Tag Archives: Chicken

Local 360

27 Oct

Local 360
2234 1st Avenue, Seattle

For AJ’s birthday a bunch of us had brunch at Local 360 in Belltown. According to their website their name comes from their philosophy of locally sourcing their food – the majority of it comes from within a 360 mile radius of Seattle.

I checked out their menu the night before and already had my eye on the fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup ($11). It just seemed so … American that I had to try it. Of course those experiments didn’t go so well with deep fried candy bars and Red Vines, but I had faith.

Which was rewarded! Score one for Team USA. I think they must have used breast because the chicken was a tad tough, but it was not bad for breast. Still, I will always prefer thigh because you really have to work to overcook it. But liberal dollops of butter and maple syrup took care of that minor problem. The chicken was herby and crunchy (and not greasy at all – until I buttered it I guess), the waffles were nice and crispy, and the maple syrup on the chicken totally worked.

Unfortunately James didn’t fare so well with his choice of the farmer’s breakfast with biscuits and sausage gravy and eggs ($10). I know it’s a little blurry, but does that not look like vomit?

Even James, who normally doesn’t notice this kind of stuff, was a bit taken aback at the presentation. Which could have been forgiven if it had tasted great but he said that his eggs arrived cold. Cold eggs at a brunch place? Come on, that’s pretty unimpressive.

He also wasn’t a fan of the biscuit (the closest Aussie equivalent seems to be scones) – which you can see hiding under a heap of sausage gravy on the right. That could be James’ issue because he has yet to meet a biscuit he likes. He said the sausage gravy was pretty good though. But their warm sausage gravy could not mask their cold, cold eggs! And you know what? You can order the sausage gravy on its own ($5).

I do think James made a rookie mistake in choosing his eggs to be scrambled. When I have a choice I always choose poached because it’s such a pain to do. Plus it’s an easy way to tell whether a brunch place is any good – most places overcook them (maybe because of the heat lamp?) so if you go somewhere and get perfect poached eggs you know they’ve got their shit down.

There was a variety of stuff ordered, including a rabbit pot pie (supposedly quite good) and pancakes (pretty bad – Amelia said they were “sad looking” – which they really were! – and that they weren’t nearly as good as just making your own batch at home). Everyone I checked in with said that the chicken and waffles were the best. I’m always very pleased when I choose the best food option.

The service was fine and they split the cheque which, given the size of our group was pretty handy. Incidentally that’s something I love about eating out in the US – cheque-splitting! Everyone just hands over their credit cards and the restaurant works everything out based on where people were sitting. It’s not a thing in Australia and it should be!

Also I think that if a brunch place in Melbourne offered fried chicken and waffles people would go nuts over it. It could just be a truck making waffles and frying up chicken and people would probably like … track it online and follow it around the city.

So overall the food at Local 360 was half-good, half-disappointing. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so maybe it’s a jack of all trades and master of none. And thinking about it some more, that’s actually one of my shortcut ways of pre-determining whether a food place is any good – only 5 things to choose from? It’s probably fabulous. Menu selections all over the place? Probably not as great.

The chicken and waffles were good, but not good enough that I’d return for them. Although given the averageness of the other meals I reckon I could probably find somewhere that does them better. Maybe somewhere that uses thigh.
Local 360 on Urbanspoon

Chicken Coconut Curry Meatballs

24 Nov

This recipe is from Primal Blueprint: Quick and Easy Meals. It’s a great cookbook, and my only regret is that I bought it in e-book form. I much prefer old-school cookbooks with pages, and find it awkward to scroll through my computer to get recipes. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t cooked that much from this book, which is a pity because the paleo diet is fairly similar to how I normally eat.

This was a nice Thai-inspired recipe that was easy to whip up. I really should make meatballs more often.

The recipe used dessicated coconut instead of breadcrumbs to hold everything together (I’ve noticed that paleo guys are big on coconut). Normally I’m a little iffy about substitutions like that, but in this case I think the coconut worked very well with the other flavours.


  • 700g chicken mince (they recommend a mix of breast and thigh)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • large handful of coriander


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Use hands to form 24 meatballs.
  3. Heat several TBSP oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot enough that a meatball sizzles as soon as it hits the pan, put all the meatballs in.
  4. Cook 2 minutes, then roll over and cook 2 minutes more (the recipe recommended 5 minutes before but I found that too much). Put a lid on the pan and finish cooking for another 6-8 minutes.

I served it with choy sum and sweet chilli sauce. I think next time, in addition to reducing the cooking time, I’m going to use about 1 TBSP less oil, because I thought it was too much. But otherwise it’s a super easy, nutritious and tasty meal – and a great vehicle for using up leftover coriander.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
12  meatballs:  780 calories,  39% fat, 55% protein, 6% carb

Thai Green Curry Chicken Drumsticks

24 Oct

This recipe has been in my regular rotation for awhile because it’s really easy to prepare and tastes much unhealthier than it actually is. When I eat it my tastebuds are like “omnomnom, this is a nice break from healthy food”, and then I realise that this is healthy food but the tastebuds are like “pft, no way” (Way!)

I think I’ll start toying around with different cuts since drumstick isn’t my favourite (the bone keeps jabbing me in the face when I try to eat around it).

I’ve tried the salad that’s included in the original recipe but it’s no good, so I usually serve this with some steamed vegetables or bok choy.


