I have to give props when they are due, the first time I prepared this recipe was one of those days you get back from work and don’t feel like cooking but you are hungry and you’ve got to eat….
For me chicken is one of the easiest items to prepare. I had (still have) a cupboard full of Rhodes canned items which I got as one of the prizes from Dinner Divas. So, I thought, chicken + opening a can = Brilliant Idea! I placed the chicken on a baking dish without adding any seasoning to it, I poured a can of Rhodes Mexican Style Tomato, Onions & Green Pepper relish over the chicken and cooked it in the oven. The end results were seriously amazing.
However, the foodie in me also likes preparing recipes from scratch hence the recipe below, but hey if you feel like a quick meal do not feel like chopping feel free to just open a can.
Now to the interesting part, I prepared this recipe in front of a group of people and a camera for the first time. The aim was to give them an idea of how I really come up with my recipes. Personally, I believe that the best recipes are the ones that are prepared by just having an idea of what you would like to prepare, going into the kitchen, following your gut and letting your senses guide you by tasting your food and adjusting the flavours, colours and textures accordingly. That’s how I came up with this recipe and they got to witness the raw deal. Initially, there was no green in the recipe and the sight of a red and yellow chakalaka wasn’t doing the trick. Luckily, I had mange touts in the fridge and threw in a cup. I like what the role played by mange touts on the appearance. Talk about a sexy looking chakalaka!
While the chicken was cooking in the oven I prepared an Amadumbe Mash (with an interesting twist) and served it with the chicken. I’ll be sharing the Amadumbe Mash recipe tomorrow. We washed the meal down with a good bottle of Chardonnay. Hope you get to try it. Happy Workers’ Day!
±1kg chicken (preferably thighs), skin removed
15ml (1Tbsp) olive /canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow/red pepper, cut into strips
2 carrots, cut julienne
250ml (1cup) mange toute
7.5ml (½ Tbsp) rosemary, chopped
30ml (2Tbsp) chutney (any chutney will do, I’ve tried hot, tomato and chilli chutneys)
15ml (1Tbsp) medium curry powder
15ml (1Tbsp) red wine vinegar
2.5ml (½tsp) salt
2.5ml (½tsp) freshly ground black pepper
Early this morning as I was on my way to the Expresso show studios to present this recipe then BOOM! Out of nowhere, another car comes to my lane hitting my car on the passenger side.
Anyways, I didn’t get to the studio as we had to wait for the traffic officers and take statements…..
Back to the dish….
Today is International Carrot Day and I was asked to prepare a recipe using carrots. I came up with the stir fry recipe below. Carrots are a good source of the antioxidants, good for your eyesight, vitamin c, folic acid and many more….
Personally, I love snacking on baby carrots. Those packets of ready to eat baby carrots were made for me. If they are used in a recipe, I do not want them to lose that crunch.
The recipe I’m presenting uses chicken hearts. For some reason people struggle to get them. I’ve received a handful of emails asking where to get them. Even the guys at Expresso could not get them (I’m told they went to three different stores) therefore I had to go buy them myself. The one place that sells chicken hearts in Cape Town is the Gugulethu Spar. I travel to Gugs whenever I’m looking for items such as chicken hearts, tripe (the green one) or chicken feet. Otherwise, one can always replace them with giblets or chicken livers.
One can also play around with the recipe and add different flavourings as the recipe is quite spicy. I’ve added sour milk, chutney and chicken stock powder to tone down the spiciness and round up the flavours. Flour and water are added to thicken it up.
The dish is perfect for the chilly autumn and winter weather. Last but not least, I’ve paired the dish with Vergelegen Shiraz 2010. Any other good Shiraz will do, it perfectly washes down all that spiciness.
How do you prefer your carrots? Do you like them cooked or raw?
Chicken Hearts, Carrots and Mushroom Stir-Fry
15ml (1T) oil
500g chicken hearts, cut into strips/halves or whole
80ml boiling water
5ml (1tsp) chicken stock
15ml (1T) oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
5ml (1T) fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 chillies, chopped
10ml (2tsp) curry powder
1 green pepper, cut into strips
3-4 carrots, cut julienne
250ml (1cup) button mushrooms, sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
30ml (2T) tomato paste
5 sprigs thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
30ml (2T) chilli / tomato chutney
5ml chicken stock powder
80ml sour milk
15ml (1T) flour
30ml (2T) cold water
I have my two boys (my brother and nephew) visiting for the school holidays….all the way from the Eastern Cape. Now my challenge is to cook them delicious meals everyday as they are at home all by themselves during the day. Both of them have a huge appetite.
Having them helps because I have not one but two more that willing guinea pigs to try out my dishes. So, with them around I remembered Sam Linsell’s cookbook, Drizzle and Dip which I got as one of the prizes from Dinner Divas. I’ve already tried the pan-fried calamari recipe from the cookbook so I wanted to try out something else, preferably something meaty. We are a family of meat lovers!
