Archives for posts with tag: Chicken

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Somewhere along the line I fell out of love with potatoes and almost never ate them unless they were drenched in olive oil, sea salt + cracked black pepper and baked to perfection (in which case, I was more than happy to indulge). Recently though, I’m experiencing something of a revival of my former tastes, and am once again a fan of the humble and versatile wonder that is potato. The recipe below is a simplified version of a recipe found in Jamie magazine by Jamie Oliver, and is a wholesome dish to satisfy the whole family or even just one or two, with the promise of oh-so-easy leftovers for subsequent weeknight dinners. I just couldn’t resist posting this potato pie alongside a sunflower cityscape taken in passing on a recent trip to the America: Painting a Nation exhibition at the New South Wales Art Gallery in Sydney city. If you’re keen to visit, you better get in quick because it finishes up on 9 February 2014. Chock full of painted works spanning the period 1750-1966, it’s an interesting display of American history, society and culture and includes some beautiful landscape pieces that have me lamenting the seemingly fading art-form of paint on canvas. I’ve included a list of some of my favourites (and the recipe!) below.

Charles Sheeler, Cactus (1931)

Jackson Pollock No 22 (1950)

Frederic Edwin Church Cotopaxi (1855)

Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Colorado River (1892, 1908)

Severin Roesen, Flower Still Life with Bird’s Nest (1853)

Chicken Potato Pie

4 chicken thigh fillets, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 brown onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 celery sticks, sliced

100g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

250 ml liquid chicken stock

4-6 medium sized desiree potatoes

30g butter, melted,

Prepare the potatoes ahead by placing in a pot of boiling water and simmering until just soft. Drain and set aside until completely cooled.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat in a heavy based cast iron pan that will fit in a standard oven. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent, then add the chicken and cook until the meat is sealed all over. Add in the celery and mushrooms and let them cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then let the whole thing simmer for about 10 minutes. If it looks a bit dry, just add in a little water to keep the whole dish nice and loose, but not too liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for a minute or so.

Slice the cooked potatoes thickly, then place in a layer over the top of the chicken mixture in the pan. Use a brush to spread the melted butter over the potatoes and season with sea salt and some black pepper if you like. A little fresh thyme would also be perfect if you have it to hand. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly golden on top.

*Serves 4



This week I’m trying to use up everything in my fridge/freezer/cupboards to allow for some more space, both in my kitchen and the budget.. Surprisingly I only had to purchase the sugar snap peas and coriander for this chicken laksa, so I’m well on track for meeting the budget this week (so far). The best thing about laksa is that you can be creative and mix it up according to your preferences or whatever vegetables happen to be in season. Here’s my recipe for tonight’s chicken laksa, followed by my review of the George Nelson exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Thai Chicken Laksa

200g vermicelli noodles

2 tbsp red curry paste

2 chicken breasts, sliced

400g light coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 big handfuls sugar snap peas

1 big handful fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lime

*Serves 2

Before you start cooking, place the dry noodles in a bowl and have some boiled water ready to cook them, but don’t cook them just yet. For the chicken mixture, fry the curry paste in a little oil for a minute or so. Add in the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar and heat for another  1-2 mins. Add the chicken pieces and bring to the boil. Once the mixture has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sugar snap peas. Simmer for about 3-4 mins, then turn the heat off. While the mixture is simmering, pour boiling water over your noodles and soak for 2 mins, then drain. Once you have turned the heat off the chicken mixture, add in the juice from your lime. Then simply divide the noodles into bowls, pour the laksa mixture over the top and garnish with the fresh coriander. Bon Appétit!


If you are in any way interested in interior design and architecture or just design in general, then I would highly recommend a visit to the George Nelson retrospective at the Powerhouse Museum, on show until 10 January 2014. The exhibition showcases some of the best of Nelson’s designs and provides a comprehensive overview of his life and works. You may think that you’re not familiar with Nelson’s work as a designer and architect, but a lot of the works are surprisingly recognisable and it’s increasingly apparent as you walk throughout the exhibit that he has made an undeniably significant contribution to modern American design in the 20th century.

Featured works include the Marshmallow Sofa and Coconut Chair (personal favourites of mine), the swaged leg furniture collection and the instantly recognisable Bubble Lamps. The exhibit includes a partial model of Nelson’s Jungle Gym, which was built to illustrate how exhibits and photos would be presented at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. Taking place in the middle of the Cold War, the exhibit was a diplomatic attempt to improve cultural and political relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, and was matched by a similar Soviet exhibition in New York city in the same year. Regarded as a mutually beneficial form of cultural exchange, the American National Exhibition has been considered one of the most extensive and costly displays of American culture ever undertaken on an international level.

