Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Do you remember having alphabet soup as a kid?? When I saw these alphabet pasta shapes at our local ALDI I just had to buy some! More for me than anyone else. Possum has been really getting into the alphabet lately and can even sing the whole alphabet song (proud beaming mumma over here! hello!). I thought this would be a fun way for her to play, learn and enjoy delicious homemade chicken alphabet soup. Possum makes soup at most meals. This involves putting a bit of everything into her cup of water, stirring it and then drinking it……… delicious……

This Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken. A nice bonus when you’re using meal planning is this 2 for 1 kind of cooking! Less fuss, less stress and less cost. Bingo!

And yes I did have just a bit of fun picking out the letters to spell “alphabet” for my nice pic up the top ūüôā You likey? I used a Lego keyring (guess who owns that one!) as my lighting. So fancy! So professional!

Alphabet Noodles

As a little side story, it’s funny how sometimes the universe knows things way before you do. I cooked this soup on Saturday night. I did the grocery shopping during Saturday day, I normally do it Monday. I also strangely had the house pretty darn clean and organised by the time I went to bed that night. Plus Possum hadn’t had any Mummy Milk for 3 days… That night I was rushed to hospital with bleeding. I am 30 weeks pregnant and have placenta praevia. Legoman was out bush and out of phone reception. Not a fun situation.

To cut a long story short, I am now home again after a couple of nights in hospital. Both baby and I are absolutely fine. I was joking that had the hospital had a kitchen, a DSLR and wifi I could’ve happily blogged whilst there! Instead I used up all my data on my phone reading everyone else’s blogs (I found a few new ones here and here)!

Easy Chicken Noodles Soup cooking

Easy Chicken Alphabet Noodle Soup – Serves 4

For the broth:

Leftover Roast Chicken (I had nearly half a chicken left), skin and bones included

3 carrots very roughly chopped

1 onion peeled and quartered

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

a pinch of salt

1/2 red capsicum very roughly chopped

5 cups of water

large handful fresh parsley

For the remainder of the soup

1/2 cup of alphabet soup noodles

2 carrots sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

1. Place all ingredients for the broth into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10-11 hours. Or do as I did and start it on high for a few hours while you go do the grocery shopping then turn in to low until close to dinner time.

2. After cooking the broth, strain it through a pasta strainer. Strip chicken carcass of as much meat as you can. I still had nearly half a chicken on my leftovers so this was quite a meaty soup.

3. Add the strained broth and chicken meat to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add your sliced carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add your alphabet pasta and broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Then serve! It’s really that crazy simple!!

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can easily make the broth by sitting all the ingredients in a large saucepan on very low heat on the stove top. You could reduce the cooking time this way too.

I could’ve tried to style this soup, but really it’s such a kiddie classic and nostalgic wonder, I just had to put a picture of Possum’s cute little pink bowl and teaspoon instead. I hope your family enjoys this Easy Chicken Noodle Soup!

Toddler Serve of Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

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Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme

Everybody loves a good homemade roast chicken! Well maybe the vegans and vegetarians don’t… but everyone else loves a homemade roast chicken! I love the simplicity, ease and minimal cost that comes with such a delicious and soul satisfying meal. I also love that my whole family enjoys sitting down and sharing a lovely roast chicken. It makes an ideal toddler dinner and is wonderful for baby led weaning too.

My Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme was just what the doctor ordered today after a day at work, a toddler who hadn’t slept, plus minimal supplies in the fridge and pantry. Hello trusty garlic and home grown herbs! A few minutes chopping and prepping and you will have a wonderful meal in the oven. You can then spend the next hour that it’s cooking catching your breath, enjoying a¬†hot cup of tea (put Play School on, seriously) or getting some odd jobs done (that cup of tea is looking mighty fine).

Roast Chicken Possum

The wonderful thing with Roast Chicken is that the story doesn’t end at that first meal. Leftovers can be used to make:

  • freezable sandwiches for work and school lunches. Simply put chicken and mayonnaise on a sandwich, wrap in Cling Wrap then freeze. On the day you want one, take it out and let thaw in your bag. By lunch it will be perfect!
  • healthy and delicious homemade chicken stock
  • kid friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme – serves 4

1 1-1.5kg chicken (preferable free range or organic)

3-10 cloves of garlic, peeled (depending on how much you love it!)

