Creamy Spinach & Garlic Chicken

Next up for a fresh and healthy 2017 is this delicious oven bake. With all the usual suspects in the line up – spinach, garlic, parmesan, this chicken wonder will leave you feeling full and satisfied. I have used coconut cream as the healthier alternative to regular cream here and it worked a treat but as always, this is more a guideline than a recipe so feel free to use whatever cream or cream alternative you want.

I loved making this dish as it was super easy to put together. I stormed home tonight after a full on day at work and big gym sesh and almost fell over with exhaustion but knew that dinner had to be cooked and was glad I had planned ahead with this one. I popped the oven on to preheat, prepared the chicken and the cream sauce as per the method below and threw this yummy looking dinner into the oven. Now with 40 minutes to kill, I got myself organised for tomorrow, showered and into my pjs and was back in the kitchen just i time for the oven timer to tweet.

And now I’m sitting here after enjoying this delish dinner telling you guys all about it and encouraging you to add this to your meal plan this week. Cheap and cheerful, this one is defo for the clean and healthy January menu.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1kg (6-8 pieces) bone-in, skin-on Chicken Thighs
2 cups Fresh Spinach
1 can (330 ml) Coconut Cream
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. Shaved Parmesan
1 Tsp. Corn Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash Olive Oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a blender, processor or Nutribullet – whatever you have available – add the coconut cream, spinach, garlic, parmesan and seasoning and blend together until smooth and creamy.
Put the cream sauce to one side.
In a large pan, heat some olive oil and add the chicken thighs with the top side facing down.
Sear the thighs until brown and sealed and then turn them over.
Repeat the above step with this side of the thighs.
Once the chicken thighs have been sealed, place them bottom side down in a large oven dish.
Remove any remaining oil from the pan in which you seared the thighs and add the cream sauce (don’t wash the pan as it will be full of rich flavour from the chicken).
On a low heat, gently stir the cream sauce and add the corn flour to thicken.
Once the cream sauce has heat through, pour it over the chicken thighs waiting in the oven dish.
Add a sprinkle of seasoning over the chicken and place the oven dish on the middle shelf of the oven.
Leave the dish to bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Once thoroughly cooked, remove the dish from the oven.
Using a tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the dish and serve as desired.

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Clo’s Chicken Pie

Happy New Year to all you Lovely Humans! If you are reading this, I hope you have read some of my other posts and if so, I would like to first of all thank you for even bothering 🙂 This blog started as something to do at the weekends, to share my love of cooking and develop my knowledge of healthy food, its benefits to my health and how to make it good enough to eat. I honestly have no idea if people are even reading it so if you are, thank you.

One of my 2017 Resolutions is to develop this blog more and explore other ways that I can share the benefits of healthy eating – and healthy cooking – with you all. I am almost finished a course in Nutrition and Food Science that I have found so informative and interesting. I have been jotting down so many new ideas for The Countertop so “watch this space” – lots of exciting posts and delicious recipes will be coming your way in 2017 if you stick with me.

So, I thought I would kick of the New Year with an easy one – the humble Chicken Pie. If like me, you are not fully ready to dive feet first into Clean January but want to ease yourself in instead, then this recipe is perfect! This pie has all the elements of an indulgent meal but it is in-fact quite the opposite. When you break it down, the ingredients are all generally very healthy – chicken breast, spinach, almonds. Yes, the pastry might be a tad indulgent but when weighed out against the rest of the ingredients you will have nothing to feel bad about. The trick here is the mixture’s sauce. It will look and taste like you’ve landed a pint of double cream over the chicken pieces when you have really just combined some yummy almonds and chicken stock together! I was very excited when this experiment worked and the result really is delicious.

It would be a great Sunday Dinner if you are at a loss as to what to cook today. It is a simple recipe with a truly comforting and tasty end result and will help you settle into Sunday evening nicely.

