Bryony's Blog

This is a curry straight from the hills in Simla or the Muthaiga Club in Nairobi...

(30/10/12)

CHICKEN CURRY WITH FRUIT

Leftover cold chicken picked from the carcase
1 tablespoon mild curry powder - this was hot enough for me, but you can always up the ante
1 crispy apple - I had a Pink Lady in the fridge. Perfect.
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 a green pepper (I didn't have one and used a red pepper instead)
1/2 pint chicken stock
1/2 sultanas
1oz ghee (clarified butter) or 1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil
salt and pepper

Having removed the chicken from the carcase put the bones into a saucepan and barely cover with water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and keep to one side.

Peel and slice the onions
Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut into small chunks
Peel and chop the garlic

Heat the oil in a pan - I find a wok with a lid works really well - and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and beginning to take on some colour.

Add the curry powder and stir for a minute.

Remove the core and pips from the apple but not the skin and chop into small pieces. Add the green pepper, chicken, sultanas, garlic and apple to the onions. Pour on the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover the pan/wok and reduce the heat to a gentle bubble while you cook the rice. I let mine simmer for a good 30 minutes which reduced the liquid and made the flavour more intense.

Serve with plain basmati rice and a cucumber raita (grated cucumber and some chopped fresh mint mixed in yoghurt) and some good mango chutney.

This is plenty for two people and if made the day before and chilled immediately after it is cool enough, will taste even better and will give the Membsahib the day off. However, don't cook your rice the day before - it must be freshly cooked and served straight away.

HOT TOPPED CHICKEN BREAST

(27/10/12)

Sometimes chicken breasts can be a touch dry and boring. This easy, quick idea is a lovely change.

For each breast you will need:

1 cup fresh brown breadcrumbs
either half a fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped small OR a pinch of dried chilli flakes
finely grated zest of half a large, or 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Skin your chicken breast(s) and place in a shallow, oven proof dish

Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and spread on top of the chicken.

Bake in a hot oven until the juices run clear. You can moisten the dish with a little water, stock or white wine to make a gravy.

Serve with mashed potato or plain basmati rice and vegetables.

Double the quantities and use it to cover a spatchcocked whole chicken. To spatchcock a bird, place it on a board and thump down on the breast bone with your flat hand. Turn the chicken over and cut all the way along the spine using special chicken shears or strong kitchen scissors. Open up the bird, turn it over skin side up, and flatten. Place in an oven dish and spoon/smear the mixture on top. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake in a hot oven for approximately 1-1 1/4 hours depending on the weight, or until the juices run clear. Serve with a green salad made with butterhead lettuce and a light dressing.

NICE SOUP FOR BONFIRE NIGHT WHICH DOESN'T USE PUMPKIN!!!

(23/10/12)

WATERCRESS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

FOR 2 PEOPLE YOU NEED:

1 bag washed organic watercress
2 cups of chopped butternut squash
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 fat clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, sliced finely
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
water or vegetable stock
milk
salt and pepper
oil

Pour a small amount of oil (anything will do but don't use your best virgin olive oil - no point!)
into a pan and throw in the onion, celery, butternut, carrot and potato. Stir and sweat for a few minutes, but don't allow to brown. Add the garlic and chilli, and add enough stock or water to cover the vegetables.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft - about 15 minutes.

Add the spinach, stir and cook a further five minutes.

Remove from the heat and blitz in the pan with a hand held blender. Add some milk - about 1 1/2 - 2 cups - and blitz again. Taste and then season with salt and pepper.

You can, of course, use chicken stock instead of vegetable or water, and add a dash of cream at the end. I didn't as I have piled on the pounds so drastic action has to be taken...

This is a super food soup, low calorie and packed with goodness - and above all, tastes great!