5 fresh sage leaves finely chopped

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1 leek (secret ingredient!), sliced and rinsed

3 medium potatoes, washed, cut into wedges

1 medium sweet potato, washed, cut into chunks or wedges

1. Preheat oven to 200¬įC.

2. Slice your leek and rinse in a colander under running water. This is very important as the many layers of a leek hide a lot of dirt and grit. Place sliced leek in a large roasting pan.

3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Place chicken on top of the sliced leek.

4. Place desired number of garlic cloves in the cavity and you can also pierce the flesh and push the bulbs into the chicken itself. I also like to cut one clove in half and rub it over the skin.

5. Place your chopped vegetables around the chicken.

6. Drizzle both chicken and vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place herbs over the top of the chicken.

7. Place roasting pan in the oven to roast for 25 minutes per 500g of chicken. I had a 1.4kg chicken and roasting for 1h 15 minutes.

8. Now for the hot tip… When you take the chicken out of the oven, place it upside down either in the pan or on a plate to rest, covered in foil. This allows all the lovely juices to run back into the chicken breasts and keep them lovely and moist. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving up.

Serve your delicious Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme with the roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and some steamed vegetables (Possum loves her carrots and broccoli). Nom nom nom.

roast chicken

***Want something delicious for dessert? Check out my Egg Free Spiced Pear Cake.

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Delicious and Easy Chicken Schnitzel

Easy and Delicious Chicken Schnitzel

Once you’ve written Chicken Schnitzel a few times it starts to look super ridiculous! Chicken Schnitzel. Chicken Schnitzel. Chicken Schnitzel. Teehee. Anyway! This delicious and easy, very easy, chicken schnitzel was a way to use up the last bit of Buttermilk in the fridge after making Possum’s Birthday Cake¬†and also these delicious Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones. Every meal planners dream! No food waste!

The weather in the mountains yesterday was cold and misty, perfect for a belly warming schnitzel teamed with creamy (and I mean creamy, I used pure cream and butter) mashed potato, roast pumpkin and steamed vegetables. Nom nom nom nom.

This version of Chicken Schnitzel is also egg free, so allergy friendly. Hurray! If you can’t do gluten you can substitute the bread crumbs for rice crumbs or gluten free bread crumbs. Rice crumbs actually turns out super crunchy.

This would be a great meal to make if you had a bit of mummy anger going on after a rough day as you get to bash the chicken with something heavy. Just watch your knuckles! I learnt the hard way.

This is a lovely meal for the whole family to enjoy with enough variety on the plate to ensure something for everyone.

I was thinking this would be a big hit with Possum as she loves chicken. But by the end of dinner she had eaten all her vegetables and wanted more vegetables but had hardly touched her chicken or mash. Clearly what her body wanted. Poor old mummy got to gobble up her serve of chicken schnitzel after Possum was asleep. Yes, I am a human seagull.

Can I just say, as delicious as Chicken Schnitzel is, it ain’t very photogenic. But the photo below shows you my secret weapon to a good Chicken Schnitzel. My marble rolling pin. This also doubles as my home security system. This baby has some serious weight to it and flattens out a chicken breast in minimal time and effort. Possum was also using it to practice her weight lifting skills (with my very nervous supervision).

Chicken Schnitzel Secret Weapon

Delicious and Easy Chicken Schnitzel – Serves 2 adults and 2 kidlets

2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthways (to make them a bit flatter)

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (amp this up if you like a bit more of a kick to your schnit)

salt and pepper

1-2 cups of breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

After you¬†have sliced your chicken breasts lengthways, lay down a large piece of baking paper, place 1-2 chicken pieces on the paper, then cover with another equal sized piece of baking paper. Use something heavy to hit the chicken (thanks to my marble rolling pin I don’t have to hit very hard) until the chicken is 5-10mm thick. Set aside flattened chicken and repeat with remaining pieces.

In a bowl mix together buttermilk, mustard and salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. Then, using tongs, remove each piece and coat in bread crumbs. To make this easier I place the crumbs on a dinner plate, starting with ~1 cup, and add more if needed (another little kitchen hack is to place crumbs and chicken in a plastic bag and shake to coat). Place crumbed pieces on a clean plate ready to cook.

Meanwhile get your vegetables sorted. I roasted pumpkin pieces in the oven at 180¬įC in some olive oil, boiled some potatoes (ready for mashing) and steamed some broccoli, beans and carrots.

When you’re ready, heat oil over medium heat in a non stick pan, preferably cast iron (I love my cast iron pans). There should be about 2mm of oil in the whole base of the pan.

