Sunday, 12 February 2012

Brenda's Cream of Chicken Soup

Best. Soup. EVAH!!!

This is the first time I made Cream of Chicken soup, but because I had my family over, I made a huge pot because I know how much my family enjoy soup.  But amazingly, every drop of it was gone... even the bowls I set aside for my cousin to ta-bao, and the serving that was meant for my nephew (who wasn't able to make it for dinner) were given over to the second and third helping requests.

And yes, my daughter even said, "So yummy! Can you made this soup again?"

So to safe-keep the memory of how to make this soup, I'm putting up the recipe here. ;)

2 Boneless Chicken Legs with Skin
2 tbsp Butter (I use butter for the flavour, but you can use olive oil too)
2 medium-sized Onions, chopped
3 stalks of Celery, sliced thinly
2 Russett Burbank Potatoes, diced
1 Carrot, cut into strips
1.5L Chicken Stock
1L Water
Dried herbs: Dried Oregano, Dried Basil, Crushed Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Flour
1 can, Nestle Cream


  1. Fry the Chicken Leg skin-side down in the Happy Call Pan, on low-medium heat for 3 minutes, to allow the chicken fat to come out.  Keep the pan closed.
  2. At the end of 3 minutes, open the HCP to see if the skin is cooked golden.  If it is, then use a tong to turn the chicken to cook the other side for 2 minutes.  Keep the pan closed because to enable the chicken to cook without drying out.  Once this is done, set the cooked chicken aside and DO NOT throw away the chicken oil. (If you don't have a HCP, you can fry the chicken in a normal pan, but make sure your pan is covered to prevent oil splatter.  The alternative would be to bake the chicken first, but with the skin side up... but same principle, don't throw away the drippings because that's where the chicken taste is.  It might be more work to use a large oven for only 2 chicken legs; or having to clean up a toaster oven for cooking the chicken legs one at a time, which is why the HCP is more efficient for this recipe. ;) )
  3. Whilst the chicken is cooking, put the butter in a pressure cooker pot, and sweat the onions on low heat.  When the onions have turned translucent, throw in the potatoes and celery and stir it in.  When the potatoes are coated in oil, add in the carrots, chicken stock, most of the water AND the two fried chicken legs.  Add in the dried herbs and a bit of salt. (Not too much salt because we would still need to adjust the salt at the end of the soup.)
  4. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes. (Initially, I would have used the thermal pot and cooked this much earlier - at least 2 hours for the veggies to get soft.  However, my mother-in-law gifted me with an 8L pressure cooker, so I decided to try it out instead. ;)  If you don't have either the thermal pot or a pressure cooker, you can also stove-top-cook the soup until the celery and potatoes are softened - about an hour.  But do remember that in stove-top-cooking, water evaporates much more, so you may have to add more water to account for the water loss.)
  5. While the pressure cooker is cooking the soup, add the flour into the HCP at medium to low heat, to mix with the chicken oils to form a roux.  Essentially, fry the flour evenly until you see the flour bubbling, and it gives a biscuit-like scent.  Then lower the heat and add in the rest of the water a little at a time, until you get a brown sauce gravy.  It is this flavourful gravy that will thicken the soup.
  6. When the soup is done, remove the 2 chicken legs and allow it to cool before shedding the chicken meat and put it aside. (You don't need the skin any more... although my kids fight to get the skin because it's just so yummy and!)
  7. Add the gravy into the pot and stir until the soup thickens a bit.
  8. At this moment, the soup is still very chunky, so remove about half to 3/4 of the soup and blend it in a blender.
  9. Add about a ladle of the soup to the cream and stir it to mix well.  Once all the cream has been mixed into the soup, pour the mix into the pot.
  10. Finally, add the shredded chicken meat to the soup and warm it up to allow the soup to thicken and mix its flavours.  At this point, add salt to taste, and you're done! :)
Serve it with warm toasted bread.  Or just slurp it all up on its own.  I'm sooooo going to make this again and again, because it's really worth every step. :)

"So yummy! Can you made this soup again?"

Monday, 6 February 2012

Happy Call Pan Diced Potatoes and Peas with Minced Pork

A simple dish to be eaten with rice, this dish is so easy to do with the HCP!


2 potatoes, diced
100g minced pork, marinated with light soya sauce, cornflour, pepper, and sesame oil (about 1 tsp each, or to taste)
1/2 an onion, chopped
Frozen green peas
1 tbl cornflour + 1/4 cup cool water
Pepper and Salt to taste

1. Into the pan goes the potato with a bit of oil. Then lower the heat to have it bake/cook until half done.

2. Once the potato is done, remove it from the pan and fry the onion. I closed the pan to sweat the onions a bit before stirring it around.

