Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Recipe of the Week: Stock. Come ON, make yer own.

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Click here to see what the guid folk of the forum said about stock…

And here’s how I do it. For chicken, do substitute roast bones of whatever.

1. If you have an extractor fan in the kitchen, for God’s sake switch it on. Stock is lovely, of course it is, but has a tendency to turn the house into a chicken-y sauna if you forget about it.

2. I think Nigella does a whole bit where she SAVES UP the bones of her roast chickens and does a stock from about six of them at a time. That’s what it’s like to be married to a bazillionaire, folks. I grab whatever is left on people’s plates (sooked or not, we’re family) and, having taken what meat is left off the carcass, whack it into a soup pot with a couple of bay leaves, a carrot, onion, coupla bits of garlic, stick of celery and an onion. Whether or not I bother to peel any of these things will depend on my mood. If I have leek tops unused I’ll stick them in too, they’d only get chucked otherwise.

3. Just cover with cold water, and add some peppercorns. Eight, if you want to be exact, which I do not.

4. Simmer for, oh I dunno, 40 mins? Some people like to do it for yonks but their extractor fans must be better than mine.Do remember to switch it off, it is hell on wheels to get out of a pan if you forget.

5. Let it cool and pour through a colander into a tupperware. DO NOT, as I have done too many times, get distracted and pour the liquid down the sink, while treating the smushy veg and bones as if they were the Crown Jewels.

6. Some people will go on about skimming any blech-y bits off the liquid as it cooks, which would be nice if you can be bothered. I can’t. I stick the tub in the fridge to cool and take excess fat (yellowy, gloopy schmaltz) off the next day with a spoon, putting it into an old non-recyclable in the bin.

And then I make soup. Or risotto. Or pilaff… or… *goes all chicken-dreamy*

P.S. If you are asking about veggie stock, allow yourself a moment’s well-deserved smugness and simply follow the same recipe while ignoring all mention of chicken, bones, carcasses and blech.

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Enid's Minced Chicken Nuggets

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

'Enid' you say? Surely not the same Enid who was recently saying on Mumsnet that life is to short to make a porridge pancake? Yup, the same one, my friends. Seems like her little seven-month-old Pixie has read that thread and been won over by my dazzling debating style and sheer force of argument, and is now refusing spoons. <insert your own smug smile here>

Anyway, Enid is nothing if not utterly gracious about Pixie's new finger food-only regime and has sent in this recipe for which we are most grateful.

Enid's Chicken Nuggets

750g minced chicken
175g breadcrumbs

175g grated cheddar
1 tbsp mayo to bind
1 clove garlic
salt and
beaten egg and some fine toasted breadcrumbs to coat the nuggets

Preheat oven to 180C. Mix all ingredients up to and including salt and
pepper together. Form into whatever sized nuggets (its up to you, mine are sort
of walnut sized) and roll them in beaten egg and then in toasted breadcrumbs.
You can freeze them now if you want to.

Place on greased baking sheet
and cook for about 20 minutes (45 if frozen). Voila!

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Wagamama’s Chicken Ramen and Edamame… oh yes…

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Now come on, this is impressive…

Went to Wagamama, where they have dinky little highchairs pre-attached to the tables in the children's section and ordered some Chilli Chicken Ramen (chilli, salty soup, chicken and noodles – didn't 100% think that through, if I'm honest) while my dining companions ordered some Chicken Itame (a noodley coconut-y soup) and some of that mad breaded Chicken Katsuo curry with rice.

To keep us from falling off our perches with city centre-induced exhaustion, we also ordered some edamame (soy beans) and asked for the salt on the side. Well, I can't tell you how much Babybear enjoyed those little beans, but if I explain that she was operating a two-handed approach whereby she was picking up her next bean before the first one was fully chewed then you begin to get the idea.

The edamame comes in a little bowl and looks for all the world like mangetout in which the peas have been allowed to grow fat. You don't eat the pods, you just pop the beans out into your mouth and chew them. Delicious, but dangerous for a baby so it was up to me to pop them into my mouth and  burst them with my teeth so that they would fall apart more easily. She really loved them, so I'm now desperate to see if I can get some to keep in the freezer as that is one healthy snack, my friends. (I hardly need add that they made it through her entire digestive system with barely a dent.)

When the main courses arrived, Babybear was happy to eat slices of chicken from my meal (I had sooked the soup off first but it still had some kick), some beansprouts, bok choi, fistfuls of rice and she had great fun eating the flat rice noodles from the coconut soup.

And what joy for us, we got to eat our meals while they were still hot, hot, hot, with minimal interruption from a baby who was tickled pink to be playing with new tastes and textures. (Well, until her two new top teeth started hurting again and we made a hasty exit – but we got a good hour in there, which can't be bad.)

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Vnmum's Chicken and Apple Sausages

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

VNmum's campaign to get us all eating our apple a day continues… they sound great. I've made kind of sausagey things before but they weren't damp enough for my liking, so maybe the apple will help…

Chicken and Apple Sausages

1 chicken breast, diced

1/2 eating apple grated

1 small onion, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Seasoning of your choice eg Italian herbs, paprika, chinese 5 spice

plain flour

Whizz the chicken for a few seconds in a food processor then add the
rest of ingredients, except flour, and whizz together for few seconds. If the mixture seems quite sloppy just add more breadcrumb until it
sticks together better.

Take a handful and shape into whatever size sausage shape you want,
this again will make however many sausages you want depending on size.

