Grilled Chicken With Saffron Spiced Freekeh and Zahtar Dressing

This dish received a lot of hype before I cooked it, it looks and sounds like it was going to be packed with flavour. However, it wasn’t the case. I really enjoyed it and would happily recommend it. My wife and brother on the other hand were left underwhelmed.

By the time I plated this up I was practically dribbling into the bowl (I gave that one to my brother). The dish looked amazing and smelt delicious. The flavour on the other hand was.. different to what we were expecting. Now I really liked it, it was very citrusy and spicy. There were some issues, I didn’t see the need for the saffron, I can’t say I really tasted it. Also the Freekeh wasn’t as flavourful as it has been before in other meals. I will try this one again one day. I am sure it was my cooking that let the end result down. It is hard to look at that ingredients list and not get a fantastic tasting meal. 

Firstly get your grill on medium high, prep the chicken by putting it on a tray with a bit of salt and pepper mix up some olive oil and lemon zest and massage this into the chicken. Put it to one side while you carry on prepping.

Shallot, c it into thin half moons

Garlic, peel it, grate it.

Red pepper, slice into strips.

Add your shallot to a pan with some oil and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Then add your pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Next add your garlic and saffron and cook for 1 minute. When ready add 750ml of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the Freekeh with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.

While the Freekeh is cooking, whack your chicken under the grill, probably for around 10 minutes each side depending on the size of your breasts.

Parsley, chop it

Mint, chop it

Red chilli, finely chop it. 

In a bowl mix up the Zahtar spice, a squeeze of lemon juice, a quarter of the parsley, all the mint, and some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then add as much of the chilli as you fancy.

When the Freekeh is cooked drain any excess fluid. Mix in the rest of the parsely and some lemon juice.

Slice the chicken and lay it on a Freekeh bed. Top with the Zahtar dressing and sprinkle any leftover herbs and chilli.

 

 

Jamie’s Traybaked Chicken with Smoky Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes

Before making this I thought it was missing something, potatoes, couscous, anything. There didn’t seem to be enough food for a dinner. I’m wrong again. It was satisfying, fresh and super tasty.


Maybe I have conditioned myself that the bigger the plate of food the better, or the more satisfying. In my head your dinner should have meat, potato or some kind of carb and some token vegetables. I don’t feel I have finished my dinner until I have had all three. In the same way I don’t feel that I have had lunch unless I have had the holy trinity of lunchtime foods; sandwhich, crisps and chocolate (eaten in that order) I could eat my sandwhich and crisps and then be given a whole bucket of KFC and I will still need to eat the chocolate before my brain says “ok and now we’re done” However there is some light at the end tunnel.

Besides this dinner being basically chicken, peppers, onion and tomatoes I felt satisfied afterwards. The flavour was as much to do with the olive oil and balsamic as it was about the actual ingredients. 

This is so simple, simply cut your tomatoes and peeled onion into wedges, cut the pepper into chunks. Chuck them all into a roasting pan with the chicken thighs. Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves and throw them in as well. (Don’t worry you squeeze the garlic out of its skin afterwards) Throw in the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and one of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper and then without decorating your walls toss it all together so everything is coated. Roast it in your oven at 180C for around an hour. Dress some salad leaves once it has cooked in a little olive oil and balsamic and serve together.

This meal was from our hello fresh box. Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s South East Asian Chicken Curry with Fluffy Rice

Now I am slightly biased, I would eat anything Jamie Oliver put in front of me. I have nearly all his books, dvd’s, eaten in his restaurants and had a cooking classes at his recipease store. I can honestly say he is the reason I started cooking and growing. His Jamie at home book is my favourite recipe book (and I have a lot of recipe books) and the accompanying series I could watch again and again. But.. none of this has influenced my review of this dish. Honest.

I love it, i love it, i love it. I love Jamie, I love this curry. Seriously though I cannot find fault with this. As a quick midweek curry this was as good as it gets. Its a basic curry with good natural, fresh flavours. The fresh coriander and the lime juice are the winning elements. Its easy for a curry to get bogged down and taste heavy. This on the other hand tasted fresh and vibrant while still satisfying that curry need.

