Left over roast chicken filo snail pie

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This is for all of the cheap and easy mid-week mums out there… actually, that did not sound quite right. Let’s say it’s for all of the mums out there who appreciate the value of good honest cheap and easy mid-week cooking. And if you are an actual cheap and easy mid-week mum inbox me… please.

If you don’t have any left over roast chook for this then you are certainly screwed… Not really. I fricken tricked the shit out of you right there, eh. I’m stilling LOLing all over the place. So, if you don’t have any left over roast chicken you can just cook some chicken and use that. You can do that, right?

I had a heap of left over chicken which was kinda handy because we had this for dinner last night and the kids loved it so much they insisted, with threat of attack by small people, that I make this pie for dinner again tonight. “Keep your darn carnies,” I said to them. “You shall have pie”.

And then the children were fed.

It may look something this
It may look something this
Filo and chicken for miles
Filo and chicken for miles
A pretty photo… nice change
A pretty photo… nice change
Make rolls for the kids lunch boxes if you have some left over, or just cut it off the end of your snail if it won't fit in the pan
Make rolls for the kids lunch boxes if you have some left over, or just cut it off the end of your snail if it won’t fit in the pan
Snail pie sans snails. Eff yes
Snail pie sans snails. Eff yes

LEFT OVER ROAST CHICKEN FILO SNAIL PIE (for 4)
400-500g left over roast chook, shredded. Or 500g boneless chicken thigh, cooked in a little oil and then shredded
1 brown onion, sliced
1 bunch of cavolo nero, kale or silverbeet, shredded
100g feta, or ricotta if you don’t do feta, crumbled
½ lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 pack of filo pastry (you only really need 9 sheets but you cant just buy 9 sheets around here, so stash the rest of the pack in the freezer up near that acid you’ve been saving since ’94. And please don’t accidently grab that sheet of acid when you’re going back for the filo… Wednesday night dinner isn’t ready for that yet)
Seasoning
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Cumin and sesame seeds to sprinkle
• Sauté cavolo nero and onion in a little oil, until starting to soften. Season and set aside to cool
• Once cooled, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix it all together. Check seasoning and give it some if it needs it
• Lay three filo sheets out on the bench so they are just overlapping on the sides. Brush with melted butter and lay 3 more sheets over the first 3 so they overlap like bricks in a house. You’ve seen bricks in a house, yeah? Now brush with butter and lay the remaining 3 sheets over the top so they line up with the original 3. You should have a long rectangle of filo in front of you now… or at least something that vaguely resembles a rectangle… I hope
• Place a 4cm wide strip of the chicken mixture at the front of the filo and roll that thing up like a big assed sausage roll. Go nice and slow and gentlemanly like so as to avoid tearing the crap out of the vagi… um… filo
• Gently coil the whole lot up like a snail or two snails depending on the size of your pan… or coil it up like a rattle snake if snails are too pussy for you
• If you have any chicken mix left, try making a few filo rolls for the kids lunch boxes
• Slide it into a buttered pan/dish that is big enough to hold it snuggly (use two if you need to)
• Brush the top with a little eggwash, or milk if that’s all you’ve got
• Sprinkle with sesame and cumin seeds and bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned
• A little garden herby leafy salad is a good side if the weather is still allowing for it

#easytastygood

Chicken thighs with cavolo nero and corn pilaf… and a guy named Phil

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First you need Phil. Phil is a guy I work with and he likes gardening. Phil grows vegetables and makes pickles and preserves, and makes his own butter, cheese and yoghurt to boot. And yes, Phil is available ladies! Phil also has the tongue of a salty old sea dog… mostly because he is a salty old sea dog so, as you could most likely conclude for yourself, we can hold a conversation just fine. Phil and I sometimes trade vegetables and pickles and stuff… but not bodily fluids. I like Phil but I do not like Phil and quite frankly you offend me just by thinking those thoughts. Not that man on man action offends me. I have many gay friends. It is a fact that you cannot work in the hospitality industry without making friends with a gay man or two. Actually, I find it quite appealing… I really need to move on now…

So this week Phil gave me a pile of cavolo nero and corn. That, coupled with a post from my friend at Cooking in Sens, made my brain decide that my hands would be conjuring up some kind of consumable meal with chicken thighs, cavolo nero and corn. The three C’s, if you will.

