Gochujang chicken wings with sesame quick pickled cucumbers

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Does my blog need yet another chicken wing recipe? Admittedly, the answer’s probably no, but here we are. These recipes are quick, easy and the results are delicious, and this one’s no exception–pop the into the oven, make the easy gochujang-based sauce whilst the wings cook, and then gobble them up. So what more could you ask for really?

These wings are somewhat spicy, sightly tangy, and we chose to serve them as they are with just a quick sesame cucumber pickle, to take the edge off that heat.

Feeds 2 for a quick & light lunch. Serve up with some rice if you want to bulk it up a bit. Read More

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Soy & ginger chicken wings with pickled radishes

They’re certainly messy, but I do like making (and eating) chicken wings. They feel a bit like bar food, but you can pick up a pack of like 20 of them for almost nothing here in England, and they make a great family lunch for all of us, and all things considered, don’t take all that long. I think they’re more popular over in the States, but the UK is slowly catching on in my opinion, since the town close to us has chicken wings popping up on menus all over the place these days.

(One thing that does confuse me though, is that I’ve seen the phrase “boneless chicken wings” (mainly on America-centric websites) and surely then it just becomes a chicken nugget?? It’s just one of those weird little things that niggle me ever since I’ve seen it)

These are just marinated and grilled in a simple soy, ginger, garlic and honey mixture, which is slightly salty and sweet, and served with a quick home-made radish pickle that pickles as you cook the chicken. Obviously, you’ll get the best results if you marinate the chicken wings overnight, but don’t sweat it if you find you’re starting barely an hour before you want to eat. Just make sure  to glaze the chicken wings constantly as you BBQ them (which I recommend over the oven, because that BBQ flavour is something you can’t cheat at).

Serves 2-3 as a light lunch. Read More

Sticky pomegranate chicken thighs with quinoa mint & walnut salad

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I’ve still never quite got ‘with it’ in regards to quinoa. I absolutely fell in love with it in Malta, where I tried a little of mum’s dish in a restaurant in the centre of Valletta. Since then, it’s never quite been the same, and I tend to favour bulgur wheat as my grain of choice (I’ve never been a fan of rice, or even pasta, in the first place).

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But I’ve been giving it a go, and I think next on my hit list is some quinoa fritters. Any thoughts on those? I think they sound quite nice. I did like this salad, so perhaps I’m coming round to the quinoa way, and my parents loved it. I hope you do too! The chicken is wonderfully sticky from the pomegranate molasses, though I don’t think the flavour comes out very much, and thus the pomegranate seeds scattered on top are the true heroes! They make a lovely pop, like they did in my sea bass dish from last month.

This is a pretty great filling lunch or dinner, and makes enough for roughly 4 servings.  Read More

Chicken piccata

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I don’t know where I’ve been on this earth without knowing this dish. It’s quick, easy and so rewarding. The chicken remains tender, despite using breast (I think it’s one of the driest pieces available, and therefore requires more treatment in order to prevent it becoming so), and the lemony-garlicky flavour is just divine.The dish originates from Italy, where it’s made with veal but this chicken version is from the States and has newly made my list of favourite quick meals. Simple does not mean basic.

Basically, go make this, because it’s definitely worth your time. Mashed potatoes or pasta would likely go well with this, or even just fresh vegetables.

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Serves 3-4 as a main.

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Trip to Naples, FL, USA – Dec 2014.

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You may well have noticed I’ve been AWOL for a while. I have to admit, in amidst everything going on, I completely forgot to check my posting schedule. Oooops. However, part of that blip in posting has been due to being away for quite a while in Naples, Florida, just a few hours away from Tampa and on the opposite coast from Miami.

In case you were interested in catching up on all the good food I ate (there was SO much), I sincerely recommend checking out my instagram (there’s a link to the right that should help, and my username would be emmasarahax), and scrolling a little bit down to see all the delicious plates.

And, man, I get the hype about Florida now.

