Italian Chicken Casserole

Enjoy the taste of Italy with this tempting chicken dish ….. it’s brimming with Mediterranean flavour!

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 659;   Prep time: 15 mins;   Cook time: 1 hr 20 mins


  • 1oz (25g) butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 8oz (225g) part-boned chicken breasts, trimmed, washed and dried
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2oz (50g) pancetta ham or unsmoked rindless streaky bacon, trimmed and chopped
  • 8oz (225g) button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 14oz (397g) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  • 7 fl oz (200ml) dry white wine
  • 2oz (50g) green olives stuffed with pimientos
  • 2oz (50g) pitted black olives

Step One – In a large frying pan, melt fat with oil. Add the chicken breasts and fry for 7-8 mins, or until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Place in an ovenproof casserole dish and set aside.

Step Two
– Preheat oven to Gas 5, 375oF, 190oC. Using the same frying pan, fry the onion, celery, garlic, pancetta ham or bacon, and mushrooms for 3-4 mins, or until just softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to the casserole dish.

Step Three
– Place the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, dried oregano, salt and black pepper in a large saucepan. Pour the dry white wine into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the tomato and wine sauce to the chicken mixture in the casserole dish.

Step Four
– Mix well, then cover dish and cook in oven for 50 mins, or until the chicken is tender. Remove casserole from the oven and stir in the olives. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins. Serve with warm ciabatta bread and a dry white wine.

Find a selection of yummy Italian goodies here …


Chicken Fajitas

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 300;   Prep time: 20 mins;   Cook time: 20 mins


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb (900g) boneless chicken breast, skinned and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

Step One – Heat the oil in a large pan. Add chicken slices, garlic, onion slices, chilli powder, onion salt, ground cumin, dried oregano and lemon juice. Season well. Cook, stirring frequently for 10 mins.

Step Two – Add the peppers to the pan and continue to cook for 5 mins. Serve with wheat tortillas, mixed salad leaves, salsa and soured cream sprinkled with parsley.
Other Mexican Food recipes can be found in

Chicken Drumstick Bake

Recipe courtesy of Tesco Real Food.

Nutrition stats:
Cals:  2173kj/517 kcal; Fat:  17.6g; Saturates: 4.2g; Sugars: 6.4g;  Salt: 0.7g; Carbohydrates: 21.1g; Protein: 66.4g;  Fibre: 4.3g

1kg (2lb) chicken drumsticks;
3 small red onions cut into quarters;
2 peppers, seeded and chopped into chunks;
400g (13oz) small baby potatoes, halved;
2 tbsp olive oil;
2 tsp mixed herbs;
250g (8oz) cherry tomatoes

Step One: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200oC, fan 180oC.

Step Two: In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onions, peppers and potatoes with the oil and mixed herbs.  Spread out on a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Step Three:  After 30 minutes, add the tomatoes to the tray and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing.

Step Four:  Divide between plates and drizzle over the tray juices to serve.

Time on your Hands tip: 
For a healthier version, remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks before cooking and replace the oil with sprays of fry light and a little water to the bottom of the baking tray to keep the chicken moist.

Chinese-Style Red Pork

Chinese Style Red PorkRecipe courtesy of Easy Living

Braising in soy sauce is a common Chinese method, giving the meat a distinct colour and flavour.  The braising liquid also makes a delicious sauce.

Serves:  6    Prep time:  25 mins     Cook time:  2 hours     Cals per serving:  369     Fat: 24g

Ingredients:  1.5kg (3 lb) pork belly, with skin; 150ml (6 fl oz) light soy sauce; 4 tblsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry; 2 whole star anise; 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled; 6 spring onions, roughly chopped; 4 slices ginger, 4 mm thick; 1 tblsp demerara or light brown sugar; pinch of dried chilli flakes; 600-700ml (20-24 fl oz) chicken stock or water

Step One: Blanch the pork in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes.  Rinse the pork and, when it’s cool enough to handle, cut the belly into 5cm lengths.

Step Two: Put the pork pieces in a large saucepan or casserole dish and add the soy sauce, rice wine, star anise, garlic, spring onion, ginger, sugar, chilli flakes and enough stock or water to just cover the meat. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours, turning the meet occasionally.