3. And then, the minced pork which has been marinated with light soya sauce, some cornflour, pepper and sesame oil goes in to be fried. I added a bit of cooking oil to break up the minced pork.

4. Once the meat is in this stage, in goes the potato and peas to be cooked until the potatoes are done. Do add in a little water to create a steamy environment for the ingredients to incorporate. Also, add in pepper and salt to taste.

5. Once the potatoes are soft enough, add in a mix of cornflour and water, and stir it up to thicken the dish.

Done! :)

6. Serve with rice.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Happy Call Pan No-oil Chicken Chop with Enoki Mushroom Sauce

I'm not starting with the first foods I've cooked, but with the one I did yesterday. ;)

And there's only one pic of the result and here it is:

The principles of using the HCP is very simple - low heat, timing and evapouration.

Because of the pan's construction, heat is distributed very quickly, so at medium heat, food can char very easily beyond 3 minutes.

Therefore, the best friend of the HCP isn't the silicon cooking utensils to prevent scratching on the non-stick ceramic surface (although that's a close second ;P), it's the timer on my iPhone! :)

The final priniciple is to remember that the HCP has a seal.  This means that most of the water that's evaporated from the ingredients are trapped in the pan, creating a steam-like environment, which is great for veggies, but not so much when you want crispy meats or fish.

So, how then do we achieve perfect Chicken Chop that tastes tender and moist, and yet has a crispy exterior?

It's simple with a HCP.

No-oil Chicken Chop
Boneless Chicken meat with skin
Salt & Pepper to taste

(Yes, that's all.  No marinates needed. ;P)


  1. Use a kitchen hammer and hammer the chicken chop.  The purpose of this is to tenderise the meat, and to get it uniformly flat.  If you skip this step, the chicken meat may not sit well on the pan, and some parts of the surface may be crispier than others. ;)  I usually use boneless Chicken legs which I buy frozen in 2kg packs from NTUC.
  2. Salt and pepper your chicken after hammering.
  3. Turn on the fire to medium heat and place the chicken skin side down on the pan and close the lid. (There's space for 2 to 3 large chicken pieces, so to save fuel, just put in as many as would fit)  Set the timer for 2 minutes.  Refrain from the urge to open the pan and lose all that lovely steam, which will cook the chicken into tender moistness. ;)
  4. Open the pan to check the progress of the chicken at the end of 2 minutes.  My medium heat and your medium heat are different.  For me, I'll need another minute to get the skin a little more golden.  If your medium heat is a bit higher than mine, and you've already achieve some golden crispiness and chicken oil seeping out, you're done with this step.  If yours need more cooking, set your timer at 1 minute intervals to check until you get a light golden skin.
  5. At this stage, use a silicon-coated tong to turn the chicken pieces, so that the skin side is up.  I know some people would prefer to flip the entire pan, but I don't like to do so.  I find it messes up the position of my chicken and I lose all that lovely heat that's evenly distributed on the bottom pan. ;) Set your timer to 3 minutes and lower the heat.  Don't fully close the lid though - put something thick between the magnetised handle to all the lid to cover, but not seal the lid.  We want the steam to evaporate and retain all that crispy skin.  I use the handle of my stove lighter to wedge the handle, but you can use a wad of thick cloth, or find a bottle or something to wedge the handle.  By now, you'll note that the bottom of the pan has oil that came from the chicken... all those lovely chicken fats are full of flavour, and it's the best oil to fry the meat side of the chicken. :)
  6. At the end of the 3 minutes, open the lid and check the progress of the skin side.  Determine if you need more time for a golden finish (it ought to be darker than the skin side), or if it's just nice.  If it's ok, you'll just need to flip the chicken one more time, for one more minute at this heat for the skin to really crisp up.  Remember to have the lid partially open with the wedge so that the steam can evaporate.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan and then put it in an aluminium foil and keep it covered for about 5 minutes (or until all the chicken chops that you're cooking are done).  This final step, also known as 'rest', helps the chicken juices to redistribute through the meat so that the meat is moist.  Don't cut the chicken before it has rested - otherwise all the moisture will be lost, and you end up with dry, gummy chicken!
  8. If you're cooking more chicken, pour the residual chicken oil on the pan into a glass/porcelain bowl and wipe the pan down with a kitchen paper before beginning the process again.  I usually use a tong holding the kitchen paper to scrape down the debris and throw the paper away.  Save that chicken oil for making the sauce!
  9. When the 'rest' is done, you'll find that there is a lot of fragrant chicken juice left at the bottom of the aluminium foil.  Add this juice to the chicken oil to make the sauce.
This method of cooking chicken skin-side down first, is also the way I cook my Salmon fillets.  The heat renders the fats and I don't need to add extra oils to cook my meats on the non-stick surface.  With the fragrant fats, I find I don't need to use too much condiments to add taste to the food. ;)

Simple Brown Sauce
And it's really simple.  Brown sauce is made from thickening the fats that have dripped from cooking meats.  If baked in the oven, the fats and juices are retained and cooked with flour, and water is added to form a gravy.  It is then seasoned to taste.  In a HCP, this is very easily done.