So I urge you all to give this one a go – a true comfort food to get us all back on track for a brand new year full of possibilities! xx

Ingredients (Serves 4)

320 gram Ready-Made Puff Pastry Roll
3 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Fillets
2 cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
60 -80 grams Almonds
500 ml Chicken Stock in Water
1 Tbsp. Corn Flour
1 Brown Onion, coarsely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
Dash Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to season
1 Tsp. Dried Parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celcius.
Grease a small-medium size oven dish and put to one side.
Chop the chicken fillets into small chunks.
Heat the olive oil on a frying pan on the hob.
Add the chopped onion and chicken pieces to the pan and fry until the chicken is cooked through and has browned.
Remove the pan from the heat.
In a food blender, processor, Nutribullet (whatever you have available), add the chicken stock, crushed garlic, almonds, dried parsley and seasoning.
Blend this mixture until it becomes smooth and creamy – add a little more almonds or stock until you reach your desired consistency.
Once you are happy with your sauce, return the frying pan to the heat and add the sauce.
Reduce the hob to a medium heat and stir the filling consistently for about a minute.
It is at this stage that you can use your own judgement – if you think the mixture needs some corn flour to thicken or more seasoning etc, play around with it at this point.
Once you are happy with the mixture, stir in the Spinach leaves and remove the pan from the heat.
Roll out the pre-rolled pastry and cut it out to cover the oven dish – leaving an extra few centimetres to cover the edges.
Pour the chicken filling from the pan into the oven dish.
Cover the mixture with the puff pastry, securing it tightly over the edges of the dish.
Place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven and cook as per the pastry’s cooking instructions (about 40 minutes usually).
Once the pastry has cooked through, remove this delicious pie from the oven and serve.
This will go great with many different sides. Try some fresh salad, sweet potato fries or steamed broccoli.
Delish!

 

Simple Sunday Tray Bake

This recipe occurred to me by total accident and extremely unfortunate circumstances last Sunday. I made it home to my home-house for the first time in months and was so excited about my mothers Sunday dinner. My darling mother could sense the anticipation and even made double the provisions so that I could take some leftovers back to Dublin with me for a yummy Monday lunch in work.

After our dinner, I soon hit the food-coma stage and decided I had better get on the road sooner rather than later before I get too lazy to go anywhere so I jumped into the car and headed home…FORGETTING THE LEFTOVERS!! By the time I realised, it was too late and words cannot describe the devastation I felt!

So, me being me, I had it in my head what I wanted for lunch in work on Monday and was adamant to replicate the Sunday dinner but in an easier (lazier) version as it would be late on Sunday evening after a busy weekend that I would be throwing this together and I wanted as little effort as possible.

While daydreaming about food (as usual), I took the wrong exit off the motorway and ended up outside a Supermarket that was open late, “it’s a sign” I thought so I ran in and grabbed some provisions for my vision!

I eventually got home, turned on the oven and the result was actually a masterpiece – and took little or no effort whatsoever! Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner – Literally!!

This one is barely a recipe but brilliant all the same so give it a go next Sunday and reap the rewards of a really yummy and easy Sunday dinner.

Ingredients

8 Chicken Thighs (on the bone is better for flavour but it’s up to you)
900 grams / 1 large head Brocolli
750 grams baby potatoes, washed
250 grams Basil Pesto (homemade or ready-made depending on energy/hangover levels)
Olive Oil Spray
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large oven dish, place your chicken thighs and spray with some olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place dish in the middle tray of the oven and leave to bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
About 20 minutes into cooking the chicken thighs, take out the tray and pour the baby potatoes onto the tray, distributing them evenly with the chicken thighs.
Spray and season the potatoes and pop back in the oven to cook.
Put a pot of water on the hob to boil and add the broccoli florets to the water to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Strain the broccoli and leave to one side.
When the chicken and potatoes are almost cooked with about 5/10 minutes to go, add the broccoli to the tray and pour the pesto over the whole tray.
Place the mix back in the oven and finish cooking for about another 10 minutes.
When you’re satisfied that the chicken and potatoes have been cooked through, remove the oven dish and serve!

Simple…As…That!