Step Three: Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Skim any fat off the top of the sauce, then simmer the liquid over a high heat until it has thickened a little.  Taste to check and stop simmering if sauce becomes too strongly flavoured.  Return the pork pieces to the sauce and heat through.  If you want to crisp the skin, place the pork pieces skin side up under a hot grill until crisp and bubbling.  Serve the pork belly with sauce with noodles and extra sliced spring onions or steamed Chinese vegetables.

Tip: You can follow the recipe using chicken or duck.  Just use leg pieces (with the thigh attached) and braise for about 45 minutes or until tender.

Hungarian Chicken

Hunters chickenRecipe courtesy of Easy Living

This delicious, easy and subtly spiced chicken stew is perfect to make ahead of time.  In fact, the flavour improves if chilled for a day before reheating and serving.  If making ahead of time, refrigerate overnight, allowing any fat to settle on the top. The fat is then easily removed and discarded with a spoon.

Serves: 4    Prep time:  10 mins     Cook time: 1 ½ hours    Cals per serving: 522     Fat:  33g

Ingredients:  2 tblsp olive oil; 2 onions, finely chopped;  4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole; 2 tblsp Hungarian paprika; 8 large chicken thighs; 4 chicken legs; 3 fresh bay leaves; 400ml (13 fl oz) chicken stock; 1 x 400g (13oz) tin chopped tomatoes; sour cream to serve

Step One: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a large flameproof casserole dish or saucepan.  Add the onions and whole garlic and cook, stirring for 5-7 minutes, or until they have softened (without browning too much).

Step Two: Add the paprika, chicken pieces, bay leaves, stock and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

Step Three: Remove the lid and cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the chicken is nicely coloured.  Skim off any fat with a large spoon. Serve with the sauce, topped with sour cream.

Tip: Using either legs or thighs for this dish (rather than breasts) gives a better texture and flavour for slow cooking.

Chicken Skewers

chicken skewersThis recipe is courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Serves : 4   –   Prep time : 15 mins plus at least 1 hour to marinate   –   Cook time : 25 mins
Cals per serving : 210   –   Fat : 9g

Ingredients:  8 large chicken thights, boneless and skinless; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; 1 heaped tblsp Baharat (combination of cumin, paprika, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon); bunch of coriander, chopped; 200g (6 ½ oz) plain yogurt, to serve: Lemon wedges, to serve

  1. Cut each thigh into 3 strips and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the garlic and the Baharat.  Mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour (up to 6 hours).
  2. Using two metal skewers about 5cm (2in) apart, thread half the meat onto the skewers.  Repeat with an extra two skewers and the remaining meat.  Make sure the meat in packed quite tightly.
  3. Heat the oven to 220oC (gas mark 7).  Roast until golden and cooked (about 25-30 minutes).  Rest for 5 minutes then sprinkle with coriander and serve with yoghurt and lemon wedges and the cooking juices.


A clever little cooker for kebabs 🙂

Chicken and White Wine Stew

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

chicken and white wine stewComfort Food – Italian Style

Serves : 4  –  Prep time : 15 mins  –  Cook time : 1 hour  –  Cals per serving : 508  – Fat : 34.2g

Ingredients:  2 tblsp olive oil; 4 rashers streaky smoked bacon, sliced; 1 large onion, sliced; 2 stalks celery, sliced; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 kg (2lb) free-range chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks);2 tsp plain flour; 200ml (6 ½ fl oz) chicken stock; 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) white wine; 400g (13oz) can chopped tomatoes; 1 long red chilli; 2 sprigs rosemary

For the Gremolata:  1 garlic clove, finely chopped; 2 tblsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley; grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4). Heat the oil in a casserole and sauté the bacon, onion, celery and garlic over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, sprinkle with flour and cook, turning, for about 10 minutes.  Pour over the stock, wine and tomatoes and season.  Tuck in the chilli and rosemary.  Bring to the boil then transfer to the oven  Cook for about 45 minutes, then turn the chicken, remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the chicken has coloured and is cooked.
  3. To make the gremolata, combine the garlic, parsley and lemon zest.
  4. Remove the chilli and rosemary and skim off any fat.  Serve sprinkled with the gremolata.
Tip: Don’t leave out the gremolata, as it adds a zesty kick to the finished dish.

