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chicken Favourite recipes

Coq au vin

July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day! Let’s celebrate with a reknown French dish. Coq au vin is a French dish of chicken braised with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. While the wine used is typically Burgundy, many regions of France have variants of coq au vin using the local wine, such as coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), coq au pourpre or coq au violet (Beaujolais nouveau), coq au Champagne, etc.

This style of cooking is really a favourite of mine and very fitting that the French National Day is in winter here in New Zealand.

Beautiful Tony Sly pottery serving dishes and jug, stunning La Rochere glassware, timeless vintage french cutlery, vintage French linen all supplied by a lovely local store here at Waihi Beach – The French Shop
















Coq au vin recipe
Serves 4 – 6

1 whole, organic chicken
200 grams of thick bacon, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon of olive oil
30 grams of butter
1/2 cup of flour
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 large stalk of celery, sliced
250 grams of brown mushrooms, stalks removed
5 small onions, quartered
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups of good quality chicken stock
3 cups of red wine
A small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
A small handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Cut the chicken through the middle lengthways and then crossways into quarters or sixths. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shake off excess and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy based frypan and cook the bacon until golden brown, remove and set aside. Add the chicken pieces and brown them well on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the butter to the pan and when melted and bubbling add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Turn the pan down to medium and cook for several minutes, turning to brown and coat the veges. Remove and set aside. Add the stock and red wine to the pan, heat through and scrape and stir through any remnants in the bottom of the pan.

In a large pyrex or enamel lidded baking/roasting dish place the chicken, bacon and veges. Pour over the stock and wine mixture. Scatter over the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaves. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 2.5 hours. The aroma will fill your house and make everyone hungry!

Serve with mashed potato and scatter over fresh parsley.


chicken simple meals

Thai inspired lemon chicken

March 10, 2015

I have a real thing for Thai flavours – makrut lime (kaffir lime), lemongrass, coconut….. yum! I recently found this tasty recipe on The Kitchn and decided to adapt it a little and use organic chicken thigh fillets rather than a whole chicken although I’m keen to try it with the whole chicken one day.


Serves 2 – 3

500g organic chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 can of organic, unsweetened coconut milk (I use the Ceres brand)
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
1 small makrut lime leaf, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium lemon, sliced into 8 wedges
A good handful of coriander – the full stems from the stalk through to the leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt
Cracked pepper, ground

Season your chicken fillets well with salt and cracked pepper on both sides. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based frypan til sizzling. Add your thigh fillets and brown on each side. Turn the heat down to medium and add the lemongrass, coriander, makrut, garlic, lemon, and coconut milk. Simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and set aside for ten minutes. Remove the chicken from the frypan. Re-heat the sauce to a simmer and add the spinach leaves, cook for a few minutes. Serve on basmati rice ( I used basmati brown rice) with the sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

The lemon wedges are gorgeous in this, squeeze some of them over your meal.




chicken light meals simple meals

No more 2 minute noodles!

February 23, 2015

As a mother of three I’m no stranger to trying to feed children reasonably healthy options. I was legendary with my 1st child, nothing from a can or packet passed her lips for at least the first year but by the 2nd and then 3rd child it was more a case of grab whatever you can, get them fed and into bed before you pass out from exhaustion!

Today I ventured into the scarey territory of embracing a healthy alternative to one of my 9 year old’s favourites, the dreaded two minute noodles. I presented him with his steaming, fragrant, home made bowl tonight which he cast a very skeptical eye over and then reluctantly tasted about 1/2 a teaspoonful. I sat there watching and waiting patiently for the quick run outside to spit it out or the fatal grimace that meant there was no way in hell he would go any further. Miraculously it didn’t happen, there was a quick nod of the head and the spoon went back into the bowl for a second lot! OMG he didn’t just like them, he loved them – wonders will never cease. Phew.

I’m not guaranteeing that you will get the same result with your children but fingers crossed you do and you will also find that this meal is a taste sensation for the whole family.



In the recipe below all the ‘optional’ items are those items that you might think are a bit risky for your childs taste but as an adult you will love them. The overall dish is only mildly hot.

Serves 3 – 4

1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500 grams of chicken breast or thigh fillet, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 a can of coconut milk – get the unsweetened organic one
2 cups of chicken stock
Juice of two limes
1 mukrat or kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional, if you don’t have access to any just add zest of one of the limes instead)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 a fresh pineapple cut into chunks or one of the small tins in natural juice (optional)
2 cakes of dried egg noodles, broken into pieces (get the authentic asian ones if you can rather than the ones in the 2 minute packs)
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons of toasted coconut thread (optional for garnish)

In a deep frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and saute for a minute. Turn the pan up to high, add the sliced chicken and brown quickly on both sides (about 2-3 minutes). Add the turmeric, cayenned, chilli, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice and kaffir lime leaf. Turn the pan down to medium and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the pineapple and noodles, stir and simmer for another five minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add some boiling water if you feel you would like more liquid. Remove from the heat, stir in half the spring onion. Serve in bowls, garnish with the rest of the spring onion, the coriander and the coconut thread.

You could also add some extra veges towards the end of the cooking time such as spinach leaves, green beans, sliced zucchini, tomato wedges.



Soul warming Moroccan chicken

June 25, 2013

If you haven’t tried your hand at Moroccan cooking yet, then I’m about to win you over. The recipes are simple and the flavours are delicious with a touch of the exotic. I love Moroccan food in winter, it adds spice and yet still provides comfort. This is a recipe that my lovely flamboyant friend Ange and I used to cook and we featured it in Syrup magazine in 2008 – Syrup magazine was our labour of love from a past era that still holds very fond memories.

1½ kg of chicken pieces (I use chicken thigh with bone in but skin removed)
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup olives
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1½ cups chicken stock
fresh coriander

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brown your chicken pieces in a little oil in a pan. Remove the chicken to a tagine or casserole dish. then add the onion and garlic to the pan, cook gently till soft. Add all remaining ingredients.

Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. At this stage I whisk in a tablespoon of flour mixed with 1/4 cup of water to thicken it slightly. Pour over the chicken pieces. Cook for 1.5 hours. Scatter with fresh coriander, season with salt and pepper and serve with couscous, mash or rustic bread.