  • 9 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup Thai green curry paste
  • 2 TBSP desiccated coconut
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP water


  1. Cut 3 deep slits in each drumstick
  2. Place curry paste, coconut, sugar and water in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add chicken and season with salt. Stir to coat and leave to marinate in the fridge several hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C.
  4. Place chicken in a single layer on a baking tray or baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve (3 drumsticks):  580 calories, 52% fat, 39% protein, 9% carbs

Chicken Cacciatore

9 Sep

I have a huge backlog of recipes that I’ve tried and photographed but for whatever reason (mainly laziness) haven’t blogged about. Which is a bit unfair because some of them are quite nice and worth possible entry in my fortnightly rotation. Like this chicken cacciatore recipe from Taste, which was very simple but tasty and creates leftovers for another day. I like the flavour that the anchovies add – there’s no obvious anchovy taste, just a kind of … pungency in the background (in a good way!).

I’ve resisted making it again primarily because I don’t keep white wine in the house, but I think I’ll try making it with chicken stock and see how I go. I used all chicken thighs instead of the mixture that the recipe recommended, but otherwise I kept pretty closely to it. The recipe serves 4 fairly decent sized portions.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 8 skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in batches, for 5-7 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add onion, garlic and anchovy to pan. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Return chicken to the pan and add tomato paste. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add wine. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half.
  3. Add tomato, sugar and 1/2 cup cold water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Add olives and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until heated through.
Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve: 440 calories, 36% fat, 51% protein, 8% carbs, 5% alcohol 

Portuguese Chicken Burger

24 Aug

Man, we are getting a lot of use out of our little Weber Baby Q. Even in the winter we’ve been grilling a couple of times a week (even in the rain!) and now the weather has warmed up we’ll probably step it up.

Starting with these lovely Portuguese chicken burgers from Taste! They are easy and don’t require long marination (i.e. planning), and have enough spice to be noticeable but not challenging. I was worried it would be too spicy, because James kept getting overpowered by the chilli fumes while barbecuing. But it was fine – I think it could have done with a bit more of a kick actually.

The burger looks kind of undercooked in the photo but I think the pinkish tinge actually came from being marinated in the chilli (or possibly the lighting). But anyway, it wasn’t undercooked – it was perfectly moist and delicious!

The recipe makes a single burger and can easily be scaled up. I had one and James had two.


  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried hot chilli flakes
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 chicken thigh fillet (about 130g)


  1. Place the lemon juice, oil, chilli flakes and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to marinate.
  2. Preheat a barbecue grill on medium high. Drain the chicken from the marinade. Cook on grill for 5 minutes each side or until chicken is just cooked through.

The recipe suggested serving it on a roll with garlic mayo, lettuce and tomato. If you want to be healthy you could just have it with a salad.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
Just the chicken: 199 calories, 46% fat, 54% protein, 1% carbs  

Chinese Barbecued Chicken Drumettes

23 Jul

This is a blast from the past! These wings from Almost Bourdain remind me so much of the ones my mum used to make when I was little – moist, and full of this great, barbecuey flavour. It’s one of those great recipes that tastes really pro even though all you did was mix some sauces together, marinate the meat, then roast in the oven.

The flavour is much better when you let it marinate overnight, and it’s easy enough to just mix everything together before going to bed.

The original recipe specifies wings, but I always use drumettes because I am lazy and don’t like separating the wings (though I’ve used wings in my nutrition estimate, because Calorie King doesn’t have drumettes). The recipe is supposed to serve 4, but James and I normally split these 35/65 between us, so I’m counting it as 2 serves.

Mindful of the high calorie content, I usually serve this with steamed Asian greens. (That makes up for blowing my daily calorie limit on one meal right?)


  • 1 kg chicken wings
  • 1 TBSP peanut oil
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP char siu sauce
  • 1 tsp five spice powder


  1. Cut wings into three pieces at joints and discard tips.
  2. Combine oil, sauces and five spice in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat all over. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 220C.
  4. Place chicken in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking tray. Brush remaining marinade over chicken and roast for around 30 minutes or until the chicken is well browned and cooked through.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve: 1238 calories, 69% fat, 26% protein, 5% carbs


Bill Granger’s Chicken and Spinach Curry

4 May

The other night I made Bill Granger’s chicken and spinach curry (recipe taken from Almost Bourdain). It’s not the sort of recipe I normally get excited about, but everything looked healthy and easy so I figured I would give it a try.

And I’m glad I did, because while it’s not particularly inspiring on paper (on screen?), add “tasty” to the healthy/easy mix, and it’s exactly the sort of recipe that gets incorporated into my regular rotation. Also the macro breakdown is almost perfect, so yay. The vegies will skew it towards carbs a bit, so you could always sub chicken breast for thigh if you want to be anal.

I paired it with some green beans instead of the recommended basmati rice. I had the leftovers with broccoli, which was fantastic because the florets soaked up the sauce. I wish I could get the sauce thicker (maybe some cornflour?) but I do like that there’s no coconut milk or stuff like that to thicken it. That way this dish remains guilt free.

It was supposed to serve 4 but I would say it serves 3, and that’s how I’ve done the nutritional guide.


  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
  • 750g boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP lemon or lime juice
  • 90g (2 cups) baby spinach
  • Large handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the spices, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the chicken and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is browned.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and salt and bring to simmering point. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon/lime juice and spinach and stir until the spinach has just wilted. Remove from heat, sprinkle with coriander and serve with steamed rice.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve: 506 calories, 41% Fat, 43% protein, 15% carbs