GUEST BLOG #7 - by Parveen Ashraf, aka The Spice Queen

MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING

My son, Cyrus, often says that I can make something out of nothing!...Funny that because my husband says the same thing,  although I think that my husband is referring to 'life' whereas Cyrus is talking in terms of food ...Or at least I think he is. 😛

Cyrus will open the fridge to make a sandwich, see some dry bread, a bit of old salad, a soon to be mouldy bit of cheese and a tupperware of yesterday's chicken masala and shout "mum, there's nothing to eat." I will then open the same fridge and see the same dry bread, a lonely lettuce leaf, a cheeky little square of cheddar and a tupperware of yesterday's chicken. I will lightly toast and butter the bread, add shredded lettuce, slices of chicken, finely grated cheddar, a drizzle of mayo and hey presto, you have yourself a chicken salad sandwich that would not look out of place in an M&S ad. Cyrus will eat the sandwich, turn to me and with a cheeky smile say "see mum, you CAN make something out of nothing."

I am not a fan of throwing food away and I hate waste, so I will often use leftovers to make a nice sandwich or wrap. I don't think I am the only parent in the country to possess this super-power. When my children were younger and I had to make packed lunches every day, sometimes there wasn't enough leftovers to make 3 lots of packed lunches and it was always a mission deciding what filling to put in their sandwiches. The children would get bored of the usual cheese or egg or tuna sandwich, so I got creative. Enter my versatile, tasty, quick, spicy and simple recipe for PAN FRIED TANDOORI chicken. Gosh, you may think that's a lot of adjectives to describe this humble little chicken dish. Well, I chose my words carefully and with purpose - allow me to explain.

VERSATILE: Add tomato and lettuce for a sandwich, try a wrap with avocado and mayo or with mint dip in pitta bread

TASTY: The marination of lemon and yoghurt tenderises the chicken making it so tender and tasty

QUICK: It's 'marination to mouth' in 10 mins!!

SPICY: The small amount of chilli adds just the right amount of heat required without being overpowering

SIMPLE: The recipe has 5 simple steps that are easy to follow

So, if you are struggling for ideas to make your children's packed lunches, spice it up a little and try my tandoori chicken in a sandwich, wrap or even a panini, and for a no carb day just on top of a salad. These tender tasting medallions of chicken are healthy, quick and easy to make. If you have a busy life and your leftover superpower has worn out, just follow steps 1 & 2, keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for 2 days. Pan fry and eat as needed. Or if you have the superpowers you can make a big batch and freeze the chicken and all you have to do is take it out of the freezer, into the microwave on high for 2 minutes and you are good to go!

Happy Cooking Everyone

Parveen Ashraf

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Cut chicken into medallions (1cm thick) the pieces should be roughly all the same size but if they are not, don’t worry you can just cook the smaller pieces for less time.
  2. In a large bowl, add the yoghurt, salt, lemon juice, chilli flakes, chilli powder, coriander powder and tandoori powder and mix together - this is the marinade. Now add chicken pieces and coat thoroughly.
  3. Add a tbsp of oil into a non-stick frying pan and heat till oil is hot. Carefully place chicken pieces in the pan (you should hear the sizzle). Make sure you leave space between each piece, so you should be able to pan fry 6 or 7 depending on the size of your pan.
  4. Cook on high heat for about 1 min on each side to seal the chicken, then a further 2 to 3 minutes on each side to make sure the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Clean the frying pan with kitchen paper between each batch of chicken and continue to cook all the chicken. Either serve straight away or store in a Tupperware with a lid to keep in all the moisture.
Parveen's Top Tip:
For best results, cook the chicken from room temperature. 

For more recipes, please follow Parveen on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube

www.ParveenTheSpiceQueen.com



Watch Parveen on ITV Tuesday 3am PARVEEN'S INDIAN KITCHEN. 

Set your TV's to record as it is not available on catch up as of yet.

Parveen ashraf - the spice queenRecipeTandoori chicken

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