Harissa Chicken Traybake

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 35 mins

Per Serving 704g:

Carbs: 42.2g Cals: 537 Sugars: 16.3g Fat: 18.6g Sat Fat: 3.7g Salt: 0.81g
Protein: 45g Fibre: 10.7g

5 portions of fruit and veg

4 small chicken thighs
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 aubergine, cut in 2 cm cubes (approx. 280g)
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into small batons (approx. 200g)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
150g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 kcal spray oil
4 vine tomatoes (80g) each)
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 lemon
Handful of rocket
15g pine nuts, chopped walnuts or pistachios


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Trim any excess fat from the thighs and score the skin, spreading each with a little harissa.
  2. Put the aubergine, parsnip, onion and chickpeas in a bowl, give them 10 pumps of the spray oil, tossing them together to coat.
  3. Arrange on a greased baking tray, add the tomatoes and garlic and sit the chicken on top. Squeeze the lemon over and roast for 35 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are browning around the edges.
  4. Serve scattered with the rocket and nuts.

Thai-style Chicken Noodle Soup


Recipe courtesy of Easy Living.

Serves : 4

Preparation time : 10 mins

Cooking time : 20 mins

Chicken noodle soup

Ingredients :
175ml (24 fl oz) chicken stock
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, thinly sliced
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
1 tblsp fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Grated zest of 1/2 a lime
3 skinless chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
400g tin of coconut milk
2 tblsp Thai fish sauce
2 tblsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
120g (4oz) fresh rice noodles
Coriander leaves, to serve

Step One : Combine the chicken stock, shallots, lemon grass, chillies, ginger, garlic and lime zest in a large saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Step Two : Add the chicken, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Three : Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step Four : Place the noodles in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Separate the noodles, then drain.  Divide them between four deep bowls.

Step Five : Ladle soup over noodles and top with the coriander.  Serve with quartered limes, if desired.

Tip :  Add extra lime juice, sugar, Thai fish sauce or chilli according to your taste; it should have a good balance of sweet, sour and spice.









Spicy Spanish Chicken

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative food magazine.

Serves : 4

Cook time : 1 hour approx

Spicy Spanish chickenIngredients :
1 clove garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g Low fat soft cheese
1 tblsp mixed fresh herbs – basil, rosemary and thyme. Plus 4 small sprigs of rosemary
1/2 tsp dried chillis
Freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken breasts
4 slices Serrano ham
1 tsp olive oil

Step One : Heat oven to gas mark 4 / 180oC / Fan 160oC.

Step Two : Mix crushed garlic and lemon zest into cheese. Add herbs, chillis and black pepper.

Step Three : Cut a slit into each chicken breast and stuff with the mixture. Take Serrano ham and wrap a slice firmly around each chicken breast. Poke a sprig of rosemary between ham and chicken.

Step Four : Heat oil and gently pan-fry each chicken piece for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add lemon juice and cook for another minute or two.

Step Five : Put chicken into a small roasting pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve with green leaf salad.

Pollo Ripieno

Recipe courtesy of Hello Magazine – many years ago!

Chicken breast stuffed with Parmesan and speck.  Speck is a cured, air-dried ham similar to parma ham, which could also be used in this dish.

Pollo Ripieno (2)Serves : 4

Ingredients :
4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
4 slices of speck or Parma ham
100g (4oz) fresh Parmesan, coarsely grated
4 tblsp flour
2 tblsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
50g (2oz) butter
300ml (1/2 pt) chicken stock
150g (5oz) fresh spinach leaves, shredded
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Step One : Cut down the length of the chicken breasts, without cutting completely in half, and open out.  Place them on a chopping board, cover with clingfilm and beat with a rolling pin to flatten.

Step Two : Place a slice of speck or Parma ham on each piece of chicken and top with the Parmesan.  Carefully reshape the breasts and coat in flour.  Chill for 1 hour or until ready to cook.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Four : Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides.  Transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish, pour over the stock and cover with foil.  Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step Five : When the chicken is nearly ready, rinse the spinach and place in a pan with just the rinsing water on the leaves.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the spinach wilts.

Step Six : Transfer the spinach and tomatoes to serving plates and top with the chicken spooning over the juices in the dish.













Mushroom and Chicken Risotto

Risotto rice gives this updated classic a deliciously creamy texture.

Serves : 4

Prep time : 15 mins
Cook time : 40 mins

12oz (350g) chicken breast
3oz (75g) butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
6oz (175g) button mushrooms, quartered
11oz (300g) risotto rice
Salt and pepper
2 1/2pt (1.4 litre) hot chicken stock
2 tblsp (30ml) chopped fresh parsley

Step One : Cut the chicken into dice sized chunks. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 2 minutes.

Step Two : Add the chunks of chicken and the quartered mushrooms and fry together for about 5 minutes.

