20 September 2012

Chicken and corn soup - good for the soul

I've had a wee bit of the sniffles here in The Self-Raising Kitchen.

Whenever I get sick I crave my brother-in-law's chicken and corn soup with loads of ginger. It's warming for your tummy and good for your soul.

Chicken and corn soup

I normally make this soup using chicken drumsticks. Once cooked I discard the bones and skin - they add wonderful flavour to the soup - and tear up the meat.

Shred your chicken by using a fork

Today I only had one chicken breast in my freezer and it's just too hard to get in the car to go to the shops for a couple of chicken drumsticks. I have a cold after all.

My original notes for the chicken and corn recipe as told to
me over the phone from my brother-in-law about 8 years ago.

This recipe is perfectly simple to cook when you're not feeling on top of the world. It is also full of flavour when you need something comforting, other than tissues and a pillow.

Chicken and corn soup
by my BIL (brother-in-law)
Serves 2

Chicken and corn soup
I normally follow my nose when it comes to the ingredient amounts for this recipe. However, I've measured out what I was putting in the pot today so feel free to add more or less of things as you like.

230g chicken breast (or 3 to 4 chicken drumsticks)
30g ginger, roughly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
800ml water
200g creamed corn
2 heaped tsp cornflour
1 egg
3 spring onions, finely chopped

Place water, whole chicken breast, ginger, onion and a good pinch of salt in a pot. Cook on high until boiling and then simmer for about 1 hour or until the onions are really soft.

Pull chicken out and shred. Return back to soup and add creamed corn. Return to the boil.

Dissolve cornflour in a little cold water and add to the soup to thicken.

Whisk egg lightly in bowl until just combined. To add the egg to the soup, first start whisking the soup and then slowly pour the egg into the spot you are whisking. This should give you small shreds of egg in your soup.

Take the soup off the element and add the chopped spring onions.

Serve and enjoy!

04 September 2012

Taking thyme out - Chicken & mushrooms in a white wine, thyme & lemon sauce

Fresh herbs add a little dazzle to your mid-week meals

Chicken and mushrooms with a white wine, thyme and lemon sauce

Do you find by the time spring arrives in the southern hemisphere you are left wondering where the year’s gone, why haven’t those new year resolutions been achieved, when did those pants shrink that fitted perfectly last summer and who the hell is that pasty, white faced, black eyed person staring back at you every time you look in the mirror?

You haven’t? Yeah, no, me either *insert sarcastic eyebrow lift here*

While our northern hemisphere friends are getting back into the daily routine of life, after what I hope was a great summer break. Here in the southern hemisphere, it seems that by the time September hits it’s only another hop, skip and a slam dunk before we’re singing Jiggle Bells and Frosty the Snowman while sweating it out in 90 per cent humidity. The absurdity!

Today, I invite you to STOP and smell the herbs and spices, ladies and gentlemen. It doesn’t matter where you are or what season you are in, go out to your herb garden, open your spice draw/container/jar, walk into your local fruit and veg shop and stick your head in a bunch of herbs, close your eyes and breathe in a long deep breath. And now relax. What did you smell? What did it remind you of? What dish did it make you want to eat?

I’m enjoying the smell of thyme. It conjures up memories of Sunday mornings on my deck with the sun dancing on my skin about to tuck into a plate of Swiss brown mushrooms fried in a little butter with fresh sprigs of thyme, laying on a piece of lightly toasted sour dough. Oh, yeah!

One of my favourite herbs, thyme

In honour of both thyme and mushrooms, today I'm sharing a great mid-week evening recipe that, like me, will help you stop, relax and enjoy a wonderful meal at the table with loved ones.
Chicken & mushrooms in a white wine, thyme & lemon sauce
by The Self-Raising Kitchen
serves 4

Chicken and mushrooms with a white wine, thyme and lemon sauce

2 chicken breasts, halved
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme, leaves pulled off stems
250g button mushrooms, halved
zest of half a lemon
juice of half a lemon
olive oil
1/2 cup wine
1/2 chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1tsp cornflour

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Season chicken breasts. In an oven proof dish add garlic, mushrooms, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice and a glug of olive oil. Add chicken to the dish and mix everything around so the chicken and mushrooms are well coated. Add in the stock and wine. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Chicken and mushrooms ready for the oven 

Once the chicken is cooked, place the chicken breasts and mushrooms on a separate plate, cover with aluminium foil. If you haven't used a dish suitable for a stove top, transfer the remaining liquid into a pan. Place pan on a high element and wait for the liquid to boil. Add a tsp of cornflour to a little cold water and add to boiling liquid. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes. Taste. See if the sauce needs a little more salt or pepper, or just a squeeze of lemon juice. If you feel you need more sauce - although a little goes a long way - simply add more wine, water or stock. Be sure to check the seasoning.

Plate up the chicken and mushrooms with your favourite steamed greens and spoon the white wine sauce over the meat.

Such a simple, tasty recipe to enjoy and share with loved ones over a relaxing vino. Yes?