Sunday, 26 July 2015


I am slowly getting my cooking mojo back after a combination of events - my Dad dying in August, being crazy busy at work and getting rushed into hospital at the end of December with dried up kidneys and a digestive system in freefall. But here we are, just about back to full fitness and getting my appetite back, for both eating and cooking. I find my tastes have changed though - I can no longer eat, or particularly enjoy, large amounts of red meat, in fact large amounts of anything are a struggle.  I am making more salads, more fish and old favourites like a lump of roast lamb are taking a back seat.

One of our regular Saturday night meals was chilli con carne but in looking for something lighter I decided to use chicken thighs in the same kind of seasoning and served with an avocado relish and brown and wild rice. The end result was delicious, light enough for me but tasty enough for Mr Redding.  I used chicken thighs because I think it needs to be cooked for a while to meld the flavours and breast would become tough.



500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm cubes

I onion, finely sliced
Couple of cloves of garlic crushed or grated
Tin of black eyed beans
4 jalapeno chillies, red or green or a combination, chopped
Dessertspoon of sweet smoked paprika
Teaspoon of ground cumin
Tablespoon of flour
Handful of chopped coriander


I ripe avocado, chopped
I ripe tomato, chopped
I shallot, finely chopped
Juice of a lime
Handful of chopped coriander

Slowly sweat the onion and garlic off in a generous tablespoon of olive oil until soft and translucent, probably about ten minutes.  Add the chicken, turn up the heat, and when it has all changed colour and browned a little add the beans, chillies, paprika and cumin. Give all that a good stir, then stir in the flour making sure it is all distributed, then stir in half a pint of water, bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.  Taste, season and stir in the coriander just before serving.

To make the avocado relish just combine all the ingredients 10 minutes before you want to eat and chill. I served it with  combination of wild and brown rice. The picture really doesn't do it justice!

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