Lunch / Supper

Sticky Chicken

If you’re looking for a quick and healthy dish that the family will love, then this recipe is one worth trying.

A dish that you will find in most Jewish households on a Friday night is Sticky Chicken and it’s no wonder that it is a family favourite – its delicious, sticky and super sweet. The problem is that it is loaded with sugar and all the additives found in most ready-made sauces (probably one of the biggest reasons that it is loved so much!).

Looking at some sticky chicken recipes and all the unhealthy ingredients that go into making it, I decided to make my own healthy version the dish.

This really is a super easy recipe and can be served up as a healthy meal for the entire family. Portions can also be frozen and defrosted in the fridge ahead of serving it up.

If you would prefer to use chicken on the bone instead of breasts, increase your oven baking time by 20 minutes and brown the pieces in a pan with a little olive oil before baking them. Use this marinade for easy chicken kebabs or even for red meat, fish and tofu too (adjusting your cooking time as needed)!

What you’ll need:

  • 6-8 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Passata sauce
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tin peaches in fruit juice (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or celery salt
  • 4-5 cracks black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

To serve:

  • 2 Tbs finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Bring all the sauce ingredients to the boil in a medium sauce pan.
  • Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half and is sticky in consistency.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  • Purée the mixture using a hand blender (the sauce can be slightly lumpy, no need to be totally smooth).
  • Place the chicken into a casserole dish and pour over the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Slice the chicken breast into pieces and toss together with the sauce. Sprinkle over the spring onion and sesame seeds (if your little one doesn’t mind them!) and serve over rice, veggies, whole-wheat noodles or baked potato. Enjoy!

*The above recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.
*Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.
Recipes

Scrumptious Chicken a la King

If you’re looking for a nutritious and scrumptious version of the old classic Chicken a la King then this recipe is one worth trying for the entire family. It combines only the most nutritious ingredients for growing little people and can be adapted to your family’s dietary needs.

Why I love this recipe…

This recipe is a hearty one for winter and a delicious way to combine chicken and veg. It uses both green and red peppers which are higher in vitamin C than oranges and are perfect choices for keeping colds and flu at bay! I used full-fat milk in this recipe which is essential for your little one’s growing needs – for more on the benefits of opting for full fat dairy before your child turns two have a read here: The Skinny on Dairy . If anyone in your family has a dairy allergy or intolerance then rather opt for dairy-free milk to make the sauce for this recipe.

Slightly older babies and toddlers can enjoy this as is, while slightly younger babies may need to have this pureed to a finer consistency (I used a hand-blender to make the mixture slightly smoother for my son the first time he tried it).

You can choose to use any vegetables of your choice to keep changing things up. For slightly fussier eating little ones, I would recommend chopping veggies into teeny tiny pieces. For children older than a year and for the rest of the family, you can add 1 tsp of salt to this nutritious Chicken a la King recipe for some added flavour.

*What you’ll need:

  • 1 packet free-range chicken breasts (4-5 breasts)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper finely chopped
  •  1 handful parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 Tbs thyme
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs flour of your choice
  • 1 cup milk of your choice

Method:

  • On a high setting, heat up 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a pan.
  • Add the chicken breasts and thyme and brown the chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side.
  • Add the water, turn the heat down to a medium heat, put a lid on the pan and allow the breasts to simmer for 6 minutes.
  • Once the breasts are cooked through, leave them in the liquid in the pan and set aside.
  • In another pan, heat up 1 Tbs of olive oil on a high heat.
  • Add the garlic and onion and fry until the onion is glassy.
  • Add the peppers and mushrooms and stir fry for 5-7 minutes.
  • Once cooked turn the heat off.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the other pan and reserve some of liquid.
  • Slice/shred the breasts very finely or even break them up using your hands.
  • Add them to the peppers and mushroom mixture and set aside.
  • Add 2 Tbs of the olive oil on a low heat.
  • Slowly add the flour and alternate with the milk, adding little bits of each at a time, stirring with a spoon at you go to form a paste.
  • Turn the heat up and add some of the liquid you reserved from the chicken (use around 1/4 cup).
  • Once the mixture starts bubbling, turn it down to a medium heat, stir and allow to reduce slightly (you want a mixture that coats the back of the spoon). Then turn off the heat.
  • Combine your sauce with your chicken and veg mixture.
  • Lastly add some chopped parsley and serve with brown rice/ Basmati rice or even cous cous.

If you are using fresh chicken breasts you can freeze individual portions of the recipe and thaw them as you need them. This recipe makes about 4-10 portions (depending on the age of your little one).

Remember that any food you store in your fridge should be kept in an airtight container to avoid any kind of contamination that could make your baby or toddler ill. For more on preparing and storing food like a pro, read further here.

*This recipe may need to be adapted if your child has an allergy to any of the above mentioned ingredients.