 

Honey Soy Chicken

So we are well into Autumn at this stage and I have lots of new recipes I want to share with you all. I’ll admit I have been a bit neglectful of my Countertop as life has been pretty hectic the last couple of weeks. But the dust has now settled and I am back sharing with you all my latest flavour favourites.
We all associate Autumn and Winter with big steamy bowls of stew and soup and as much as I love these kinds of dishes and have shared my take on some of these with you already, I thought I would take a little detour and share with you one of my top ten favourite meals. I know my Aussie readers will like this one as Japanese food is so popular on that side of the world and you guys are also just coming into your Summer months and wont be cooking any soups any time soon! We are not jealous at all over here are we??!! 

It’s clear to you guys by now that I am a bit obsessed with Asian food. The flavours are amazing and they’re usually very easy and economical to cook so for me, it makes so much sense to love this food!
Although I have yet to master Japanese dishes, this one I found to be so easy and just so good to taste! Honey Soy Chicken or Teriyaki Chicken upholds the Japanese cooking ethos perfectly with clean, basic flavours and ingredients that combine to give you an amazing fusion of flavour and taste with the finished product. I was so pleasantly surprised when I started researching this dish at how simple and minimal the ingredients were.

It makes for a great meal prep dish as it has a great balance of protein, carbs, fats and lots of veggies. I made 5 portions and froze them off, taking one out each night for a week of work and it was such a nice lunch! Plenty of envious faces in the canteen.

This is a good one for newbies at the meal prep game or even the Asian cooking game as the flavours are not too overpowering or spicy.

All in all its just a fab dish and you just have to try it out for yourselves!!
As always, I would love and feedback you might have or photos of your finished product so don’t be shy!

Ingredients

450 grams skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
1 clove garlic, crushed
200 ml Soy Sauce
90 ml Honey
3 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
2 cups Brocolli Florets
1 Green Pepper, sliced
1 Red Pepper, sliced
1 Brown Onion, sliced
200 grams Brown Rice, uncooked
100 grams Red and Black Quinoa Mix, uncooked
Dash Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

In separate pots on the hob, follow the instructions on both the brown rice and quinoa mix and cook both accordingly.
Heat the olive oil on a large frying pan or wok.
While waiting for the oil to heat, dice your chicken fillets into nice, bite size pieces.
Add the chicken to the frying pan and start to cook, stirring consistently.
Add the crushed garlic, salt and pepper to the chicken.
As the chicken starts to brown, add the soy sauce, honey and sesame seeds to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
Continue to cook until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Using a tongs, remove your chicken pieces but keep the honey soy sauce in the pan.
Reduce the heat to low.
Check your rice and quinoa, how are they doing?
Add your peppers, onion and broccoli to the pan and toss through the sauce to coat evenly.
If the chicken drank up a lot of the sauce, feel free to add a dash more of both the soy sauce and honey.
If the pan you are using has a lid, cover your pan and leave to steam/simmer for about 5 minutes.
If it doesn’t have a lid, transfer the whole mix to a pot that does have a lid and then steam/simmer for about 5 minutes.
The trick is to cook the veg for as little as possible to retain as much nutrition as possible.
As soon as they soften, remove from the heat.
Your rice and quinoa should be also done by now.
Add the quinoa with some salt and pepper to taste to the rice and mix thoroughly.
Quinoa and brown rice are a brilliant combination of carbs to keep you feeling full of fiber and energy.

The quantity of ingredients above should get you about 4-6 portions of this delicious dish.
Fill either your plate or lunchbox with ¼ rice, ¼ chicken and ½ veg and you have got yourself a well balanced and seriously tasty meal.

Chili Basil Chicken

This is absolutely one of my favourite Asian dishes of all time! Not only does it taste amazing but my first experience of this dish was in one of the most beautiful places in the world and whenever I make this dish, I am full of fond memories.
You might be thinking “another Asian themed recipe” but the reason for this is the speed and convenience of the prep and cooking and also how clean and healthy the ingredients are.
This recipe also ticks all the boxes for my allergy list too so if you are suffering same, as some of you have written to talk to me about, this is defo one for you to try out!
This quick dish looks beautiful and can be served in a lunchbox the next day at work or as a romantic meal for two on a Friday night, it’s totally versatile!
The aromatic smells coming from the pan will fill your kitchen with those holiday vibes and will make sure this dish doesn’t last long on your plate.
I am getting very excited about this recipe so I hope you guys love it as much as I do. I’d love to know your feedback.