Roll all the sausages in the flour to seal and fry in vegetable oil.

Can be frozen.

I found that if the mix was slightly wet, they held together for
cooking and then fell apart nicely as DS was chewing. as he gets more
teeth I will probably make them drier as it will be easier for him to

Both this and the pork buger recipe can be tweaked to your liking with consistency and seasoning, they went down a treat with ds, served with homemade oven chips and salad.

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Breaded Chicken

Monday, August 21st, 2006

We were in Edinburgh the other day enjoying some culcha (actually The Jim Henson Muppet Show which I may have enjoyed more than Babybear) and when we went to buy lunch I noticed that the Italian deli place had some breaded chicken pieces ready to put into sandwiches.

I hardly need point out that despite doing this baby led weaning business with a pure heart and therefore knowing that I could just buy something to eat when we got there, I had packed enough provisions to sustain Babybear through a journey to the North Pole.

Nevertheless, I just had a sneaking feeling that besides all her porridge pancakes, bread sticks, peaches, banana and cheese, she might enjoy a spot of fried chicken in breadcrumb. I mean, what's not to like?

So I get home, tell The Husband and his beady wee eyes light up… we're going to get to eat fried chicken? He's liking baby led weaning more and more…

So here is my version, which I made and froze yesterday and ate tonight with great success.

Find some manky old bread and whizz it to make breadcrumbs. We had the ends of an old multigrain, which contains all sorts of seeds and therefore plays fast and loose with potential allergens but it was all I had and I was in the mood for experimentation. Fling in a couple of cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika (fast becoming my flavour enhancer of choice now that salt is off the menu) and whizz some more.

Slice up some chicken breast pieces to a goujon-ish size (or finger/chip-sized if you will) and dip them in the breadcrumbs. I thought that I might need some egg to make it stick but it was fine.

I layered them in a tupperware between greaseproof paper and stuck them in the freezer because I didn't want to eat them immediately and I knew that my chicken pieces were fresh and tonight I heated the oven up to 180 degrees, oiled a baking tray with my trusty oil squisher then put them in for about 25-30 minutes (after another wee squish on top with the oil.)

Serve with loads of lemon juice on top and some peas and sweet potato chips and you are laughing (particularly at the baby, who still doesn't have much of a pincer grip and spent much of the time chasing petits pois round her highchair tray.)

If anything, they were probably a bit overcooked by the time they came out but I was feeling a bit paranoid about that woman sallymonella at the time, so if you are doing this recipe I'd check to see if they are piping hot in the middle by eating one at about 20 minutes in.

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Baby Led Weaning Chicken Soup

Monday, August 14th, 2006

So, what did you do with the bones and carcass of your lemony roast chicken from the Finger Foods section? Boiled them up for half an hour with an onion, a stick of celery, a carrot, a couple of bay leaves, some peppercorns and a clove of garlic, did you? Mah-velous, then we are ready to make baby led weaning chicken soup.

Okay then, it's basically just normal chicken soup, so do whatever you usually do (in my case sweat an onion and some leeks if I have them, sling in a couple of sliced carrots and some sliced sticks of celery, add the stock and possibly some low-salt Marigold bouillon to taste and if I feel like it throw in some rice or pasta near the end).

But the smarty-pants thing to remember is to cut some of your veggies in the chip-sized manner (or finger-sized, if we wish to be understood by our New World cousins) and to drop them into the soup while it is cooking.

After a while you are left with the most delicious soft carrot and celery (and whatever else you fancy) which has been poached in chicken soup and can be taken directly from the parental bowl and handed (after a bit of blowing and cooling down) to the baby. Which they love, let's face it. I also find that Babybear likes to eat crusty bread dipped in soup and wrung out like a wee sponge so it isn't too soggy.

Post Script.
We've been putting a good handful of barley into our chicken soup recently and Babybear loves it. She can feed herself a few grains of barley at a time on a spoon (I load it up) and also if you put some crusty bread into the bowl to soak up the soup then press down hard you will simultaneously squeeze the liquid out and pick up lots of barley and veggies. She eats these like an open sandwich, her face wreathed in smiles and carrots.

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Roast Chicken

Monday, July 31st, 2006

You'll no doubt have gathered by now that what I am attempting to do is systematically work my way through the list of Babybear's favourite delicacies that I mention on the front page… it's taking a while, eh?

Well, nobody's feeling it more than me, let me tell you… if I don't get it finished soon I'll have to regress her to a diet of sloppy baby rice for a fortnight while I catch up on her spectacular dietary habits.

Anyhow. Roast chicken.

First roast your chicken. I do it upside down (but enough about my love life, fnarr fnarr) so that the breasts are yummy and juicy, then whip off the tinfoil (again, enough about my love life) and turn it over for the last half hour so that the skin crisps. For extra flavour I tend to stick a lemon and some herbs, rosemary or thyme let's say, up its backside (insert your own sex joke here) especially now that the baby precludes smothering the skin in salt.

I found that the easiest and tastiest bit of the chicken to give to Babybear comes off the leg, but I suspect I'm going to find it hard to describe. You know, the kinda bingo wing bit, but it's on the leg… do I mean the thigh? Maybe. Anyway, the pieces part in almost a teardrop shape, which is perfect for baby led weaning, and the sinews of the meat run lengthways. I have found that if I give her the slightly drier breast meat she loses interest quicker and because more bits come off she is more likely to gag. Whatever works for you, kiddo. Oh and she's not above sucking on a bit of the skin. Nor is her mother.

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