And this recipe is about chicken thighs with the bone in and the skin on, by the way folks. Too many people in this world are freaked out by bone and fat. Well I am all about the fatty bone! This is no time to be a pussy about these things. This is the time to embrace the flavour… feel the love… touch yourself… gnaw on the moist thigh… hmmm

This chicken is just begging to be put in the oven
This chicken is just begging to be put in the oven
The chicken loved it's time in the oven and is now asking to be put in my belly
The chicken loved it’s time in the oven and is now asking to be put in my belly
Get in my belly chicken. Get in my belly
Get in my belly chicken. Get in my belly

CHICKEN THIGHS (for 4)
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Zest of one lemon (save the zest-less lemon for the roasting pan)
A handful of parsley, chopped
Seasoning
Oil
Chopped mint to serve
• Rub the chicken thighs with lemon zest, parsley and seasoning. Rub them like you want them. Rub them like you mean it. Rub them like a dirty old man in a big coat rubs himself in the local play ground…
• Put the chicken into a roasting pan and then go and give yourself a good flogging for being so pervy with it. Quarter the zest-less lemon and chuck that in there too
• Roast chicken at 200C with a bit of oil. 20-30 minutes should do the trick, depending on the size of your thighs. No, I did not just say, “You look fat in those pants!” Damn…
• Plate it up with some pilaf, chopped mint and a wedge of lemon if you have some floating about

PILAF (enough for the 4 peeps for dinner plus enough for rice salad for 4 or so the next day)
This is the first time I have actually measured a pilaf out all properly and correct so it should be bang on the money. I even used a timer and everything!
1 onion, diced
1 bunch cavolo nero, sliced
5 cobs corn, kernels sliced from the cob
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets (I had it in the fridge so it’s going in there)
2 cups basmati or long grain rice
1.25lt chicken stock (it’s pretty easy to make a good stock. You can handle that one by now, yeah?), hot
Seasoning
Oil or butter
• Sauté the onion in oil or butter until it starts to soften
• Add seasoning and the other vegetables and cook out for another couple of minutes
• Add the rice and stock. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 8 minutes
• Remove from heat and let pilaf sit, lid on, for another few minutes
• Done
• Damn you are getting good at this!

Mixed bean soup with crisp tofu for Sammy’s dinner

Today Sammy has mixed beans (tin of), tomatoes (tin of), tofu, and basil from her own plant. I couldn’t be prouder right now.

If you think Sammy has a bit of a thing for tinned legumes, it’s because she does. It’s not a hide-out-in-the-darkened-corner-of-the-club-because-I-know-this-is-wrong-but-it-feels-so-right type thing, nor is it the kind of ‘thing’ that could make her a little extra cash at a bucks night or things of the like. I think it’s just a you-taste-damn-good-and-I-can-keep-you-in-the-cupboard-and-you’re-heaps-cheap type thing. And no, she is not Austrian.

I don’t think I am actually here to pass judgement on Sammy so maybe I’ll just get on with it. I bet you wish I had of thought about that a few sentences ago…

Oh, and Sammy said it is getting a little cold in her parts… does that sound right? Let’s run with it. So I’m gonna make a (for the love of) legumes type soup with (I don’t really love) crisp tofu.

Please note, I am truly a fan of silken or momen tofu, but the firm stuff doesn’t really do it for me. Maybe next trip to the Asian supermarket you should try a couple of different types and see what you think…

MIXED BEAN SOUP WITH BASIL OIL AND CRISP TOFU

1 tin of mixed beans

1 tin tomatoes, crushed or whole

1 brown onion, fine dice

1 stalk celery, fine dice

1 carrot, peeled, fine dice

2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped or something similar

a pinch of dried herbs, such as rosemary and thyme

750ml stock (whatever you have)

some chopped spinach or silverbeet or cavolo nero

firm tofu, sliced into 5-10mm thick rectangles

flour, eggwash and course breadcrumbs to coat

  • Sauté the onion, celery and carrot until it starts to soften
  • Add garlic and cook out for 1 minute
  • Add tomatoes, beans, herbs and most of the stock and cook out on a low heat for 30-40 minutes (the thing to remember here is if you need your soup quickly it can be done faster. But for an optimum result I would suggest cooking it slower and longer, so the flavours get to hang out and really get to know each other. Become friends, you know)
  • At this stage add greens and extra liquid if needed. Cook out for another 15 minutes
  • While soup is going from being a heap of veg and some beans in a pot to being a great tasting soup, it’s time to make the garnish.

 

CRISP TOFU

  • Dredge the tofu in the flour, then through the eggwash, then breadcrumbs
  • Heat 100ml of oil over a medium flame (What’s that? You’ve got an electric cook top? Ooh, sorry to hear that), and cook tofu for 2-3 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and season. Set aside

 

BASIL OIL

  • In a food processor or blender blitz one large handful of basil, one clove garlic, 1 Tbls lemon juice and slowly add 200ml olive oil.
  • Season and off you go.

 

NOW, TO PLATE UP, blitz the soup with a stick wizz or pulse in a blender one or twice, just to break up a few of the beans. Check the seasoning.

Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle (is there a better word for drizzle out there?) with basil oil. Cut the crisp tofu into triangles and serve on the side just like toast.

How cute.