Thursday 7 May 2009

chicken casserole and pizza fun

I sorta slow cooked the chicken in the end cos my naughty priest buddy came over for a cuppa so I quickly fried the seasoned chicken and veg in the pan then sloshed in some Marigold stock and some cider that was lying about and shoved the pan in the oven. Oh I love that pan, from Ikea, non-stick with a glass lid that doubles as an extra dish if I need it to. When I use the oven to slow cook, I seal the meat and then rest it in the lid while I fry the veggies, so all that juice drips straight back into the pan while it cooks. Great!

I put in the Jerusalem artichokes from the box and they went down fine apart from fussy J, tho he did try one. Both girls liked them, and Mr Fussy didn't even notice them!

I did then have to run off into central London to shop for my gorgeous nephew's birthday, so I didn't sit and savour this meal, but it was yum.

Pizza was excellent. I grabbed the recipe from this month's Good Food mag, it was a recipe meant to go with the free veg seeds on the cover, but of course, being me, I adapted it for our tastes and time constraints.

Big'un had lots of fun with making the dough, and arranging the pepperoni, tho she found it actually a bit too spicy for her liking when she came to eat it. On the way home from school she'd asked me what she was having for dinner, so I said "Oh how kind of you to offer to cook dinner" and the game went on from there. At least it wasn't Littl'un's famous dish of "shuga pasta"... Anyway, we did maths with the weighing, and the measuring, and then with dividing the dough, she "helped" me work out how to make 4 pieces easily, and BOY did she get stuck into the kneading and rolling out. These were thin and crispy, and were garlic bread style, rather than with a tomato base. Basically, garlic butter spread onto the base once it's rolled out and then the cheese and meat went onto that. I could have just opened a tin or tetra of tomatoes, I even have one with olives already in it, but I wanted to try it the way the recipe did it, and Big'un is a garlic bread fan, and not so much with the tomato sauce anyway.

I baked 2 at once then the 3rd with the 4th piece turned into dough balls. Fun. And delish. Easy and so hands on, and Big'un ate it even tho she wasn't that into it. Next time I'll prep up some other toppings and let the kids top the pizzas themselves before baking.

Littl'un still not really into her food right now, tho still good with the fruit, so not really worried, think the next canine tooth is shoving its way through and that can't be easy.

Anyway, it was the best bread dough recipe I've done, silky smooth dough and no proving, will be doing it again. Here is the basic dough recipe:

500g strong white flour
7g instant yeast packet
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Tip these into a bowl.
Add 300ml warm water and stir firmly with a spoon til it comes together.
Knead on a floured surface 2-3 times til it is in a bowl and divide. The recipe suggested dividing into 8, tho I did 4 as I didn't want tiny ones.
Roll out til as thin as you can get, for 8 pieces they suggested each being around 15cm across.

Spread garlic butter on as you like (they made it by adding crushed fresh garlic to soft butter, I used the end of a packet of Lurpak garlic butter.)
Shred some mozzarella and spread over, bake for 12-15 mins and then pile chopped seasoned tomato and basil on top. Or do what I did and have a small person arrange cold meat on top and grate some cheddar or whatever cheese you have lying about on the top and then bake.

We were eye-glintingly naughty and split and buttered our dough balls, tho you could just use them to mop up your lovely fat-free salad dressing...
Either way, enjoy!

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