Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Asian chicken noodle soup with ginger and star anise

Quick and easy for a weeknight dinner!

prep time 10 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
serves 4 adults


2 skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 head broccoli florets or 2 mini bok choy, chopped coarsely
5 oz. (150g) any type of noodle, egg, rice or udon noodle (I used egg noodles in photo)
6 cups (1.5 liters) chicken broth
2 cups (500 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce (try a low sodium version like tamari)
6-8 pieces dried sliced ginger (or 1 inch piece fresh, peeled and sliced)
4 green onions, shredded into long strips (optional)


Place the noodles in a bowl of boiling water, let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Place stock, water, broccoli or bok choy, star anise, cinnamon and ginger into a large saucepan on medium high heat and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.
Add chicken breasts and cook for 7 minutes. Remove and shred the chicken using a fork and knife. 
Return the chicken to saucepan with noodles and green onions. Cook for 3 minutes or until noodles are heated through. Serve at once.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Indian Butter Chicken

When I was thinking about writing this post I remembered the last time I made butter chicken for friends. It was Oscar night so the theme was Indian obviously (Jai Ho!) and when I presented my lovely dish of butter chicken along with the dal, sag aloo and naan bread, it illicited many aahs of pleasure, and even a marriage proposal, so I thought I should share. 

Who doesn't want the recipe for marriage chicken, right?

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Nancie McDermott, author of The Curry Book
Indian cooks created this recipe to make good use of leftover tandoori chicken, it reheats poorly because it is marinated in yoghurt and it is cooked at high temperature, both of which dry it out. In this recipe, it is enveloped in a lovely tomato and cream sauce with sweet spices. Served with basmati rice, it is a worthwhile indulgence.


2 1/2 pounds of cooked tandoori chicken (about 4 large breasts)
4 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 can 14-18 oz. peeled and diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 cup cream

Note: I like to buy pre-marinated tandoori chicken from my local specialty store, but you can also make a marinade yourself, using 2 1/2 teaspoons tandoori spice and a cup and a half of plain yoghurt. Marinate for 6 hours - overnight in the fridge.


The night before, take your marinated chicken and pop it in a 300ºF (150ºC) oven for 30-45 mins. in a large glass dish. Remove from oven and cool, then refrigerate. 

Prepare the cooled tandoori chicken by cutting it into bite-size pieces. You will have about 4 cups. 

In a large fryer or saucepan, bring the tomatoes and their juice to a gentle boil. add the spices, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken and cream and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes, until the chicken is heated through.

Stir in butter and remove from heat quickly. Stir gently until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve with basmati rice.