6 Nations of Food – (Italian) Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

Second instalment of my Six Nations of Food, it’s my take on the fantastically talented Jason Atherton’s Mediterranean Chicken which follows on from my Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy and Champ. I couldn’t resist posting this one, Jason’s a chef I really admire and this is a cost effective easy to cook recipe.  You can find the original here, this recipe is ideal for cooking in batches and is really inexpensive to make.

I know we’re on the last week of the six nations but I’m going to extend our 6 Nations of Food for a week or so to fit in the other three nations.  I hope Wales beat Italy today, to gain a little self respect back after last week’s shocking game against England 😆

The Recipe

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Ingredients

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Ingredients

This recipe is simple, carrots, onions, chicken breast, garlic and tinned tomato and stock.  Of course the good old salt and pepper and that’s it, I’ve served mine with some boiled cauliflower but Jason serves his in the original recipe with potatoes.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Chopping some of the ingredients

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Chopping some of the ingredients

Yep you’ve guessed it, chop up all the ingredients and set them aside for later lol.  Chop the onions and carrots and place them in a container for later, then chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces, when chopping up chicken remember to adhere to the guidelines.  I’m not going to lie, even though I’m a butcher’s son and nothing about meat makes me squeamish – chicken safety scares me…. don’t take risks, cook it thoroughly and follow advice.

I can’t stress how much easier cooking is when you chop everything up first, the chef’s call it mise en place which is French for “putting place”

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Heating the oil in a pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Heating the oil in a pan

Heat oil in a pan or a wok, I’ve used Rapeseed Oil but you can use olive oil or vegetable oil.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Browning the chicken in the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Browning the chicken in the pan

On a medium heat, fry the chicken pieces until they’re brown all over, don’t have the heat too high because you’re going to cook them again later.  You could say you’re sealing the meat, once you’ve done that set them aside later, use a slotted spoon to scoop all the chicken out.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Frying the carrots and onions

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Frying the carrots and onions

Once you’ve taken the chicken out add the carrots and onions and a good grind of salt, if you’re using table salt add a teaspoon of salt and cook them for around 9 minutes.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - The carrots and onions as they start to soften

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – The carrots and onions as they start to soften

Cook the carrots and onions until they have soften.  It’s going to be hard with the carrots to get them to soften but don’t worry because the process isn’t finished yet.  This stage usually takes around 7 – 9 minutes to carry out.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding lazy garlic to the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding lazy garlic to the pan

Because I have difficulty using a garlic crusher and I don’t have James Martin’s knife skills I use lazy garlic, add a couple of teaspoons to your dish, you can add more if you want to,, I’m a garlic fan so I added three teaspoons..

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Stirring the garlic through

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Stirring the garlic through

Give the garlic a good stir and cook for a few minutes before we move on to the next stage.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding the chicken back to the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding the chicken back to the pan

Add all the browned chicken back and stir thoroughly, make sure when you’re adding the chicken you add all the juices left on the plate back into the saucepan/wok.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding tinned tomatoes

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding tinned tomatoes

Add a tin of tomatoes and stir thoroughly to combine.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding chicken stock

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding chicken stock

Add the stock to the pan, if you’ve got home made stock use that if not, like me, use a stock cube with 250ml of water.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding mixed herbs

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding mixed herbs

From the carosel I’ve used in previous recipes I added a good shake of mixed herbs, you could add fresh Basil, Parsley or Oregano to this recipe – as it’s Italian.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Seasoning with salt and pepper

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Seasoning with salt and pepper

As you can see from the inset photo I’ve whapped a load of salt and pepper in this dish because I like it, most people could probably do with less salt but it was enough for us, and I love pepper.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Putting the lid on for it to simmer

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Putting the lid on for it to simmer

Cook it until you’re sure the chicken is cooked and the sauce is to the consistency you want it.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Ready to eat, served with boiled cauliflower

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Ready to eat, served with boiled cauliflower

Jason served his with potatoes, I’ve served mine with Cauliflower, why I hear you ask… wait and see!

