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Recipe for family meals :

Chicken, Ham and Broccoli Bake
 

This recipe is from the SodaMail Recipes in Time! newsletter which is written by Chele who also has her own website, Chele's Treasures <click here>

Chele is a single mother of three young boys who manages to find the time to run her own desktop publishing and personalisation service from her home and also writes the popular SodaMail newsletter Recipes in Time! three days a week.

The newsletter is really interesting as not only do you get the recipe but you also learn about the food itself as in this sample recipe. This is one of the internet's better newsletters and if you are interested in your food you should subscribe. To subscribe to Recipes in Time! <click here>

A Little Chicken History

The botanical family to which broccoli belongs is the Brassicaceae, also known as the Mustard family. The origin of our modern day broccoli may well be an ancient one. Cultivation of a bygone ancestral cabbage may have occurred as early as 8,000 years ago along the Northern European coast. It was from this area that this wild ancestral cabbage was later introduced into the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and even into the Near East and Orient.

Ingredients

3 1/2 lb whole chicken
2 green onions, chopped
2 slices fresh ginger
2 tbsp sherry
1 tspn salt
1/2 lb ham, uncooked
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 lb fresh broccoli

Glazing sauce:
3/ 4 cup stock
2 tbsp rock sugar, crushed
cornstarch paste
1 tbsp cooking oil

Method

Marinating:

  • Combine chopped onions, ginger slices, sherry and salt.
  • Place chicken on platter, rub inside and out with onion mixture, and place onion and ginger inside chicken.
  • Allow chicken to marinate for 1 hour.
  • Rub ham with same marinade, reserve.

Steaming:

  • Steam chicken, breast-side up, for 25 - 30 minutes.
  • At the same time, steam ham for 20 minutes.
  • Chicken should still be firm but very moist when removed from steamer. Drain chicken and allow to cool until juices congeal.
  • Chop Chinese-style into bite-size pieces. Start by cleaving chicken in half lengthwise through the breast. Remove legs, thighs, and wings; chop in pieces. Turn carcass, skin down; cleave in half parallel to breast; turn and chop in pieces. Carefully remove and discard bones.
  • Slice ham in bite-size pieces to match chicken pieces.
  • Organize in alternating strips on serving platter, in shape of a chicken if possible. Leave space around perimeter for vegetable.

Blanching and Stir-frying Vegetable:

  • Wash and remove tough skin of broccoli.
  • Slice into spears with floret at tip of each spear.
  • Blanch spears in salted water for 20 seconds.
  • Heat peanut oil in wok until it begins to smoke; stir-fry broccoli until bright but still crisp. Toss briefly, then remove to serving platter with meat.

Glazing Sauce:

  • Heat stock and crushed rock sugar in sauce pan; stir while bringing to boil.
  • Dribble in cornstarch paste to make a light sauce.
  • Stir in cooked oil.
  • Pour over meat and serve.

Interesting Facts and Tips for Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A.

It is part of the cabbage family.

Broccoli may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Broccoli contains very little sodium and fat and no cholesterol.

Look for broccoli with firm, compact clusters of small flower buds.

The clusters should be dark green and may have a purple cast to them.

Child Wisdom: You can't hide broccoli in a glass of milk.
(I personally hated broccoli as a child. Now, I can't get enough!)

 
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