Archive | May 21, 2014

My Belgium Chicken – for busy women

Is it about time for another dish for busy women?

This one is not one of those cook-it-all-in-15-minutes but at the expense of having to buy lots of prepared or expensive food stuff or be left with hours of cleaning up.

This will take a bit of time, but for much of that you do nothing – except fold the wash, sweep the floor or have a glass of wine. Whatever you have to do to get your house or mental well-being in order.

I’ve adapted this from a forum to which I belong. A good cook does that – adapts to what you like and what you have to hand. If you want exact measurements, you’re looking in the wrong spot.


  • Half a packet of Angel Hair Pasta, or more. Think this time it was about 3/4 of a 500g packet
  • 1 can or small bottle of beer – beer gives depth of flavour in a short time
  • 1 tin diced or chopped tomatoes
  • an onion, red or brown, I prefer big but if I only have little ones, that how I go
  • half a red capsicum. It has to be a red one. If they are too expensive, leave it out. I had a sad one in the fridge, cut off the sad bits, so it was really nearly a whole. I’ve used slices and I’ve used diced bits. However I felt at the time.
  • 400g of chicken fillets, any sort, it doesn’t matter. And you can put in less or more. My family like meat so I tend to put in more
  • 1 Tablespoon or so of tomato paste. I squirt from the upside down container in the fridge so probably use a but more, but we like tomato flavour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar, I’ve tried white and brown. Meh! Whichever. Couldn’t say I noticed a difference but I had brown leftover from the lasagne
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dried/powdered stock of your choice. I use chicken. Or a stock cube.
  • Parsley – a bunch or a bit less
  • Method
    1. Chop the onion and brown in some oil in a large saucepan. (I use a Le Creuset because I suffer from middle-class consumerism. But in my defence I have Aldi copies because I waver between being pompous and being a tight-arse.)
    2. While onion is browning, chop the capsicum. Add to pan and cook until soft. Remember to stir so they don’t burn or stick to the pan.
    3. While the onion and capsicum are cooking, chop the chicken, roughly. No one really cares if everything is neat. Actually, no one cares at all, just chop. Don’t forget to go back to the pan to stir the onion and caps!
    4. Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes.
    5. Add tin of beer, chopped tommies, powdered stock, sugar, tomato paste, handful or so of chopped parsley. (This time I misread the tin of chopped tommies -where were my glasses? – and put crushed tommies. No stress, except over the faltering vision. I just tossed in some tiny grapes tomatoes that were wilting in the fridge. See, told you you can adapt to what you have.)
    6. Bring to the boil, cover, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. (You know you should be folding the washing now but bugger it. Have a wine instead. I know I do.)
    7. Add half packet of angel hair pasta (I break it in two), and rest of the chopped parsley or another handful if you’re one of those clever people who grow their own, turn up heat and wait for it to boil, making sure that the pasta is not stuck together. That means you have to keep stirring. I find one of those pasta ladles really useful. Sometimes when I have too much pasta to liquid ratio, I add extra liquid. Tonight it was some real vegetable stock I had in the fridge.Cover and leave to boil for 2 minutes only. Turn heat off and leave for about 30 minutes for the pasta to absorb all the juices.

    Oh goody. Time for another glass of wine. Stuff the kids. They can sort their own clothes. After all you do all the cooking.

    Served it up before I remembered to take a photo. But here’s the pasta ladle of which I spoke!


    And that was after four huge servings.


    (A chipped bowl? Keepin’ it real, peeps.)

    As my kids said, they literally inhaled it, it was so good. Seconds? Yes, said everyone.