Whether its from the temperature getting colder and the air damper, or the stress of Christmas approaching, over the past 3 days I’ve been fighting off some bug. Today in particular has been the kind of day where I would have liked nothing more than to vegetate on the couch watching re-runs of Chuck and eating soup. Normally when I’m sick I gravitate to the traditional Chicken Noodle Soup, but today I felt like a variation that included a bit more kick to it – Chipotle peppers. I had a few of these peppers ziplocked in the freezer from the last time I made this recipe a few months ago. Normally they come 8-10 in a can and as each recipe usually only calls for 2 at a time, this is a good way to store them until needed. This soup delivers a nice balance of heartiness (from the corn, chicken and zucchini), zip/kick (chipotle-style) and tartness from the limes making it the perfect fall or winter meal, or when in need of a pick-me-up. Continue reading
Category Archives: Chicken
This green curry dish is the most popular Thai meal after Phad Thai – but watch out, it’s spicy!
I first learned to make it at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School during my stay in Thailand, where it became my inaugural meal using coconut milk. Before this I had never really given it a chance. My earliest memory of a coconut (cue the flashback harp music) is from a trip to Florida when I was really young, where my dad broke open a coconut that had washed up on the beach and handed my brother and I pieces to examine and nibble on. I remember the clear liquid on the inside tasting foul and then subsequently I was turned off everything ‘coconut’ for a few decades, however undeserved.
I’ve since learned that coconut milk isn’t actually the liquid inside of a coconut, as I had been led to believe; and many years after my Florida trip I realized that the liquid deserved another chance. After all, I had the same initial reaction to coffee and alcohol and look where I am now. During our stay in a rural Thai village, on a particularly sweltering day, our host father poked holes in a coconut he picked from his yard and handed us straws for drinking. Parched from the heat, I found this makeshift umbrella drink refreshing and vowed thereafter to conquer all of my other childhood food aversions.
Actual coconut milk, if ever the question is asked on Jeopardy, is made by squeezing the grated flesh of a coconut with a bit of hot water. The resulting rich, creamy liquid looks much like cow’s milk…and it is a vital ingredient in the making of most curry dishes, including this one. Continue reading
Our favourite Isan (North East Thailand) meal, which we have occasionally made since returning home from our travels there, is minced chicken salad, or Laap Gai. Like other typical Isan cuisine, it is spicy and rich in flavour. Traditionally it is made with ground, roasted sticky rice in it, though I usually skip this step for simplicity without noticing the difference. I enjoy eating this dish, as the Thai people do, with handfuls of sticky rice, or wrapped in lettuce leaves like a wrap.
1 1/2 cups chicken breast or turkey breast, minced or ground. Ground chicken is usually available at grocery stores.
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tbsp fish sauce – yes, it smells vile, but it’s an integral ingredient in Thai dishes
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion (optional)
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1. Place the ground chicken, shallots, red onion, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli powder into a medium bowl and mix together.
2. Heat a wok and on medium heat and cook the chicken mixture for about 6 minutes until the chicken is cooked. During the last minute, add the mint, cilantro and green onion.
3. Serve with sticky or glutinous rice or in lettuce leaves, similar to lettuce wraps.
There are a lot of great peanut-satay products that one can buy, normally found somewhere in the asian food section of the grocery store. But I find it just as easy to make my own with an ingredient that is found in almost every cupboard – peanut butter.
1 pound skinless boneless chicken, either cubed or sliced into 1 inch x 3 inch pieces
1/3 cup peanut butter, store bought or home-made
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
Red Chilli flakes, depending on taste (or 1 finely chopped chilli pepper if you are brave)
1 tbsp plain white yogourt or milk
1/2 tsp salt
1. Cut chicken into pieces, as above. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl – the hot water will melt the peanut butter into a creamy liquid consistency.
2. Set oven to broil.
3. Immerse the chicken into the peanut butter mixture to cover each piece well and then line the coated chicken in an oiled pan or cookie sheet. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture for a second coating later on.
4. Broil the chicken for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and brush chicken with remaining mixture, then cook for another 5 minutes. Serve on a bed of jasmine or basmati rice. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired.
Two summers ago when I was training for my first Marathon I became addicted to eating pasta. I was hungry all the time and needed constant carb-replenishment. It only took a week and a half of eating spaghetti, however, until I my body had enough and all of my white shirts had been stained with pasta sauce. I came up with this recipe in attempt to redeem pasta’s reputation at my dinner table; it is a lighter alternative to tomato-based sauces and will please the fussiest of eaters who normally wouldn’t eat a lot of vegetables. This has become one of my favourite dishes that I enjoy cooking up at least once a month. Continue reading