Don’t know about you but I don’t like the idea of going shopping everytime I want to try out a new recipe. So I looked for a recipe that requires ingredients I already had in my fridge and cupboard. I looked at the ingredient list for the Chicken, Sausage & PotatoTray Bake recipe and compared to the items I had at home……
Olive oil√ chicken √ pork sausage √ chicken stock √ thyme √ dry white wine √ potatoes √ marmalade (its not “fresh-cut” marmalade as described in the recipe but marmalade is marmalade, therefore..)√
All was needed was to just follow the recipe and prepare the dish.
Let me first tell you a bit about Sam, she’s one of those bloggers I tend to bump into whenever there’s a foodie event (quite a socialite), she’s a very pretty lady, brilliant food stylist and an awesome blogger. I love her styling! She’s got that modern rustic vibe going on and I’m totally in love with it! Plus, she takes amazing pictures. You get hungry from just looking at them.
The recipes in the book are fairly easy and she has also included recipes from her family for an example, the Crunchies recipe by her grandma. I’m not an Oats fan but I bought a small packet just to prepare them…..Grandma Betty’s recipe better be good! LOL! I’m sure it is….
My boys loved this recipe and I’m sure they are gonna love the Crunchies after I bake them tonight. Drizzle and Dip cookbook is available in all good book stores and selected Woolworths stores. Check out Sam’s blog, Drizzle and Dip…..
Chicken, Sausage & Potato Tray Bake
With marmalade & thyme
3T olive oil
8 chicken pieces (bone in, with or without skin)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
400ml chicken stock
3T fine-cut marmalade
1½T chopped thyme
250g chipolata pork (or ordinary pork) sausages
500g new potatoes
Are you getting into the holiday mode? I am. Infact, at times like these I wish I was a student again, done with my exams and relaxing at my favourite holiday destination….my mother’s house.
Catching up with friends, family and oh just sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing LOL! It’s funny that when we are young we rush into becoming old, then when we are old we miss being young……Life hey!
When I was a student around this time I would be home and because I was studying food, I became the designated holiday cook. I know this happens regardless of what you are studying. The family feels a sense of relief from their daily cooking duties and it becomes your duty. I would look for the simplest dishes to prepare something like Umphokoqo (phuthu), a one pot meal hehe! So, this is to all my students at home looking for meal inspirations. This is one of my easy peasy dishes, it’s also delicious and filling.
After all, holidays are for relaxing, unwinding, enjoying the time with loved ones and planning the year ahead. So we don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen especially with the sun blazing outside. Chicken livers are one of traditional South African dishes. We like them spicy!
What’s your easy peasy holiday dish?
Peri-Peri Chicken Livers on Pita Bread Recipe
500g chicken livers
25ml olive oil
1 onion, sliced into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
15ml (1tbsp) worcestershire sauce
1 black pepper
2.5ml (½tsp) crushed chillies
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
2.5 ml (½ tsp) parsley, dried or two sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
1 packet of pita bread
1 packet watercress
2 tomatoes, sliced
I would like to think most of my readers are working men and women. So, that means we don’t have time, we are jugglers: work- family-social life etc.
Yes, we love looking after our loved ones, but most of the time we come back from work tired. During such times we need something easy, quick to prepare, yet delicious and with a wow factor. Of course you want to impress with your cooking skills. This dish I’m sharing today allows you to be all of those things. You don’t get to spend much time in the kitchen but your family will still think you cook like Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson.
I’m sharing a Peri-Peri Chicken dish from The Best of Fresh Living Cookbook. The first time I tried out the recipe, I thought of my hung over friends always wanting something hot and spicy. If your dish is not spicy then you better make sure you serve the dish with fresh chopped chillies.
The dish can be prepared after work and leaves you with time to spend with the family. Give it a try and then watch your family licking’em fingers! Happy Cooking!
Peri-Peri Chicken Pieces Recipe
A Portuguese Classic
3 Tbsp (30ml) PnP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 tsp (5-10ml) ground peri-peri
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp (30ml) red wine vinegar
Salt and milled pepper
8 chicken pieces
It’s been a while since I posted hey…winter makes some of us lazy…self included…..I somehow struggle to wake up early in the morning but in summer and spring I’m an early bird and that’s when I manage to get most work done. Goodbye winter you won’t be missed! Till next time! Finally it is spring!!! Yay!
Now, about the chicken feet…..
In Xhosa we call them “amanqina enkukhu”. In Jozi they are called “maotwana” /“walkie talkies” or “runaways”. I always see my colleagues having pap and chicken feet for lunch. Where I come from we grew up having them as a snack, especially in high school…one of my classmates used to sell them for 20c each. In the townships you find them everywhere including the street vendors. They are even braaied. Yum!
