Mozzarella Chicken & Roasted Vegetables

This week the Domestic Prince and I did a two day fast after having watched the BBC Horizon programme, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” a few weeks ago.  Research has shown that by fasting you can greatly reduce your IGF-1 levels, which is the hormone that encourages cell growth and detracts your body’s ability to repair itself.  The growth factor has strong links to the development of Alzheimers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various cancers.  There are other benefits associated with fasting such as weight loss, improved digestion and increased energy levels.  So, you’re probably wondering what on earth this has got to do with today’s recipe?  Well, on the two days of fasting, it’s suggested men consume no more than 500 to 600 calories a day and women 400 to 500.  You can split the calories up over the day, or eat them all in one meal.  The Domestic Prince chose to eat his in one meal, so on Sunday I set about finding a meal for his lunch that would be tasty, filling and nutritious and this is what I came up with!  One portion is around 550/600 calories.  I’ll be blogging more about our fasting experiment over the next few weeks, but so far it’s looking very positive.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1l of chicken stock
  • 150g of mozzarella cheese
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of torn basil leaves
  • 1g of stevia or 5g of caster sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roasted and crushed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped into cubes
  • 1 courgette (zucchini), chopped into cubes
  • 1 aubergine (egg plant), chopped into cubes
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped into cubes

Method

  1. Pop the chicken breast in a deep pan or dish and pour over the chicken stock.  On low to medium heat, poach the chicken breasts for around 15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, pour the tinned tomatoes, stevia (or sugar), two of the roasted, crushed cloves and the basil.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool and then whizz until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  4. In a frying pour some olive oil, I use around 2tbps and brown the onions.  Once browned, add in the 4 cloves of crushed garlic.  Sauté for around 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and put them in a roasting tin and put aside.
  6. Repeat the above process for all the vegetables, until they’ve all been sautéed.
  7. Put the vegetables in the pre-heated oven and roast for around 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Take the chicken breasts that you poached and set aside earlier and slice into it.  Roughly slice the mozzarella and stuff it into the chicken breast.  Pop some slices on the top as well.
  9. After about 20 to 25 minutes into the vegetables roasting, put the stuffed chicken breasts on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mozzarella is golden and bubbling on top.
  10. Whilst the chicken and vegetables are in the oven, warm-up the tomato and basil sauce.
  11. All that’s to be done now is serve and tuck in!!

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Goats cheese can be swapped for the mozzarella.
  2. Don’t be tempted to sauté all the vegetables at once, as they’ll produce too much liquid and will not caramelise.

Please let me know if you make this dish.

Have a wonderful weekend lovely readers.  We’re having a quiet one – bliss!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

The Most Divine Chicken Pie Recipe…..EVER!

I don’t think there’s anything quite as comforting, when it comes to food, as tucking into a pie, and a homemade pie is even more sublime.  The inspiration for this chicken pie recipe comes from the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson and has become a staple and “fall back / fail-safe” recipe in my supper repertoire.  It always receives fantastic feedback; plenty of mmms and aahhhs and completely clean plates!  Nigella’s recipe calls for short-crust pastry, however, I find it works just as well with puff pastry, and whichever you choose, I can promise you won’t be disappointed.

Serves 4

500g of ready-made short-crust or puff pastry (unless you’re a purist and want to make your own)

For the filling

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 – 3 chicken stock cubes (I prefer these ones)
  • 325ml milk
  • 325ml double cream (heavy cream)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g finely diced cooked carrots (since they’re so small, they should cook in about 2-3 minutes)
  • 400g cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Melt the butter over a low heat, ensuring sure that you don’t let it burn.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. In a jug, combine the milk and cream.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and milk mixture a little drop at a time, until it’s all been incorporated.
  5. Once it’s all been whisked in, put the saucepan back onto a medium heat and continue whisking for around 5 minutes to get rid of the starch, making sure there’s no lumps and the sauce becomes lovely and thick – it should be a wonderful glossy sauce that coats the back of a spoon.  If you feel it is too thick, keep adding drops of milk to get the consistency you’re looking for.
  6. Either pop in the gel cubes for them to dissolve, or crumble in the stock cubes and carry on whisking.
  7. Turn the heat down.
  8. In a bowl, pour boiling water over the frozen peas and leave for 1 – 2 minutes.
  9. Into the savoury white sauce, add the shredded cooked chicken, the diced cooked carrots and the drained frozen peas.
  10. Combine and keep on stirring, being careful not to bash your peas, for another 5 minutes.
  11. Tip the filling mixture into a bowl and cover with cling film directly on top of the filling.
  12. Once the mixture is cooled, pour into a pie dish.
  13. Roll the pastry out to the required shape and pop on top.
  14. Whisk an egg and paint on the top of the pastry.
  15. Using the pointy bit of the knife, cut a small cross in the middle of the pie to let any air escape.
  16. Pop into a pre-heated fan oven at 170C (gas mark 5) and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Serve with some delicious creamy mash and some tasty broccoli or any other green veg that you might fancy or have in the fridge!

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. By placing the cling film directly on top of the sauce, this prevents a skin forming – great little tip for when you’re making custard too.
  2. When egg-washing the top of the pastry, use a silcone pastry brush to avoid any hairs getting stuck in the egg wash.  I’ve had mine for a few months now and love it!  Look out for my favourite and essential kitchen gadgets in the coming weeks.
  3. For a less creamy sauce, replace the cream with milk.
  4. You could use a mix of frozen vegetables instead of the carrots and peas.
  5. Always place pastry on top of cool or cold pie filling, as otherwise you’ll end up with either soggy or crisp as a board pastry.

Let me know if you make this and how it turns out.  I’d also love to know what is your fail-safe / fall back recipe?  And are pies one of your comfort foods?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Quick & Easy Chicken Korma Recipe

Anybody reading this post, who knows me, will be completely shocked that my first recipe post is for chicken korma, and not for some yummy baked goods.  You see, despite living in India for nearly four years, I still don’t enjoy many Indian dishes.  However, since the Domestic Prince adores Indian food and I adore him and can actually tolerate eating a chicken korma, I set about attempting one and here’s the finished result.

I was thrilled with how it turned out and the empty plate that the Domestic Prince left, spoke volumes.  As the locals here would say, “shubha bhojana athavaa oota enjaay maad” or, quite simply enjoy!

Recipe

  • Serves:  4
  • Prep time:  15 mins
  • Cook:  20 mins
  • Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2 large crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, sliced and finely chopped
  • 2 cms of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsps garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground tumeric
  • Pinch (about 5 strands) of saffron
  • 2 tbsps of warm water
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsps of tomato puree
  • 4 tbsps of double cream
  • 80gms of ground almonds
  • 4 tbsps of coconut cream/milk
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut-up into bite sized chunks
  • Fresh coriander (if desired, to serve)

Method

  1. Put the saffron in a small dish with the 2 tablespoons of warm water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the grated ginger, crushed garlic and finely chopped onion and cook until softened.
  3. Add in the tomato puree and cook out for around 2 minutes.
  4. Pop the chicken in and cook until the pieces are lightly browned.  This should take around 5 minutes.
  5. Then add in the garam masala, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground tumeric and cook for a further minute.
  6. Pour over the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Stir in the ground almonds, double cream and coconut milk/cream.
  8. Carry on simmering away for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve with either plain rice or an assortment of naan bread, or some lovely crunchy vegetables.
  10. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander.

Korma is obviously a mild dish, so if you’d prefer yours with a bit of heat, add in some chilli powder or freshly chopped red chilli at stage 7.

I’d love to hear about and see pictures of your attempts at this dish.

Love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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