Place 1-2 chicken pieces in the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes each side until beautiful and golden. Place cooked pieces on paper towel. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Serve with all your delicious veg and enjoy!

Easy and Delicious Chicken Schnitzel 2

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Gotta Love That Leon

I have been MIA as of late. Just a few things going on. Like getting a skin cancer cut out of my head (8 stitches… wear suncream people), parenting a wonderful toddler (who has a sign for yabby, so so proud), family holidays and buying a house!!!!! Eeeeeeep!! Every now and then I have a little sticky beak at my stats and am amazed to see one blog post keep getting visited every day nearly. And that is my Leon’s Not Too Spicy Chicken Cous Cous Recipe. Turns out I’m not the only Leon nut out there. There’s more of you!! Hello! ūüôā

Not too long ago the Leon brand celebrated it’s 10th birthday. Happy Birthday delicious Leon! To celebrate they were giving away free food… Sigh. If only they shipped to Australia. It made me drool to read their giveaways but it also made me pull out my Leon cookbooks and have a nice stroll through the wonderful recipes on offer.

I decided to make Coconut Chicken and Petit Pois Curry from Leon: Naturally Fast Food. I got home from the supermarket and had the car unpacked by 4:30. Dinner was cooked and ready to go by 4:52. Booya! And it has minimal ingredients! Huzzah! I was so impressed with the speed, ease and deliciousness I just had to share with y’all. So here you go…

Leon’s Coconut Chicken and Petit Pois Curry

6 chicken breasts (i think i only used 4… not as cheap as I remember)

25g butter (any recipe that specifies butter not oil is a winner already)

2 teaspoons of nigella seeds (black onion seeds, worth looking for)

2 tablespoons tikka paste

300ml coconut milk (my tin was 270ml)

200g frozen peas

salt and pepper

coriander to serve (not essential)

1. Slice the chicken into strips.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan. Add the chicken and nigella seeds and cook for between 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Stir in the tikka paste, coconut milk and peas. Bring gently to the boil, stirring all the time, and simmer for a minute or two.

4. Season to taste, add the coriander if you have it. Serve and enjoy with some yummy rice!

Leon’s Coconut Chicken and Petit Pois Curry

Affordability : MODERATE.¬†Chicken breasts aren’t that cheap but it makes enough for leftovers.

Time Factor : EXCELLENT. Full prep and cooking in under 30 minutes!

Complexity : LOW. Very easy, would be one big kids could make or tired frazzled mummies.

Deliciousness : MODERATE. Tasty warming curry. Perfect for a cold wintery night.

Mess : LOW. Curry pot and rice pot. Save yourself dealing with a raw chicken chopping board and buy the presliced chicken.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Protein, carbs and some veg on the side.

Possum Friendly? YES. She ate all of it!!!!!! A rarity at the moment. Turns out she really enjoys green peas.

Would I make it again? Yes, probably after a busy day.

***no photo tonight, technology doesn’t want to cooperate***

Cooking for an invisible crowd

I come from a long line of “feeders”. Come to my house and I will feed you. Feeling down? Let me feed you. Having a baby? Let me feed you! A bit bored? Pick me! I will feed you!

Sometimes though my need to feed turns into cooking a heck of alot of food and then searching for someone to feed. Doesn’t always work. Turns out most of our friends can feed themselves…

Yesterday I cooked two chickens and enough potato bake to feed a football team. Why two chickens? Because one looked so lonely in the slow cooker. And why the massive potato bake? I had a litre of cream that was in need of using up before turning to sour cream. I was hopeful that Possum would eat some chicken as it’s the only meat she’s eating at the moment. And I figured she should love potato bake, I mean, who doesn’t? Turns out she hardly ate any chicken. But she did eat a piece of carrot and a piece of potato out of the potato bake! Woo! Small wins for this fussy little fuss pot. Serve her the same thing today though and wouldn’t touch it. Go figure.

The potato bake is a stupidly easy and delicious combination. The recipe is thanks to one of my mothers group lovely mummies, thankyou Kirsty!! To make it simply combine 4 potatoes, a sweet potato and an onion chopped with some dried mixed herbs, 1 litre of cream and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Chuck it all in the oven for 1 hour. Put some grated cheese on top and then back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Voila!