Flour, about 1 tablespoon
Hot water, about half a cup
Salt and Pepper to taste (Salt can also be replaced with light soya sauce or a mix of the two is also fine)

  1. After frying the chicken and while the chicken is resting, there's no need to pour away the oils or wipe down the pan.  Just pour whatever oils and chicken juice that's available into the hot pan and add in about a tablespoon of plain flour to the pan.  Once most of the flour is absorbed, heat the pan to low heat and stir the mix until it's brown - it takes about 1 minute.
  2. Add in water to the pan and close the lid for 1 minute.  When you open the lid, stir to blend the mix so that it looks like gravy.  Add more water if you need to thin it, or allow the pan to evapourate the water if it looks too watery.
  3. Add in the salt and pepper to the taste you want.

The brown sauce is versatile in that you can add other flavourings to get different kinds of sauces.  For a wine sauce, replace the water with red wine.  Others have added A1 sauce for a more sourish-sweet sauce, or honey for a sweetish finish.  Play and experiement to your preference; try adding fresh herbs etc, and then strain the gravy through a sieve for a smooth finish if necessary.

Enoki Mushroom Sauce
For my Enoki Mushroom Sauce, all I did was to add 2 packets of Enoki Mushroom into the Brown Sauce and close the lid for 1 minute (I cooked 5 chicken legs for dinner).  After that, I adjusted the water, and stirred the mushroom a bit and it was done.  After I did the sauce, there was still more juice from the resting chicken during the time I cooked the sauce, so I added those into the sauce and stirred it in.  Yum!

Because I wanted to retain my chicken's crispy skin, I put the Enoki mushroom on the plate first and then the chicken on top.  Not only it looks better, I won't end up with soggy chicken skin. :)

Enjoy your Happy Healthy Happy Call Pan Meals! :)

Jailbreaking the Happy Call Pan

Image from Gmarket reviewer.
I joined the crowd of happy Happy Call Pan users in October last year, following a spree organised by some good friends who raved about the pan.

Since then, I've been happy to switch most of my wok-cooking to using the HCP.

HCP is a very good kitchen hardware with excellent design.  It's not Teflon-coated, which means that its non-stick ceramic surface isn't likely to create health issues, especially at high temperature.  Its base and lid are designed with a ridged surface, which enables heat to be distributed very quickly to the food, and the silicon seal with a strong magnetised handle allows the pan to act like a pressure cooker/oven to seal the heat in the pan to enable it to cook faster and even bake foods at a lower direct temperature.

HCP users have created a repository of recipes using the HCP at  There are recipes for baking cakes, cookies, alongside the usual suspects like fried and stewed foods.  Most foods that require oven baking can be adapted to using the HCP - a plus for many households that doesn't own an oven.

For me, the choice of using the HCP and oven really depends on the amount of food I'm cooking, and the fuel that's needed.  I prefer to use electricity with my oven/Airfryer over gas stove because my house isn't fitted with piped gas, and I need to keep calling the gas shop to deliver their gas tanks when mine runs out. However, I've also noted that with the HCP, I'm actually using less gas compared to using the wok.  I've not needed to use the largest burner, which I naturally would need to when using the wok.  The maximum heat I use for the HCP is medium, and even then, not for more than 3 minutes, otherwise the food would burn!  That's how efficient the HCP is!

The HCP is very versatile, but many users complain that the design of the hinged lid is also the flaw - the hinge creates a problem for washing up and for removing foods efficiently from the pan.  Not a problem for me - I've simply removed the c-pin that keeps the hinge together, and my HCP lid can be easily removed from the bottom pan for cooking or washing.  It even makes tilting the food onto a plate so much easier because I don't have to grapple with the weight or bulk of the lid.

Here's how I jailbreak my HCP ;) :
Use a screwdriver to gently pry the c-pin from the hinge. 
Here's how it looks with the c-pin removed.  The hinge still works fine. :)

Now I have 2 pans! ;)  The one with the red edge is the lid.  To use, just hook the lid into the slots on the bottom pan.

A simple slot back.  You'll get the hang of it after a while. :)

With the magnetised handle, even without the c-pin, the lid stays firmly closed and will not move, even if you do need to flip your pan.
This will be my first HCP post.  I'll soon be posting a few recipes I've adapted for the HCP, and a few that I've tried from munchministry. ;)

Happy Happy Call Pan Cooking! :)