Chicken and gnocchi bake

This isn’t exactly an earth-shattering recipe. Anybody could have made it up (in fact, lots of people probably already have.. I didn’t check, but I bet there are similar recipes all over the Internet!). It was very tasty though, and pretty quick to make. So I give you chicken and gnocchi bake. The amount below serves two.

FoodIngredients:
400g chicken breast, chopped (I bough the pre-chopped variety, because I’m lazy)
400g gnocchi
1 courgette, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, etc. I used dried mixed herbs
Grated cheese
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the oil is heating, put on the water for the gnocchi.

2. Fry the chicken until it’s almost cooked through then add the courgette to the frying pan. Put the gnocchi in the water once it’s boiling then, when it’s ready, drain it and add it to the frying pan.

Chicken, courgette, gnocchi
Chicken, courgette, gnocchi

3. Add some herbs then stir in the tin of tomatoes.

4. Place the contents of the frying pan in an oven-proof dish then grate cheese all over it – as much or as little as you want.

5. Bake on 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted, then serve.

Look at all that cheesy goodness!
Look at all that cheesy goodness!

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! This is also a recipe that could easily be modified, for example by using spinach instead of courgette or leaving out the chicken and using other vegetables to make a vegetarian version. It’s great comfort food! (Although not really recommend as a summer dish… it was 36°C the day Jan and I had it and we were boiling by the time we’d finished eating!)

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Chicken, leek and bacon mashed potato topped pie

I made this delicious pie for the second time the other day, and this time I remembered to take photos, which means you, my lovely readers, get a recipe (and I can actually look up how to do it next time instead of guessing and hoping it comes out as nice as the time before… always a danger with made up recipes!). This is perfect as a comfort food or for a warm, hearty meal on a cold day.

Chicken, Leek and Bacon Mashed Potato Topped Pie

You will need:
450 g chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large leek, chopped fairly small
1 packet bacon pieces
1 tub crème fraîche
4 large potatoes, diced
About 1 tsp tarragon
Salt and black pepper
Nutmeg
Butter, for mash
Optional: Grated cheese

The above amount serves two, but could be stretched to more if you add a side dish of salad or vegetables.

What to do:

1. Heat some oil (I use olive oil) in a pan and fry the bacon bits for about a minute. Meanwhile, place some water on to boil in a saucepan.

2. Add the chicken to the pan and continue frying, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is almost completely cooked through.
Also, put the diced potatoes in the water as soon as it starts to boil.

Chicken and bacon

3. Add the leek to the pan with the chicken/bacon and fry until soft, stirring occasionally.

Pie filling

4. Drain the potatoes then place them back in the pan and mash them with some button and about a teaspoon of the crème fraîche.
Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg.

5. Stir about a teaspoon of tarragon into the frying pan with the chicken, bacon and leek (fresh is best, but you can use dried if that’s all you’ve got…
I use a a jar with fresh tarragon in oil), then stir in the remainder of the crème fraîche. Add salt and pepper to the mixture to taste.

Tarragon in oil

6. Place the chicken, leek and bacon mixture into two small or one medium-sized oven proof dishes and spread it out so it covers the bottom.

Pie filling

7. Cover the chicken, leek and bacon mixture with the mashed potatoes and spread it out to complete cover the chicken, etc. layer.
You can then add some grated cheese to the top if you want I did – I used Cheddar).

8. Place the pie in the oven on around 180°C (350°F) until the cheese has melted, then sit back and enjoy your pie. Caution: It will be very hot!

The finished pie

Rosemary and lemon roast chicken

Chickens
Non-roasted chickens (Photo: Allie’s.Dad on Flickr)

Last week, I stumbled across this blog post with a recipe for a delicious sounding roast chicken. I’d been thinking about roasting a chicken for a while, and I knew instantly that this had to be the one I tried. The only problem was all the measurements are in American, i.e. cups and sticks and things. Seriously Americans, what’s wrong with good old grams? I knew that couldn’t be the only roast chicken recipe out there to use rosemary and lemons though, so I turned to the Interwebs for help. A quick google came up with this BBC Good Food recipe that sounded quite similar, so I settled on making my own version based on a combination of those two recipes. Here’s what I did (there are no photos of the individual steps because I wasn’t planning on blogging about it. This post is borne of a sheer lack of anything else to blog about – even my search terms have been boring recently!):

Ingredients
One whole chicken
150 g of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Half of a red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
15 g of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (the BBC recipe wanted 20 g. Well, sorry BBC but fresh herbs in Germany only come as either whole plants or in 15 g packs!)
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.
Lemons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Leave the butter out for a bit to soften then place it in a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon to the bowl (or both if you like. I accidently chopped one lemon in half before remembering this was supposed to be the zesting stage and I didn’t fancy grating zest off a lemon that was in half. Too messy!)
  2. Crush 2 garlic cloves into the butter and add the chopped chilli and chopped rosemary. Comine the butter and other ingredients together.
  3. Rub about half of the buttery-herby-lemony mix all over the chicken (yes, with your hands! And I do have to admit I felt a bit sick looking at all that butter on my chicken! Jan, on the other hand, came in, looked at it and said “Mmm, that looks good!” In case you ever doubted that men and women are different, there’s your proof. ;-)) then squeeze all the juice from one lemon over it (I used the one I hadn’t previously zested). Then grind black pepper all over the top of the chicken.
  4. Cut the other lemon in half and stick the 2 halves inside the cavity of the chicken (the blog recipe told me to put all 4 halves up there but my chicken was only big enough for 2!)
  5. Cover the chicken with foil and put it in the oven for half an hour on 190°C. Then remove it, get rid of some of the fat/butter mix from the bottom of the roasting pan then put the rest of the butter mixture over the chicken (this time I used a spoon – too hot for hands!)
  6. Cover the chicken again and put it back in the oven for about 20 minutes, then uncover it and put it back in for around 20 minutes to brown, turning the oven down to about 170°C for these 20 minutes.
  7. Once the juices are running clear and the chicken is brown on top, take it out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes then serve with the side dishes of your choice. We had roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Here’s my chicken:

Chicken!
Chicken!

It went back in the oven after I took this to brown up some more. It never did get properly brown, but the juices were running clear so I figured it would be ok. And neither of us has been ill this week, so I obviously got lucky 😉

A Sunday dinner for two
A Sunday dinner for two