This is my mom’s favourite snack….after biltong. If you’ve never tried them you may wonder what’s there to eat from these feet. The funny thing is that there is actually meat. We even crush the bones. There’s just something about them…or maybe the bone crushing is therapeutic? Mmmmmm…I don’t know…you just have to try them yourself. Chicken feet are high in protein, low in kilojoules and they won’t make your hands go deep into your pockets so they are perfect for spring. The downside though is that they are quite sticky. You need to wash the hands afterwards, I mean wash not wipe.
In this dish, the chicken feet are served with a spicy chakalaka and pap. So, ladies and gentleman this is a hand affair…neither spoons, knives nor folks necessary. Just ensure that your hands are clean. Geniet!
Curried Chicken Feet Recipe
± 500g chicken feet and / or heads
250ml (1cup) boiling water
5ml (1tsp) medium curry powder
2.5ml (½ tsp) tumeric
5ml (1tsp) black pepper
5ml (1tsp) salt
30ml 2Tbsp) olive oil
Flavourful, finger licking and bone crushing goodness….. Yup! It is all of those things and more….
There’s quite a number of English names given to this chicken i.e. traditional free range chicken, home grown chicken, indigenous chicken, chicken raised at home and my personal favourite…..the running chicken.
I grew up calling it Umleqwa which means it’s a running chicken and you chase it if you want to catch it. I’m not sure whether the chasing takes place before or after the slaughter. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a rural or farm setting you would remember the chickens roaming around and running if you try to catch it. I’ve also witnessed people chasing after a headless chicken quite a number of times…..it really runs!
Umleqwa is not like your typical retail chicken that cooks in 20 minutes. The meat is tough, the skin is thick and totally different as a result you boil it for 45 minutes to one hour.
One thing about indigenous food cooking is that less is more. Umleqwa is a typical example of a dish, not just any dish but a tasty dish that only requires minimal seasoning such as salt. At least our parents and grandparents cook it that way and it is so good.
Most people at this time of the year are going home to be with their families and of course to feast. Chances are umleqwa is going to be on the menu.
I’m presenting to you a recipe that won’t only have you and your family licking fingers and crushing bones but will also have your family asking for more and of course thinking you are Jamie Oliver! Enjoy!
1 whole chicken, plucked, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
900ml boiling water
1 chicken stock cube
15ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, skin removed and chopped
30ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste
2.5ml (½ tsp) curry powder
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
If there’s remaining water from the cooked chicken, don’t throw it away just add it to the tomato mixture to make gravy.
Cape Town…What comes to mind at the mention of this city?… breath taking views, a happening night life, diverse nationalities, wine farms, taxi tout with missing front teeth screaming “Mowbray! Claremont! Wynberg!” LOL!
However, before coming to Cape Town, making myself a permanent resident and adopting the cape coloured accent, I knew it as a city of people with missing front teeth, table mountain and lots of fish. Up until this day I still wonder why so many capetonians have missing front teeth! Some say it’s from eating the fish bones haha but we love them anyways!
I can go on and on about the fascinating stuff about the mother city but for now I’d like to share with you one of my favourite Kaapse cuisines, the Gatsby. It’s a long bread roll usually filled with a variety of ingredients from chicken, mutton curry, viennas, polony the list goes on. The Gatsby originated from the Cape Malay.
As a student my friends and I used to club and buy a Gatsby and a cool drink…..that’s how I got hooked up. My personal favourites are the Masala Steak and the Mutton curry gatsbys! I don’t know about you but for me the two is “baie lekker” (very delicious). Ok, confession time…..my colleagues and I club from time to time to buy a Gatsby ….I must say clubbing for a gatsby is cheaper than buying two pieces of chicken and chips and its very filling. Four people clubbing for one Gatsby can contribute up to R15.00 each depending on the type….I’m sure by now you get my drift.
I won’t deny the fact that you’ll only get the best here in the Cape but you can always try and make your own at home. The nice thing about the Gatsby is the fact that there are no rules as to what goes into it. You can add anything you like. I decided to make my own version using chicken cooked in Castle Milk Stout beer which I got from my fbi2011 goodie bag :-).
For the chicken:
15ml (1Tbsp) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
±400g chicken thigh fillets, diced (medium sized dices)
200ml castle milk stout beer
30ml (2Tbsp) chutney
5ml (1tsp) pesto princess red pesto
2.5ml (½tsp) medium curry powder
6 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
For the Gatsby:
1 French roll, cut lengthwise
Potato chips (from two potatoes)
Castle Milk Stout chicken
3-4 lettuce leaves, shredded
Assembling the Gatsby: Layer the chips, chicken and lettuce inside the roll. Divide into two or three pieces. Geniet / Enjoy! Down with a cool drink of your choice!