Saturday, 9 May 2009

Chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme

Tonight I cooked dinner for us while Mum relaxed. Since Dad and my sibs are quite fussy eaters, I kept things simple and cooked chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme.

I know the very idea of leaving an oven on for 2 or more hours in such hot climes is absurd and inconceivable, but really, why not step out and run some errands while the chicken pieces cook in the slow, gentle heat?

chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme
4 chicken marylands, each cut into 2
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and crushed
1 lemon, sliced thickly
1 large brown onion, sliced thickly
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon honey
bunch of thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock or white wine
(serves 6)
preheat oven to 160C
place lemon, garlic, thyme and sliced onions in a large baking dish
season chicken pieces with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper
place chicken pieces on the bed of aromats
pour chicken stock/white wine over the chicken pieces
wrap baking dish with some aluminium foil
cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours
increase the oven temperature to 230C
remove the foil and return chicken
roast for 20 minutes, turning the chicken pieces every so often to brown evenly
serve with chicken with cooking juices, butter pasta and a fresh green salad.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Snack attack: Chocolate cereal clusters

Apart from an apple-blueberry crumble I made for a picnic last weekend, I haven't been in the mood for baked lately. Part reason is the cleaning up afterwards but mostly it has to do with the fact that I have packed on the winter kilos well ahead of time this year and I fear if I continue to pile on the padding, I might grow to be the size of a bouncy castle!

As part compromise, I made these chocolate cereal clusters to have with my morning and afternoon cuppa. Remember those cute Easter nests I made? Well, these are basically the same without the extra ganache, decorative eggs and fluffy chick. Although not entirely guilt free, this snack packs some health benefits. They contain shredded wheat, dried fruit (I used those really large plump raisins) and chopped pistachios (but of course any nut of choice will do). Instead of using my favourite dark chocolate, I decided on a dairy free block this time.

All you need is a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate and a good spatula to mix the ingredients and you are one step away from sweet gratification. I am certain I have seen this recipe in a book before but I cannot remember which so I am unable to credit it -- sorry.

These little clusters are so incredibly easy and fuss-free you might even let a pair of little hands help. They are incredibly more-ish with their crunchy and chewy texture so it is best to make them bite-size so a few can be consumed at a time with less guilt.

chocolate cereal clusters
4 shredded wheat biscuits
100g dairy-free chocolate (I used Sweet William soy chocolate which I am very fond of)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoon rice syrup
(makes 24 little bites - not counting ones you eat while making them)
melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until smooth and melted
add rice syrup to the melted chocolate and mix well
crumble shredded wheat biscuits into melted chocolate
add dried fruit and nuts
mix to coat everything in chocolate
place small mounds of mix on a lined tray
refrigerate to set the chocolate