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Thai-style Cashew Nut Chicken With Vegetables

A colourful and flavourful all in one main course dish served with a bowl of fluffy white rice. The ingredients can be prepared in advance and kept sealed and refrigerated for several hours, but stir-fry and complete shortly before serving.

1 cup (250 ml) Jasmine or Basmati Rice
water to cover and rinse
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1 ½ cups (375 ml) water

Ingredients for the first saucepan
1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
500 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
2 Tbsp (30 ml) cornflour
1 tsp (5 ml)  chicken stock powder
¼ cup (60 ml) water
1 Tbsp (15 ml) curry paste of your choice – green(strongest) red (medium) yellow (mild)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) light soy sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) sugar (white, brown or palm)
2 tsp (10 ml) white vinegar (rice wine vinegar for an oriental flavour)
½ English cucumber, cut into julienne strips
½ cup (125 ml) toasted unsalted cashew nuts (lightly toasted in the oven at 180 ºC)

Ingredients for the second saucepan
1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil
1 medium onion, very coarsely chopped into chunky bits
1 medium leek, washed and sliced
2 tsp (10 ml) crushed or chopped garlic (1 – 2 cloves)
2 tsp (10 ml) grated fresh ginger
2 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips
1 stalk tender celery, thinly sliced (optional)
± 2 cups (500 ml) coarsely shredded young cabbage or Chinese cabbage (pak choi)
± 1 cup (250 ml) strips of mixed peppers (green, red and yellow)
± 200 g mushrooms, white or mixed, chopped into chunks

To finish and garnish
additional curry paste to taste
2 spring onions, diagonally snipped

  1. Place the rice into a saucepan, cover with water, allow to stand a few minutes, stir well and drain off the water. Add the salt and water and bring to boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes, reduce heat, cover partly and cook very gently for 20 minutes or until the rice is almost dry.
  2. Cover completely and allow to steam until ready to serve. Fluff lightly with a fork, turn into a warmed bowl and keep warm.
  3. Flatten the chicken breast with a mallet and cut in diagonal strips.
  4. Mix the salt, cornflour and stock powder and toss the chicken strips onto the mixture.
  5. Heat the oil to quite hot and stir-fry the meat for 5 minutes.  Add all the remaining ingredients for the first saucepan, stir to combine and cook uncovered over moderate heat for 5 minutes more.
  6. Heat the oil for the second saucepan and add the onion, leek, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry 3 minutes and add the carrot and celery. Stir-fry 3 minutes more.
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients for the second saucepan and stir-fry 3 minutes more.   Combine the ingredients of the two saucepans, adjust seasoning, adding a little extra soy sauce if preferred and toss in the snipped spring onion.
  8. Turn out into a warmed serving dish and serve with the bowl of rice.

6 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Thai Chicken

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Apple, Vegetable and Rosemary Roast Chicken

A trendy and tasty one dish meal which will not only please family and friends but is also most manageable to make when food is needed for a large group.

8 chicken portions (drumsticks and / or thighs)
125 ml chicken stock or 5 ml chicken stock powder plus 125 ml water

Basting sauce
30 ml olive oil
15 ml balsamic vinegar
30 ml apple or cranberry jelly or apricot jam
5 – 10 ml crushed garlic (1 – 2 cloves)
125 ml apple juice
2.5 ml salt
ground black pepper

Vegetables and apple
2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 thick slices pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
30 ml rosemary leaves
2 firm green apples, cored and each cut into 2cm chunks

To serve and garnish
250g young green beans, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
boiled rice or couscous

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken portions and place into a saucepan with the stock or water and stock powder. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes while preparing the vegetables.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the basting sauce.
  3. Place the vegetables, rosemary  and basting sauce into and oven roasting pan. Toss well and  arrange evenly in the pan.
  4. Place the chicken portions between the vegetables and turn over to coat all over with the basting sauce.
  5. Drizzle any leftover stock from the pan used to cook the chicken over the vegetables and meat and bake uncovered  at  180ºC for 20 minutes.
  6. Toss in the apple and bake about 20 minutes more or until the vegetables are cooked to taste and attractively browned.
  7. When almost ready to serve, place the beans in a saucepan, add enough water to cover and boil quickly and uncovered for about 5 minutes until just tender.
  8. Spoon the meat and vegetables into a serving dish and garnish with the drained beans and a good grinding of pepper.
  9. Serve with rice or couscous.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Spatchcocked Chicken

“Spatchcock” (poussin in French) is also the traditional word for a juvenile chicken.  Spatchcocks were generally butterflied during preparation to speed up the cooking time.  The word therefore refers to both the bird and the manner in which it was traditionally prepared. Spatchcocking yields a perfect roasted chicken that will cook 15 minutes faster than a whole chicken. It also exposes more skin, which crisps up nicely.

 1.5 kg whole chicken
15 ml olive oil
1o ml garlic & herb seasoning
  1. Prepare a braai for indirect cooking.
  2. To butterfly the chicken, lay the chicken breast side down on a chopping board with the tail end facing you.
  3. Use poultry shears (kitchen scissors will also do!) to cut out the back bone. Do this by cutting through the ribs to the left of the backbone.
  4. Also cut to the right of the backbone and remove the backbone and the tail.
  5. Remove the breast bone next by cutting it loose with a utility knife.
  6. Rub olive oil into the chicken on all sides.
  7. Season the chicken with salt and pepper or spices of your choice such as garlic and herb seasoning.
  8. Place the chicken breast side down on the rack of the Weber over a drip pan . Tuck the wings in and cook covered with the vent open until nicely browned – 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 75 degrees celcius in the thickest part of the thigh.
  10. Check to see whether it’s cooked by inserting a meat thermometer or by placing a skewer in the thicker part of the leg.The juices should run clear, i.e. not look pink.
  11. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and transfer to a serving dish.