Since bub arrived, we eat a lot of food that can be cooked quickly in a big batch and then easily frozen.
Chilli is a good one for it (I recommend Nigella Lawson’s one), as is creamed chicken. I ended up creating this recipe after failing miserably at making Jamie Oliver’s chicken pie in under 30 minutes (that 30-minute cookbook is bullshit and I’m not the only one who thinks so). The filling of the pie was quite nice on its own but needed tweaking so I ended up doing a lot of googling and combined several different recipes to end up with this — my take on this Southern American comfort food.
I’m mostly putting it here so I don’t have to search my computer for it every time I want to make it. Well, that, and it’s very nice 🙂
Lisa’s creamed chicken – perfect for freezing
Butter or olive oil for frying
One carrot, two celery sticks, one leek (or similar amount of other veg such as boiled potato, mushrooms, spring onion/onion, etc), chopped into soup-size cubes
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
About a kilo of chicken breast, cubed*
Three rashers of bacon
One sprig fresh thyme or a pinch ground
1 cup frozen peas (or you could use corn if you liked)
Quarter cup of white wine (optional — my partner prefers this without)
Sweet chilli sauce, to taste (optional — my partner prefers with, I prefer without)
Fry up the veg (minus the peas) in the butter or oil until it’s tender, remove from pan, and then fry bacon until crispy and then the chicken, in batches, until pretty much cooked.
While that’s all cooking, heat up the stock in a saucepan then whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add the leaves from the thyme. Turn heat down to medium/low and cook until thickened (it has milk in it, so do make sure to watch that it doesn’t burn).**
Add the sauce to the chicken, along with the cooked and the peas, and wine if using. Season to taste and cook for another five or so minutes until the peas are cooked and everything’s nicely merged.
Serve hot over rice, baked puffed pastry shells or mashed potatoes. Add sweet chilli sauce to taste.
Makes about six serves
* I cut the chicken into very small pieces because reheating bigger pieces tends to make them tough. Traditionally, I think this dish is made with leftover cooked chicken, like from a roast, but I have never in my life had a kilo of leftover chicken just sitting around.
** This step is great for someone else to do while you’re busy frying up everything