Firstly I apologise for not posting last night but I had a bit of a culinary disaster which prevented me from operating anything electric. I think in this particular case, I can be a bad workman and blame my tools ... namely a temperamental combi-oven type thing which managed to blow almost every fuse in the house at around mid-night last night. I took a notion to make a chocolate loaf cake as I have now eaten this in two different festival-come-cake sale things which happen a lot here. The chocolate loaf looks a bit like bread, but it errs on the cake side and is absolutely delicious.
Well if it is made properly that is, in a conventional oven with the correct ingredients and temperature applied.
I will not elaborate further but it is sufficient to say that in order to operate the oven I had to turn off every other running electrical device in the house, like my n.b.f. the dishwasher. The cake in the loaf tin still managed to explode, open like a volcano with the top crust bit giving off a pungent yellow and possibly even sulphuric, smoke, and this is after a mere 15 minutes at 170 degrees. My next purchase might be an oven thermometer, or possibly a new oven. Lets say no more, I will try again as I am too stubborn to let it defeat me, but maybe I will save it for a day where there is some patience left over!
Getting quickly over that and having finally gotten rid of the toxic fumes (thankfully we live at the top of the house and so have no neighbours above us), I will stick for the time being to safe things like toast and egg, or maybe a bit of chicken.
This is a very simple dish which an be prepared in advance as the chicken is marinated, cooks really quickly (in a non-stick pan, griddle or barbeque) and is flavourful and delicious.
For 2 people, you will need:
2 organic/free range skinless chicken breast fillets
6-8 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 organic courgettes, small and firm
2 cloves of garlic
Fresh herbs, chopped - thyme, parsley, rosemary, basil
black pepper and sea salt
To prepare and marinade the chicken breasts, make a long horizontal cut across the breast leaving it joined at one side. Open it up and lay over a sheet of cling film. With a meat hammer (I used an empty wine bottle), flatten the meat gently. Do not batter it to death completely, just enough to give you a nice flat piece of chicken about 4-5 cm thick.
Take the chicken and lay it in a shallow dish and add the marinade of oil, lemon juice, garlic, chopped herbs and salt and pepper. The lemon juice in this marinade will tenderise the meat to give you a juicy tender meat. Leave it for at least half a day or longer, just make sure that you have cling film tightly covering the chicken, press it right down on top of the meat to eliminate any air in case it might dry out in places.
Slice the courgettes using a sharp vegetable peeler or mandolin into fine ribbons. These can also be marinaded in oil, garlic and basil and some salt and pepper and left in a separate dish in the fridge for the same length of time as the chicken.
This is a great recipe as you can you can prepare this all the night before and it then only takes a few minutes to cook. The chicken can also be cooked on the barbeque and eaten in a toasted bap.
Simply grill the chicken on a non-stick frying pan or if you are lucky enough to have a cast iron griddle, this is perfect. It should only take 2 or 3 minutes on each side for the chicken to cook through.
Simultaneously add the courgettes to a pan of boiling water for a few minutes until just tender. Strain and serve on a warm plate. Place the cooked chicken piece on top and serve. To make a sauce if you think you need it you can - the pan with some white wine for a few minutes, strain and drizzle over the chicken - but I think that some freshly grated black pepper is best.
This is simple and the flavour of the fresh herbs come through to give a lovely juicy piece of chicken.
Unfortunately I have no photograph of the finished item, it was eaten as quickly as it was plated by hungry hardworking people - the best people to feed - they never complain!