Tag Archives: chicken

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Asian-Style Poached Chicken & Pak Choi – in a Slow Cooker

Bev's Slow Cooker chicken

Recently I worked with Beverly le Blanc on her brilliant new book, I Love My Slow Cooker, which was published last month. She very kindly gave me one of the slow cookers she’d bought to do all the testing and didn’t need any longer (many thanks, Bev!!) so I’ve been having a lovely time trying out lots of the recipes from her book. My mother didn’t have a slow cooker, and I’d never tried one before, so it was all new to me. But oh wow, are slow cookers great!

The back of I Love My Slow Cooker says “Discover how your slow cooker can transform your life in the kitchen from a frantic, stressful time into a wonderfully calm one”. Sounds like a big claim, doesn’t it? Well I wrote that so now I need to back up my words! Trust me, though, it’s true! I work full-time and my husband stays at home (doing cartoons for The Guardian), so he collects Zoё from school and makes her evening meal for her. For me, one of the fantastic things about the slow cooker is that I can quickly put a recipe together in the cooker before I leave the house in the morning, and by dinner time it can be ready and waiting for Peter to dish up for her. It’s easy to make stews and casseroles that are healthy and full of delicious flavours, that warm Zoё up in this cold weather and give her a lovely comforting meal. The slow cooker can then keep the meal warm until I get home from work and Peter and I tuck in. Great. Truly great. But then you’ve probably heard that sort of story from lots of people…

What you probably haven’t heard is how slow cookers are wonderful for making a whole variety of dishes. Yes, of course, soups, stews and sauces. They’re great, too, for cheap cuts of meat (which you can cook for numerous hours until meltingly tender) and dried beans (which you can leave to bubble away without worrying about them going mushy). But they’re also brilliant for cooking fish. Whether you’re cooking a fish stew fairly quickly, or cooking something like squid on a low heat over several hours, you’ll find that the fish cooks perfectly and doesn’t overcook. And what’s more, the slow, gentle, steam cooking can create superb puddings, too. No need to mess about doing a bain-marie method – you can just put it in a slow cooker.

I have some firm favourites already from this book. And one of them is this Asian-Style Poached Chicken & Pak Choi. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly so that it’s completely gluten-free and dairy-free. But basically, you put a whole chicken in the slow cooker, add the Asian-style ingredients, and 4 hours later it’s bubbling away, ready to be served. I serve it with coconut rice because Zoё loves that (I do equal parts coconut milk and water and a few coriander leaves in at the end) and often add more veggies to the pot. It’s a lovely family meal but it also gets lots of oohs and aahs when people come round.

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Serves 4–6     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 4 hours


  • a few coriander sprigs, with crushed stalks, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 2 onions, 1 halved and 1 sliced
  • 1 oven-ready chicken, about 1.5kg/3lb 5oz, any fat in the cavity removed
  • 600ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups gluten-free and dairy-free chicken stock, boiling, plus extra if needed
  • 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup tamari soy sauce, plus extra to taste
  • 4 tbsp rice wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2.5cm/1in piece of galangal or ginger, sliced
  • 1 dried red Thai chilli, deseeded if you like
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pak choi, quartered
  • ground Szechuan pepper or freshly ground black pepper
  • cooked long-grain rice, to serve
  1. Put an upturned heatproof saucer in the slow cooker. (Check that the chicken will be able to sit on top of the saucer with the cooker lid in place.) Preheat the covered cooker on HIGH.
  2. Put the coriander and halved onion in the chicken’s cavity and season with pepper. Secure the opening with wooden cocktail sticks. Put the chicken in the cooker, breast-side down, then pour over the stock, tamari  and rice wine. Add extra stock to fill the container, if necessary, leaving a 2.5cm/1in gap at the top of the pot. The chicken will not be completely covered with liquid. Push the sliced onion, garlic, galangal and chilli into the liquid.
  3. Cover the cooker with the lid. Cook on HIGH for 3¾ hours until the juices from the chicken run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife or skewer. Remove the chicken from the cooker, wrap in foil and leave to rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the spring onions and pak choi in the cooker, re-cover and cook for a further 20 minutes until the pak choi is tender. Remove the pak choi from the cooker, and wrap in the foil with the chicken.
  4. Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then boil vigorously for at least 3 minutes until reduced. Add a little more tamari and pepper, if you like. Remove the skin from the chicken and carve. Strain the cooking liquid, discarding the solids. Sprinkle the chicken with coriander and serve with the cooking liquid, pak choi and rice.

Dairy-Free Chicken & Fennel Salad with Tzatziki

This is a spicy chicken and fennel salad with a fennel-flavoured tzatziki. I’ve made the tzatziki with soya yogurt – and I used Alpro plain. But I think that Alpro might have changed the recipe for their plain soya yogurt recently, as it tastes slightly sweet (and maybe with vanilla-flavouring?) to me now. So I’ve added more lemon juice than you would normally find in a tzatziki recipe to get the right sort of balance of flavours, and the ground fennel seeds to add some umph. (PS, Alpro, please go back to the original recipe!)

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free

Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 2 hours marinating time  Cooking time 20 minutes
Serves 4


  • 4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced lengthways
  • 150g salad leaves
  • 50g rocket
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt, crushed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 300ml soya yogurt
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt, crushed


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon
  1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the fennel seeds and dry-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown and become fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and blend in a mini-electric blender or spice grinder until finely ground and leave to one side.
  2. Put the chicken in a non-metallic bowl. Put 1½ teaspoons of the ground fennel seeds in a small bowl and add the paprika, cayenne, salt and lemon juice. Season with the pepper and mix well. Pour over the chicken and cover with a lid or cling film. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Working in batches, put the fennel slices onto the pan base and fry for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil and repeat with the remaining fennel. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  4. Add a further tablespoon of oil and, working in batches, put the chicken slices onto the pan base (and discard the marinade). Fry for 3–4 minutes on both sides until cooked through and browned. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil if needed. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  5. To make the tzatziki put the cucumber in half, lengthways and remove the seeds. Grate finely, put in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Leave for about 15 minutes until it has released some juices. Pat dry in kitchen towel and put in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and ½ teaspoon of the ground fennel seeds. Stir well and leave in the fridge to chill until needed.
  6. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing plus the remaining ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds in a jug. Put the salad leaves and rocket in a bowl and add the fennel and chicken. Pour over the dressing and serve with the tzatziki.

Gluten-Free Singapore Noodles

This is a great mid-week supper for the family which can be made mostly out of ingredients from your storecupboard. You will need a large wok for this one, though, as you need space to stir-fry the egg at the end.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

preparation time 10 minutes  cooking time 15 minutes  serves 4


  • 250g rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • a 1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 300g cooked, peeled large king prawns
  • 3 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free chicken stock, or vegetable stock made from gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free stock powder
  • 1 organic egg, beaten
  • 1½ handfuls chopped coriander leaves
  1. Put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes until soft. Tip into a colander and rinse well with boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large wok until hot. Add the chicken and cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through, then remove and put on a plate.
  3. Rinse and dry the wok and pour in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Turn up the heat and heat the oil until hot, add the ginger, chilli and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the pepper and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Stir in the curry powder, spring onions and prawns and stir-fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and noodles and pour in the tamari and stock, and stir in well.
  4. Push the noodle mixture to one side of the wok and quickly add the egg to the other side. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until cooked through, then stir into the noodle mixture. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve immediately.