Are you tired of the same ol’ same ol’ fried chicken breasts? So was I. So I tried a new recipe from Donna Hay. And I could do that because it is POTLUCK week with I heart cooking clubs. Good idea!


The chicken is crispy and the coating is similar to a tempura because of the lightness of the rice flour. It’s all good!

    3 chicken breast fillets
    2 egg whites, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons fine rice flour
    2 red chillies, chopped {or dried red pepper seeds}
    3 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
    4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
    3 tablespoons sesame seeds
    2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
    watercress sprigs, to serve

Slice the breast in half into a thinner fillet and then cut those in half. Combine the chicken with the egg whites, chilli, coriander, lime leaves and sesame seeds in a bowl. Heat a frying pan with the oil over medium heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Fry until golden and cooked through {about 3 – 5 minutes each side}. Drain on absorbent paper. Serves 4.

Dipping Sauce

    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon brown sugar

Mix the soy, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine.

This is the first time I have used the kaffir lime leaves because this is the first time I have actually found any. Yay me! You can taste lime when you bite into them, DOH! and then the slight bitterness of the fresh coriander. These were really good! Or they would have been if they had had just a little more flavor. I would definitely advise using just a tad of salt to bring out the other flavors.

The original recipe is on page 116 of Donna’s off the shelf and I found it on her website.

What else is for Potluck this week? Check with IHCC.

Which translates into simple, yummy, spicy chicken in lettuce cups!


Simple because you can purchase ground chicken. Simple because if you make any Asian flavored dishes you have the ingredients in your pantry.

You simply need some chillies, soy sauce, lemon juice, fish sauce, mint leaves and fresh coriander. Yep, in the pantry.

I honestly didn’t think I would like this. The fish sauce doesn’t have the best fragrance in the world. But I did. Now, I’m sorry I only made 1/2 of the recipe. Oh, and I didn’t have the lettuce leaves to serve it in so I used cabbage. A little stiff but not bad as a ‘server’.

The recipe, Kayte’s choice, is on page 124 of Donna’s off the shelf. Did the others like it as well. Check it out at the Wednesdays with Donna Hay website.

Want to join the fun? Just leave us a comment on the website and we’d be glad to add you to the ‘membership’.

Ellie gives us a simple and tasty stir-fry with this one.


The sauce is made with rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, and orange juice with some spices thrown in for good measure. It is sweet but not real sweet. Hot but not real hot. Just right. Plenty of sauce so you could serve it with rice if you wanted.

Check out the Eating with Ellie site for the other’s stir-fry. This was Gaye’s choice. Good one, Gaye!

The recipe is on page 164 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders. If you want to join in the fun the recipes are on the right of web site. Just cook, eat, post.

I wish you could enjoy the fragrances that were wafting through my kitchen as this simple chicken dish was cooking. It was the wine that you could detect. It is the wine that gives this dish its depth of flavor. Well, along with the Parmesan cheese and thyme.


We really liked this dish. I just wish I had had some fresh thyme rather than using ground. I didn’t discover my thyme was not ‘worthy’ until after I had put the ingredients together and got ready to cook it. The color would have been really nice. AND after looking at my pictures I wish I had browned the chicken just a tad longer. Ah, well. The potatoes, simmered in the wine and chicken broth take on the thyme flavor really nicely and the sauce is a great addition to the chicken itself. Definitely a repeat here. Thanks, Chaya, nice pick.

I am pretty sure the other’s liked this as much as we did. Check on our website – Wednesdays with Donna Hay

The Mystery Box this month for IHCC was challenging. Very Challenging. I mean:

    Seaweed Interesting!
    Sesame Seeds
    Mozzarella Cheese
    Brown Sugar

One could go with an Asian Flair.

    A Sweet Treat.
      Or a Pasta.

I took the easy way out – PASTA! But easy wasn’t really EASY!! Because then I had to actually find a recipe with at least THREE of the ingredients which is what the CHALLENGE is all about. At least three ingredients in a recipe from one of our past or present chef.