Low Carb Diet

I’m on this Low Carb diet for a fortnight, to try and lose weight, I’m not going to eat pasta, rice, bread or potatoes for a fortnight.  Now you know me not eating potatoes is going to kill me….  but onwards and upwards.

I don’t know if it’s going to make a difference but we’re going to give it a go, that’s why I’ve moved to the ole’ Cauliflower instead of Jason’s spuds.  Anyone got any help????

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

Coming up we’ve got Eggs in pots (oeufs en cocotte) from Rachel Khoo, they’re French don’t you know lol.  Hopefully soon we’ll have some free range eggs from Gemma’s eggs, they taste fab!

6 Nations of Food – Eggs from Gemma's Chickens

6 Nations of Food – Eggs from Gemma’s Chickens

Give this recipe a go, it’s really flavoursome, the herby garlicy sauce is excellent, I’m suddenly loving chicken again and I genuinely love cauliflower, it’s one of my finds from the decade of 2010’s but it doesn’t replace potatoes sadly – do you feel my pain?

I’ll be back on Tuesday with my Time-Saving Tuesdays review of Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken.

Remember to get in touch, you can visit our social media pages below, or subscribe to the blog for regular updates.Wheelie Good Meals Social NetworkingEnjoy the rugby today, see you Tuesday

Mother’s Day Meal 2015 Pt 1 – Starter Course

Mother’s Day Meal 2015 Pt 1 Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée with Smoked Bacon

Mags' Mother's Day Flowers

Mags’ Mother’s Day Flowers

Yes, yes, at last I know 😆 ! Here is the first in my Mother’s Day Meal menu. I served Pan fried Scallops, Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon.

The pictures aren’t as good as I’d normally have but they outline the basics of the recipe. I love scallops, they are my favourite seafood, oh wait there’s crab, oh and lobster… ok I love seafood in general lol 😳 . This starter is a combination of hot and cold, the bacon and purée was served cold and the scallops were served just after I’d cooked them.

I don’t have pictures of these steps but the first thing to do is Preheat the oven to 2000c, then you need to place some foil on a baking tray and then place on the bacon.  Once you’ve done that cover the bacon with foil and place another baking tray on top to ensure the bacon stays flat. Place in the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon - Different Stages of Making the Cauliflower Purée

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon – Different Stages of Making the Cauliflower Purée

When making the purée you need to roast the cauliflower, cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Melt some butter and with a glug of oil in a sauce pan and add the cauliflower. Allow to cook for 3 – 5 minutes stirring regularly. While that is happening pour your milk into a jug and add some curry powder, you could mix the spices yourself but I’ve chosen to use a shop bought mild curry powder – it works well. Once you’ve put the curry powder and milk together pour it over your cauliflower and cook for a further 12 – 15 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. When the cauliflower is soft enough place everything in a food processor or blitz with a hand blender. Whizz it up until you get the required consistency.

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon - The Shells Ready To Be Filled

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon – The Shells Ready To Be Filled

You can serve this dish without the scallop shells but, it always adds a bit of oomph. If you are using the scallop shells place them on the plate – to keep them still you can place a little bit of coarse salt under each shell.

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon - Cooking The Scallops

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon – Cooking The Scallops

When you are cooking the scallops put some oil and butter in a frying pan and allow the butter to melt. Once that has happened and the pan is hot place in the scallops, you want to put them in a clockwise pattern starting at twelve o’clock and then working your way around – that way you know which ones to turn first. You should cook them for 90 seconds on one side, don’t touch them, when the 90 seconds is up turn them over and cook for a further 90 seconds. This needs to be done on a high heat. It’s important not to overcook scallops as they become rubbery. Mine were nice plump scallops from the fishmonger’s counter of the supermarket.

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon - All Ready To Eat

Scallops With Curried Cauliflower Purée and Smoked Bacon – All Ready To Eat

Place the purée in the scallop shells with the scallops on top of them, then place the bacon on the plate. I’ve added a little parsley garnish to make the plate look pretty, I served the purée and bacon cold but the scallops were warm.  You can download a full copy of this recipe here.