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I mean, it’s just gorgeous. Blue sea, blue skies, so green, and errr….gators? Great times. But to get back to things, it’s such a beautiful state, full of good food and good sceneries. I totally see why it’s a retirement haven. So in amongst all the outlet shopping and lazing like a gator on the beach, I did have some killer food. Those chicken, avocado, three cheese, salsa and veg quesadillas? Killer.

This lobster roll?

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Fab. Enough lobster to feed an army. I’ll tentatively say I get the love for lobster rolls now. It’s pretty damn good.

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We stayed right by the beach in Naples, but most of the place is just so lush and green. I’m totally in love.

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And to have a quick glance at some other things I ate, here’s a few other snaps (but like I said, instagram’s gonna be the best catch-up around for my trip. Just scroll down a little until you hit mid-Dec–you’ll be able to tell by the palm trees!)

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A fantastic dulce de leche sponge cake. So fluffy!

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Some brown-rice sushi from the Whole Foods Store for breakfast in bed. This was just a normal store in Naples, but it kicks the butts off the ones in London for sure! I wonder what the giant flagship ones would be like…

So all in all, I’m a bit like this gator right now…can’t…move…after…eating. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and have a wonderful New Years!

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Sweet Chilli Oven-Baked Crispy Chicken Wings

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Crispy chicken. Like fried chicken. Without the frying process. Yeah, I’m pretty excited, but I’ll stop with the whole full stop thing now. It’s just that, I love making fried things even if they aren’t the epitome of health, however, I pretty much hate the frying process. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I love the fried product! But not so much the splattering hot oil everywhere…

So. Here’s a pretty damn good compromise. Just like you would with fried chicken, we keep the soaked-in-buttermilk process to keep the meat nice and moist inside when cooking, and then we coat them in panko breadcrumbs, and pop them in the oven to get crisped up. I promise you, it’s like panko-fried chicken, which sounds pretty great if you ask me. If you ask me again, it tastes even better! 😛

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Plus side? Oven baking obviously makes it healthier, and makes you feel full, without like a bag of lard that heavier fried foods make me feel afterwards. Result.

To make it even better, I made a sweet-spicy sauce from a few kitchen stock ingredients to make things even messier, but even more delicious. So much so that, in fact, it disappeared pretty quickly…

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I’ll take that as a compliment.

Serves around 3-4 people as a light dinner or lunch, alongside accompaniments, or 5-6 as a light snack.  Read More

Beetroot-Yoghurt Chicken Kebabs with Mixed Vegetable Bulgur Wheat Salad

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I’ve not been all that well, and life being hectic hasn’t really helped. But oh well, I’ve got two holidays in the sun to look forward to; one with the family, the other with friends, so I’m trying not to complain too much. Once September rolls around, I’ll be living the easy life 😉

Until then, I’ve been pretty lazy, and this was kind of a clearing-out-the-fridge operation of a meal. I gotta say, I don’t think it looks all that bad considering the circumstances.

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We got yoghurt-marinated chicken (spiced with cumin and beetroot powder), bulgur wheat with lots of cracked pepper and a drizzle of yuzu juice (because I couldn’t find the lime juice…), caramelised red and white onions, BBQ-ed cherry tomatoes, and shredded mangetout, with a side of turkish yoghurt, dusted with cayenne pepper.

This was such a hit with the parents, and with the kids too (dinner evening at our house), though I think the girls mainly liked it because they saw the chicken was pink…

I mean I thought it kind of looked like tubby custard at first, though I have to say it did improve after cooking, and the colour deepened….

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Any set of veggies would work well; hence why I mentioned I was clearing out the fridge with this, but the tomatoes do go really well with the yoghurt, so I recommend keeping them at least! Sweet potato/squash that’s been roasted would be pretty good too, or some lightly fried kale..
It would be super easy to change this to a vegetarian dish–just swap the chicken for quorn, or for pressed tofu (for the latter, skip the yoghurt marinade, and season with cumin, coriander seeds…whatever you fancy!)
Serves 3-4 as a light meal, but feel free to double or more as necessary.
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