Our latest feast

Monday, March 19, 2018

Marry Me Chicken aka Sicilian Chicken

So are you as intrigued with the name of this dish as I was?  As soon as I came across a recipe called "Marry Me Chicken" I guessed that it was obviously good and did some more investigation.

Tradition, as it is told, is that there are two dishes that are guaranteed to lead you to the alter!  Far fetched I know but the first dish, "Engagement Chicken", is a roast chicken  and the second is "Marry Me Chicken", which is a creamy casserole.  And before you ask, yes there are so many different recipes for both dishes.  I was reading and reading for a long time before I settled on the recipe I was going to cook.

A quick history lesson regarding the both dishes.  Starting with Engagement Chicken - this was  developed by a fashion editor at Glamour Magazine, following a trip to Italy. Afterwards the recipe was given to co-worker to prepare for her boyfriend and soon afterwards, the couple was engaged. The recipe made the rounds in the office and three other women in the office were offered marriage proposals soon after making the dish for their boyfriends.  The recipe featured in Glamour Magazine later on after it was dubbed "Engagement Chicken". Soon afterwards the magazine began receiving letters from women claiming that their boyfriends proposed shortly after being served the dish. The magazine claims 70 couples have married after the women served their boyfriends the dish.

Now for the story of Marry Me Chicken is not to different. Instead of using a whole chicken this recipe calls for skin on chicken thighs or pieces which are fried until crispy. According to the article I was reading Delish editors started devouring these crispy chicken thighs soaked in a savory sun-dried tomato-thyme cream sauce, people started blurting out "I'd marry you for that chicken" and "OH MY GOD THAT'S MARRIAGE MATERIAL."

So what I can make of my own google investigation?  It is obvious that people have heard of Ina's Engagement Roast Chicken and Marry Me Chicken - I clearly did not have a clue!  Secondly they are both obviously renounced for their flavours and the after effects of serving either dishes to partners according to the romantics among us.

The romantic in me decided to try cooking the Marry Me Chicken even though I did not expect this dish to cause anything incredible to occur (this year hubby and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary).

I didn't have a whole chook nor did I have any skin on chicken thighs so I substituted chicken breast fillets cut into 4 large pieces other than that I followed the recipe.  The smell during the cooking process was magnificent and I have to admit that I was actually looking forward to eating this dish myself.

As mentioned before, these chicken pieces enveloped in a creamy sun dried tomatoes and thyme sauce were magic.  Actually like nothing I have tasted before.  The chicken was tender and juicy.  The sauce thick and creamy.  It was everything in just one dish. 

I wanted to marry myself LOL!!  

Marry Me Chicken or Sicilian Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Delish.com)

Serves: 4

cooking spray
4 chicken breast fillet, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup light thickened cream
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sear until golden, 3 - 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.

To the same frying pan, add garlic, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes and let cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Add chicken stock, cream, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. 

Bring to a simmer, then return chicken to skillet and bake for 15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thai Red Curry Paste ~ Thịy n̂ảphrik kæng s̄ī dæng

Tonight I decided that we would do a "Fakeaway" night at home... this generally consists of homemade pizza or burgers or any items you would normally go out to eat or order in. It's a fun way to prep and eat food and generally the whole family gets involved. Fakeaway tonight was Thai and it was decided that we would have two curries, rice, poppadoms and roti bread.

The two curries we decided on were Red Chicken Curry and Green Chicken Curry. I had already made the Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Kæng k̄heīywh̄wān thịy and it was in the freezer.  So all I needed to do was make the Thai Red Curry Paste.

As I always insist making your own curry pastes are very easy and taste a lot nicer than those in the jars with no preservatives and additives.  They keep generally for around a week sealed in a container in the fridge or frozen they will last up to several months.  Once you make your first paste you will be making more and more - trust me.....

Anyway so Red Curry Paste yes it has chillies in the recipe but this is not a hot Thai Curry - needless to say my kids like this one.  

This recipe is simple and I mean really simple - by using a food processor it's ready in 10 minutes.  While it's not an authentic recipe using all the correct ingredients it has the same beautiful flavour and texture.

The base is red chilies, garlic, ginger, and shallot.  With the addition of a magnificent combination of spices, fish sauce and coconut cream and the acidity of lime juice - it all smells nice before the paste is even made.

Everything in at once, a quick whirl in the food processor and you have perfect and vibrant paste ready to use in a curry or however you like.  Paste will taste very strong at this point but will mellow when you use it.

Thai Red Curry Paste ~ Thịy n̂ảphrik kæng s̄ī dæng
(Recipe sourced from The Curry Kitchen Cookbook)

Makes approximately 1 cup

1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, pale part only, roughly chopped
1 - 2 red chillies
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large piece galangal or ginger, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground corinader
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chilli powder
3 tablespoons thick coconut cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a food processor , blender or mortar and process well until smooth.

If you want a thinner sauce add a little more coconut milk.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)