Category: Chicken

Balinese Chicken Satay Skewers

Okay, so I was planing on giving you the next instalment of The A-Z of Cooking this week.  But, my plans went awry in much the same way as my life seems to be going awry. So Balinese Chicken Satay Skewers it is!  Not that I’m complaining (and nor should you be) because I know what is coming  up next from the A-Z and believe me, even though I haven’t made it yet?   I strongly feel that we are onto a winner, winner chicken dinner with the Balinese Chicken Skewers.  

Chicken Satay2I love chicken satay skewers and have been making these regularly since my return.  The recipe provided below is based on the one we learned at Ketut’s Bali Cooking Class in Ubud.  Sadly it is not as good.  Possibly because it is not cooked in an open air kitchen overlooking rice paddies and cooked over coconut shells:

Chicken Satay7Nor were the spices hand ground in the traditional way:

Chicken Satay9Also, the Balinese have about forty types of ginger and here, we have one. However, whilst these won’t absolutely transport you to Bali, they are utterly delicious! How could it not be?  I am a big fan of pretty much any meat on a stick.  Here, the marinated chicken remains tender and juicy after grilling

Balinese Chicken Satay SkewersAnd the spicy peanut sauce is a perfect accompaniment.  I bought a tiny terracotta Balinese grill, however, I cooked these in the oven.  I really like my terracotta friend though!

chicken Satay6Here he is again!

Chicken Satay3

Ketut suggested that you serve your chicken satay skewers with white or yellow rice.  In the first photo above, I served mine the way my Malaysian friend Aiden serves his – with a very simple salad of cucumber and red onion.  Simply stab the tip of the skewer into the cubes of cucumber and onion and then into the sauce.   So good!

My favourite way of eating these is in a wrap (more traditionally a roti) with some tomato, cucumber, onion and coriander salad and sprinkled with extra peanuts!

Chicken Satay4Just looking at these photos is making me want to make them again, right now!  So, here’s the recipe!

Balinese Chicken Satay Skewers
Perfectly grilled chicken and a spicy peanut sauce is a match made in heaven!
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For The Skewers
  1. 500g chicken breast
For The Marinade
  1. 3 tbsp chopped shallots
  2. 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  3. 1 tbsp lime juice
  4. 4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  5. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  6. 5 tbsp coconut oil
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
For The Peanut Sauce
  1. 300g peanuts
  2. 3 cloves of garlic
  3. 4 shallot cloves
  4. 2 tbsp palm sugar
  5. 1 tbsp red chilli (more / less to taste)
  6. 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  7. 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  8. 1 cup chicken stock
  9. 2 tbsp coconut milk
  10. 1 tbsp ginger
For The Chicken
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together.
  2. If using wooden skewers, soak these in water to prevent them burning.
  3. Cut the chicken into cubes and marinate 15 minutes.
  4. Thread onto skewers.
  5. Grill until browned and cooked through, basting with the leftover marinade.
For The Peanut Sauce
  1. Fry the peanuts until golden brown. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Drain off most but not all of the oil.
  2. Grind the chillies, garlic, shallots, palm sugar and ginger in a food processor or mortar and pestle until they form a paste. Add the peanuts and grind to a paste again.
  3. Place the peanut paste into a pan. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk.
  4. Add the sweet soy to taste.
  5. Bring to the boil.
  6. Simmer until thick and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the lime juice to taste.
Adapted from Ketut's Balinese Cooking School - Ubud, Bali
Adapted from Ketut's Balinese Cooking School - Ubud, Bali
Retro Food For Modern Times

Chicken Satay5

Have a wonderful week!  I’ll be back, next week possibly with something quixotic and quaint  that hopefully will not leave me feeling too queasy!

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BBQ’ed Chicken Drummers & Corn Butter

Howdy y’all,

This recipe for BBQ’ed chicken drummers and corn butter feels very southern to me, hence my greeting. It’s also perfect for those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer, which is what we are experiencing right now in Australia…or are we?  More about that later.  So, where were we?  Oh yeah – Southern, Summer, the classic combination of chicken and corn (second only to that other classic combo of chicken and beer) and only 6 ingredients!  This most definitely a winner, winner chicken dinner!

You will notice in the bottom left of the photo below that there is a round crumbed looking object.  That was a Cajun tomato.  This is the last you ever hear of that.  It wasn’t good.  I’m only even mentioning it so you don’t wonder what it was.  Apart from that the BBQ’ed chicken drummers and corn butter were deliciousness on a plate!

