Ricky Murray

Cooking good food on a budget and full flavours


November 2015

Kale and ricotta stuffed chicken breast with cumin spiced sweet potato mash

2 large chicken breast

1 1/2lb sweet potato

1 1/2oz kale, chopped

2oz ricotta

1/2tsp cumin

1/2 chilli flakes

salt and fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 210c (gas mark 7).

Prepare the chicken breasts first by butter flying them. To do this place the chicken breast on a chopping board and slice carefully along the side. Nearly all the way to the other side, open the breast up and lay it flat. Place cling film over the breast and bash a little to flatten it out and repeat with the second breast. For the stuffing steam the kale for 2 minutes then run under cold water to stop it cooking plus this will help it keep its colour. Squeeze all the water out and place in a frying pan along with the ricotta and chilli flakes over a medium heat. fry while stirring well for 2 minutes. Season with a little salt (ricotta can be very salty so take care not to over season) then add a good pinch of pepper. Lay one chicken breast on some tin foil with the widest side of the chicken breast facing you. Take the kale mixture and place half of it down the middle then roll the breast up nice and tight with the tin foil then twists the ends to seal. place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.  Now get the mash on. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes then boil them for 10 minutes in salted boiling water until soft and tender. While boiling toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over a high heat for a few seconds, transfer into a pestle and mortar then grind them up. When the sweet potato is ready drain them and then back into the pan with a pinch of salt and the ground cumin. Mash well and keep warm until the chicken is cooked. Unwrap the chicken, slice in half then serve up.

*To make a sauce to go with this. Add 1 chicken stock cube to 6floz of boiling water then whisk until the stock cube has totally dissolved. Add this to a small pan over a high heat and boil rapidly for 5-7 minutes until reduced a little. Add 1tbsp low fat yoghurt and 1tbsp fresh chopped tarragon. boil for a further 1-2 minutes then serve*



Cheesy chicken leek and mushroom pie


2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

2 leeks, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped (optional)

3oz frozen peas

3oz mushrooms, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced (or 3tbsp garlic oil)

handful of basil, chopped

Ball of mozzarella, drained, sliced


2oz butter

2oz plain flour

1tsp paprika



7oz butter, cooled, cubed

14oz plain flour.

Pre-heat oven to 200c (gas 6). First off make the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in just enough cold water to bring the pastry together into a pliable dough then chill for 30 minutes.

If you are using the garlic then add 3tbsp vegetable oil to a high sided pan over a medium heat along with the garlic, leeks, onion and mushrooms, toss in the oil then fry for 6-7 minutes add the peas and basil. Stir well remove from the heat then set aside. Add the butter to a pan over a low heat until the butter has melted then add the flour and paprika then mix extremely well. Add the milk 1floz at a time while stirring out any lumps until you have a nice thick white sauce. Pour the white sauce into the filling mixture, add the chicken then stir everything together. Place over a medium heat for 2 minutes, season with a good pinch of salt and 1tsp of pepper. Pour into a large pie dish and top with the mozzarella. Roll out the chilled pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Place on top of the pie filling and tuck it in at the sides and corners and trim the excess. Prick 2-3 little holes in the top to let the steam escape. Cook in the oven on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes.

Perfect on a winters night to warm the whole family up and give the house that amazing home cooked smell.



Zesty bonfire night Parkin

With bonfire night here why not bake this to share with the family. My mom likes to cook a big pan of chilli on bonfire night and this finishes it off perfectly. Mine has a added zesty twist which my family loved. But then again I enjoy this anytime of the year.

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7oz butter, extra for greasing

1 large egg

4tbsp milk

7oz golden syrup

3oz treacle

3oz light soft brown sugar

3 1/2oz medium oatmeal

9oz self-raising flour

1tbsp ground ginger

Zest of one lemon

Pre-heat oven to 160c (gas 3).

Beat the egg and milk together with a spoon. Melt the treacle, syrup, butter and sugar together in a large pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Mix together the flour, ginger and oatmeal then stir into the syrup mixture, followed by the egg, milk and lemon zest. Mix really well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Grease a 9inch square cake tin then line with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the tin. Bang the bottom of the tin on a work surface to make sure the mixture gets right into the corners. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until the top feels firm and a little crusty. Cool in the tin then wrap in more parchment paper. If you can wait 2 weeks then store in a dry cool place to become even more soft and sticky.

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