I’m always in search of a challenge when it comes to cooking.
A while back I bought wooden skewers just for the sake of having them in my kitchen. I normally use them for checking the readiness of my baked goodies but this time round I decided to put them into good use. I have never made mshikaki before so I was just following my instincts on the flavourings.
The key thing for this recipe to be a huge success is marination. Sadly, I thought of the recipe a tad late and hence I didn’t marinate and there was no way I was going to put it off for the next night, impatient much?
Anyway, enough with the chatting let the action begin.
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 orange bell pepper cubed
1 green bell pepper cubed
1 large red onion roughly chopped into big pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the marinade
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 inched ginger crushed
Skewers, metallic or wooden will do. I used wooden ones.
It’s advisable to marinate the chicken overnight but if you are in a rush like I was, you can marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking. In a bowl mix the marinade, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Add in the chicken pieces and coat them completely.
If you are using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water 30 minutes prior to using to ensure they don’t burn when grilling the mshikaki.
After the marination and the skewers are ready, you can now assemble the mshikaki, yippee!!
In a shallow plate add your bell peppers and onions season with a little bit of salt and the pepper then drizzle over the vegetable oil.
For the bell peppers, the more colourful they are the better, so go for red, yellow and orange.
The next step is pretty hands on and I only managed to take pics of the end result seeing that hubby was also helping me to assemble them.
On a skewer start with the bell pepper followed by the onion then the chicken piece then repeat the step until the desired amount. It’s best to leave space on the skewer for someone to hold it when eating. Continue these steps until all the chicken is used up.
You can either grill these on an outside grill or use a grill pan, seeing that I have neither I grilled mine in the oven.
Place them on a grill rack and grill on each side for 10 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Serve and enjoy with friends.
Excuse the lighting, I forgot to take the pics while in the kitchen, my living room has the worst lighting for photos.
Don’t let the foreign name fool you, these babies are totally easy to make. The best thing is that you can stuff the tortillas with just about anything. Quesadillas are a mexican delight where a tortilla is filled with mostly cheese and other ingredients then folded in half and served. Before I go further, I need to decipher the foreign terms, tortillas, are closely related to what we know as chapatis. Actually they are one and the same if you ask me. One thing though, when cooking the tortilla, cook lightly on each side for a minute just to get it lightly browned.
3 flour tortillas
1 medium red onion sliced
5 slices of cheddar cheese cut into strips – if you have a block of cheese, grate it instead
dried oregano leaves
Half of an avocado, optional
For the chicken
Boneless chicken breasts
1 red onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch thick of ginger, roughly chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, optional
750 ml of water
salt to taste
I started by poaching the chicken breasts. In a saucepan, pour in the water then throw in the onions,garlic, ginger, rosemary and the chicken. No need to cut the chicken first.
Cover and bring it to a simmer.
As the chicken is cooking, I made the tortillas.
After about 20 minutes of boiling the chicken will be done. Remove from the stock and shred it into bit size pieces. Store the stock to use it in stews or steaming rice.
From here, get ready to assemble the quesadilla.
Take one tortilla, line one half of the tortilla with the cheese strips.
Then add the sliced onions, coriander and the chicken shreds. Sprinkle some oregano.
Then add another layer of cheese.
Gently place the tortilla with the stuffing on a hot skillet. Fold it in half, press hard. Cook both sides for about a minute or so or until the cheese melts.
Repeat the above steps for the rest of the tortillas. I added some avocado slices in one of the quesadillas.
Once all done, cut them into wedges and serve with some guacamole or kachumbari.
To say this meal was amazing would be an understatement. I shocked myself. Simple yet delicious. I dare you to try this out. I’ll definitely make more of these babies and even try different ingredients, I’ll also try and so a post on how to make tortillas.
Last year during hubby’s birthday, we went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant, Mughals, at Adams Arcade. I had some butter chicken, which in my opinion is by far the best boneless chicken curry I’ve ever eaten. After that I embarked on looking for the recipe but most of what I got seemed too complicated to do but that was until January 8th this year. I was busy reading through the Saturday magazine pull out in the Daily Nation and what do I see, Chef Aamil Mughal owner of Mughals has been reviewed and the recipe for the butter chicken detailed. Needless to say I was very happy, I even borrowed the magazine (I gifted my self).
Anyway, so even after getting the recipe I took a while before trying it, reason being, I’ve been so busy so I just get home and do quick fixes for dinner and at times hubby does the cooking (yeah, he’s heaven sent).
The recipe is pretty simple and it calls for ingredients can be easily obtained.
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
3 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
3 chopped green chillis (optional)
600 grams boneless chicken (cut in cubes)
100 grams crushed cashew nut powder
1/2 litre milk
3 ripe tomatoes
1 bunch coriander chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cream (optional)
This recipe serves 4.