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Ingredients

200 grams Skinless, Boneless Chicken Fillets, chopped
1 Scallion,
1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 cloves Garlic
1 Red Chili
2 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tsp. Sugar / Sweetener
2 Tsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, sugar and water.
Add olive oil to a frying pan and heat.
Chop the garlic cloves and your chili finely and add to the hot pan.
Chop your scallion and add the white end of it and your chicken pieces to the pan to cook.
When the chicken starts to brown, add your sauce from the bowl gradually until the water starts to fry off and the sauce looks nice and shiny.
Once you’re satisfied that the chicken is cooked thoroughly, toss through the green end of the scallion and the basil leaves.
Give the whole mix a quick stir to let the basil leaves wilt slightly and remove immediately from the heat.
This dish can be served on its own or with some rice, it’s up to you what you’re in the mood for.

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Let me know what you guys think!

Chili Salted Shredded Chicken

So the last two weeks have been spent clearing out my fridge, freezer and pantry with all the foods I can no longer have and replenishing the empty shelves with those that I can.
The first week was spent researching online looking at vegan and vegetarian ways to get enough protein in my daily meals.
It’s not that I don’t like meat, I certainly do but I also like to have at least two days a week that are meat free and at least one meal a day that is meat free.
This is where my eggs and yogurt played such a huge role in my meal plans and why I have had to look for alternatives.

This so happened to mean lots of legumes, grains and beans which I don’t mind at all but the impact this had on my tummy was quite severe the first week.
As I’m not used to consuming much starchy carbohydrates and usually try to stick to a plate of mostly protein and vegetables, the re-introduction of these types of foods made me feel tired, sluggish, fatigued and FAT!
I was probably eating a bit more than necessary anyway as I was cooking up batches of these grains and beans to experiment with different recipes but it definitely was a shock to the system.
But the second week wasn’t too bad at all, I’m digesting the new foods a lot better and my body isn’t missing the old foods as much. Of course it’s been lots of fun having to wing it and cook up these random ingredients with the hope I’ll make something tasty and appealing.

I decided to take the approach of picking my favourite meals to eat when I go out or am cooking something special and putting my twist on it as much as possible – my ethos all along really but just with a bit more extra thought now of what ingredients I can and can’t use.

The first recipe I am going to showcase is therefore my Chinese Fake Away – Salted Chili Shredded Chicken, a typical Sunday night choice that can now be enjoyed any day of the week without the guilt associated with getting a take out. One of my favourite Chinese take away dishes is Salt and Chili Chips in a Long Tray so I thought I could make this a full meal with a healthy protein too that would ease the pain of this ban on so many of my beloved foods. It doesn’t take too long to make and it’s pretty low maintenance. It takes as much effort to make as it would to call the Chinese and order it and I thought it tasted just as good. And no nasty MSG’s.

Give it a lash and let me know how you get on.

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Ingredients

200 grams Skinless & Boneless Chicken Fillets, chopped
1 medium-large Potato, washed
1 medium Brown Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Chili
1 Scallion
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Chicken Stock Cube
4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
¼ cup Brown Flour
Olive Oil Spray
Salt & Pepper to taste

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Method

Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and line an oven tray with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, mix the salt, crumbled stock cube and flour together.
Spray your chicken with olive oil spray and toss the chicken through the flour mix until fully coated.
Spray a little oil on the greaseproof paper and pop the chicken pieces on the tray.
Pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes / until chicken is cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, use any remaining flour mix to coat your potato chips and also add these to the oven to cook.
(I used my air fryer for 20 minutes but they can go in the oven for about the same time)
While you are waiting, chop up your red chili, onion, green pepper, garlic and scallion
When your chicken pieces and your potato chips have been cooked, remove from the oven and set to one side.
Heat some olive oil spray on a large pan and add the prepared vegetables.
Lightly fry what’s on your pan and gradually add some of your soy sauce and seasoning.
Add the cooked chicken to the mix and pour in the remaining soy sauce.
Toss all the ingredients through together and add your chips to ensure even coverage of seasoning and heat for a couple of minutes.
Your like-for-like Fake Away is now ready to serve, enjoy!!

