Monday, 6 January 2014

Asian Chicken & Veg Parcels

We have just rung in the new year 2014; the chocolates, biscuits, crisps, cakes etc. etc. are gradually being depleted and our want for a fresh, healthier start is setting in. So here comes a healthy dinner idea, which is nonetheless really flavoursome and satisfying. I have adapted this recipe from Neven Maguire's "Country Living Volume 2" cookbook, which he very kindly gave my husband and I during out stay in MacNean House last summer (ahh - the memories!) It is quick and simple to prepare and would make a perfect weeknight meal. The surprise element to opening up your tasty parcel is also a fun and unique twist!

This recipe serves 4 people (8 parcels). When I make it, I keep 4 uncooked parcels over for my husband and I to cook and eat the second night.

And just to note - when it comes to the vegetables, use what is fresh and what you have in stock and like yourself. The more variety the better!
  • 4 chicken fillets, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (*tip)
  • A dash of chilli flakes/crushed chillis
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped on the diagonal
  • 2 peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 bag of mangetouts or sugarsnap peas, washed and left whole
  • 5 - 6 spring onions, chopped diagonally
  • 200 - 225g can water chestnuts, chopped thinly
  • Rice or noodles** to serve (on day 2, I make fried rice with leftover rice, omelette, frozen peas, spring onions and some soy sauce)
  1. Mix the chicken, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, soy sauce, oyster sauce and about half of the coriander together in a bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least a half an hour. I try to leave it for over an hour, time permitting.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C fan/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4.
  3. Cut out 8 large squares of greaseproof paper as you will be arranging 8 parcels.
  4. Layer each parcel, in the very centre with the veg, mixed nicely, then place the marinated meat on top, finally scatter some more fresh coriander.
  5. To close the parcels, fold in the paper from four sides, until the food is securely enclosed, then turn the parcels upside down, and place them onto a baking tray.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until the parcels are puffed up.
  7. Place two parcels onto each serving plate and serve with your choice of rice or noodles. Yum!
I just set up a Facebook like page yesterday and already have over 100 likes so a big thank you to you all. If you would like to take a look at the Facebook page, you can do so here.

 *When I buy my fresh ginger, I peel it, chop it into smaller chunks, keep it in a bag in the freezer and grate it from frozen when required.
**Gluten-free diets - choose rice noodles.

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