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Chicken in Garlic Sauce

Chicken in Garlic Sauce

Many many years ago a large Philippine newspaper asked my Mom if she wanted to be featured in their food column.  Despite my lack of food knowledge I volunteered to take her place and be interviewed.

So I made my signature dish of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

The lady who interviewed me must have thought it strange that not once during the interview did I enter the kitchen.  After we chatted for twenty minutes or so, my Mom brought out a large platter of a juicy roast chicken adorned with a generous amount of garlic which I claimed I had made earlier.  The interviewer raved about how delicious the chicken was, how the garlic was not too strong and how the chicken was simply cooked to perfection… the best she ever tasted.

I think it’s only right to once and for all set the story straight.

The truth is, all credit for that dish should have gone to my Mom who spent the better part of the morning marinating, stuffing and roasting the chicken, plus making a strawberry cake for dessert.  I, on the other hand,  sat back, basked in the limelight and answered the interviewer’s questions.

So I’m coming clean with my version of a roast chicken in garlic sauce.   This chicken is first pan fried and then finished off in the oven with slow roasted garlic and chicken stock which is then reduced into a sticky, garlicky sauce.  Finally, a sprinkle of parsley to finish.

And, if you’ll take my word for it, this recipe is just as good as the one I didn’t make many years ago.

Chicken in Garlic Sauce

Serves 2

  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 chicken quarters (your choice of supreme or marylands)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  1. Place the garlic on a piece of foil and season with salt and pepper and drizzle a tablespoon of oil over it. Wrap the garlic cloves with foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 c for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap the foil
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and heat a pan with oil until very hot. Place the chicken pieces (skin side down) on the skillet and fry the skin until nicely browned, around 5 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and place the garlic cloves in the pan.
  3. With the back of a fork, press the cloves of garlic to remove the flesh of the garlic from the skin and add the 200 ml of stock.
  4. Place the skillet in the oven (which is still at 180 c) for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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Cocido Madrileño

Cocido Madrileño

I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a struggle to come up with a “dish that I would most like to have for my birthday” for this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club challenge. I have been so busy with the new job and getting everything ready for the sale of our old house, I hardly had anytime to cook.  Luckily, my Mom came to the rescue when she found out I had to make something for January’s theme. She declared that she was going to make Cocido Madrileño for Sunday lunch.  So this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club dish is brought to you by:

Jen (www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com)
Maribel (http://www.foodgeek.webs.com)

and of course… The Blog Monster.

Growing up, I don’t think I knew any other Sunday activity than to go to my Grandmother’s (Mama) house for Sunday lunch.  The house was constantly full of people from my Mama’s seven children, their spouses, all the grandchildren (fourteen), and other uncles and aunts.  Of course, overseeing the daunting task of feeding us all was my Mama.  I remember there was the “big” table where all the uncles and aunts would sit and the “small” table for all the children.  At a certain age,  the kids would eventually graduate to being able to enjoy sitting at the “big” table depending on who made it to lunch that day and whether there was space for them…  But, at the head of the table was always my Mama who meticulously oversaw the menu.

Cocido Madrileño was one of my favourite dishes that easily fed the throng of hungry people that made it to Sunday lunch.  The dish is essentially a medley of meat and vegetables that is simmered for hours resulting in a rich broth or  caldo, that is served alongside the dish.  In my Mom’s version, the meats she uses includes pork belly, beef ribs, chorizo, chicken and these meatballs or pelota (my favourite). If you can find it, adding some blood sausage or morcilla would be a welcome addition too.   As a kid, I remember the hardest thing about having Cocido for lunch was having to sit at the “small” table and waiting for all the adults to serve before we could have our share.  The wait was pure torture.

So if I had to pick a dish that I’d like to have on my birthday – it would be this one. Because birthdays are all about being with the ones your love and if you’re going to be inviting lots of people to help you celebrate, then you might as well make sure you have enough good food to go around.