The BBQ drummers for this recipe came from Picnics and Barbecues Chapter of The A-Z of Cooking (1977).  The corn butter comes from Food 52.  So, gorgeous summer day, perfect weather, not a cloud in the sky was the order of the day.  Until about 6:00pm which was just about when we had planned to fire up the barbecue.  Then this happened.   It went dark and it BUCKETED rain for about the next 15 hours! 

Drummers - Weather

We beat a hasty retreat inside and got out the old grill pan.


So, whilst we’re waiting for out drummers to cook, let’s talk about corn butter.  You’ll be wondering how something with ONE ingredient can taste so good!  I found this recipe in Genius Recipes from Food 52.  Here it is for you:
One Ingredient Corn Butter

No prizes for guessing what that one ingredient is!

Corn Butter

For the remaining five ingredients, here’s the recipe for the chicken:


BBQ'ed Chicken Drummers
A simple and delicious way to cook chicken.
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  1. 2 tbsp butter
  2. 1 tsp Mustard, I used Dijon but you could use Hot English for more spice
  3. 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  4. A few drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)
  5. 6 chicken drumsticks
  1. Mix together the butter, mustard, Worchestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.
  2. Brush the mix over the drumsticks and cook them on the barbecue until the juices run clear when poked with a skewer.
  3. Serve with the corn butter.
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Retro Food For Modern Times
Have a great week and y’all come back now,hear?
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Old Favourites – Chicken Pie

 Happy New Year everyone!  2016 was a tough year and I am glad to see the back of it!  And what better way to celebrate the turn of the year than with a classic chicken pie! Well, champagne and lobster would have also been grand but chicken pie it was!  And Lord Almighty, you have no idea the effort involved in bringing you this chicken pie – direct from the pages of The A-Z of Cooking!  This is the third recipe I made from the chapter called Old Favorites

Chicken Pie1

The first thing I made were some pastries called Maids of Honour, originally made in Tudor Times.   I nearly lost my head when I saw the photos of them.  They were terrible!!!  Totally unusable.  So then I made an Apple Pan Dowdy.  Terrible name for what was a quite tasty upside down apple cake.  I did not take any photos the night I made it and only remembered a couple of days later that I needed to.  By which time, the cake was gone! 

Chicken Pie2

Left in the chapter was a recipe for Steak and Kidney Pie – I know people eat it and I’m sure it’s delicious.  But as far as I’m concerned kidneys are there to absorb waste and make urine – neither of which make me want to pop some in my mouth and chew.  There was also a recipe for a Killarney Hot Pot which contained pork belly which is another thing I don’t eat.  Finally, there was a recipe for Chicken Pie which I initially ignored because….boring!  Then I realised I had everything I needed to make it in the house and voila, chickken pie it was!

Chicken Pie3This Chicken Pie is actually not boring.  It was delicious!!!  Making it during a heat wave was probably not my brightest move ever but it was worth it!  Seriously, the night I made those pies, I went to bed around 1:00am and it was still 32°C.  That’s 89.6°F for my American friends.  And is damn hot for the early hours of the morning where ever you are!  So you can only imagine how much hotter it was earlier in the day when I was baking the pies!

Chicken Pie 4This was perfectly balanced, chicken and mushroom is always a great combination and this had the perfect amount of wine and cream.  I added some fresh chives into my chicken mix and made small pies instead of one large one but otherwise this was exactly as per The A-Z.  Well, I used bought pastry instead of making my own  – heat wave remember?

This would be a great way to use leftover chicken…just sub it in at the point of mixing.  And if you are not fond of mushrooms (I’m looking at you Jenny Hammerton) use whatever vegetables you like – corn, asparagus and or leek would all be super delicious or you could go very traditional and have peas, carrots, celery.

The only downside of this pie, apart from the heat wave, was that for the whole time I made it I was singing that terrible hair band song from the ’90’s “She’s my cherry pie” in my head, except I was subbing in chicken for cherry. Be warned.  It could also happen to you!  Meaning, now that I have planted that seed it surely will! 

All together now

“It’s my chicken pie,

Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise,

Tastes so good makes a grown man cry,

My chicken pie”

Now that I’ve ruined this, and all future chicken pies for you all, here’s the recipe:

Chicken Pie5

Chicken Pie2Enjoy and have a wonderful week! 

I hope 2017 brings you everything you wish for! 

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Turning Japanese – 1989 Japanese Snack Plate

Konichiwa dear people o’ the Internet. 

Today we are exploring the first part of a two-part series taken from the pages of Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989 with a gorgeous Japanese snack plate.


On the plate today we have Japanese Fried Chicken, Prawn Canapé’s, Radish Canapés, edamame beans, wasabi and mayo!  This is so pretty, perfect for a Spring brunch! 

