Thyme Chicken Marsala

Thyme Chicken Marsala

 

Marsala, an Italian wine, traditionally flavours this classic dish. The chicken breasts are sautéed and served on a bed of sautéed red pepper and carrot sticks. A thyme–marsala sauce is then poured over and the dish is served with linguine.

 

Thyme Chicken Marsala
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, cut into julienne strips
  • 2 small red peppers, cut into julienne strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) dry Marsala wine (⅔ cup)
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • To serve
  • linguine (I can recommend the De Cecco brand)

  • Equipment
  • a large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Warm four plates in the oven.

  3. Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of cling film/wrap and, working from the centre to the edges, pound lightly with a rolling pin to flatten.

  4. Spread the flour onto a plate. Then coat each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off any excess, and transferring to a clean plate. Set aside.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan over a medium heat, add the carrot strips and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add the red pepper, garlic, and seasoning to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Divide between the four plates and return to the oven to keep warm, while cooking the chicken.

  7. You are now ready to cook the chicken. Depending on the size of your pan this may need to be done in two batches. So, pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, add the chicken and, over a medium heat, cook for 4 minutes each side until cooked through. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and keep warm in the oven.

  8. Reduce the heat to very low and stir the wine and thyme into the pan. Scrape up any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan and stir for 1 minute. You just want the wine to warm through but don’t let it evaporate.

  9. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Serve with linguine.

Updated: September 3, 2017

Neapolitan Pork Fillets

Neapolitan Pork Fillets

 

Pork fillets cooked in wine and flavoured with oregano, then covered with mozzarella cheese and a dollop of thick passata sauce.

 

Neapolitan Pork Fillets
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1lb) pork tenderloin/fillet
  • 3 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) passata (1¼ cups)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (⅛ cup, or ¼ stick)
  • 4 tbsp chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ red pepper, sliced thinly
  • ½ yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • ½ orange pepper, sliced thinly

  • To serve
  • Pasta (fettuccini works well)


  1. Method
  2. Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/wrap and bashing with a rolling pin. Place the fillets side by side in a dish, season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Pour over the wine, cover and marinade for one hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.

  4. Spread the flour on a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Dry them on kitchen paper and then coat both sides in the flour.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the butter in a large frying pan/skillet over a moderate heat. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops, add the pork fillets and sear on both sides, about 2–4 minutes. Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

  7. Meanwhile, pour the passata into a saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season and let bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.

  8. Next mix the peppers in a bowl, pour over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.

  9. Once the pork is cooked through, remove to an ovenproof dish. Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan, stir and then reduce the liquid to 3–4 tablespoons. Spoon over the pork. Cover each fillet with a slice of mozzarella and then add a large spoonful of the passata sauce in the middle of the slice. Sprinkle over the oregano. Heat in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

  10. Serve with the peppers and a pasta.

Updated: August 2, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

 

There is just so much flavour in this chicken dish which is served with fettuccine.

Peppers are cooked first to bring out their flavour and sweetness, then added with the chicken to a garlic and basil tomato sauce with courgette/zucchini slices and onions.

 

Mediterranean Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 1 yellow pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into half-moons shapes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 courgette/zucchini, halved lengthways then cut into 1cm/½ inch slices
  • 2 × 400g/28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 20g fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • a large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the grill/broiler for 10 minutes.

  3. Place the peppers on a baking tray, skin side up, then grill/broil until the skin has blackened and blistered. Remove from the heat and place in a plastic food storage bag using tongs. Seal the bag and leave to become cool. (The steam that is released helps to lift the skin away from the flesh.)

  4. Meanwhile, season the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the chicken and, over a medium heat, brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

  5. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan, reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook until softened and coloured around the edges, 10 minutes.

  6. Next, add the garlic and courgette slices, cover the pan and cook for a further 4–5 minutes, until the courgettes have started to soften.

  7. While the vegetables are cooking, peel off the skins of the peppers and cut the flesh into thin strips.

  8. Finally, add the tomatoes, half the basil, sugar and peppers to the pan and season. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then return the chicken breasts to the pan, pushing them down into the pan. Cook, uncovered, over a gentle heat, for 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

  9. Serve with fettuccine and the remaining basil scattered on top.

 

Baked Cod Provençal

When we were grocery shopping this week, our fish counter was displaying some wild cod and it looked so good – really white and chunky. I couldn’t resist buying some and I cooked it making a provençal dish. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

 

It is not often we see wild fish to buy here in Canada, the main one we do see being wild pacific salmon, but I buy it when I can because there is certainly a difference. Once I found out how farmed fish was produced, with all its potential toxins, it made me realise just how much we have forgone quality for quantity. But that’s another story.

 

Anyway, we enjoyed our fish supper and hope you will want to try it too.

 

Baked Cod Provençal

 

A nutritious fish dish that is full of flavour. The chunky piece of cod is baked with sliced peppers, plum tomatoes and garlic in a tomato, herb and wine sauce.

 

Baked Cod Provençal
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes (8m hob, 20m oven)
  • Cooking time: 28 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 675g/1 lb 8 oz cod, skinned (chunky cod, if available)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 400g/28 fl oz can plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 oz butter

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan
  • ovenproof dish, buttered


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  3. Cut the fish into 4 portions and place in the ovenproof dish. Season and set aside.

