Pan Fried Country Dijon Mustard Chicken

I haven’t been doing much on the blogging front at all since I started a new job in April, and for some reason feel supremely guilty about abandoning my blogs. Blogging to me feels like exercise, a testament of self-discipline and endurance; you need to make it a habit in order to create and extract any value from it. So here I am, trying again :).

Pan Fried Country Dijon Mustard Chicken: I first made this back in March, or as it is known in my memory, as the Month of Interviews. I didn’t have much mood or will to do much cooking during those tiring weeks so our meals were very simple. This is one of them.

Pan Fried Country Dijon Mustard Chicken

Pan Fried Country Dijon Mustard Chicken


Ingredients
(for 2 portions)*
2x chicken breast (slice width-wise into 2 thinner slices)
2+ tablespoons, or enough to cover both sides of chicken, of country Dijon mustard (hybrid of Dijon mustard and whole-grain mustard)
1 tablespoon olive oil for frying
salt and black pepper for marinating and to taste
water/wine for cooking process

Method
1. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on both sides of chicken. Then coat chicken with mustard using back of spoon or hands.
2. Let chicken. marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Heat frying pan on medium. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Pan fry chicken breasts when oil is hot but not smoking – do not overcrowd. Cook first side until brown, then flip over. I usually cover the pan with a glass lid to ensure the meat is fully cooked. If the pan gets a bit dry, I’ll add a bit of liquid like water or wine.

Goes great with mashed potatoes, asparagus, string beans! Hope you enjoy.

Comforting Chicken and Shittake Mushroom Stew

I’ve often fantasized about making this Comforting Chicken and Shittake Mushroom Stew whenever I craved for a simple meal with lots of gravy . Finally I cooked this dish in an attempt to make the a nice meal for W last week when he was ill with a bad cold.

The stew turned out to be right up our taste alley. It was even better the next day for lunch – loved the mushrooms. A little on the oily side (I wasn’t as thorough in trimming the chicken fat as I could have been), but very satisfying with Thai white rice.

stew1ste2

I’ve approximated the measurements here but I’m afraid my recipe is not tried and tested at all. Still, wanted to share.

Comforting Chicken and Shittake Mushroom Stew // Served two ways here

Ingredients:
400 grams chicken thighs, in bite-sized pieces
6-8 x dried Shittake mushrooms, soaked in warm water so that they are reconstituted and soft (remove stalks)
2x cloves garlic, minced finely
a small section of ginger (I use about 4 cm squared), finely sliced into little matchsticks
vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
salt

for the sauce:
light soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoons
dark soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoons
oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon
rice wine/Shaoxing wine/sherry, 0.5 tablespoon
water, one-third cup
ground white pepper, a few dashes

Method:
0. Soak Shittake mushrooms in warm water. This is done preferably a few hours before cooking but if in a rush, use boiling water and half an hour should do it. Slice each mushroom into 4 wedge pieces.
1. Chop chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, removing excess skin and fat. Marinate with salt.
2. Heat wok on low-medium heat. Add oil.
3. When oil is hot, stir-fry garlic and ginger until fragrant.
4. Add chicken to wok, stir-fry.
5. When chicken is slightly browned on outside (not completely cooked inside though), add mushrooms.
6. Mix mushrooms and chicken.
7. Mix ingredients for the sauce in bowl. Add to wok.
8. Cover wok with lid. Once mixture has come to a boil, turn heat down to low so that it is just simmering.
9. Let simmer on low heat for at least half an hour.
10. Make sure that there is enough liquid to just barely cover the protein. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
11. Taste stew and add salt to taste.
12. You’re done!

When making this last week, I added a few large Romaine lettuce leaves to the wok to steam them for 2 minutes before switching off the heat. I then ladled the stew on top of the lettuce. It was an easy way of getting some green in our meal without having to prepare a side.

In my college days, I used to make a version of this with small chunks of potato – also yummy but the starch in the potato would make the sauce very thick. I refer this version for its relative simplicity.

Enjoy!

Baked Soy Chicken Thighs and Broccoli

chickendish

Baked Soy Chicken Thighs and Broccoli

I like this dish for its simplicity – protein and veggies, cooked in an oven, no fuss whatsoever!

I adapted the recipe from here. Didn’t get quite the same level of caramelization because I scaled back on the soy sauce and sugar, and added small broccoli florets and thin carrot coins into the mix.

The marinade featured in the recipe is pretty good, and I love the idea of marinating the chicken in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to really infuse the meat with flavour. Personally I think the baking then broiling steps are bit of overkill – I just kept baking at a steady temperature. My dish came out a little dry, probably needed a bit more sauce and perhaps to cover the glass dish for the first 20 minutes or so.

I realize that this post and the last featured recipes from other people (gasp) but I promise the next few are going to be original creations ;), so stay tuned.