Step Three : Stir in the risotto rice and season well. Add 1/4pt (150ml) of the chicken stock and stir well. When the liquid has completely absorbed, add more stock, stirring continuously. Add all the stock in this way, letting it evaporate fully before adding more (after 20 minutes, the rice should be soft and swollen).

Step Four : Remove mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and parsley. Season to taste and serve hot.

Thai Chicken Curry

Serves : 4

175g (6oz) open mushrooms
6 spring onions
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 125g (4 ½ oz) each
1 tblsp olive oil
4 level tsp thai red or green curry paste
150ml (¼ pt) water
2 tblsp light soy sauce
400ml (2/3 pt) can coconut milk
Salt and ground black pepper
Fresh coriander to garnish

Step One : Wipe the mushrooms clean with damp kitchen paper. Cut each mushroom in half, then each into four.

Step Two : Trim 6 spring onions just above root end then peel away outer layer. Cut off the dark green leaves. Cut diagonally into 5mm slices.

Step Three : Using a small sharp knife, and working on the cutting board, cut 4 chicken breasts and fillets into bite size pieces.

Step Four : Heat 1 tblsp oil and 4 tsp curry paste in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.

Step Five : Pour in the water, the soy sauce and the contents of the can of coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring to mix thoroughly.

Step Six : Stir in the mushrooms, spring onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve garnished with coriander.


Easy Paella

You can make and serve this great family favourite all in the same dish


Serves : 6
Prep time : 40 mins
Cook time : 50 mins

¼ tsp saffron
900ml (1 ½ pints) boiling chicken stock
8 chicken thighs, skinless
225g (8oz) chicken or turkey sausages
1 tblsp paprika
2 tsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 courgettes, sliced
250g (9oz) American easy cook rice
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp sun-dried tomato paste or ordinary tomato puree
125g (4oz) stuffed green olives
2 tblsp parsley, chopped

Step One : Dissolve saffron in boiling stock. Coat the chicken and sausages with paprika. Heat oil in a large pan, add chicken, sausages and chilli powder and brown for 5 mins. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Step Two : Fry onions, garlic, pepper and courgettes for 10 mins. Add rice and stir for 1 minute, then mix in tomatoes, tomato puree, olives and 1 tbsp parsley. Pour on the stock, stir and return the chicken and sausages to the pan. Bring to the boil.

Step Three : Simmer paella uncovered for 30 mins, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Tip: Turkey or chicken sausages have only half the calories of the traditional pork and beef sausages and they’re really tasty too.


Blackened Hot Chicken Breasts

Blackened chickenServes: 6

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 tblsp butter or margarine
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme

Step One : Slice each chicken breast piece in half horizontally, making two pieces of about the same thickness. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Melt the butter or margarine in a small saucepan.

Step Two : Combine all the remaining ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir to blend well. Brush the chicken pieces on both sides with melted butter or margarine, then sprinkle evenly with the seasoning mixture.

Step Three : Heat a large heavy frying pan over a high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on the surface sizzles. This will take 5-8 minutes. Drizzle 1 tsp melted butter on each chicken piece. Place them in the pan in an even layer, two or three at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the underside begins to blacken. turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.


Chicken Stuffed with Mango & Ginger

Serves: 6

6 chicken breasts
1 ripe mango, sliced
1 tsp root ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g butter
1 small carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225g crème fraiche
Salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.

Step Two : Slice the pockets of the chicken breasts to enlarge the cavities for stuffing, then season. Fill the cavities with slices of mango (reserving a little for garnishing) and half the ginger. Sprinkle lime juice over the chicken and bake in individual buttered tin foil parcels for 20 minutes.

Step Three
: Meanwhile, sweat the shallots in the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add carrot and garlic and remove from the heat.

Step Four
: In a grinder, crush the coriander seeds, the seeds from the cardamom pods, the cumin seeds and the cloves.

Step Five : Add this spice mixture, the cinnamon and the rest of the ginger to the pan. Stir well and then liquidise with the crème fraiche.

Step Six
: Return to the pan to gently reheat. Remove the chicken breasts from their parcels and pour over the spicy sauce.

Step Seven
: Garnish with mango, lime slices and coriander leaves.

Orecchiette with Broccoli, Chicken Sausage and Harissa Paste

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2019) and taken from Skinny Pasta by Julia Azzarello.

This dish is a healthier version of the traditional sausage and broccoli because it is made with lean chicken. It still packs a lot of flavour into one meal, especially with the zing of harissa and lemon.


Serves : 4

250g chicken sausages, removed from casings and cut into 2 cm chunks
320g dried orecchiette or 400g fresh
125g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tblsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 tblsp harissa paste
2 tblsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges
40g Parmesan cheese, grated

Step One : Saute the chicken sausage chunks in a non-stick pan for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the packet states, or until just al dente.

Step Two : Add the broccoli to the pasta for the last 2 minutes of its cooking time. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Step Three : Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Step Four : Add the pasta, broccoli and sausage chunks to the pan and toss with the harissa paste and a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and parsley.