23 June, 2010

New York Chicken

This dish has lots of names, I've heard it called the Chicken Melt, New York Chicken and Cajun Chicken before, but I don't know why. I have an unhealthy obsession with New York though so I think I'll stick with that name :)
So, what is it? I'm sure you've all had it once in your lifetime at least. It's a great meal, and will really impress your friends since it looks like you've put a lot of effort into it. However, it's actually really simple, and I made it the other night in a bid to woo my boyfriend (way to a man's heart is your cooking, ladies!). Safely say it worked :D
Chicken, with melted cheese and bacon wrapped around it. YUM! It's usually served with barbecue sauce drizzled over, but if you don't like it, Reggae Reggae sauce or even gravy is a good alternative.
- Boneless chicken breast - these can be misshaped, economy lines from Asda for all I care. Still tastes yummy. Have one piece per person, about the size of your palm.
- Cheese - dependant on your tastebuds, it's up to you how much.
- 2 rashers of bacon per person
- Additionally, add BBQ sauce, gravy, or whatever you have on chicken to take away the dryness :P

-  Pre-heat your oven to 175'C.
- Wash the chicken under a cold tap, leave on a chopping board whilst you tend to your other ingredients.
- Chop a line of cheese, about 1cm thick and 10cm long. Don't make it longer than the piece of chicken.
- With a sharp knife, slice a line down the middle of the chicken piece, but don't pierce right through. It's more of a slit, really. Insert your stick of cheese into the line.
- Arrange your rashers of bacon so they lie parallel to one another on the chopping board. Place the chicken piece on top of the bacon, and carefully wrap the loose ends around the chicken.
- Using a square of tin foil, wrap the chicken pieces individually in the foil, starting underneath and finishing with the opening at the top of the chicken. This will allow so that when the chicken is almost cooked, you can open up the foil easily and brown it off.
- Repeat these steps for each of the chicken pieces. Once you are ready to bake, pop them on a deep roasting tin. This allows for any run-off of melted cheese to be caught.
- Bake them for around 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (no pink bits!). For the last five minutes, open up the foil casing on each piece and brown off your bacon for crispyness :)

Serve and enjoy with roast potatoes, chips, vegetables, salad - whatever you fancy!
Happy cooking, blogging world! I have an engagement cake to blog about in a few days, watch this space ;)

Kirsten x

11 June, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Two weeks too late, I know. But I can safely say that Jim's 21st Birthday Cupcake Tier Cake was a massive success! :D I have even been asked to make someone's Wedding Cake now!!! So I'm a very happy girlie. Anyways, so what happened? If you've been following, I bought all the ingredients and equipment in the weeks leading up to my boyfriend's big birthday party at the end of May. The night before the party, I actually made the cupcakes, using the same recipe from Pink Muffins (vanilla, mutual favourite). On the day of the party, I woke up super early and spent the following FOUR hours decorating 30 cupcakes. Every cupcake was individual, and was designed with my boyfriend's favourite foods being the main theme.
We have a range of cakes, each decorated with:
- Mini Oreos - he loves them!
- Silver Balls
- Dr Oetker Chocolate Stars
- Silver Spoon Blue and White Writing Icing
- Rolled Icing in the shape of stars
- The buttercream I cannot take credit for. I cheated. Sorry guys, but my main reasoning behind this was there was already two jars of Betty Crocker vanilla and chocolate buttercream in the cupboard, and with funds being already low (oh yeah, I paid for the whole party as his present. Not cheap!) I used them on the cakes. However, I do know how to make buttercream, so don't lose faith. It's not hard. Butter. Icing Sugar. Bit o' milk. Colouring. Flavouring. EASY.
This was the central focus of the whole cake. Unfortunately, my plans did not go well for this part. I did aim to make a range of different sized icing stars and affix them to silver wire, then have them sprayed behind the '21.' This went terribly, albeit my original thinking that it would be easy. You see them a lot on today's celebration cakes, I even had one on my 18th cake two years ago. However, the stars broke. They melted. Thet slid down the wire. It didn't end well... I even tried supergluing them to the wire, but instead of superglue drying clear like usual, it didn't when used on rolled icing. Damn! Try again soon.
This cake was used as a deterrent for nosey party attendees. It says "Don't Touch," as I thought the style of cake wouldn't be obvious as the Birthday Boy's actual birthday cake and people would assume the cake was part of the buffet. No, people. (I later found out that this cake was stolen and mashed into the mouth of my friend. Not impressed!)

So, I'm pleased with how it turned out. What do you think? Would you ever have a cupcake tier-cake?
Kirsten x