Tuesday, 10 March 2009

poppyseed crusted chicken with roasted field mushrooms and tomato ragu

Sounds fancy. Couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ve come home from work, you cooked pasta for the past three nights in a row and you want something that doesn’t vaguely resemble two minute noodles or a lame stir fry. This just might be the recipe to try. File this one under ‘quick’, ‘easy’, ‘delicious’ and ‘healthy’.

(serves 2)


2 chicken breasts
1 handful of poppyseeds
1 tin of tomatoes
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced
½ a Spanish onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large field mushrooms
½ a red chilli, chopped
salt, pepper and sugar to taste
parmesan shavings to garnish
olive oil



Turn the oven to 200 degrees

On a baking tray, place mushrooms topped with a pinch of salt, pepper, a little of the garlic, the chilli, a few pieces of onion and a drizzle of olive oil

Whack the tray in the oven and leave it for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the mushroom starts to soften.


Rub chicken breasts with salt and pepper

Pour the poppyseeds onto a plate and roll the chicken in it. Make sure it's coated evenly.

Heat a frypan on high, adding olive oil only when the pan is hot. Sear the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. (You want to make sure the poppyseeds stick to the chicken when you start to make the ragu.)

In the same frypan, pour the tin of tomatoes, onions, the rest of the garlic and zucchini. Give the pan a bit of a shake to make sure the veggies are coated by the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 12 minutes. Remove the lid, give it a stir and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

The mushrooms should be well and truly done by now. Serve them with shaved parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Remove the chicken from the ragu and set aside. Slice into thick pieces on the diagonal. It looks nicer that way.

Serve the mushrooms and ragu with the chicken placed on top (presentation is important!) If you’re needing a bit of a carb fix, serve this with tagliatelle or brown rice.

Total cooking time: 30 minutes