The chickens were also crazy easy. But it did involve skinning them….. ewww. I nearly dropped some chicken skin on Possum’s head. Mega ewwwww. To make the chicken simply place a large chook or two small ones in the slow cooker. Mix together some garlic, ginger, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, worstechire sauce, apple sider vinegar and honey. Pour over the chooks and then cook on low for 6 hours. When they are done the whole bird will literally fall apart. I tried lifting them out with tongs only to be left holding a single bone.

Slow Cooked Chicken and Potato Bake

Affordability : Moderate. Two small free range chooks cost me about $15. The cream was the other semi costly item. But the number of serves you get is hefty!

Time Factor : MODERATE.¬†Took a few minutes to skin the chooks (shudder…) but once everything and prepped then it’s just a matter of time to wait til it’s all done.

Complexity : LOW. Super easy.

Deliciousness : MODERATE. Good simple comfort food for winter. The chicken is tasty but nothing amazing. The potato bake on the other hand is mmm mmm mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Mess : LOW. Just your slow cooker and a bit pot for the bake. We also microwaved a few green veg to have on the side too.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Complex carbs, protein, veg and fat. Yum!

Possum Friendly? YES. Lovely soft meat which is easy for bubs to chew, plus the bonus of leg bones to gnaw on. The potato bake has easy to hold pieces and you can picke and choose which veg to throw in. I added a carrot and a parsnip.

Would I make it again? Potato bake, certainly. The chicken, will probably not cook a whole chook in the cooker in a hurry. Legoman wasn’t too keen about picking out all the tiny bones.

Potato Bake

Potato Bake

Brrrrrrrrrr

Winter has well and truly settled into our beautiful Blue Mountains. The mornings are crisp and frosty. My drive to work has to be one of the most beautiful in the world! I meander down Mt Vic pass with amazing cliff lines pushing up from a blanket of mist. The days are bright and sunny, perfect for getting out and about, with the air leaving cheeks rosy and noses runny.

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It’s also the kind of weather to really get into comfort food! Every magazine cover seems to boast “Winter Warmers! Slow Cooked Wonders!”. I know they make me stop and have a flick through. One absolute dinner win has been a Vietnamese Chicken Curry done in my nifty slow cooker using chicken drumsticks (scored for $2.08 in the Quick Sale section at Woolies! Booya!).

The¬†recipe¬†is from the I Quit Sugar For Life cookbook (a great book with heaps of yummy recipes even if you keep eating sugar!). For a slow cooker recipe it took me a while to make. I mean days. First the chicken had to defrost out of the freezer. That took two days. Then I made the marinade and let the chook sit overnight. Then a slow afternoon of cooking. But boy was the flavour worth it! Absolutely my favourite slow cooker recipe so far! It’s the lemongrass in it that’s the real winner so don’t try to cut corners and leave it out. Served over a bed of yummy rice, it’s a belly warming winter wonder.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Affordability :¬†Moderate. Once you buy your meat, curry paste, coconut milk and lemongrass the cost starts to climb but you do get heaps of leftovers. Look out for chicken on quick sale and keep in the freezer until it’s needed. Drumsticks or lovely legs are both ideal for this!

Time Factor : MODERATE. Took a little while to make the marinade, plus I let it marinate overnight though you could marinate in the morning and get it all cooking at lunch time ready for 5pm dinner.

Complexity :¬†LOW.¬†As long as you can mix things together in a slow cooker you’ll be fine.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. Yummy yum yum yum. Mmmmmmmmmmmm mmm.

Mess : MODERATE. A bowl to marinate the chicken, plus a chopping board and your slow cooker. Oh and a rice pot.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Sweet potato, carrot, meat and rice make me a happy and full.

Possum Friendly? YES.¬†Possum loves eating meat off the bone, especially chicken. So this was a clear winner for her! She wasn’t crash hot on the vegetables though, but i served her a side of her favourite thing… mushrooms.

Would I make it again? Yup! You betcha!

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Meal Plan 30/3 – 5/4

SUNDAY / showers 18

Grilled Lemony Herb Chicken with Leftover Risotto and Vegetables

MONDAY / possible shower 21

Ants Climbing A Tree

TUESDAY / partly cloudy 22

Rissoles and Vegetables

WEDNESDAY / shower or two 23

Fish with Pumpkin and Silverbeet Tian

THURSDAY / shower and chance of a storm 21

Chicken Pesto Pasta

FRIDAY / shower or two 16

Spinachy Bean Burger Tacos

SATURDAY / a few showers 19

Leftover Pies