Poultry, Snack, Western

Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Mini Pies

I’m a working mom. Yes, I do have a helper but that doesn’t mean the helper does everything so I do my bit too. So often, I find myself in the kitchen trying something new for the family to try.

Growing up, my mother used to make for us chicken pies. From scratch, mind you. She’ll make the pastry herself and the filling and voila! As little kids, all we had to do was pop one in the mouth. Ok, several mouthfuls. They were delicious and something my brother and I always looked forward to.

But, like I said, I’m working a full time job. But I do want to make pies. So I found an easy way and that’s to use ready rolled shortcrust pastries. Just cut them into rounds, place on a muffin tray, add the filling, brush the tops with and egg wash and then done! In the oven they go.

I like this brand because it’s vegan. And the slight
saltiness is perfect!
Spray muffin tray with olive oil spray can, add the pastry, filling and top it with a small disc of the pastry.
My filling is super easy. 500g of chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned with Korean seasoning of salt and pepper (I love to use theirs but regular salt and pepper will do), cubed potatoes and peas. I seasoned the mixture after frying garlic in olive oil and adding the chicken and potatoes with a teaspoon of curry powder and three teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika. Then add the peas and finally 200g of cooking cream. Then because I had a whole bunch of frozen basil, I chopped them up and put inside the mixture. Cook till reduced.
The cooked ready to be filled creamy chicken potato and peas filling.
Prick the tops with a fork and the. Brush with egg wash. Bake in oven at 190 degree Celsius till brown.
Yummy chicken pies!! They’re rustic looking!
Beautiful to look at and delicious eaten hot!

If a busy working mom can do this in less than an hour, so can you! 😆

Poultry, Snack

Chicken Bak Kwa – Chinese Style jerky

Today is the eve of the Lunar New Year. And inspired by my friend (who’s Chinese but living in Germany) chicken Bak kwa, I decided to try and make too.

I didn’t know it’s so easy to make. The Chinese here will spend hundreds of dollars buying this staple for the New Year. I decided to follow my friend’s recipe, which uses chicken.

In a bowl, mix 150g sugar, 2tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp five spice powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sesame oil. Add a few drops of red food colouring.
Add 600g of minced chicken place in a container and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, line an oven tray with baking greaseproof paper. And then spread the meat mixture thin.
Bake at 150 degrees Celcius for about an hour. Take it out and cut into pieces.
Best served warm.

Happy Lunar New Year to all my Chinese friends! Gong Ci Fa Cai! Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Asian Dishes, Poultry, Singapore

Devil’s Curry

I first learnt this dish from my maternal aunt who had learnt it from her mother in law. It’s very hot but not in your mouth hot. The heat gets to you from the inside. Very visceral and if you follow the traditional Eurasian recipe, you will then put in all the leftover viscera into the dish.

What makes this different from the usual Southeast Asian curries is the liberal use of mustard seeds in the rempah (spice paste). And what makes this special in this region is also that it’s a dish the Eurasian usually cook for Christmas. And since my aunt had learnt it form her mother in law who grew up in a Christian family then, this makes it the most authentic recipe I can get from a family member.

With any sort of Malay or SEA cooking, there must be the rempah. Here I have 2 onions, a knob of ginger, a knob of fresh turmeric, 8 fresh red chillies, 7 candlenuts, a tablespoon of mustard seeds and about a cup of blended dried chilli paste mixture (dried chillies, garlic, onion). Blend all the above in a blender till very smooth.
As I’ve been making videos, I realise I forgot to take pictures too for the blog. But here is the first process. Fry an additional one tablespoon of mustard seeds in hot oil first and then add sliced onions. Here I just used leftover cubes white onions. Waste not want not. The thing about cooking Asian is that it’s always very forgiving. When the onions have softened add the blended mixture and let that mixture cook over slow fire. You’ve got to constantly mix it and even cover it because boy does it splatter!
And when the spice paste is ready (the oil will rise from the mixture and you can smell that the paste is cooked), it’s time to add the chicken pieces (which I’ve only lightly marinated in light soy sauce and browned) and potatoes. Cover with enough water and let it cook till tender.
After which, add sausages. I added beef frankfurters here. And lastly cauliflower florets.

The seasoning which makes this dish different is vinegar! Yes! Distilled white vinegar. I used about 10 tablespoons in total after constantly tasting till I get the right balance. Salt and sugar of course too.

For garnish I added red bird’s eye chillies. The very brave will actually eat that too!
And here it is. Devil’s Curry. So hot it really is devilish.
Poultry, Western

French-inspired Roast Chicken

Today’s meal is so simple but soooooo flavourful. Maybe I can call it chicken provencale but I don’t want to offend any food purists out there. But all I know it’s definitely delish! Served with my garlic and rosemary focaccia (well, the Italians had to make a presence here because currently it’s the easiest bread I know how to bake!). The family totally loved this dish!

Coat seasoned chicken pieces (yes, you have to salt the chicken too) in seasoned flour (salt and black pepper), then when one side is browned, turn over, add fresh rosemary, plenty of garlic pieces and a sprinkling of herbs de Provence (I just used the bottled herbs).
Turn over again after the other side is browned and now add two tomatoes, wedged. I added about 1/2 cup of boxed chicken stock and then transferred the entire thing to the oven.
Slightly charred because I used the roasting setting (I have impatient kids forever asking for food!) but the flavour from all this is sublime!
And now I’m worried there isn’t enough chicken! Looks like I will have to cook something else soon for later in the day!
Poultry

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken. The Malay kind, the Korean kind, the US kind, the Japanese kind… I can’t imagine a country without their own fried chicken version!

Today, instead of spending lots of money ordering KFC or Texas Fried Chicken in, I decided to make my own for the family.

It starts with marinating the chicken in buttermilk for a couple of hours in the fridge. Before that, add salt to the chicken and then marinade. I’ve tried not adding salt to the chicken before and only to the flour mixture and I must say, the chicken came out pretty bland.

After that, coat the pieces in seasoned flour. Here, I use my own recipe based on the kind of spices that I like.

In this tray, I’ve added two cups of plain all purpose flour, two tablespoons of corn flour, two tablespoons of smoked sweet paprika, two teaspoons of garlic powder, two teaspoons of salt and a few rounds of freshly ground black pepper.
Remove marinated chicken and place them in
another tray. Here, I have one whole chicken cut up and six pieces of tender inner fillets.
For the broccoli slaw, I’ve cut up into small florets 1 small head of broccoli and one carrot, thinly sliced. To it I added, 1 small tub (200g) of Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of Japanese kewpie mayonnaise, one tablespoon of cider vinegar, some sea salt and black pepper mixture. Mix well and refrigerate.

And that’s all there is to it! Fry the chicken till done by mixing them to the flour mixture, serve with the slaw and mashed potatoes. I made a simple mash by boiling and ricing russet potatoes, adding salt, milk, butter and pepper. Top with mushroom soup as a sauce (I always have ready made frozen soup in the freezer.)

Two piece meal anyone?
Or perhaps three pieces?

Here’s a video I made trying to capture the entire lunch process in less than 30s. Enjoy!