  4. Heat the oil in the pan, add the peppers and, over a medium heat, sauté for 3–4 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.

  5. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and add to the pan along with the garlic, wine, lemon juice and oregano. Season. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice, then simmer for a further 3–4 minutes.

  6. Pour the vegetables over the fish and dot the fish with the butter.

  7. Bake towards the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Baste half way through cooking.

 

Pork Goulash

Pork Goulash

 

A pork goulash that all the family can enjoy and only takes forty minutes. Strips of pork tenderloin seasoned with paprika and cooked with red peppers, tomatoes and onions.

 

Pork Goulash
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 450g/1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes/1 x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped coriander to garnish
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt

  • To serve
  • rice and chopped coriander to garnish

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan and add the onions. Sauté over a medium to low heat for about 10 minutes until golden.

  3. Add the pork strips and sauté for a further 5 minutes, turning frequently to brown on all sides.

  4. Stir in the paprika, flour and tomato purée, and cook for 1 minute.

  5. Stir through the tomatoes, peppers, 2 tablespoons water and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

  6. Spoon the goulash between four warmed plates and garnish each one with a little chopped coriander and a tablespoon of the yogurt in the centre.

  7. Serve with rice garnished with a little chopped coriander.

 

Pork Meatballs in a Sweet and Sour Sauce

Pork Meatballs in a Sweet and Sour Sauce

 

Garlic flavoured meatballs and green peppers and carrots sautéed with ginger are then cooked in this delicious sweet and sour sauce. Just serve with rice to complete the dish and enjoy.

 

Pork Meatballs in a Sweet and Sour Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes (hob)

  • Ingredients
  • For the meatballs
  • 450g/1 lb minced pork/ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g/2 oz breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger root

  • For the sauce
  • 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 140ml/5 fl oz/¼ pint water
  • paprika to garnish

  • To serve
  • rice


  1. Method
  2. The meatballs, vegetables and sauce are best prepared before starting to cook the dish.

  3. For the meatballs
  4. Mix the pork, garlic and breadcrumbs and season well. Divide mixture to make 24 balls, put them on a plate and cover. Refrigerate to firm up a little while preparing the vegetables and making up the sauce.

  5. De-seed and slice the peppers, peel and slice the carrots, crush the garlic cloves and peel and grate the ginger. Set to one side.

  6. For the sauce
  7. Squeeze the juice from the orange and pour into a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine.

  8. To cook
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet and brown the meatballs over a medium heat, for about 5 minutes. Shake the pan frequently so they brown all over. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper in a single layer so any fat can be absorbed.

  10. Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the pepper and carrot, and stir-fry for 5 minutes to soften a little. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute.

  11. Pour in the sauce, stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the meatballs and simmer for 15 minutes.

  12. Serve with rice and sprinkle with paprika.

 

Quick Mediterranean Chicken

Quick Mediterranean Chicken

 

Quick Mediterranean chicken combines strips of chicken fillets with peppers and penne cooked in a herb flavoured soup. This is a really quick dish to prepare and cook. Great for those nights when time is short.

 

Quick Mediterranean Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: about 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 10 fl oz can tomato, basil and oregano soup (Campbells)
  • 300ml/10 fl oz water
  • salt and pepper
  • 170g/6 oz penne (De Cecco is my favourite)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

  • To serve
  • Serve with sautéed courgettes/zucchini and broccoli florets.

  • Equipment
  • Large frying pan/skillet or saute pan


  1. Method
  2. Heat oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken, pepper and garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the soup and water. Season to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and peppers are soft.

  4. Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil. Add the pasta to the pan and cook according to the directions on the packet. Drain. Stir the pasta through the chicken and peppers.

  5. Sprinkle over the basil and serve.

 

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken

 

A really tasty dish of chicken and herbs, roasted with red peppers, courgettes, plum tomatoes and baby potatoes, all in one pan.

 

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: At least 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12g fresh basil
  • 12g fresh mint
  • 4 lemon thyme sprigs
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken joints*
  • 2 small red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini, sliced
  • 600g/1 lb 4 oz baby potatoes
  • ½ × 400g/¼ × 28 fl oz can plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, juice only

  • *I prefer to use boneless chicken breasts because they are really succulent. But legs or breasts with bone in would work too.

  • Equipment
  • Large roasting tin


  1. Method
  2. Finely chop two thirds of the basil and mint and 2 lemon thyme sprigs, reserve the remaining third. Using a pestle and mortar, pound together the herbs, crushed garlic and two tablespoons of the olive oil until they form a paste. Or use a food processor. Put the chicken in a shallow bowl and cover with the herb mixture. Cover, refrigerate and leave for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  4. Put the peppers, courgettes and potatoes in a bowl. Season and pour over the remaining olive oil. Toss together until all the vegetables are well coated. Carefully add the tomatoes. Spread in the roasting tin and add the chicken and marinade.

  5. Roast for 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

  6. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter over the reserved herbs.

  7. Note
  8. Tinned plum tomatoes can be substituted for the fresh plum tomatoes. Just add them to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.