Top tips for cooking with chilli
Chillies may be small, but they pack a punch and can elevate the simplest chicken dishes. Here’s how to use them in your cooking:
- Always slice chillies open lengthwise, remove the seeds, and finely chop.
- Don’t be too enthusiastic. Add chilli in small increments and taste as you go.
- Add chilli to your breakfast eggs or omelette. They’ll wake you up!
- Cool your dishes down by serving yoghurt on the side. Dairy counteracts capsaicin, the active (hot) compound in chilli.
- Take it from us: Never touch your eyes or nose after working with chilli.
What’s for lunch, Mom?
Freshen up your kids’ lunchboxes with these fabulous new takes on the chicken sandwich:
- Chicken mayo with carrot strips, cucumber half-moons and gherkins for extra crunch.
- Shredded roast chicken with crispy bacon bits, sweetcorn and cream cheese.
- Sliced, cooked chicken breasts with grated cheddar cheese and basil pesto.
- Chicken nuggets, lettuce and bread cubes, threaded onto kebab sticks.
- Caprese snackwiches with chicken strips, mozzarella, tomato slices and basil leaves.
Savoury waffle sandwiches with chicken steaklets, mayo and salad greens.
Pantry staples for cooler days
Nobody feels like doing a grocery run when it’s raining or freezing. Here’s a handy checklist of what to keep in your kitchen pantry to minimise those last-minute trips:
Eat fresh, local and seasonal
Using the seasons as your guide for purchasing fresh produce is healthy, delicious and economical.
When you buy fresh, local produce at the time that it’s harvested, you’re purchasing foods that are high in nutrients, delicious, and usually a lot cheaper than foods that have travelled far.
It’s also a great way of supporting the producers in your area. Plus, if you buy local, you’ll be doing the planet a favour (no fuel-guzzling air miles to get the food from the farm to your table).
Pair your fresh chicken with these wonderful ingredients this autumn. Right now, they’re in peak supply:
Veggies: Aubergines, beetroot, cauliflower, baby marrows, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, pumpkin.
Fruit: Avocados, figs, grapes, pears, plums, pineapples, apples.
3 ways to lock in freshness!
Keep your favourite cooking ingredients fresher for longer with these easy tips every foodie should know.
Tip #1: Shopping for fresh chicken? When buying chicken, make sure the package feels cold to the touch, and that it’s one of the last items you select before checking out. Once you’re home, place your chicken in the refrigerator as soon as you return to ensure the temperature stays consistent.
Tip #2: Give root veggies a longer shelf-life. Potatoes and sweet potatoes make for fantastic sides. Store these nutritious carbs in a cool, dark place with relatively high humidity. And remember to keep them separate from onions, bananas and other ethylene-producing foods.
Tip #3: Storing pantry staples. The key to keeping onions and garlic fresher for longer is not to refrigerate them. Keep them in a cool, dark place with low humidity, and make sure there’s good circulation. Also remember that they don’t like potatoes and sweet potatoes, so keep these foods elsewhere.
5 cute ways to spoil your Valentine
What would Valentine’s Day be without a few sweet gestures to brighten up your partner’s day?
- Do a treasure hunt. Spread little gifts and clues around the house, ending the search at a beautifully set dinner table. On the menu? Your most delicious roast chicken yet.
- Picnic in the garden. Pack a gourmet picnic basket (BBQ chicken wings and all) and create a magical spot for a picnic in your backyard. Don’t forget soft blankets, cushions and lanterns.
- Bake bread together. Start the evening by trying out a new bread recipe. As soon as it’s ready to eat, serve with gourmet cheese and other indulgent toppings while watching the sunset.
- Get up early and go hiking. Celebrate with a Valentine’s snack at a scenic spot. Surprise your beloved with coffee, home-made rusks and heart-shaped cookies.
- Dig out all your love letters. Sometimes we need to be reminded of those early days when we were head-over-heels in love. Dust off the cards and notes you wrote to each other over the years, grab a glass of something and a nibble to eat, and spend an hour or two together, reading them again.
5 budget-busting shopping tips
More month left at the end of your money? We share a few simple ways to make your rands stretch further.
- Check your eye line
We bet you didn’t know this, but the most expensive items on the grocery shelves are usually at eye level. Instead of grabbing the first thing you need, look up and down to find the more affordable brands.
- Fill up on beans
Beans are a great way to bulk up meals, plus they’re a super source of vitamins and minerals. Although canned beans are good value for money, dried beans are even cheaper. Just don’t forget to soak them overnight.
- Buy in bulk
When your favourite chicken products are on special, consider buying more than you usually would. Just make sure you have enough freezer space.
- Shop according to season
Steer clear of imported fruit and vegetables and choose local, in-season produce (e.g. choose asparagus in the SA spring). You’ll save a lot in the long run.
- Take stock
Don’t throw out any leftover veggie scraps or meat bones. Instead, use them to make chicken stock, which you can freeze.
Master the art of roast potatoes
Potatoes and roast chicken make for a deeply satisfying combo. We share a simple recipe for making perfect potatoes:
Beat the clock
Only have 30 minutes to dish up dinner? With these clever hacks, it’s totally doable.
- Make chicken stock once a month and freeze it in an ice-cube tray. Add stock cubes to sauces and soups as needed.
- Don’t waste time peeling veggies. The peels are delicious and nutritious.
- Make chicken pie in a jiffy by shredding the cooked meat with an electric hand mixer.
- Sauce too runny? Add a dry lasagne sheet. It’ll quickly absorb the excess liquid.
- Place your baking sheet in the oven as it heats up. This will reduce the cooking time of your veggies or schnitzels.
- Invest in a food processor. You’ll never manually chop onions, carrots and celery again!