Remember the chicken loaf your mum used to buy from the deli section at Woolworths? You’d get a great big handful of it in a bag and would take it home to add to your sandwiches for the week. I LOVED chicken loaf, almost as much as I loved devon. But nowadays I am a little more aware of what goes into the chicken loaf, so instead of buying it from the deli, I make my own.
I often split my chicken loaf recipe in two before I cook it up, that way one can stay fresh in the fridge, and the other can go straight in to the freezer for another week.
Be sure to have some fun with this recipe by adding in your own flavours. I added in smoked paprika (hence the ‘pinkish colour) because I love that flavour with chicken (like in this meatloaf) but instead you could add some pesto, or lemon rind or just keep it plain. It’s your choice.
Lunch Box Chicken Loaf
My chicken loaf recipe tastes even better than the deli version, but it's loads healthier.
- Chicken thighs: 300g
- Chicken breast: 300g
- Smoked paprika: 2 teaspoons
- Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon
- Maple syrup: 2 teaspoons (optional)
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Salt & Pepper: Pinch
Step 1: Pop all the ingredients into a food processor. Lightly 'pulse' (not blend) until everything has come together. This only took me about 30 seconds. Just be careful here, you don't want to blend it to mush, but you want to make sure no big chunks are left.
Step 2: Now flatten out a sheet of glad wrap ready for the rolls, I used 2 x 40cm pieces. You can use greaseproof paper or even a muslin cloth if you'd prefer not to steam in plastic. Both work (I have tried), just make sure you really-really pull them tight and fasten the ends with a rubber band, so they don't leak.
Step 3: Half the mixture on top of the glad wrap pieces and roll the chicken loaf until you get a nice smooth texture and then pull the ends and tie a firm knot in each end. You're doing this so it stays really solid and doesn't explode. So make it tight.
Step 4: Steam the chicken loaves in a steamer over a medium heat. Mine took 25 minutes; I knew it was done because it felt solid and my thermometer gave me a reading of 75°C when I inserted it in the middle. Aim for the same.
Step 5: Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes on the bench and then pop it in to the fridge for at least 3 hours before you chop into slices.
Images: Stacey Clare