Friday 26 April 2019

Indian style spicy chicken with rice noodles

Indian style spicy chicken with rice noodles
Indian style spicy chicken with rice noodles

  • 4 chicken breasts

For the marinade

  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder (or 2 of mild)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp vinegar

For the sauce

  • 2cm stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp water

For the noodles

  • 100g dried rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies, cut lengthways 
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

Mix together the marinade ingredients and rub over the chicken breasts then set aside for 30 minutes.

For the sauce, mix together the spices and roast them in a dry frying pan until they begin to colour.  Using a pestle and mortar, grind the spices to a fine powder.  Heat the oil in the pan and fry the garlic until it starts to turn golden.  Add the onion and cook until softened, then add the spices, make sure you stir briskly to stop them from burning.  Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes, stir in the water and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, place the chicken onto a baking try and cover each breast with the sauce, cook in the oven for around 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.  In a large pan heat the oil then add the curry leaves and mustard seeds.  Once they start to crackle add the chillies and turmeric, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.  Drain the rice noodles, add to the pan along with the sliced pepper, stir through for a couple of minutes and then serve with the chicken.

On the face of it you may think there are a lot of ingredients but most of these will probably be in your store cupboard, the fresh curry leaves are widely available in a number of leading supermarkets.
This is a spicy dish but you can always use a milder chilli powder if you prefer.  There should be plenty of sauce on the chicken to incorporate into the noodles so it isn't a dry dish.  Who needs to go out for an Indian or even get a takeaway when you can make this quick and easy dish in the comfort of your own home?  I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Saturday 6 April 2019

Asparagus Spring Tart

Asparagus Spring Tart
  • 250g ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Handful of grated Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 8 asparagus spears
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • Handful of pea shoots
  • Vinaigrette 
  • 1 sheet of ready made puff pastry  

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, parsley, lemon juice & zest, mustard, Parmesan and season with salt and pepper, mix well and set aside.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment.  Unroll the pastry and place onto the tray, you may need to trim the end as the pastry is just a bit bigger than a standard sized tray.  With a sharp knife, score the pastry 1" from the edge in a rectangular shape to create a scored border.   Using a fork, prick the pastry all over within the border (do not prick the border itself). Beat the egg yolk and with a pastry brush, coat the tart with the egg wash.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and place the pastry in and cook for around ten minutes, the pastry should have puffed up and have coloured slightly, and will have a raised border.  Remove from the oven and leave to settle for ten minutes then spread the cheese mixture over the pastry (not on the border).  Trim your asparagus spears to fit the tart and place them on top, tear up the Parma ham and scatter this on top and then cook in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, keep an eye though to ensure the pastry does not burn.

Once cooked, remove the tart from the oven, top with the pea shoots, some gratings of Parmesan and drizzle over a little vinaigrette.  I served this with a nice crisp salad but baby small potatoes tossed in butter would go equally as well.

This tart was so tasty, fresh and zesty from the lemon with a bit of punch from the mustard.  We are coming into asparagus season so this recipe is perfect right now however don't reserve it just for spring as you can get asparagus pretty much year round!