Mango Lime Chicken

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Over the past week, I’ve been lucky enough to spend some quality time with my friends’ kids, and am fascinated by their behaviour. I think the reason I enjoy playing with kids is that they remind me of what life as a grown-up could be like, without cubicles, mortgages and the latest iPhone. Living in the present, every waking moment is an opportunity to play and learn, finding delight in simple things like a handsome seashell, a crab claw, seaweed that squirts water.

I’ve come to realise that I cannot predict what kids will like, and what could send them spiralling, lightning-quick, into a tantie. So when I say that this Mango Lime Chicken (minus the chilli) would be popular with kids, you can be assured that I don’t know what I’m talking about. This dish was created for the Summer Go Paleo menu and freezes well although the asparagus will become a little soft, so if you are going to freeze it, I suggest omitting that. Lemon can be substituted for lime.

Mango Lime Chicken

Makes approx. 5 serves

  • 1.2 kg chicken thigh fillets, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • Ground cumin, ½Tbsp
  • salt, to taste
  • cooking fat of your choice, such as coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, ghee
  • 1 red bullet chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • coconut cream, 100 grams
  • mango, 290 grams (if not mango season, frozen mango works well)
  • garlic chives, 60 grams
  • asparagus, 2 bunches, chopped into 3cm pieces
  • tapioca starch, 1 Tbsp
  1. Cook onions in a large pot with 2 tsp fat, a tew tablespoons of water and a little salt until water has evaporated and onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add chicken, cumin, lime juice, chilli, coconut cream and salt. Cook over low to medium heat until chicken is cooked through (takes around 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces). If you have a probe thermometer, cook until 80°. As the chicken cooks, water will be released. When the chicken is cooked, add the asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just cooked.
  3. In a small bowl, mix tapioca starch with a little cold water to form a roux and add, along with mango, garlic chives and lime zest. Bring to boil while stirring, then remove from heat. Taste for salt and acidity.

Chopped Chicken Liver

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I had a yen for pâté recently and remembered bookmarking a recipe by Melissa Joulwan (blogger & author of Well Fed 1 and 2) for Chopped Liver, so decided to give it a go. I love her recipes because Ms Joulwan is not afraid of a good spicing. Apparently chopped liver is a common Jewish side dish, and the saying “What am I, chopped liver?,” spoken in a haughty tone, conveys indignance at being treated as a side dish. Frankly, if someone were going to treat me as a side dish, I’d be happy if it were one as nutrient dense as Chopped Liver. It’s a lot easier to make than pâté and can be made dairy-free (depending on the fat used). The most tedious part was removing the stringy bits from the livers, but with a bit of imagination, the time passes quicker if one pretends one is performing a chicken autopsy.

Chopped liver makes a great breakfast food and would also be perfect for picnics. It reminds me of the kind of food that was recommended for children before people got all weird about organ meat.

I tweaked the original recipe a bit, using schmaltz as the fat. I also added some garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Instead of the caraway seeds, I would use thyme next time as I wasn’t a big fan of the chewy texture of the caraway seeds.

Chopped Liver

Serves 4

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (schmalz) (or fat of your choice: ghee, lard, duck fat)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g chicken livers
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or caraway seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (or madeira or sherry)
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Remove stringy veins and sinews from the livers.
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, cook the onion in a bit of the chicken fat over medium heat until softened and browned. I like to add stock or water (around 40ml at a time) which helps with the cooking process. Add the garlic when the onions are almost ready (to avoid burning the garlic).
  3. When the onions have browned and any added liquid has evaporated, remove onions from the pan and set aside. Add more chicken fat to the pan and brown the chicken livers in batches. Brown the first side, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side until the livers are cooked but remain a little pink in the middle. Remove the livers and deglaze the pan with brandy (or a little stock/water). Let the livers cool.
  4. In a food processor, blend all ingredients until combined but chunky.
  5. Spread into a storage container and chill for an hour before eating.

Serving Suggestions: Serve in baby cos lettuce leaves with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. If you are keto, feel free to up the amount of fat, which will only make it more luscious.

Recipe: Sticky Spiced Chicken Wings

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Chicken wings, along with marylands, are my favourite part of the chicken. With their high ratio of skin to fat, wings are especially delicious when coated in this spicy Asian marinade and roasted to golden brown perfection.

Twice in one day, while out shopping, I overheard people being afraid of fat. A woman next to me at the butcher was asking if they had soup bones with less fat. Another woman, to whom the butcher was recommending his range of inhouse-made smallgoods, declined them as she said they were too fatty. The two women were of different ages and ethnicities but were united in their fear of fat.

I can understand why they feel this way. When I was around 12, I went on a totally orthorexic phase and removed the chunks of fat from lup cheong (chinese sausage) and ate my toast without any butter or margarine. Fortunately that phase didn’t last for long, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I have allowed myself to revel in eating fat, and – even better – with the knowledge that the healthy fats now turn out to be actually good for us (such as animal fats, coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter, ghee, macadamia oil, avocado oil, olive oil). I won’t bore you with the scientific details (if you are interested, check out the Further Reading references below), just to mention that fat is necessary for hormone production, improves brain function, nerve signaling and immunity.

I never used to cook chicken wings until I came this recipe and now it makes a regular appearance at dinner, plus leftovers for breakfast the next day.

Sticky Spiced Chicken Wings

16 chicken wings (including wing tips and drumettes)
Lemon juice, to serve

Marinade:

  • 10 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp macadamia oil or extra light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1-2 tsp chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • ⅛ tsp ground star anise (optional)
  • 2 tsp dry sherry or chinese rice wine (Shao Xing)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp (or 1 stalk) chopped lemongrass
  • ½ tsp sumac (optional)
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and mix with chicken wings. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C.
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  4. Line an oven tray with foil and set a baking rack on top. (If the wings are in direct contact with the foil, the skin tends to stick.) Place the marinated wings on the rack (top side down). Baste with any leftover marinade. Bake for 15 mins, then turn over and bake for a further 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Squeeze over some lemon juice before serving.

Further Reading

For mushroom lovers

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Introducing a new dish which subscribers may find in our 10 and 15 meal packs in the coming week: Chinese Braised Chicken & Mixed Mushrooms. Tender skinless chicken thigh morsels are slowly braised together with a mushroom medley (shiitake, king, oyster mushrooms and strips of black fungus) in a velvety sauce of soy, coconut aminos, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.

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It pairs nicely with steamed white rice &/or roast cauliflower. To roast cauliflower, wash and cut into florets. Place on a baking tray greased with oil (I love to use Cobram Estate’s garlic-infused extra virgin) and bake for around 20 minutes, turning once, until somewhat singed and caramelised.

Nutritional Information

Per 380g serve
387 calories
51.4 grams protein, 7.9g carbs, 14.8g fats

Ingredients

Skinless chicken thighs, mushrooms (king, shiitake, oyster, black fungus), onions, chinese cabbage (wombok), chicken stock, ginger, garlic, gluten-free soy sauce, coconut aminos, sherry, sesame oil, tapioca starch, salt, ghee, pepper.