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The Slow Cooker Series – Parmesan Chicken

This dish can be made in the Slow Cooker if you’re lucky enough to have one on the Countertop or can also be done on the hob or even in the oven.
I will outline the alternative cooking instructions at the bottom of the post but the main method will be for the Slow Cooker.
Parmesan Chicken is a wholesome, comforting meal that will keep you feeling full for hours and satisfied.
Its healthy ingredients also ensure that you’re not straying far from your goals but also help you feel like you’re not eating too strictly either.
This dish is full of flavour and can be served with so many different sides that you can really make it your own.
It’s a great weekend dish and I made a huge portion so I was able to get a few lunches out of it too. All the ingredients came to less than €10 so you’re looking at about €2.50 a serve which is a serious bargain for such a wholesome meal.
Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

500 grams / 4 skinless, boneless Chicken Fillets
1 large Brown Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
500 gram Tomato Passata
1 cup Grated Parmesan
¼ cup plain flour/brown flour/almond flour/buckwheat (whatever you fancy)
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6-8 Frozen Spinach cubes (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Turn on the Slow Cooker to the Low Heat setting.
Cover the base of the Slow Cooker with Olive Oil.
Spread out the onion and garlic on the base of the Slow Cooker.
In a bowl, mix the flour and parmesan together.
In another bowl, dip the whole chicken fillets in the egg and then dip the fillet into the parmesan and flour mix.
Place the coated chicken fillets on top of onion and garlic layer.
Pour the passata and chopped tomatoes over the chicken and throughout the Slow Cooker until empty.
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
Pop the lid on and leave to cook for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
At the last half an hour, add the frozen spinach and stir through.
Serve piping hot with your desired side dish (I had mine with whole-wheat spaghetti and it was insane!)

Regular Pot Instructions

Heat some olive oil in a large pot and add onions and garlic.
When the onions and garlic start to brown, add passata and chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir.
Prepare the chicken fillets as directed in the above instructions without the egg.
Reduce the heat to a very low heat and add chicken fillets.
Cover the pot and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check your fillets to ensure they have been cooked through and return to the pot to cook further if they still need a bit more time.
Add the frozen spinach with about 5-10 minutes to go and stir through.
Once you’re happy the chicken is thoroughly cooked, serve and enjoy!

Oven Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.
Drizzle some olive oil on the base of a medium – large casserole or lasagne dish.
Cover the base of the dish with the chopped onions and garlic.
Prepare the chicken fillets as directed in the above instructions without the egg.
Place the fillets on top of the onions and garlic.
In a separate bowl, mix together your passata, chopped tomatoes and seasoning and then pour over the chicken fillets.
Place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven and leave to bubble away for about 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the frozen spinach with about 5-10 minutes to go and stir through.
Once ready, spoon out your delicious chicken bake from the dish with your side of choice.

 

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Chicken & Lentil Hot Pot

Last week was the week before pay day for me so there were slim pickin’s in the pantry.
I always to try to keep my budget meals as healthy as possible and not resort to giant bowls of pasta so I had a look at what I had and thought about what I fancied eating.
The result was this really hearty and wholesome hot pot or stew that I packed out with chunky veggies and lentils along with chicken thighs and it tasted great.
I used the right combo of ingredients to keep me feeling full for hours but I still found myself going back for more as it was just so yum.
This is a real Sunday kind of dinner or cold day dinner as it’s super comforting and full of flavour.
You can make up a bulk batch and freeze some off too.
The only thing I would say with this one is that it doesn’t keep for too long so decide before you start cooking what you’re going to do with the batch.
I would advise to keep it up to two days in the fridge or else freeze straight away after you’ve had you first serve.
Don’t be put off by this however as it’s highly unlikely the hot pot will last this long if you make it right, I even had it for breakfast the next morning!