Tortilla Soup with Shredded Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine November 2015

Tortilla SoupThe smoky flavour of this soup comes from chipotle chillies in adobo sauce.  These are sold in small tins at specialist food shops and delis.  If you can’t find any, just add 3 tsp of smoked paprika and 2 chopped fresh chillies instead.

Serves : 4  –  Preparation Time : 5 minutes  –  Cooking Time : 1 hour

Ingredients:  125ml rice bran or grapeseed oil; 1 onion, finely chopped; 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 2 tsp ground paprika; 1 tsp ground cumin; 1 tsp ground coriander; 2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, finely chopped; 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes; 1 litre chicken stock; 2 chicken breast fillets; 2 corn tortillas, halved, cut into 1 cm strips; coriander sprigs, diced avocado, line wedges, crumbled fresh cheese or feta, to serve.


Step One:  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Cook the onion, garlic, paprika, cumin and coriander for approximately 5 minutes, until the onion and garlic soften slightly.  Add the chillies, tomatoes and stock and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Step Two: Add the chicken breasts and cook for 20-30 minutes until cooked through, then remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Step Three:  Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Fry the tortilla strips for 6-8 minutes until light, golden and crisp.  Remove, drain well using paper towels and season with salt.

Step Four: Using a stick blender, food processor or blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Taste and check the seasoning. Shred the chicken with two forks, then return to the pan.  Cook for a further 5 minutes until warmed through.

Step Five:  Serve with tortilla strips, coriander sprigs, diced avocado, lime wedges and cheese.

If you struggle with finding a high street stockist for the chillies, Amazon stock them:

A rustic dish to serve the soup in:

Psychologies Magazine

Sticky Chicken Wings

Even a complete beginner can make these – they’re so easy and delicious.

Serves: 8; Prep: 5 mins; Cook: 25 mins; Cals per portion: 218

Ingredients: 16 large chicken wings; 8 tblsp runny honey; 1 tsp English mustard powder; 8 tblsp sesame seeds

  • Preheat oven to Mark 6/400oF/200oC. Arrange chicken wings in a large roasting tin. Season them generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Brush chicken wings with honey to coat them, then sprinkle them with mustard powder and sesame seeds.
  • Bake wings for 25 mins, turning and basting once until golden and tender..

Pot-roasted Chicken with Onions and Tarragon

This dish is double delicious because it is almost a soup starter and a main course in one big pot! The sliced onions are packed into a braising dish with a bunch of tarragon and a chicken sitting on top. As the bird roasts, its juices flavour the onions. Add chicken stock, and you get the consistency of a rich broth or liquor. It’s up to you how much stock you add.

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1oz (25g) butter; 6-8 onions, halved and sliced; salt and black pepper; 1 garlic clove, crushed, optional; 1 bunch of tarragon; 1 x 3 ½ – 4 lb (1.5 – 1.75kg) chicken; 10-15 fl loz (300-450ml) chicken stock; knob of butter, optional

  • Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF, Gas Mark 6. Using a knob of the butter, grease a large, deep braising dish and three-quarters fill with the sliced onions. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Add the garlic clove, if you’re using it, and half the bunch of tarragon.
  • Rub the skin of the chicken with the remaining butter. Sit the chicken on top of the onions and season with lots of salt and black pepper. Place the braising dish in the oven. The total cooking time will be between 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours.
  • Halfway through the cooking time (about 40mins), add 10 fl oz (300ml) of the chicken stock. Add more stock if you prefer the liquor to have a thinner consistency and baste some of the liquor over the chicken. Return to the oven for the remaining cooking time.
  • The onions should cook much quicker now and the liquor should resemble onion soup.
    When the chicken is golden brown and tender, remove from the oven and check the seasoning and consistency of the liquor – 10 fl oz (300ml) will be enough to serve four. Remove the tarragon. Pick and chop the remaining half bunch, and add to the liquor. For a richer, finish, add the knob of butter to the liquor.
  • Spoon liquor into large soup bowls, divide chicken into portions and sit them on top. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the liquor.