16th June 2014
On Sunday, Geoff and I happened upon some markets when we were looking for a Ukulele Festival. We found there some fresh broccoli selling very cheaply and came home with four large clumps of broccoli for $2.00, but what were we going to do with it? It needed to be used immediately and that is why the people were selling cheaply.
An idea came to mind. Last week on Landline (a weekly TV show about agriculture and all things to do with the land) I saw a segment promoting the dreaded Brussels sprout. The man growing them on the land was singing their praises although he did concede that they weren’t the best tasting vegetable ever, however, his two small daughters were picking them off the bush and eating them raw much to our astonishment!
Therefore, Landline got in a very well-known chef to show how to cook Brussels sprouts so they would taste good. They looked and sounded great so I decided to use the same recipe on my broccoli. Luckily I had written down the recipe for the sprouts. And the best part was making soup with the stalks and some other vegetables. So today, you have two for the price of one recipe!
Ta Da … here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Chicken, Broccoli and Caramelised Red Onion Bake
… gives four large serves as main meal
Two medium-sized chicken thigh fillets (breast will do but they can be dry)
4 large clumps of broccoli cut into small florets (cut off stalks to use for soup, recipe below)
2 large red onions/sugar or sweetener (I used a tablespoon apple juice concentrate)
green onions chopped/coriander chopped
Dried breadcrumbs for top
3 cups Milk
2 heaped tablespoons flour of choice
large clove of garlic
grated tasty cheese
Prepare the oven by heating to 190 deg Celsius ready for the bake.
1. Method for Chicken
Slice the chicken fillets in the middle to make them thinner
Coat with some herbs and salt
Shallow fry in olive oil until slightly underdone (they will cook in dish)
Set aside to cool then cut up into bit sized slices to add later.
2. Method for Red Caramelised Onion
Slice the red onions and fry with some oil in shallow pan
After a few minutes add the sugar or sweetener
As the onions cook in the sugar they will begin to caramelise and go soft
Keep cooking whilst doing the broccoli and the white sauce
When tender, turn off and leave on stove until needed.
3. Method for Broccoli
Cook broccoli in boiling salted water until almost tender (they will cook through in dish)
drain and rinse through cold water to retain their green colour (keep about half of the broccoli water for soup)
Put into greased long dish until sauce is made
Add the chicken pieces and red onion amongst the broccoli
4. Method for White Sauce
Put olive oil with some butter in saucepan and fry garlic for a minute
Add the flour and make a roux … cook for a couple of minutes until no longer raw
Add the milk a little at a time using a large whisk after each addition.
When white sauce is the right thickness add the grated cheese, coriander and spring onions.
Putting it all together
Pour the white sauce over the broccoli and chicken in the dish
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs to completely cover the top of the bake
Sprinkle a good olive oil evenly over the breadcrumbs so they will go crisp in the oven.
Bake for 30 mins until the top is crisp and you can see the vegetables are well-cooked
Take out and leave to cool down for at least 10 mins
Serve with a mixed lettuce salad (I used iceberg and baby cos lettuce) and dressing.
This recipe is not what I call simple, but it is a matter of getting the timing right … that’s why I have put the recipe in the order shown above. I am a messy cook and had a bit to clean up as I attempted to get all stages ready at the right time but I’m sure it will be easier the second time.
The wonderful thing about this was, I had broccoli stalks left over and after tea, I used them for the recipe below.
Broccoli and Pumpkin Soup
Chop up broccoli stalks and place in left-over cooking water
Throw in an onion chopped, a piece of pumpkin cut up in pieces,2 teaspoons of chicken stock
Cook for 30 mins until all the vegetables are very tender. Put away in the saucepan overnight for the next day.
When I came home for lunch, I heated up the soup, pureed it, added 2 teas cumin, a good pinch of cayenne pepper and seasoned to taste.
Add 1/2 cup milk of your choice … even coconut milk would be nice
Serve with chopped green onions and a dash of plain yoghurt
Voilà … soup for lunch! Yum yum.