    Jacques Pepin
    Nigella Lawson
    Mark Bittman
    Giada de Laurentiis
    Jamie Oliver
    Tessa Kiros
    Rick Bayless
    Madjur Jaffrey
    Yotam Ottolenghi
    Donna Hay
    Nigel Slater
    Diana Henry

I was thinking Italian so I was thinking Giada de Laurentiis and after about an hour of cookbook and internet research found this recipe. Four Ingredients!!


    Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

I knew it would be good!!

    1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) {I used a Whole Wheat Penne}
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
    1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup bread crumbs {I found some whole Wheat Panko – worked greatt.}
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.

Put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the chicken is completely cooked and the onions are tender.
Mix the chicken in with the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, salt and pepper.Stir to combine.
Pour the pasta/chicken mix in a greased 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. Mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it on to the pasta mixture.
Dot the top with small bits of butter.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.{Original Recipe}


Okay. This was good. But not great. It needed to be more…well, more Italian. I would have liked it more if there had been more seasonings. Maybe some oregano. Even some Italian seasoning. I would also add more cheese to the dish and a little more liquid. It wasn’t real dry but it was borderline. We liked it enough to make it again but with more seasoning.

Ready for more Mystery. Check out the I Heart Cooking Clubs website and see the rest of the Challenge dishes.

This week’s theme for I heart Cooking Clubs was to find a dish from Jacques Pepin that was NOT FRENCH! THAT as NOT easy. I mean, people, Pepin is French. Why? would he cook non-French food? Because he can. And does. But there aren’t that many dishes out there that don’t have some French ‘flavor’ in them. Including this one with a North African origin – Couscous…

    …is a traditional dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) cooked by steaming. Traditionally it is served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.

But why would Pepin cook Couscous? I think I found the answer.

    Couscous was voted as the third-favourite dish of French people in 2011.

So maybe it IS a French dish after all. Whatever it is it is easy to cook with and can be a delicious dish. this version is Green Couscous.


and is cooked with a mixture of different fresh herbs.

    1 cup loosely packed fresh herb leaves (a mixture of chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil)
    2 garlic cloves
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 cup instant couscous
    1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the herbs, and garlic to 1/4 cup of boiling water in a mini-chopper and process for about 30 seconds, or until the mix is smooth.

Add the couscous and salt to the melted butter in a saucepan and coat the couscous with the butter. Mix in the herb puree and 1/2 cup boiling water. Remove from the heat, cover, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork.

I found the couscous to be a little bland in flavor so I added a little more salt and that helped somewhat. On it’s own it really doesn’t stand out so I decided to do something with it. I stuffed a chicken breast. Not bad.

    Pound the breast til about 1/4″ thick {Mine was not quite thin enough.}Salt and pepper (and maybe some other spices) the interior of the breast and then layer the couscous mixture on the chicken. Roll up jelly roll style and fasten with toothpicks. Season the outside of the roll well. Brown the roll on all sides in an oven proof skillet and then bake at 400 for about 12 – 15 minutes or until done. Remove picks and serve on a bed of couscous.


The seasoning from the chicken ‘leaked’ into the couscous and added more flavor. I will make this one again.

Check out the other non-French dishes over at IHCC.

Today was a fun day in the kitchen. My son is in town and he likes to cook so we made this week’s ‘assignment’ together.


Chicken breasts are poached in a brown sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, and rice wine mixture. Then fried to crispyness. Thus the name, “twice-cooked”. This was good. I served it as Donna suggested with some steamed greens and jasmine rice. Donna listed chicken breasts with skin but I never buy them so went with the skinless. It was still nice and crispy because of the sugar in the poaching sauce. The sauce thickened quite a bit so I thinned it with a little extra soy sauce and drizzled some over the chicken and steamed bok choy.

The recipe is on page 120 of Donna’s off the shelf.

If you would like to join us just check the recipes on Wednesdays with Donna Hay and leave a comment there. We would love to have you. No commitment. Just fun.

And to see how the other members liked the chicken – WWDH.

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 194 other followers