I was recently asked to get involved in a ‘fast food alternatives’ cooking challenge with Ramsay Health Care and I couldn’t wait to get involved. I love cooking, trying new food and finding new recipes I love, so I was really looking forward to getting stuck into the challenge.
The brief was to come up with a healthier alternative to fast food and to raise awareness of healthy eating. We all know how important healthy eating is, but, sometimes it’s easier to grab a takeaway on the way home from work after a long week, or you just want to relax at the weekend with a pizza and DVD. Don’t get me wrong, as part of a healthy lifestyle, the odd takeaway is fine. After all, what’s the weekend without a takeaway? But, what if I told you that you could enjoy a homemade takeaway that’s quick to prepare, tastes delicious and is healthier too. Well, the good news is, you can!
When it came to deciding which takeaway to adapt, I knew almost straight away that a KFC style takeaway would be a great choice, it’s one of the nation’s favourite takeaway choices (and one I love too).
The great thing about this KFC style meal is the fact it’s something the whole family will enjoy, it’s also slimming world friendly! The spicy KFC chicken is syn free, as are the homemade chips, beans, corn on the cob (without butter) and the coleslaw is only 1/2 a syn per serving. You could create a tasty chicken, chips and coleslaw meal as I did here, or for the Summer months you could use smaller chicken strips and create a tasty KFC style wrap (this is next on my list). It’s all of the taste, without all of the calories!
For the chicken
- 100g plain cous cous
- 350-400g boneless chicken breast fillets (can be cut into strips)
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1tsp garlic salt
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 chicken stock cube
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- fry light
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- In a large bowl add the mustard powder, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, chicken stock cube (crumbled) and salt & pepper to a bowl.
- Measure out 100g of plain couscous and add this to the bowl. Add boiling water to the couscous and cover with a plate, mix well and leave to stand for 5 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed the water.
- When the couscous has absorbed all of the water give it a mix. Add the two eggs to the bowl and stir until it forms a slightly sticky mixture.
- Take a handful of the couscous mixture and start patting it onto the chicken, this can be a little messy but pat it as firmly as possible and cover the whole chicken breast or strip.
- Spray the fry light onto the baking tray to prevent the chicken from sticking and place the covered chicken on the baking tray.
- Cook in the centre of the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes for a chicken breast or 18-20 minutes for chicken strips. The coating should look crisp and golden. Check your oven as times vary.
- Serve with chips, coleslaw, beans and corn on the cob for a delicious home-made KFC style meal.
For the coleslaw
- 1x carrot
- 1/4 white cabbage
- 1/4 red cabbage
- 1/4 of an onion (optional)
- or pre-packaged coleslaw mix (I chose this option!)
- 1 tablespoon Lighter than light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon tbsp Greek yoghurt
- Lemon juice
- Grate the carrot, white cabbage and red cabbage if making the coleslaw mix from scratch. Otherwise, empty the coleslaw mix into a bowl, I used half a bag for two people.
- Put your coleslaw mix into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of lighter than light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of plain greek yoghurt and a generous squeeze of half a lemon.
- Mix together until everything is coated and enjoy.
For the chips
- 3 large Maris Piper potatoes
- Fry light
- Seasoning (optional)
- Peel the potatoes and cut into small chips.
- Place in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
- Drain and let the chips dry for 5 minutes.
- Coat the cooking tray and chips with Fry Light and add your choice of seasoning.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees and enjoy.
Why not give your chips a kick by adding some paprika, cayenne pepper or chilli flakes, you could also try garlic salt and rosemary, or enjoy the traditional salt and pepper – the choice is yours. If you don’t fancy chips, simply cut the potatoes into wedges and adjust the cooking time.