Crispy chicken nachos with peri peri garlic sauce

peri-crispy-chicken-tacos-2There are so many things that I love about this recipe. It has very quickly become one of my favourite, and I’ve made it at least once a week for the past month. I don’t regularly repeat recipes, so this one is definitely special!

I love that the chicken is baked, not fried. I love the tangy, creamy dressing that totally lifts all of the other ingredients. I love the crisp lettuce. I love the soft taco cups that have a bit of a crunch but don’t cut your mouth to pieces. I could go on…!

I usually try to be quite generic with my ingredients and not recommend specific brands, but I’m naming one in this recipe. I use a Nando’s peri peri garlic sauce to make the dressing and I’d definitely recommend you do the same. Their sauce is awesome!

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Ingredients (makes 4 taco bowls)
– 200 grams chicken breast strips
– 60 grams breadcrumbs (you can use Panko for extra crunch, but normal breadcrumbs are perfectly fine)
– 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 tablespoon plain flour
– 4 flour tortillas
– half a head of lettuce, shredded (something with a crunch, like iceberg or romaine)

For the sauce:
– 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
– 3 tablespoons Nando’s Peri Peri Garlic sauce
– 2 teaspoons lime juice
– 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Mix the breadcrumbs and paprika together, then season with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg and flour together well in a separate bowl.
3. Dip the chicken first in the egg, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking tray.
4. Repeat with the other pieces of chicken, then bake for 15-20 minutes until the coating is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.
5. While the chicken is in, push each of the tortillas into an individual bowl and bake at the same temperature until the tortillas hold the “bowl” shape. This usually takes about 12 minutes.
6. Mix together the sauce ingredients. Shred the lettuce.
7. Remove the chicken from the oven and slice each piece. Build the tacos by lining a bowl with shredded lettuce. Top with chicken pieces and then drizzle the sauce over the top. Yum!

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Antipasti-stuffed bread rolls – like a ready made sandwich!

Antipasti-stuffed bread rolls

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Making bread is my new way to experiment. I’m usually fairly terrible at baking, as I’m not accurate enough. I’m too much of a “throw that in and see what happens” cook, and that doesn’t lend itself well to the science of baking. Despite this, I made bread rolls the other week to go with my soup/stew version of French Onion Meatballs.  You can see the link to the Little Epicurean bread recipe on the same page as the meatball recipe.

Those bread rolls went fairly well, and I wanted to explore some more. I wanted something that would be good for lunches to take to work, but I know I never have enough time to make sandwiches in the morning. So, I came up with the idea of these stuffed bread rolls, which have the filling already inside. A ready-made sandwich!

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I’m really pleased with the result. They were really light and the filling was awesome. I made them on a Sunday and they were still fresh enough to eat on Wednesday, so they definitely keep well. When I ate mine at lunchtime, I warmed them in the microwave for just under a minute, which made the cheesy filling all gooey again.

By the way, I don’t have a bread maker or even a proper mixer. I did it all by hand. If you have a stand mixer, definitely use that – you won’t end up with the achey arms that I had! If I get more into this bread-lark, I might consider investing in a Kitchen Aid. Is it worth it? What mixers do you recommend?

Antipasti bread (2)

Ingredients (made 8 bread rolls)
– half a teaspoon active dried yeast
– 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 1 cup whole milk
– 1/3 cup melted butter
– 3 large eggs, beaten
– 6 cups plain flour
– salt and pepper to season

Filling
– 100g sun-dried tomatoes (drained if in oil)
– 100g artichoke hearts (drained if in oil)
– 125g mozzarella
– 50g provolone cheese

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Method
1. Warm the milk in a small pan. Sprinkle over the yeast and 2 of the tablespoons of sugar. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add the beaten eggs, the rest of the sugar and the melted butter. Beat well with a wooden spoon to combine.
3. Add the flour, one cup at a time. Stir it in with the wooden spoon until the mixture becomes too stiff, then switch to kneading it with your hands. Make sure you work in all of the mixture from around the sides. You may not need all of the flour – stop adding when the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
4. After kneading for about ten minutes, cover the bowl with cling film and leave at room temperature for 60-90 minutes until it has doubled in size.
5. Prepare the filling. Chop the artichokes and tomatoes, then grate the cheese. Put a little provolone aside for sprinkling on the top of the rolls. Mix everything else together well.
6. Remove the plastic wrap. Split the dough into eight equal-sized balls. Use your thumbs to make a hole in the middle of each ball and place a spoonful of the filling in the hole. Wrap the dough around the filling, making sure it is sealed. Repeat with the other balls.
7. Place the dough balls in a greased baking tin. I lined mine with baking paper. I put four to a tin, with the sealed ends touching each other.
8. Cover again with cling film and leave for 45-60 minutes for it to rise.
9. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
10. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Antipasti bread (1)

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