tv dinners

watercooler chat about what’s on TV and what you had for dinner last night

Not cheep?

with 4 comments

When I did journalism at school, I wrote an article about battery farming and two things happened.

1 – I borrowed a SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) video about pig farming that I kept for soo long I was embarassed to give it back, and

2 – I didn’t eat chicken or pork for 2 years

Regardless of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall or Jamie Oliver – when you discuss battery farming you’re talking animal welfare. To me, what sets us apart from being just carnivores, is the concept of mercy and our higher intelligence. We are capable of treating any animal with respect and we know that their nerve system is as highly evolved as ours – they feel pain.

So why does the average consumer not question the £2 chicken? I understand being poor, you need to make money for food stretch but no-one is forcing you to eat antibiotic ridden, 39 day old chicken. If you can’t afford free range chicken, don’t buy any. Why condone such barbaric farming practises?

I always buy free range – I just buy less. For example, you can get two free range chicken breasts for £3 from Tesco or Sainsbury or ASDA and make enough curry for 3 or 4 if you add some potatoe or other veg in. Buy a small free range whole chicken from £5 and make it last – you can portion the chicken yourself really easily with a good knife, or simply roast it then boil the carcass with carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns for a light stock – use that to make nice risotto, soup or stew.

Hugh’s Chicken Run (on again tonight on 4) and Jamie’s Fowl Dinners on Friday have already started the debate – hopefully more people will try free range and stop the demand for badly treated poultry.

20-minute free range chicken curry

Serves 2-4

2 small free range chicken breasts (skin off).

half an onion

one clove garlic

1 small potatoe

1 small sweet potatoe (try kumara, the NZ sweet potatoe)

1 can reduced fat coconut milk

Pataks Korma paste

Cardomom pods and a cinnamon stick

Lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

Handful of fresh coriander

300 – 500ml Greek or natural yoghurt

Dried mint

75g per person of basmati or brown rice.

Curry & rice If you’re using brown rice, put the kettle on and get the rice started – it will take 20 minutes – set a timer. Add 3 cardomom pods to the water. If you go for basmati – this will only take 10 minutes. Drain the rice after the time is up, back into the pot and leave the lid on so it steams and gets more fluffy.

Chop the onion and half the garlic clove really finely. Add a spoon of olive or sunflower oil to a wok or large frying pan and start cooking the onion, stirring occasionally to avoid it browning – you want it to be transluscent and soft.

Again add 3 cardomom pods and half a cinnamon stick. If you don’t have these – don’t worry.

Chop the chicken into small chunks and peel the potatoes and chop into small chunks too. Add them to the onion and fry for 2 minutes.

Add a heaped dessert spoon of korma paste and stir into the chicken and potatoe – fry for a further minute, then add in the coconut milk, lots of pepper and lemon juice too (at least quarter of a lemon).

Simmer the curry (medium heat, not too vigorous) for the remainder of the rice cooking time. If you want to add peas or brocolli etc add them at the end of the cooking time.

Raita While the curry and rice cook, chop the cucumber (about a 10cm length). Peel it first if you prefer it like that. Mix the cucumber with all but 2 spoonfuls of the yoghurt in a bowl. Add pepper and more lemon juice and a teaspoon of dried mint. Mix together and set aside.

If you’ve got naan or popadom – heat them just before you drain the rice (remove the cardomom pods).

To finish Add the reserved yoghurt to the curry and remove the cardomom pods and cinnamon sticks (they usually float to the surface).

Add half the chopped coriander to the curry. Turn off the heat once you add the yoghurt. NB if you want to thicken the curry, add a couple of spoons of ground almonds.

TV Dinner tonight – Organic rump steak with minted salad potatoes, some homemade hollandaise sauce and green beans.

Written by Victoria

January 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Recipes, TV

4 Responses

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  1. Q What’s the Beatles favourite curry?

    A Paperback Raita


    January 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm

  2. Please stop propagating the idea that humans are carnivores, were aren’t – we are omnivores. That is, our bodies will survive on a diet of any edible matter. In fact we could not survive with a meat-only diet, and we are not like cats, which have to have meat of some sort to maintain health.
    Vegetarianism is a good answer for many of the world’s problems, from hunger to to the environment, and if you really cannot face a plate of food without a meat centerpiece then the meat substitutes these days are hard to tell from the real thing.

    Tom Mayfield

    January 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm

  3. If we aren’t supposed to eat animals… why are they made of meat?


    January 20, 2008 at 3:31 pm

  4. Vitamins In Sweet Potatoes…

    An interesting post by a bloger made me at ……

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