The magazine comes from a time when ingenious recipes and inventive ideas may have involved giving your guests a bowl of roses to munch on.  Yummy!


Roses aside,  we are putting some Spring flavours in full bloom on today’s Japanese snack plate. Just as an aside though, guess which day the J key on my laptop decided to break, meaning  it had to be hit about four times harder than all the other keys.  The sound track for the writing of this post was tap, tap, tap THUMP tap, tap, tap THUMP.

Minor typing difficulties aside, lets turn our attention to some hors d’œuvres for our Japanese snack plate.

Japanese Stuffed Radishes

Could not be simpler and the crunchy peppery radish is delicious with the salty punch of the caviar. Simply slice your radish down the middle of the stem, then scoop out a small hollow in your radish and fill with caviar.  I think nowadays if you were making this you would use tobiko instead of normal caviar but maybe that was readily available in 1989.  Come to think of it, I have no idea if it is readily available now!

japanese-snack-plate2Stuffed Prawns

Pardon me for having two things stuffed with caviar in this post but seeing as I had to buy it specially, I wanted to get some bang for my buck.  Also, if it was good enough for Vogue Entertaining in 1989 its good enough for me!

japanese-snack-plate3This is also very tasty with this time a contrast between the sweet prawn meat and the salty caviar.  Add a dob of pungent wasabi and some creamy mayo and you have perfection!  The original recipe had the prawn heads left on.  I took mine off.  I just think it is easier to eat with head and shells gone.

It is important to skewer the prawns so they stay straight.

japanese-snack-plate4To make these you will need:

  • 12 medium green king prawns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 25g black caviar

Place a satay stick through the body of each prawn to keep it straight.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop the prawns in and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the water and leave to cool. 

Remove the satay sticks and remove the heads and shells, leaving the tail.  Split the prawns down the back with a sharp knife and remove the digestive tracts.  Fill the tract cavity with a little caviar.  Repeat.

Soy and Ginger Edamame (loosely adapted from A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder)

These are not from Vogue Entertaining Oct /November 1989 but make a tasty and colourful addition to the snack plate. 

  • 200g edamame in pods
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • pinch of sugar

Cook the edamame in boiling water  for 2 minutes.  Drain and refresh under cold water.  Pop the beans from their pods.  Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the edamame and sit for at least an hour to let the flavours absorb.  Strain and add to the plate.


Japanese Fried Chicken

I did not make this for the snack plate.  We had it for dinner the night before but I made extra so we could have it on the plate.  This is so good.  Huh…it’s fried chicken, like it was ever going to be bad!  This was great hot from the fryer in the evening and also super eaten cold  the next day – it was not too greasy like a lot of fried chicken as leftovers and still quite crispy, although it is not a thick southern style coating.

japanese-snack-plate6Here’s the recipe!


Japanese Fried Chicken
A delicious Japanese take on fried chicken
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  1. 500g chicken breast meat, skin on
  2. 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
  3. 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  4. 1 spring onion chopped finely
  5. 2 tsp sesame oil
  6. 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  7. 1 tbsp mirin
  8. 1 tsp wasabi paste
  9. 1 small dried chilli, chopped
  10. pinch of black pepper
  11. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  12. 2/3 cup cornflour
  13. vegetable oil for deep frying
  14. Mayonnaise, wasabi to serve
  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Make a marinade of the ginger, garlic, spring onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, pepper and chilli.
  3. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Mix eggwhite and cornflour well.
  5. Add the chicken and marinate.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Deep-fry spoonfuls of the chicken mixture until golden brown.
  8. Drain onto crushed kitchen paper and keep hot whilst the rest of the mixture is cooked.
  9. To serve, spread on platter with dobs of mayo and wasabi
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Retro Food For Modern Times
 That’s it from me, have a great week! 

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The Dishiest Dish – Poulet Vallée D’Auge

This week’s highlight came from France…from Normandy to be be precise.  Or to be even more precise from the the Pays D’Auge.  This is apple country and the chicken casserole that is the Poulet Vallée D’Auge contains both apples and Calvados, the apple brandy that is also a specialty of the region.

And if chicken, apples and Calvados aren’t enough for you how about we add a generous dollop of creme fraiche into the mix.  Bon Appetit indeed. 

Poulet Vallee D'Auge

We had a bit of a cold snap in the week so this hearty kind of meal was perfect.  And for those of you in the Northern hemisphere who are still in the midst of winter, this will warm any, and all,the cockles you have. 

The perfect drink to have with this would be a cider, one from Normandy would be perfect!  Or maybe a wee glass of that Calvados.

Poulet Vallee D'Auge2This is a lovely dish and that sauce is divine! 