As I was preparing the ingredients I realised that I didn’t have butter, fresh tomatoes and coriander but that didn’t stop me from making this recipe. I just figured I would substitute the missing ingredients. For the butter I used two tablespoons of vegetable oil, for the tomatoes I used two tablespoons of tomato paste. Since the coriander is for the garnish, I thought I could do without it. also didn’t use fresh cream since I didn’t have plus it was optional, nor did I put chilli because hubby doesn’t fancy chilli.
In the event you use butter, place it in a cold pan then switch on the heat and add the garlic when it is melting. Since I used oil, I just let it heat for a minute or so then I added the garlic.
Once slightly browned add the chicken cubes and stir.
Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli (if using). Maintain a steady temperature. If too hot it will burn very quickly.
Now add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes. Since I was using tomato paste there wasn’t a lot of simmering so I added about a tablespoon of water to it.
Add salt and keep tasting.
Add milk and stir and let it boil.
Once the milk has boiled, add the crushed cashew nuts and stir. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Before I forget, for the cashew nut powder, all you need are the cashews then you crush to make the powder. You can choose to use a mortar and pestle or if your blender has a spice mill, that will also do.
Finally you can add the chopped coriander, stir and take it off the heat.
My butterless butter chicken
It was great though not as delicious as the one we ate at Mughals maybe it’s because of the substitutions.
If I could do it over again:
I would definitely not do the major substitutions of butter and tomatoes. I especially feel the tomatoes are very vital in this recipe so that the sauce is even more and not as thick.
All in all, this is an easy recipe and it doesn’t take long to prepare.
According to Chef Aamil it’s best served with hot butter or garlic naan but can go well with toast. I served it over rice.
I normally avoid cooking kienyeji (road runner) chicken for fear of under cooking it and of course the fact that it can be a bit tough. On one of my visits at my neighbours place (read the Murigis), I found some Tupike magazines which I gladly skimmed through and voila I landed on this recipe.
I was to host my colleagues for lunch and that moment a light bulb went on since I’d been clueless on what to prepare. So I hosted the lunch and for sure the chicken was a hit. Not only was the chicken perfectly cooked but it was delicious and soft. I believe my colleagues enjoyed since I’m yet to get a negative remark.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
The pot roast:
1 road runner chicken cut in pieces set aside the giblets (liver,heart) and neck
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into huge chunks
3-4 celery sticks, washed and cut into chunks
1 large red onion chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Start by making the marinade.
Crush the ginger and garlic.
In a large bowl combine the vegetable oil and soy sauce.
Then mix in the ginger and garlic.
Finally put in all the chicken pieces and mixture evenly with the marinade. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated. (The next image is disturbing, viewer discretion is advised)
Now, cover the bowl with a clear cling wrap and put it in the fridge for a minimum of thirty minutes. If you have time you can marinate it overnight (in the fridge of course).
So thirty minutes or so later…
Making the pot roast;
In a large sufuria, or rather one that can fit one whole chicken put about one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let the oil heat up then saute the onions.
Once the onions are browned, add the marinated chicken pieces. The cooker should be on high, the aim here is to brown the chicken pieces. When adding the chicken start with the chicken thighs and legs followed by the other pieces.
Keep stirring to ensure all the chicken pieces get browned. Do this for about three minutes.
Let the chicken cook on high for about ten to fifteen minutes then add in the carrot chunks and the celery. You can season with a little salt.
Now, reduce the heat to medium or medium low , cover the sufuria and let the chicken cook for forty five minutes.
So, here is where I mention that the chicken was too delicious and we were really hungry that I forgot to take pictures of the end result… yeah it happens. Anyway, go ahead try out this recipe I guarantee that you will never whine again about kienyeji chicken being tough.
Finger licking good. I have cooked this many times over and I’m not about to stop. I think I’ll cook this for dinner tonight.
Thanks for stopping by and I apologise for the hiatus, being a wife, employee and study can sometimes take a toll on someone.
Over the holidays, I had purposed to roast a whole chicken and I finally got around to doing that on Christmas day. I have to say, I was impressed, the chicken was not only delicious, crispy but also juicy. Anyway that’s a recipe for another day but lemme leave you with the photo of the chicken.
Since the chicken was to feed two people there was plenty of leftover. I removed all the remaining meat from the bones then I refrigerated Fast forward to Boxing day and I’m busy thinking of what to cook. At first I wanted to make some chicken salad but then I remembered I’d seen a recipe for chicken in a previous issue of True Love magazine.
I grab my magazines looking for the exact issue with the recipe, it was the November issue. Lucky for me, I had all the ingredients on hand, yep *excitement*.
The recipe calls for raw chicken but I used my leftover chicken. To eat is your own…
30ml vegetable oil
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, crushed
1 tbsp curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2.5cm cubes – I used leftover chicken
2 mangoes, skinned and cubed
50ml coconut milk – I used coconut cream
Salt to taste
In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil, then fry the onions, garlic and ginger.