Cocido Madrileño

Cocido Madrileño

Cocido Madrileño

Cocido is a very flexible dish so feel free to add or change the meats and vegetables you use depending on your taste or what is available. For example, instead of the beef ribs, you could use beef brisket, instead of the smoked ham hock, substitute a slab of bacon or jamon. My husband and I once went to a famous restaurant in Madrid called La Bola that served Cocido with fideos (Spanish noodles)… you could also add that to the soup as well. You will notice I haven’t given exact quantities to this dish as the quantities depend on how many people you are serving this dish to. I always make sure to make more than I need anyway, but that’s because I like dicing the leftover meat and vegetables to make a hearty soup with the rest of the broth for another day.


  • Pork belly
  • Beef ribs, or chuck
  • Chorizo
  • Smoked ham hock
  • Chicken, cut into pieces
  • Pelota (recipe follows)

Vegetables & Aromatics

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaf
  • Garbanzos (Chickpeas), soaked overnight
  • Pumpkin
  • Potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • Carrots, cut into large chunks
  • Stringbeans, tied into little bunches to make it easier to remove from the pot when done
  • Cabbage, cut into eights

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 Cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed


  • 500 grams pork
  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the pelota, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, shape into balls and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Place the meat and chickpeas, (exclude the chicken and the pelota) in a large pot and fill with water, making sure to have enough water to cover the meats. Add the onion, garlic, peppercorns and bayleaf, take the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once it has reached a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and skim the surface of the pot for any scum. The meat will need around two hours to soften.
  3. After two hours, add the chicken, chorizo, pelota, vegetables and continue to simmer another thirty minutes.
  4. For the tomato sauce, saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil, add the diced tomatoes and cook for around 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  5. To serve, separate the meats and slice them. Then remove the vegetables, place them in platters. Serve with the caldo, tomato sauce and warm crusty bread.

For more great Kulinarya Recipes – check here.

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Pumpkin Pasta with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Pasta with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Let me tell you about a day in the life of Trissalicious.

I get up a little before 6 am and take my two labradors for an hour long walk. Then I go to work, where I spent a good nine or ten hours of the day. When I get home, I cook dinner, eat dinner, do house chores, pay bills, answer emails and occasionally find the time to blog. The blogging is a whole different affair altogether. There’s cooking, taking photos, writing, editing and because these things don’t come as naturally to me, even more editing. I admit, I do find it difficult to juggle everything and hardly find time for anything else.

Once on holiday I bought a book on how to be more philanthropic but sadly, after the holiday I never got past the first two chapters.

One day my husband gave me a book from one of his trips to London. The hotel he stayed in had given each guest a book called Change the World 9 to 5 and he handed me his copy. I was sceptical. I had a back log of two weeks worth of laundry, hadn’t had time to visit my favourite blogs – how was I going to find the time to “change the world”?

I’m glad though I gave the book a second chance. The book is filled with simple, practical things we can all do during the work day to make a difference. Many of these things seem very small, but do really have far reaching consequences.  Some are even fun to do:

  • Leave work on time at least once a week
  • Praise people
  • Share your lunch with someone
  • Lose the plastic cup
  • Speak rather than email
  • Smile when you answer the phone

If you’re interested to “Change the World 9 to 5” or are just interested more to learn about it – I’ve stumbled upon this website. Small action x Lots of people = BIG CHANGES.  Have a look – and tell me – what small actions will you be doing today?

Fresh Pasta with Pumpkin, Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

  • 400 grams fresh pasta (a recipe can be found here)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 500 grams peeled and cubed pumpkin (I used Japanese pumpkin variety)
  • 50 grams mascarpone
  • 50 grams pine nuts, toasted
  • 75 grams goat cheese, crumbed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions over low heat until translucent (around 5 minutes). Add some salt and pepper as well.
  2. Add the pumpkin to the pan and continue to cook for around 20 or so minutes until the pumpkin is soft enough such that you can mash it with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Using a stick blender or food processor, blend the pumpkin/onion mixture until smooth and then add the mascarpone. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Toss the pumpkin sauce over fresh pasta and serve with toasted pine nuts and crumbed goat cheese.

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