I also made these prawn cakes from the Paleo book.  They looked gorgeous but tasted only ok.  I felt the restrictions of the Paleo diet really made themselves felt here.  Thai food is meant to have that mix of sweet, salt, sour and heat.  The recipe as it stood had no sweet in the dipping sauce.  It vastly improved after I added some sugar.  They do look pretty though!

Paleo Prawn CakesThe Six Week Challenges

No Alcohol

The six weeks of “no” alcohol are nearly over.  I had a bit of a set back this week.  A friend of mine resigned from work and we arranged to go for doughnuts so he could tell me all about it.  And somehow on the way to the doughnut shop we got waylaid by the little bar on the corner.  We were halfway through our glass of vino when we started getting messages.  “Where are you?  The fire alarms are going off.  We need to evacuate the building”.  I am  the fire warden for our office.  Can you believe it?  I never leave my desk.  NEVER.  And the ONE time I go off for a sneaky doughnut pinot, the flipping fire alarms go off. 

What could we do?  They would have grounded the lifts, we weren’t getting back into the building in a hurry.    Nothing for it but to have a second glass o’ wine.

Here is the scene of the crime – Dikstein’s Corner Bar,

We had a lovely New Zealand Pinot but  ewwww…did I feel seedy afterwards.  Totally lethargic, no motivation to do anything except flop on the couch and tune out in front of the telly for the entire evening.  I will say more about this challenge when it is over – in just a couple of days. But after yesterday I am seriously evaluating my relationship with booze. 


Still struggling with this one.  I thought this would be so much easier than giving up booze.  Not so.  I”ll try to lift my game for the last two weeks.  And this one can go back on the list for a re-do later in the year. 


I’m LOVING this.  And after only a week or so in, I am already seeing the difference!  I am mixing it up between two different routines – one has a morning routine and an evening routine so if I get up early enough I do that one.  If not, there is another where you do one 10 minute workout for the day.  Really happy with this one!

The March Challenge

I have not decided what will replace the no alcohol challenge come the first of March.

I am narrowing it down:

Journalling – I used to journal all the time and love it.  And I think in some ways that was my meditation.  I REALLY want to get back into it.

Candy Crush – MUST. STOP. PLAYING.

Food – I feel I should replace a “food” challenge with another food challenge – I was thinking maybe a month without bread, pasta potatoes.  But Jenny has inspired me to do one around food waste.  

I will do what I did last month and see what jumps out at me on the morning of the first!  Eeeeekkk – can you believe it’s almost March?


I have given up on The Apologist for my audiobook.  I could not get into it.  I had previously started Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantell and I have gone back to that.

You can keep your real Housewives…for real scandal and intrigue, give me the Tudors anyday!

Bring up the Bodies

But my major discovery this week was this:

Savage Lane by Jason Starr

Savage Lane=Jason Starr

The hot pink cover had me at hello.  I like to read dark and this is pitch black!  It is also pitch perfect. Nasty, nasty people doing nasty, nasty things.  I’m loving it!

Here is the premise:

“Life is sublime in the idyllic suburbs of New York City.  Recent divorcée Karen Daily and her two kids have, for the first time in years,  found joy as they settle into the close-knit community of Savage Lane.  Neighbours, Mark and Deb Berman have been so supportive as she moves on in life: teaching at the local school and even dating again.

But behind the pristine houses and perfect smiles lie dark motives far more sinister than Karen could have ever imagined.  Unknown to her, Mark, trapped in his own unhappy marriage, has developed a rich fantasy life for the two of them.  And, as rumours start to spread, it seems that he isn’t the only one targetting Karen”

This is the first book of his I have read but I am now keen to read more.  And all of his covers from No Exit Press are equally arresting:

Jason Starr Via No Exit Press


I am going through a phase where I want to fill my house with plants.  To help with that obsession, I bought this book:

Have started  following this blog: 

Her instagram is also amazing!

And have been trying to find a local version of these West Elm Planters.

West Elm Mid Century Planters

Now I just have to buy some plants!

That’s about it.  I haven’t really done much else this week except work. 

On The Menu

  • Saffron chicken from Persiana
  • Lamb Kebabs from the A-Z of Cooking with the tomato salad with pomegranate salad also from Persiana….and eeeekkkk.  Sabrina has a new book coming out in May!   I can hardly wait!
  • Honeycomb Cheesecake from A Moveable Feast
  • Sweet Potato cakes with Lemon Chickpeas


That’s about it for me for this week.  Except for the recipe for the Poulet Vallée D’Auge – which you can find here.

What are you cooking, reading, doing this weekend?  I am planning to take the dogs down to the dog beach for a play. 

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do.

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