Saute until softened then add the curry powder and cumin and cook for three minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and fry until slightly browned on the outside and the chicken is coated (about three minutes).
Mix it up.
Finally add the mangoes, water and coconut cream. cover and let it simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let the curry cook down until the mangoes are soft and the chicken is well done. Season with salt and cover for 10 minutes.
Thank you all for reading my cooking journal, commenting, liking and even trying out these recipes. I’m humbled.
This meal I prepared a while back when we had a friend over for dinner. This dish closely resembles this one , however I used boneless chicken breasts and I also added some yoghurt.
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 medium sized white onion sliced
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 green bell pepper diced
1 tomato diced
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by coating the chicken with the soy sauce. In a ziploc bag or polythene bag put the chicken strips then add the soy sauce then shake to ensure they are fully coated. Let it the chicken stand for 10 minutes or so.
In a sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the chicken strips, stir to ensure the chicken browns.
Let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes then add the onions and bell peppers. (I also added one tomato diced, after hubby’s advice). Remember to season with the salt and black pepper.
Cover and let the tomato, onion and peppers cook down.
Finally add the yoghurt.
Cover for about 5 minutes then stir and serve.
I served the chicken over steamed pasta but I believe it will taste even better with rice.
I had missed eating potatoes and since I didn’t have the patience to bake the potatoes I decided to mash them. Making mashed potatoes is pretty simple, since you just boil the potatoes till they are completely cooked then you mash them like crazy. Of course there are a few spice addition here and there which I’ll share in a bit.
Sometime back my colleagues and I decided to do a lunch treat at a nearby food court. Being adventurous with the food selection I ordered some coconut chicken. Boy, wasn’t I disappointed, it was more like stewed chicken with lots of tomatoes and bell peppers and not even a hint of coconut, anyway since I had some boneless chicken breasts in the fridge I thought of making actual coconut chicken. After checking some online recipes I settled on trying it out my own way.
So for the potatoes;
Peel and wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut them in halves. In a sufuria add the potatoes, salt and water to almost cover all the potatoes. In case you have fresh rosemary you can add about two sprigs. I also added some cinnamon bark.
Now for the chicken;
First, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add one tablespoon of oil in a skillet, then brown the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the pan then set aside.
In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil then add the onions, garlic and ginger.
Since I was doing this for the first time, I didn’t want to use a lot of spices lest I miss the coconut taste.
So I settled for some cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander powder, curry powder and good old black pepper.
Stir in the spice mixture.
Add 1 cup coconut milk and let it simmer with the spices for about 3 minutes.
Finally I added the chicken. (forgot to take pics 😦 )
Let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
Back to the potatoes. Once fully cooked, drain any excess water, remove the cinnamon bark, then mash like crazy.
Mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas you can spice them up with almost anything. From chopped coriander or parsley to butter and milk. Adding some chopped spring onions or grating over some cheese.
Since I was out of parsley, I added 1 tablespoon of basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of margarine and about 1/4 cup of milk. The milk helps in making the mashed potatoes fluffy.
Dinner is served:
Mashed potatoes, coconut chicken and some fried cabbage and carrots.
Not forgetting some kachumbari on the side.
Coconut – ty. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the basil added a nice touch. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again, of course with some few adjustments like more coconut flavour.
Once one gets married you sort of get different kinds of gifts from your spouse. So last week hubby dearest surprised me by buying some chicken legs and fish fillet. Yeah!!! I’m now more excited about chicken legs than chocolate.O-o PS. He still gets me chocolate.
It had been a while since I had cooked some chicken legs. I was confused on what to do with them. After defrosting them, they lay on the kitchen counter as I tried to invent a recipe.
Still clueless on what to do with the chicken, I chopped up a white onion and sliced a bell pepper.
So after much thought I decided to fry it.
In a saucepan/skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil. You don’t need a lot. Since I was using chicken legs from a broiler. They are pretty fatty. (I even had to trim some fatty off)
Place the chicken legs in the pan. Ensure you’ve sliced the legs to ensure the spices soak in.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
4-5 cardamon pods
Salt to taste
Sprinkle the spices on the chicken.
Cover and let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes on one side then flip over for the other side to cook.
I have to mention, at this point the aroma in the kitchen..Heavenly
After 30 minutes, and flipping the chicken twice. Toss in the onions and bell peppers.
So hubby, peeks and asks;
Hubby: No tomatoes?
Me: Should I add some them? (I reach for the fridge door to take the tomatoes)
Hubby: Yeah add at least one.
Me: I’m not so sure about it. I don’t want the sauce to be runny. (I toy with the idea and decide to just add one)
Cover and let the sauce cook down for about 5 minutes.
Then serve with ugali and vegetables.
(sorry forgot to wipe the sides of the plate)
Goodness!!! Delicious. Very flavourful.
Hubby gave it a thumbs up and tick.
PS. The addition of the tomato was just the cherry on top. Thanks hun.