If you’re not familiar with Nelson’s work and you’d like to get a better idea of his style, you can check out a collection of his designs here. I was particularly taken with the clock wall and am thinking maybe I could start a clock wall of my own in the Balmain Kitchen!


Marshmallow Sofa in the Jungle Gym


Storage Wall


Clocks! Apparently Nelson believed that the increasingly prevalent fashion for wrist watches lessened the need for letters and numbers on wall clocks, and also that most people noted the position of the clock arms rather than the numbers themselves. I’m won over by the designs either way!

It was Nelson’s firm belief that ‘Total design is nothing more or less than relating everything to everything’. I felt this was a perfectly apt quote to finish on because I happened to buy this placemat on my way home and did not even realise until later on that the Marshmallow Sofa had clearly influenced this spontaneous purchase!


Entry to the Powerhouse Museum is $12 for adults and $6 for children. There’s plenty of other exhibitions that are also fun, exciting and definitely worth seeing, but time only allows for me to write about one tonight..hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time,

Trini xo

This weekend I went in to haymarket with some friends and picked up a huge armful of fresh fruits and vegetables to restock my tiny fridge for the weekend and week to come. These black grapes are delicious and the whole bowl only cost me $1.20! This market is bustling and it’s a little bit of an effort to get to but if you can manage to get there it’s definitely a budget friendly way to shop. I spent less than $15 on everything you see here (minus the flowers). We parked at Broadway shopping centre and walked in to haymarket but if you’re getting a bus or a train into the city it only takes a couple of minutes to walk there from railway square. I even had my first authentic yum cha experience! We ate at The Eight Restaurant in Market City. My top two picks would have to be the spinach and prawn dumplings and the tofu rolls. You will need the sustenance because a weekend trip to Paddy’s Markets is a mission!




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Considering I’m fighting off a cold and spent most of my Sunday recovering from a 14km run on Saturday morning, I decided to put my market goodies to good use and try to kill off whatever it is that’s trying to take over my immune system this week. On my first night in Balmain I had a lemongrass chicken stir fry at Le Tonkin Vietnamese restaurant and have been wanting to try and recreate this dish in my own kitchen for a while now. I’ve always been one to take inspiration from experiences eating out and by browsing recipe books, magazines and food pics on the internet. I prefer to gain a lot of visual inspiration and then just take bits and pieces from various recipes and recreate them in my own way. I’ve found that there are times when it pays to follow basic methods, but you can still mix things up as far as the ingredients are concerned and make things to your own tastes. Here’s the result of my take on Le Tonkin’s Lemongrass Chicken, with a recipe (of sorts) included below.

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Lemongrass Chicken

2 chicken breasts, sliced

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped

3 cm piece ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 white onion, sliced

1 big handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce (or more to taste)

1/2 bunch watercress

1/2 cup shallots, chopped

2/3 cup long grain rice, or whichever style you prefer

First up, get your rice cooking. To cook my rice, I put it in a sauce pan and cover it by about an inch with water. I cook it over a high heat until the water boils over, then I reduce the heat to moderate until all the water disappears and there are little holes all over the surface of the rice. This will only happen if you don’t touch the rice while it’s cooking, so this means no stirring!! When the holes appear, turn the heat off and put the lid on for about five minutes. Then take a fork and fluff up the rice and put the lid back on until you’re ready to serve. All in all it takes about 20-25 minutes (depending on how much you’re cooking) so do this first and let it cook while you prepare the stir fry.

To make the sauce for your stir fry, place your chilli, lemongrass, coriander, garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle or food processor and grind/whiz until you have a smooth consistency. I added a tiny drizzle of olive oil because that is all I have, but I think the thing to use would probably be peanut or sunflower oil. Season to taste and add in the fish sauce, honey and about 1 tbsp of your soy sauce.

Next, heat up your oil of choice in a wok over a high heat plus a tsp or two of the sauce you have just made, and fry your chicken pieces until just cooked. I like to add in a little of the sauce rather than just cooking the chicken by itself because it gives the chicken a chance to really soak up some flavour. When it’s done, remove the chicken and set aside.

You may want to add a little more oil at this point if your pan is too dry. Stir fry the onions first and then add in the watercress and half of your shallots for about 30 seconds, before adding in the chicken and the rest of your sauce plus the extra 2 tbsp of soy sauce. If you need to add a little more soy sauce, then feel free!

Just before you serve, mix the rest of your shallots through the rice, then plate up and enjoy!

Die sore throat!!

Trini xo