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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Enchilzone – an enchilada-calzone

enchilada-calzone-enchilzone-3There are a lot of cool ideas for food mash ups, but an enchilzone is my new favourite. I had the idea when we were travelling recently and ate at a restaurant that had Italian food and Mexican food on its menu. My brother and I were discussing combining the two. Fajita pizzas would be an obvious choice. Maybe burrito filling layered between tortillas like a lasagne. We had many ideas, but our winning one was definitely an enchilzone though!

It is a delicious enchilada filling, encased with a crunchy folded tortilla like a calzone pizza and baked with the enchilada sauce over the top. And plenty of cheese, of course! I used a chicken filling, but you could experiment with whatever you like in your enchiladas.

Ingredients (makes 4 enchilzones)
– 300g passata
– 2 teaspoons each of: ground cumin, oregano, brown sugar, ground coriander, paprika and chilli powder (optional)
– 1 medium sized onion, peeled
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled
– 2 peppers (your choice of colours – I use a green and a yellow)
– 2 chicken breasts
– 4 flour tortillas
– 150g grated cheese (such as cheddar or Monteray Jack)

To serve – sliced jalapeños and soured cream

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Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Pour the passata into a small saucepan with half of each of the spices. Simmer over a low heat and leave to thicken. Stir occasionally.
2. Slice the onion, garlic, peppers and chicken. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir for five minutes, then add the pepper.
3. Stir in the other half of the cumin, oregano, sugar, coriander, paprika, and chilli powder to the chicken and vegetables. Coat thoroughly. Cook for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place a quarter of the chicken mixture in the centre of a tortilla and fold over. (You can use a dab of the tomato sauce as a glue if necessary.) Repeat three times.
5. Taste and season the sauce. Spoon over the folded tortillas in a line down the centre. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted. Serve with sliced jalapeños and soured cream.

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Gluten free lasagne (chicken lasagna with zucchini “pasta”)

Gluten free lasagne – chicken lasagna with courgette

Gluten free lasagne

This lasagne recipe is perfect for people avoiding gluten, as the pasta is replaced by layers of courgette. It’s also lower in calories than normal lasagne (although don’t worry, there’s still a very generous helping of cheese!)

The recipe is similar to my skinny chicken bolognese. If you want to try out that recipe, you can find it here.

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 200 g chicken mince
– 1 carrot
– 1 white onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 tablespoons tomato puree
– 200 ml passata
– 1 zucchinis
– 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary
– 125 g mozzarella, sliced
– 75 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Finely chop the onion, garlic and carrot (you can also do this in a food processor to make life easier).
2. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onions for about two minutes, then add the garlic and stir together until they begin to soften.
3. Add the carrot with the Worchestershire sauce. Stir together then cover and leave to sweat for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken mince and cook until the meat is white and firm. Pour over the tomato puree, passata and herbs and combine well. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste.
5. Use a vegetable peeler to peel long strands of the courgette. Stop when you get down to the seeds (you can also chuck this bit in the food processor and add it to your sauce).


6. Take a heatproof dish and spoon in a layer of the filling. Top with slices of courgette until you have covered the sauce, then place over half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Repeat with the sauce, courgette and cheese.
7. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

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Skinny chicken Bolognese with zoodles

Skinny chicken Bolognese with zoodles

A few years ago, I travelled to Bologna and had the very best Bolognese I’ve ever tasted. It was in a tiny little backstreet restaurant – thick, rich ragu with tagliatelle (not spaghetti – the traditional way is with wider pasta noodles because they take on more of the sauce). It was just amazing and one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I went back the next night and ordered the exact same thing!

It’s a pretty perfect food memory and I’m not sure that I could recreate the recipe. To be honest, I probably don’t want to think about the amount of butter, salt, red meat etc that went into making that dish! So I decided I’d go in a different direction. I’d make a Bolognese that would still be delicious but would be healthier.

This recipe uses chicken mince instead of beef and I’ve replaced the pasta with spiralized zucchini. That makes it lighter, much lower in calories and gluten free. Spiralizing is a super easy way to reduce the gluten and calories in your meal, but still feel full. You can buy the spiralizer I use by following this link – I really recommend it.

In addition to the “zoodles” I’ve included lots of vegetables in the ragu sauce, so this can provide up to 4 portions of fruit and veg per serving! If you were wanting to be extra healthy, you could skip the Parmesan cheese but really, is life worth living without cheese?

I think this recipe is a great way to let you enjoy a family favourite but in a lighter way. I hope you like it!Skinny chicken bolognese (2)

Ingredients (serves 4)
– 400 g chicken mince
– 2 carrots
– 1 white onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– 100 g cherry tomatoes
– 2 medium zucchinis
– 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
– 500 ml passata
– 100 ml chicken stock
– 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary

Black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Skinny chicken bolognese (1)Method
1. Prepare the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Peel and dice the carrots and halve the cherry tomatoes. Dice a quarter of one of the zucchinis, then spiralize the remaining zucchini on the fine noodle setting.
2. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onions for about two minutes, then add the garlic and stir together until they begin to soften.
3. Add the diced carrot, tomatoes and zucchini with the Worchestershire sauce. Stir together then cover and leave to sweat for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken mince and cook until the meat is white and firm. Pour over the passata, stock and herbs and combine well.
5. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir well, then cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and reduced. Season to taste.
6. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, heat a little oil in a large frying pan (or I used roasted garlic butter for extra flavour). Cook the zucchini noodles in the frying pan until slightly softened -I like mine still with a bit of bite to them. Drain and pat dry with a little kitchen paper, or your sauce will turn watery.
7. Serve the Bolognese sauce with the cooked zoodles and top with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

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5 ultimate chicken recipes – easy, healthy,delicious recipes for chicken

5 ultimate chicken recipes – easy, delicious recipes for chicken

Chicken is such a great ingredient. It’s relatively cheap, easy to cook and so delicious. I like the way it is so versatile.

Here are some of my favourite chicken recipes. Always aim to buy high welfare chicken if you can.

Pan-fried chicken with pancetta and mushrooms
This is a great one-pot recipe. Chicken thighs are often tastier than chicken breast AND they’re cheaper. I always buy boneless, skinless thighs because they’re much easier to deal with. Serve it with quinoa for extra goodness.
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Spanish chicken
This is such a tasty dish! Chicken baked in a rich tomato sauce with peppers, carrots and olives. Lovely with cheesy polenta.
Spanish chicken and polenta (4)

Chilli blanco
Are you a chilli fan? That’s a silly question, who isn’t? I love this white chilli version made with chicken mince. It’s much lighter than the beef version but still delicious. You can serve it with tortilla nachos and a range of toppings like lime, cheese, avocado and spring onions.
Check out this slow cooker version as well.White chilli with tortilla chips (8)

Pulled chicken
Chicken slow cooked in a delicious barbecue sauce until it falls apart. It’s amazing with sweet potato fries, it’s amazing in tortilla wraps… it’s just amazing!Pulled chicken thighs (2)

Ras-el-hanout chicken
This is another easy one-pot. You coat the chicken breast in ras-el-hanout, then bake it on a bed of bulghur wheat and roasted red peppers. It’s vibrant and colourful. Try it and you’ll love it!Ras el hanout chicken and bulghur (7)IMAG1497