For many years now, I have been cooking and packaging special Christmas hampers for our family in Queensland. These hampers are our Christmas gift to them, something from our kitchen to theirs on Christmas day. The hampers are generally made up of various sauces, pickles, jams etc that have been prepared during the year, and then there’s a cooking frenzy just before they are sent off, where Christmas cakes and puddings are made, batches of biscuits are baked, and if there’s time a big batch of crunchy granola. This year I also popped in a little recipe for them to try, using my Mango and Kiwi Fruit Chutney.
I also like to make much smaller packs to hand out to friends and family who we are blessed to spend time with during the festive season, but this year I wanted to do something a little different. I had a plan….
- I put together a shopping list:
- brown onions
- jasmine rice
- wooden spoons
- red gingham
- Then I gathered supplies from what was on hand
- eco-friendly disposable bowls
- curry powder
- baking paper
- bags to package the rice
- copies of a recipe that included all of these ingredients
- a jar of Mango and Kiwi Fruit Chutney
- a jar of Oriental Flavoured Pickled Vegetables
- I cut the red gingham into large squares and sat at the overlocker and hemmed each of them.
- I made little envelopes from the baking paper. These were for the curry powder
- Labels were printed for the tags, curry powder and jasmine rice.
All that was left to do, was to package and bundle. Gary helped, he wrote on the tags, cut the recipes to size and packaged the rice, I packaged the curry powder and made little scrolls with the printed recipe. Everything was placed on the bench and the bundling began. It took a little while to work out the best way to place everything in the bowl, but with one done, the rest was easy. Once the bowls were packaged, the lid was set to rest on top and each of them were wrapped in the gingham cloth. A wooden spoon was slipped through the knot and a tag with the name of the person who was to receive the gift on one side, and a label with the words ‘Sorry, but this is not a pudding!’ was placed on the other side. The gifts were done.
I thought that, after all of the Christmas celebrations, and maybe New Years as well, many of us would be looking for a quick simple meal to prepare. All they need to add is either chicken or pork fillet, a little butter and some soy sauce. I also thought it would be fun to package it like a pudding, there are some amongst us who are not fans of plum pudding, and one family member just placed it aside, thinking that it was a pudding, that her husband would enjoy, but she would not! It was a fun to prepare, and I hope helpful for each of those who received it.
The recipe that they will be preparing is Chicken and Mango Curry served, simply with jasmine rice with oriental flavoured pickled veg.
- 400 g chicken breast (2 small)
- 30 g butter
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons Mango & Kiwi Fruit Chutney
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
Preheat oven to 190˚C (fan).
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onion, curry powder, ginger, chutney, soy sauce and lime juice and zest.
Stir over low heat until onion has softened a little.
Place the chicken in a greased, shallow, ovenproof dish.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake uncovered, for approx 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve with steamed rice and/or steamed vegetables.
- Cooking time will vary a little depending on the thickness of the chicken.
- Try replacing the chicken with pork fillet.
- I make an oriental flavoured pickled veg that I drain and stir through steamed rice to serve with this dish.
- I've recently cooked this as a vegetarian dish by partially roasting small pieces of pumpkin and then adding in some cooked chick peas and raw cauliflower. I then covered it with the cooked mango chutney, onion and spice mixture before baking for 25 minutes, it was delicious.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas – we were blessed to celebrate with family and enjoy the summer sun, here in Australia.
Wishing all a New Year of peace, health and happiness. Please keep safe.
Until next time…