My favourite baked chicken wings

This is my recipe for Asian-style baked chicken wings, which I turn to when I’m not in the mood to do any stovetop cooking. It’s certainly one of the easier recipes on this blog: less than 10 ingredients and minimal cooking involved ;).

The key ingredient for these chicken wings is lime juice. Although limes are probably one of the more expensive fruits out there, I’ve found that they are often an irreplaceable ingredient in certain dishes — lemon doesn’t always cut it! Lime juice in the sauce keeps the chicken moist, and the fruit’s tart, refreshing sweetness goes really well against the heavier saltiness of the soy sauce. It’s become a little luxury I go out of my way to get for myself. Some young women like shoes; I like juicy green limes. Priorities!

One thing to note about the method is that the overall baking time will vary with the oven type and number of chicken wings used. I’ve listed approximate times here, which have worked well with my fan assisted oven. When drizzling the honey (another crucial ingredient that will make the chicken taste absolutely divine!) over the wings in the last 3-5 minutes, do stay by the oven and make sure the sugar does not burn. You want a nice caramelised sheen over the chicken, not black charred bits!

sheila's chicken wings

baked not fried!

Ingredients
15 chicken wings
juice of 2 limes
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine (optional)
salt and black pepper for marinating
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and extra to grease baking foil
2 tablespoons honey for last 5 minutes of baking

Method
0. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
1. Clean chicken wings under cold water and make sure they are de-feathered properly. Pluck any stray feathers.
2. Pat dry with kitchen roll. In a large bowl, marinate chicken generously with salt and black pepper. After salt and black pepper, marinate with vegetable oil (1 tablespoons should do it). Leave to marinate for at least half an hour. You may want to put the chicken in the fridge; my kitchen is generally cool so I let it sit on the counter-top.
3. Line a large baking tray with aluminium foil drizzled with a little vegetable oil. Arrange wings skin-up on tray when chicken and oven are ready.
4. Mix together soy sauce, lime juice and rice wine together in a bowl. Pour 4/5 of the mixture over wings.
5. Bake wings for 50 minutes in total:
– At 15-20 minutes, baste wings with remaining 1/5 of the sauce, and spoon over any juices that have accumulated in the baking tray.
– At 25-30 minutes, flip each wing with chopsticks (or tongs, if less adept with chopsticks!) so that the underside is facing up.
– At 40-45 minutes, flip each wing back so the skin is facing up. Drizzle honey across the wings. Bake for remaining 3-5 minutes until wings are golden brown — watch the wings carefully as honey can burn very quickly.
6. Serve wings with salad – cucumbers would go well.

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy after work I like to just make a ‘one pot’ dish for minimal cooking and washing up. Oyakodon is one of these, if you don’t count the rice cooker!

I like oyakodon for its simple ‘clear’ flavours; traditionally it is cooked by simmering chicken in dashi, a kind of fish stock made from bonito flakes, yellow onion and spring onions, with lightly beaten egg added to the mixture, before being transferred onto a bowl of hot steaming rice.

The past few times I’ve cooked oyakodon, I lightly pan-fried the chicken before simmering it in hot water and dashi. Just a preference – it gives the chicken a little more colour. I also like chopping dried seaweed and adding it as a garnish but I’ve run out of dried seaweed! Dried seaweed is a great addition I think because it adds to the Japanese flavours and lends more texture to the otherwise soft, subtle ingredients. However this time around, I lacked a lot of the traditional ingredients so I had to make do without yellow onion (substituting with red), spring onions, and seaweed. It still worked though!

Oyakodon

Oyakodon

I think I still have a tendency to not add enough boiling water to the chicken when simmering it; the more liquidy the dish, the better :).

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Ingredients, for 4 portions
500 grams, chicken thighs, diced into small pieces (not quite bite sized though)
1/2  onion, sliced
3 eggs, beaten lightly
3 stalks spring onion, sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces

200 ml dashi stock/boiling water mixed with 2 tablespoons dashi powder
1 1/2 tablespoons, light soy sauce for marinating
white sugar, 1/2 tablespoon, for marinating
salt, 1/2 teaspoon, for marinating
2 tablespoon mirin
optional – 1 piece dried seaweed (nori), sliced into thin strips for garnish

Method
1. Marinate chicken in light soy sauce, salt, and a little sugar. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large frying pan/skillet on medium heat
3. Pan fry marinated chicken, lightly browning on each side before turning. Add mirin to chicken as it is cooking.
4. When both sides of chicken are slightly coloured, add dashi stock to pan, turning heat to medium-low heat. Add onions.
5. Cover pan with lid and let chicken and onions simmer.
6. After chicken is fully cooked, add spring onions and swirl egg into chicken mixture. Cover pan with lid.
7. When egg is cooked, switch off heat. Serve on top of white rice, with seaweed garnish if using.