, courgette, handful cabbage, runner beans, chilli

Boil the quinoa as per the instructions on the packet, using a stock cube to flavour the water. While this is cooking fry the sliced onions and garlic with a pinch of brown sugar so they caramelize. Add the sliced mushrooms and a dash of soy sauce. Set aside while you cook the chicken. Chop the chicken into bite-size chunks and put into a hot frying pan. As the meat is cooking add honey and soy sauce slowly, you want to balance the flavours so it is not too sweet but not too salty so add it a little at a time and once the meat is cooked keep tasting and adjusting the two. When the sauce is reduced and sticky, put the onion mix back in and add the flaked almonds so they soak up the sauce.

For the quinoa, stir fry the thinly sliced veg until al dente and then stir in a little quinoa at a time so that is mixes evenly with the veg and fries well. Although I didn’t have any this evening, I think some toasted sesame seeds would really round this dish off, especially if the veg and quinoa were fried in a little sesame oil.