To view the Main Course of this menu click here

Do you like Seafood, then try my Prawn Cocktail from last year’s Mother’s Day Menu. This is part of my Mother’s Day Menu, the main course is coming on the weekend and the dessert, well that’s worth waiting for. Have you got much lined up over the weekend, what are you going to be cooking – let us know on our social media pages. Come back on the weekend and see the next instalment on this menu.

See you soon, so we can make more Wheelie Good Meals

Rich 😎
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Happy New Year folks, how was your festive break, hope it went well. Here’s my first recipe of 2015 (are you still writing 2014 on stuff because I know I am).

Here’s the first recipe of the year and it’s a belter, it’s really comforting, it’s a cwtch in an oven proof dish (for those who are not welsh a cwtch is a hug with bells on, see a definition here). This idea came from a glut of leftover Broccoli and Cauliflower, I’ve added potatoes because I’m a potato freak and it bulked it out but that’s optional. As with all my recipes all the weights and measurements in this recipe are to taste, feel free to add or take away J

I love this recipe, it was really straight forward to make and tasted fantastic, I’ve made it a few times (one of the few recipes I’ve spent lots of time testing… because it’s so nice). I took this up to Stacey’s house recently, Stacey is someone who I am proud to think of as my daughter. She also did me the honour recently of asking me to be God Father to her two wonderful children… how could I not cook something special! You all know there’s no better way to please loved ones than to cook from the heart…. and that is what I did. We had a lovely cosy evening in with good wine, good food and great company what more could you ask for?

Some of the Ingredients for Stacey's Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Some of the Ingredients for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Equipment for Stacey's Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Equipment for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The first thing you need to do is prepare everything, Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets then place in a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the almost tender, but still fairly firm.  Pour them into a colander, leave to drain then set aside for later. The important thing is to remember to not overcook them as you’re going to cook them again in the oven. Next on to all the chopping that needs doing, I used a food processor for it all and did it in two different batches, see below:

Food Processor Working Hard During Different Stages of Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Food Processor Working Hard During Different Stages of Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

In the above photo you can see my little food processor doing all the work for me. I firstly blitzed up the breadcrumbs and the dried parsley (set aside for later) for the topping, then I whizzed up the cheese and the spring onions for the actual sauce. You can grate the cheese and the bread and chop the spring onions… but why bother when you’re little friend will do it for you.

The Cheese Sauce for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The Cheese Sauce for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium, heavy-based pan and stir in the flour, you’ll need to cook over a gentle heat for one minute. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Return the pan to a medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the mustard, thyme, soft cheese and the blitzed hard cheese and spring onions. It is important to ensure that the cheese melts. You’ll see in the photograph above that the cheese hasn’t quite melted. I used Bousin Cheese and Cheddar but you can use any cheese you like as long as it melts well – I’m not a fan of stringy cheese.

The Different Steps to Assembling Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The Different Steps to Assembling Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Arrange the Broccoli, Cauliflower and left over potatoes (if your using them) in and ovenproof baking dish. As I’ve said before I used the potatoes to bulk it out because I wasn’t serving anything else with it, they are optional so if you’re healthy eating perhaps you’d better leave them out. Carefully pour over the sauce, ensuring everything is completely covered.   Scatter the breadcrumbs and parsley you blitzed earlier over the top. Finally, bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and bubbling. Serve as it is, with some bread or a side salad.

Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

 

This is one of my personal favourites and a great way to open 2015, Stacey and I really enjoyed this one, it’s easy to make and gives you a real satisfying feeling when eating it…. proper comfort food! Don’t forget to download our step-by-step recipe from the link here.

I hope you had a great New Year and you’re all looking forward to a wonderful 2015, don’t forget to stop by on Monday for the first instalment in our #MicroMonday feature. This new item will incorporate our #ReadyMealMonday theme along with easy recipes for you to cook in the Microwave.

Remember you can always get in touch with ideas, questions etc, you can email enquiries@wheeliegoodmeals.co.uk or go to one of our Social Media pages.

Ta ta 😎

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