Ingredients

400 grams boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
300 grams Red Lentils, uncooked but rinsed
1 Brown Onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Litre Vegetable or Chicken Stock or 50/50
3 Carrots, chopped
4 Celery Stalks, chopped
1 Tsp. Dried Ginger
1 Tbsp. Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander
Salt & Pepper to taste
(play around with your seasoning as much as you like, you don’t have to stick the above measurements)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 handful of Fresh Coriander to serve

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions and garlic.
Once the onions and garlic are aromatic and starting to brown, add the chicken fillets to the pot and cook until seared.
Pour in the stock and add your carrots and celery.
Add your seasoning to taste and cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the rinsed red lentils and give the pot a good stir.
Leave the pot to bubble away on a low heat for another 10-15 minutes, doing taste tests along the way until your happy with the flavour.
(I wanted to go for a bit of an Asian flavour as it is Summer so see if you can get that too)
Once you’re happy with the taste and your chicken is thoroughly cooked, serve your stew with some fresh coriander sprinkled on top.
Delish!

Winning Weekend Chicken Dippers

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Ingredients

500 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup Almonds, milled
1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

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Method

Preheat oven to 190 Degrees C.
Slice chicken breasts into long strips about an inch wide.
Mix together milled almonds, smoked paprika, garlic, ground cumin, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
Dip chicken pieces in egg and then coat with almond spice mixture.
Place on parchment paper greased with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden
Serve with a yummy dipping sauce and maybe with some sweet potato fries or my Cheesy Broccoli Tots for a Friday night treat.

Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Ingredients

500 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
500 grams broccoli florets
1 chopped brown onion
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. brown flour/almond flour
1 ½ Cups (low fat) Milk
150gm Greek Yoghurt
2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup grated parmesan

Method

Pop the oven on to preheat at 180 degrees C and stick on a pot of water to boil.
Once water has come to the boil, add your broccoli florets and cook for 3-4 minutes until bright green and almost soft. Remove and drain.
Heat olive oil on a pan and add chopped onion. When onions begins to soften, add chicken breast and fry until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.
Sprinkle flour over the cooked chicken and stir consistently for about a minute.
Stir in milk and bring to the boil.
Cook the mixture for a couple of minutes until it becomes thick.

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Add cooked broccoli to the mix and heat evenly for about a minute. Add your yogurt, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and stir quickly and lightly to evenly combine the whole mixture.

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Grease a casserole dish with a small drop of olive oil and pour in your mixture from the pan.
Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the mix and pop the dish onto the middle shelf of the oven.

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Let it cook away for about 20 minutes or until the parmesan begins to melt and brown.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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The Slow Cooker Series Part 1 – Garlic & Herb Chicken

The beauty of this dish is that it’s so easy to prepare and can be teamed with any number of sides – salad, roast veg, steamed greens, whatever!
These days a whole chicken costs about €4-€12 and the rest is seasoning so you can get 2-3 days’ worth of dinner and lunch for less than €10 which is serious value
AND you’ll have done your meal prep for the few days too. Winner winner…..!!!!

Ingredients

1 Large Whole Chicken
4 Cloves Chopped Garlic
½ Cup Curley Parsley Leaves
½ Cup Basil Leaves
½ Cup Thyme
2 Tbspn Dried Herbs de Provence
Lemon Slices
Good dash of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to season

Method

Turn on your Slow Cooker to High
Place ½ of the chopped garlic, ½ of the lemon slices and ½ of the fresh herbs on the base of the slow cooker with a dash of olive oil.
Rub a good bit of olive oil over the fresh chicken and then sprinkle the herbs de Provence, salt and pepper evenly over the whole bird.
Once the chicken has been evenly coated in the oil and seasoning, place in the Slow Cooker.
Place remaining garlic, lemon and fresh herbs over the chicken and place the lid on the Slow Cooker.
Leave the chicken to cook away for about 4 hours.

(Now you’ve got 4 hours to do whatever it is you want; hit the gym, clear your floordrobe and do some laundry, Netflix binge – you’ll get a good 4 episodes in, daydream about eating the chicken…)

After 4 hours, take the chicken out carefully and then place under the grill for about ten minutes to crisp up the skin.
Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes once out from under the grill.
You can prepare your sides or have your lunchboxes at the ready while the chicken is resting to save time.

Then slice and serve!

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can follow this recipe and change the cooker settings to Gas Mark 5 / 180 degrees C and cook for about 1 hour 40 minutes
or follow the cooking instructions on the packaging.