So, fry your onion and pepper till soft. Then add the garlic, ginger and the finely chopped stalks from the coriander. Once these have softened add the curry powder and turmeric and keep cooking for a couple of minutes. This will release all the lovely flavours and aromas from the spices. Put the chicken thighs into the pan and cook for a few minutes to seal and then pour in the coconut milk and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. For the last 5 minutes add the cherry tomatoes. While this thickens cook the rice in twice as much water for 7 minutes then remove from the heat and steam with the lid on for at least another 7 minutes. Once the curry has thickened add lime juice and if you have some, some mango chutney, season to taste. When serving scatter with the coriander leaves and give every one a slice of lime. Once they taste how well it goes they will want more.

P.S. I love Jamie

This meal is from our hello fresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Grilled Steak with Herby Brown Rice

Steak that melts in your mouth matched with roasted red pepper, feta cheese and pistachio’s, need I say more.

As I grow older and with the more steak I eat I am finding that I need to cook it less and less. Even since I started the blog, at the beginning I would have said I was a medium/rare kind of guy, now I am definitely in the rare category. It seems the more you cook it the more flavour is lost. Now, I could go on about the cuts of beef and the way they should be cooked but I have just decided to do a separate post on this. 

One of my favourite flavours is roasted red pepper. Most of the time though I have to make do from a jar. Here I actually got to roast them myself, which although is very easy, the change you get from the pepper is amazing. Its hard to describe, the sweet, crisp and crunchy pepper turns into a sweet, soft and err… well, roasted one. The rice is simply mixed with parsley, spring onions, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and the zest and half the juice from a lemon. This is served undereneath the sliced steak and roasted red peppers. This is topped with yogurt with lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

What really makes this dish though is the addition of feta cheese and pistachios. The saltiness of the cheese and that unique flavour from the pistachios make this dish come alive. I loved this meal, it is one of the reasons I enjoy cooking, making something that has few ingredients taste like you have used the whole cupboard and fridge.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Chicken Fajitas with Pickled Chilli and Zesty Sour Cream

Tender chicken, soft red peppers and onion, zesty sour cream green chilli and cheddar cheeser. A wholemeal wrap Contains the goodness.

This had so much going for it, in the end though we both agreed the fajita packs you can get that has everything in are actually better. The only thing I can think of was the wrap, usually have a softwhite wrap. These however were wholemeal (and smaller but that’s just me being greedy) so they feel like your being healthier. We all know that wholewheat is made with all three nutrient rich parts of the wheat berry, the bran the germ and the endosperm. Where as white flour only uses the endosperm. Thus only giving you the starchy part between the inner germ and the outer bran. If we were talking bread and this was a sandwich i’d be all over the wholemeal, singing its praises and telling you that although being raised on Mighty White I have since converted to its wholemeal counterpart whole heartedly. Mainly for the taste, now i feel white bread bland and flavourless. The only time white bread will pass my lips is when it sandwiches five or six rashers of smokey bacon swimming in Daddies brown sauce. Wraps however are different, I cannot tell you why. All I know is that while I was eating this, my mind was on another wrap.


When you have nearly cooked the chicken add the mexican spice and cook till done. Simply cook the pepper and onion till soft and add the chicken to keep warm. Heat the tortillas in the oven while adding the lime zest and juice to the soured cream with a little salt and pepper. Fill your wrap with the chicken and veg mix, drizzle with the sour cream and top with the green chilli’s that have been pickling in the other half of the lime juice. Top with cheddar cheese and wrap.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Spicy Sausage Chilli with Homemade Tortilla Chips

If you want something to warm you on the cold nights look no further.

This was going to be one of the meals that I didn’t post, then I tasted it. The chilli uses sausage meat which automatically gives more flavour than mince alone. Cumin and smoked paprika add the warmth to the tomato base. Leek is used in place of onion for a mellower flavour. Red pepper gives you sweetness and beef stock deepens the whole dish.

A great addition to this is the toasted tortillas. Brushing with oil and adding some salt and pepper you bake them in the oven for 5 minutes. They are the texture missing from the chilli. The idea of adding yoghurt to your dinner plate is a new one on me. I was pleasantly surprised, it actually loses it’s, err… yoghurty flavour and becomes something else. It absorbs the flavours around it and cools them somehow. I am tempted to make a big batch of this and keep it in the freezer for those nights when you get home from work , you’re cold, wet and can’t be bothered to cook. This will instantly pick you up, dry you off, warm your cockles and put a smile back on your face.

This meal is from our Hellofresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk