Put Some Music In Your Food – Pulled Chicken Reggae Stew

Your Monday morning alarm pulls you away from that warm beach with the waves gently washing over your feet. A quick glance out of the window brings you back to reality as it’s raining and you can see the wind making the trees sway. There’s nothing quite like a miserable cold day in England to get you geared up for a week at work!

There are always ways to cheer up dull days like this, and food is one of them! Give yourself something to look forward to when you get home; Something that doesn’t need lots of preparation. Guess what… I’ve got just the ticket! Pulled Chicken Reggae Stew. Oh yes! Thank you Mr Levi Roots 🙂 A prepare-ahead, easy, warming bowl of comforting goodness! You’ll have your feet up in no-time and ready to take on the rest of the week.

IMG_2659

I don’t have any specific rules to follow when making this dish. It’s great for using up leftover veg in the fridge and it doesn’t have to be chicken either. Mix it up a bit! Pork, Fish, Beef… Experiment! That’s the beauty of Reggae Reggae sauce, it goes well with almost everything. If you are using fish, there is no need to dig the slow cooker out as it will only need 20 minutes when you get in from work. Otherwise, chuck in as much veg as you can, whatever meat you have decided to use, pour over a bottle of Reggae Reggae, turn the slow-cooker to medium and leave your worries at the door. When you get home, the wonderful smell of spices will fill your nostrils and your mouth will water in anticipation! Choose your accompaniments, and tuck in! On this occasion I boiled brown rice with water and truffle oil and served with a generous helping of fresh spinach. Another favourite of mine is to have the stew with sweet potato wedges. The natural sugars in the potatoes fit perfectly with the heat from the sauce. Absolutely delicious!

IMG_2660

What are you waiting for? Go and buy yourself a bottle of Levi’s magical sauce and get adventurous in the kitchen!

Serves 2 (With Leftovers)

Ingredients –
– x2 Skinless Chicken Breasts (Can use thighs too)
– 1 Carrot, roughly chopped
– 1 White Onion, roughly chopped
– 1 cup of Frozen Peas
– 1/2 Fennel Bulb, diced
– 1 jar of Reggae Reggae sauce
– Salt and Pepper to season
– 1/2 tsp of Dried Chilli Flakes (optional if you like it HOT)
– 1 packet of Chestnut Mushrooms, roughly chopped
– 1 cup of Brown Rice w/ Truffle oil (optional)
– x2 handfuls of Spinach
– Few sprigs of Basil to garnish (optional)

Place the chicken breasts in the slow-cooker along with the chopped carrot, onion, peas, fennel, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Turn dial to ‘Medium’

Pour the Reggae sauce over the top and swill the remaining sauce left in the bottle with a little water. Pour this over the chicken too and mix all ingredients together. Place the lid on the dish and leave to cook until you get home from work. Mix in the chopped mushrooms and leave for another half hour whilst cooking the rice.

Once the rice is cooked, thicken the reggae sauce with a little cornflour and water if it’s showing a loose consistency and leave for a couple of minutes whilst you plate up the rice and spinach.

Pull the meat apart with 2 forks and ladle the beautiful stew over the rice. Garnish with a few basil leaves and tuck in!

If it’s a little too spicy, you can always accompany with a spoonful of natural yoghurt to cool the tastebuds.

IMG_2658

Delicious! Next time, I’m going to be using king prawns with chopped pineapple and flatbreads. In fact… it won’t hurt to put some music in my food 2 days in a row… Why wait!

As always, please let me know what you think 🙂 or if you have any ideas/improvements.

Love and Lemons xxx

Smokey Chilli Beef w/ Cornbread Dumplings

If you have a slow-cooker, then this recipe is perfect and will make your mouth water waiting for that tender meat to touch your lips. If not, then it’s equally as good in the oven or on the hob. You just have to have a little more time to keep an eye on it!

I chose to make this particular recipe because I love meat that falls apart and melts in the mouth, but I also love dumplings! I can pretend I’m eating a cross between bread and cake! The fact that they are cornbread dumplings makes the combination even better. I’m hungry again now…

IMG_0368

I’m distracted now by fluffy dumplings and beef enveloped in rich gravy *drools*

Having friends over for dinner is always the perfect opportunity to show off cooking skills without having to spend hours in the kitchen beforehand or during. Beef in the slow cooker first thing in the morning and then make the dumplings half hour before serving. Dinner is on the table and you’ve only spent 10 minutes away from the chatter and wine drinking.

This isn’t a recipe that I altered much at all. In fact, the only thing I changed was swapping chipotle chillies for regular Tesco ones because I had forgotten to buy any and grabbed an alternative on the way home! I also had to watch the spice levels because I was cooking for a friend who doesn’t like anything hot! I will definitely be making this again and ramping up the heat for more of a traditional chilli kick!

I highly recommend when making the dumplings that you use the strongest cheese possible to really get the flavour through. It’s worth every penny in each cheesy bite.

IMG_0370

Cheesy cornbread with beef gravy, a match made in heaven. There surely can’t be anybody who disagrees? The only problem I had was not putting enough fresh coriander in the mixture as I ran out! This also meant I didn’t have any to garnish the dish with before serving. If you grow it yourself, always check your plant has plenty of leaves!

The recipe is originally from Donna Hay. You can find the recipe here, https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/dinners/smoky-chilli-braised-beef-with-cornbread-dumplings If you are from the UK like myself, just be aware that it is an Australian site, so some of the ingredients vary in name J I have turned to Donna Hay a few times, but it’s thanks to Pinterest (of course) that I came across this dinner party and weekend comfort food gem.

1bec773ea1a906256dd969995d72b3a3

I know mine doesn’t quite look like the one above, but who’s got time to faff right?!

If using the slow-cooker like I did, follow all the initial steps like you would for the hob/oven, but turn the slow-cooker on to the medium setting for at least 6/7 hours (or until the meat is just firm enough to hold shape when stirred. At this point, I made the dumpling mixture, transferred the beef to an oven proof dish, spooned the dumpling dough on top and put it uncovered in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, so the final magic could happen. Voila.

Served with peas. Delicious. The recipe serves 8 but only one portion was left after 4 hungry adults and a small child had finished! Now that’s a good sign!

IMG_0369

Lovely to see you back again if you are a returning reader! And if this is your first time with me, thank you!

Until next time….

Love and Lemons xxx

https://www.pinterest.com/lemonskitchen/