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Cajun-style Blackened Chicken & Salad Sandwich

This very contemporary way of serving a low-kilojoule chicken and salad sandwich would be ideally suited for a casual meal on the patio with friends and family.  Prepare an open sandwich for a light meal or a stacked sandwich for a more substantial feast.

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Chicken Puttanesca

This tangy, somewhat salty Italian pasta dish has ingredients that are typical of Southern Italian cuisine: tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, olive oil, capers and garlic. Traditionally, the sauce is served with spaghetti, although it also goes well with penne, tagliatelli, linguine and even rice.

salt and pepper to season the chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 100 g each)
olive oil to fry
125 ml white wine or chicken stock
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
30 ml tomato paste
10 ml crushed garlic
15 black olives, pitted
15 ml capers
30 ml basil, finely chopped fresh
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. Brush the chicken breasts lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and then sear the chicken breasts on both sides until nicely colored and almost done. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add half of the white wine or chicken stock to the hot saucepan to deglaze – scrape any bits of chicken that may have stuck on the bottom.
  4. Add the chopped onions and cook until the onions are translucent and soft – about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Season with some salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
  7. Stir well and add the other half of white wine and cook covered with a lid for about 7 to 8 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Stir in the the olives, capers and minced garlic, and cook for another couple minutes.
  9. Add the chicken breasts into the saucepan. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes covered, or until the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked.
  10. Sprinkle with the chopped basil and serve either with pasta of your choice or rice.

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Chicken In Buttermilk Marinade

The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so start this recipe a day in advance.  The end result will be chicken that is tender and flavorful.  You won’t be disappointed!

4 skinless chicken thighs
4 skinless chicken drumsticks

500 ml buttermilk
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
15 ml hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
15 ml salt
10 ml freshly ground black pepper
2.5 ml teaspoon paprika

200 g Cream Crackers or Salticrax

  1. Combine the buttermilk, garlic, hot sauce, if used, salt, pepper and paprika in a large bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer it to a 20 x 30 cm ovenproof dish.
  3. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours, turning once.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 ° C.
  5. Fit a wire rack inside a roasting pan and set it aside.
  6. Place the crumbs in a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk marinade, letting the excess drip off, and place it in the crumbs, turning to coat completely and pressing the crumbs onto the chicken to adhere.
  8. Set the chicken aside on a cutting board and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  9. Transfer the chicken pieces to the rack in the roasting pan and bake until golden and crispy – about 35 minutes.

Substitute the chicken pieces for skinless & boneless chicken breasts and cut them into strips before adding them to the marinade.  The cooking time will be about 20 minutes.