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Happy New Year! Now it is time for some healthy dinner ideas with a boiled chicken
I hope you had a good break, and no doubt had lots to eat. Now it is a good time to give our liver and arteries a bit of rest.
Usually, after Christmas I make a lot of Chicken Stock, to replenish my freezer and be ready for the winter.
This is the time of the year when a boiled chicken is to be found on my kitchen counter waiting to be used.
If you want to find out how to make a boiled chicken you can follow my recipe on a homemade stock.
But while a light meal made of boiled chicken would be “recommended” for my husband and I, the boys will still be looking for flavour and taste.
Boiled Chicken Recipes
So here are 4 easy ideas to revive a boiled chicken and make everybody happy, liver and arteries included:
1. The healthiest chicken soup
2. Chicken with couscous, ratatouille and toasted pistachios
3. Homemade Indian bread with Caesar salad
4. The cosy chicken and mushroom pie
Homemade chicken soup can warm up any cold winter evening.
As I always have a frozen homemade chicken broth in the freezer, it can be made in a flash.
It is the best remedy at the end of a cold and busy day.
Especially if you feel the weather has got into your system threatening you with flu or cold.
I simply defrost the broth into a pan and add whatever vegetables I have in the fridge.
Vegetables for the chicken soup
• Onions or leeks
Making the chicken soup
- I dice them all into small cubes and toss them into the stock.
- I let it boil for 10 minutes and add Pastina and shredded chicken meat for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
If I make it just for myself, I don’t add the Pastina for a low calories / no carbs dinner.
The broth is very filling and the proteins from the chicken will keep the hunger at bay for the night.
A good night sleep is assured!
Sometimes I just make Pastina with chicken broth for the boys.
That is their favourite when they are not feeling well or are tired from a busy day.
All they want is something light, comforting and quick to eat so they can go to bed without delay.
The Chicken with couscous, ratatouille, and toasted pistachios
If I want to make something quick and tasty, I serve the boiled chicken with couscous, ratatouille and toasted pistachios.
The ratatouille adds moisture and flavour to the chicken, while the pistachios add crunchiness and are amazing toasted.
The recipe is very simple and I always make a large amount of ratatouille, hoping to have some leftovers to freeze.
You can make my favourite: Baked Ratatouille: easy to make, creamy and healthier as the vegetables are baked and not fried.
The vegetables I use are:
- 2 onions
- 3 zucchini
- 3 aubergines
- 2 peppers
- 4 round tomatoes
Making the classic ratatouille
- After drizzling the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil, I add all the vegetables that have been washed and diced into small cubes.
- I add a spoon of Provencal herbs, 1 cube of chicken stock and stir well.
- I cover it and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
That makes a large quantity, so hopefully you will have some left to freeze!!
Making the baked Ratatouille
- Lay all the vegetables in a large baking tin and cook them for 2 hours at 180 C – 350 F
- Add the tomato sauce and cook for another 30 minutes
Isn’t that easy?
Making the couscous
- I make the couscous by seasoning 1 cup of couscous with extra virgin olive oil and adding 1 cup of boiling water and a cube of chicken stock.
- I toast the pistachios in a hot pan over the stove, keeping a close eye as they can burn very quickly.
I always buy pistachios from Bronte, Sicily. It is situated next to the Etna Volcano, the mix of the lava and the sun gives the pistachios a special flavour.
The fancy homemade Indian bread with Caesar salad made with Homemade Mayonnaise
But if I don’t have wraps at home I make grilled Indian bread, a perfect substitute and actually a better option.
It has no fat, it is nice and warm and it is quickly done!
Making the indian bread
The ingredients are:
- 1 3/4 cup – 225 gr of flour
- 2/3 cup – 150 ml of lukewarm water
- 1 pinch of salt
- Combine the flour and the water adding the water gradually until the dough reaches a consistency similar to the pasta dough.
- Mix for 8 minutes until the dough is homogenous and elastic.
- Cover with flour and a wet towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 6 small balls.
- One by one, roll them flat in a floured surface and stretch them by slapping them with your hand back and forth until they reach 18 cm of diameter.
- Heat up a heavy cast iron pan and grill (no fat) the flat bread quickly turning it on the other side before it burns.
- It goes very quickly, so it is best to find someone to help.
Usually it is Liam who helps me, and while I slap the flat bread he grills them.
Good job Liam!
The cosy chicken and mushroom pie
Even if this chicken pie will not be as “healthy” as the other dishes, it is a complete meal that will satisfy all palates, children as well as adults.
It can even be made for dinner parties.
Compared to the previous meals, its fat content is increased by 125 gr of butter and 1 egg and the bechamel sauce to be shared with 6 people.
It is not so bad…….
…..if compared to the holiday extravaganzas!
It will require more preparation time than the other 3 recipes, but is worth the effort.
You have to plan ahead of time as the butter to make the short pastry has to be at room temperature.
For the short pastry you need:
- 1/2 cup – 100 gr of butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup – 200 gr of flour
- 2 tbsp of water
- 1 tsp of salt
- Mix all ingredients in the mixer, wrap the dough into cling foil and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the butter re-solidifies.
- Cooking the short pastry from fridge-cold makes it nicely crunchy.
Making the filling
- In the meantime, gently stir-fry 2 leeks that have been washed and diced, adding 25 gr of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Once the leeks are cooked, add 300 gr of mushrooms halved but cook them for 3 minutes only.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Then add the chicken, the béchamel sauce, ½ lemon zest. Stir till it is all well combined and let it cool.
Putting it all together
- Butter a baking pan, cover the base with parchment paper and butter well the entire surface sides included.
- This will make sure the pie will come out from the pan easily once it is cooked.
- Take the short pastry out of the fridge and keep 1/3 aside to make the top of the pie.
- Roll flat the remaining 2/3 of the pastry.
- The 2 tbsp of water you added to the mix will make the edge of your pastry smooth and it will not crack.
- Cover the pan with the pastry making sure the sides are all covered and pierce it everywhere with a fork.
- If the pastry becomes too soft put it back in the fridge to cool for another 30 minutes.
- Pour the chicken mix in the pastry, cover with the remaining 1/3 of the dough, and seal the edges with your fingers.
- Make several holes in the centre so that the steam can escape, if you have some pastry leftover you can make some additional decorative shapes on top.
- Cook in a hot oven at 180 C for 30 minutes.