Easy Chicken Tart

It’s been a while since I posted something here, hasn’t it? Please, forgive me! I have to confess (and you’ve noticed already) that I’m not really good at keeping the regularity of the posts. Work and other daily things make me leave the blog for later and when I realize it’s been more than a month since the last post. I need to change that… and I promise I will try harder to do so ūüėČ

To try to redeem myself I picked this recipe… a typical savoury Brazilian tart, which is very versatile, easy and delicious. There is no need to make a crust here. You simply make a batter using a blender and you’re done and the filling can be anything you like. This one I made with chicken, sweetcorn and roasted peppers, but you could use tuna, ham and cheese, mince meat or vegetables. You choose. It is perfect to take to a picnic, for the kid’s lunch boxes or even for your work lunch with a side salad.

Easy Chicken Tart

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Filling

  • 500g chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1/2 jar roasted peppers
  • 100g cream cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180ňöC.
  2. Prepare the filling first. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Sauteé until it starts to become translucent. Add the chicken, which is already cooked and shredded. Season with sal, pepper, paprika or however you like. Add the sweet corn and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  3. For the batter, beat the eggs, oil and milk in a blender. Add the flour slowly until you have a smooth batter. Add the baking powder, salt and parmesan cheese (if using) and beat a little more until all combined.
  4. Grease a baking tin or a pyrex (approximately 23 x 30cm) with batter and sprinkle flour all over it. Pour half of the batter into the tin, spread the filling and add small portions of cream cheese all over it. Cover with the other half of the batter.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until it is baked and lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool a little before cutting into squares and serve.

Yield: 20 medium squares

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Coxinhas

You know what I¬†miss most¬†being¬†away from Brazil¬†(besides my family¬†and friends, who I deeply miss all the time)? It is going to a¬†caf√© or a snack bar (known as ¬†“lanchonete”) in the middle of the afternoon¬†and order a coxinha. Every time I’m at the airport, either arriving or leaving Brazil, I eat a “coxinha” and guaran√°. The only thing I don’t like is having to pay R$10 for it… and that is expensive compared to what you would pay anywhere else.

But you must be wondering, what is coxinha? Well, “coxa” means chicken thigh (drumstick) in Portuguese and “coxinha” means “little thigh”, thus the shape. It’s a fried dumpling filled with shredded chicken. Originally coxinha was made with chicken thighs and that’s where the shape comes from, however it’s common to use chicken breast now.

It’s common in Brazil to make cocktail size coxinhas and serve them in birthday parties, but that you would just buy from some lady who sells them by hundreds. Since I don’t have these ladies around, I had to make my own coxinhas. I have to tell you they can take quite some time to make, but you can freeze them and fry whenever you feel home sick =) Give it a try!

1) Dough after kneaded 2) Coxinhas filled and shaped as drumsticks 3) Frying coxinhas in hot oil 4) Ready to serve

Coxinhas

Recipe from here Nestlé (in Portuguese)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 kg chicken breast
  • 3 medium potatoes (about 300 g)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 150 g butter or margarine
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs
  • enough oil to fry

Preparation

Filling:

  1. Dissolve 3 chicken cubes into 2 cups of boiling water. Place the chicken breast and potatoes into a medium saucepan, add 4 cups of water and the 2 cups of chicken stock. In a medium heat, simmer it until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool. Drain the potatoes and reserve the stock. Mash the potatoes and reserve. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and measure 5 cups, which will be used in the dough. Shred the chicken and reserve.
  3. To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions until slighty golden. Add the shredded chicken, the remaining chicken cube and sauté until well combined and dried. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set this aside and let it cool.

Dough:

In a saucepan, add the mashed potatoes, 5 cups of stock, butter and bring it to the boil. Sprinkle the flour, stirring constantly until well combined and you have no sign of raw flour. Cook for few minutes stirring firmly. Pour the dough into a surface and smoothly knead the dough (it will be hot, so be careful) until it cools to room temperature.

Shaping:

Take a small portion of dough and make a ball, then flatten it on your hand. Add some of the filling and bring all the edges together, shaping it as a drumstick (see picture 2 above). After they’re all shaped, coat them with breadcrumbs, then the beaten eggs, and again with the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil until it is golden. Remove from the oil and drain in kitchen paper.

Freezing:
We can freeze the unfried coxinhas coated in breadcrumbs. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Fry them straight from frozen, but control the temperature of oil so it’s hot enough to fry them not too fast or they will brown on the outside but will still be frozen inside.

Yield: 40 medium size coxinhas

Italian Chicken

I’ve had this cookbook only with chicken recipes for a while, but I hadn’t used it yet. Then I was reading some of the recipes and these one caught my attention because I had most of the ingredients at home (except for the red pesto, which I didn’t use). I decided to give a try and here is the result ūüôā

I find that pictures of cakes, muffins, and desserts are more appealing. These in particular are even hard to see that it’s chicken, but the recipe was good and that’s why I posted it. The chicken gets very tender, the sauce is tasty and it goes really well over pasta.

Italian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 chicken portions (legs, breasts or quarters), skinned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red pesto sauce
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 2/3 cup homemade or canned chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 black olives, pitted
  • salt and black pepper
  • chopped fresh basil and a few basil leaves to garnish

Preparation

  1. Season the chicken your way (salt, pepper, lemon juice). Place the flour in a plastic bag, add the chicken pieces and shake well until coated.
  2. Heat the oil in a flame-proof casserole , add the chicken and brown quickly. Remove with a spoon and set aside.
  3. Lower the heat and add the onion, garlic and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the olives, and bring to a boil. Return the sautéed chicken to the casserole, season (if necessary), cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Add the olives and simmer for 5 minutes. Place in a serving dish, sprinkle with the chopped basil and garnish with a few basil leaves.

Serve with hot tagliatelle or any other pasta you like, tossed in butter. I used penne.