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Mar 25, 2013 05:16 PM

Cooking from DONNA HAY’S COOKBOOKS AND MAGAZINES – Please join us!

There’s been some interest in starting a thread to share experiences in cooking and baking from Donna Hay’s cookbooks and magazines so I’m excited to be setting up this thread. I really hope folks join in!

Donna Hay is one of my favourite cookbook authors. I have all her books except for her kids books.

For those who aren’t familiar w this Aussie, she’s a cookbook author, food writer and magazine editor at Marie Claire magazine. She also has a tv series, an amazing website and, her own line of Housewares including lines with Royal Doulton.

Never mind all that though, it’s her cookbooks and magazines we’re here to discuss so without further adieu, let’s get cooking!!

For anyone who doesn’t own DH’s books but may be curious about her, here’s a link to her website. Check out her recipes there, many are from her books and magazines and all your experiences would be welcomed here:

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    Yum! We’re off to a great start with this quick and easy recipe. I had some freshly made ricotta that I picked up at an Italian market yesterday so a search in EYB for ricotta and chicken landed me here w this recipe.

    Prep is quick. Basil, parsley & oregano are chopped (my oregano was dried). Herbs are tossed in a bowl along w lemon zest, ricotta, salt & pepper. Ingredients are combined and stuffed into pockets you’ve cut into boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Chicken pieces go into a casserole dish and are topped w a 14oz can of tomatoes, garlic and a little chx stock. Into the oven this goes until the chicken is done. Ours took 35mins at 355°.

    mr bc couldn’t wait for this to come out of the oven. The aromas coming from the oven greeted him at the door. The chicken was juicy and flavourful. The herb-infused ricotta was creamy and decadent, blending beautifully w the tomato sauce. I served this atop steamed rice but it would be delicious with polenta or pasta too. I’ll happily make this again.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      This chicken dish is gorgeous! Now I want to eat it too :) What is the ratio of ricotta to chicken, BC? This dish reminds me of an old Martha's recipe that I used to make back in 90s (sans tomatoes); there was spinach mixed in with ricotta and chicken, I think, had the skin on.

      I will stop by the library and get one of DH books - which one would you suggest I get?

      1. re: herby

        Thanks herby! It was delicious. There is 3/4 c. (6oz) of ricotta and my chx breasts were likely about 6 oz each.

        I'd suggest you flip through a few of her books and see what appeals to you herby. I have such a strong bias towards DH and I don't really think you can go wrong. Off The Shelf was my first DH book and I still love it today so if you see that, take a look and see what you think.

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Did you use four breasts to 6oz ricotta? Sounds about right :)

          I'll stop by the library tomorrow and flip through the books that my branch has. Will let you know which book I've chosen to bring home :)

      2. re: Breadcrumbs

        OK-I did 2 ricotta stuffed chicken breasts tonite. I used toothpicks to kind of close the pockets, but the mixture stayed in quite well even where it gapped a little. I used only about 8 ounces of the tomatoes. I had some mushrooms that I didn't have plans for so I sautéed them, added a knob of butter and a splash of wine and poured them on top before they went into the oven. The breasts were pretty big and cooked at 355 for nearly 40 minutes. They were flavorful and juicy and I can tell that it's a recipe I will be able to play with. I might try it with a sharper cheese mixed with the ricotta. Husband loved it! A pretty dish too. I'll see if I can attach a couple of pics. This was fun. I hope Donna Hay has lots of these kinds of forgiving recipes that lend themselves to playing around. Thanks breadcrumbs!

          1. re: rstuart

            My husband ate all of his and half of mine. I'm not suggesting he's a connoisseur, but I'll make this again because he loved it so much!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          RICOTTA (Feta) AND HERB (Preserved Lemon) BAKED CHICKEN

          I had some ricotta and a chicken breast in the fridge and decide to make this recipe which I found here:

          Only my ricotta turned bad... Since I already had my heart set on it I improvised and the dish turned very different but never-the-less delicious. I made the stuffing with feta, preserved lemon, parsley and a bit of crème fraiche to bind it together, spread the filling over thinly pounded chicken breast and rolled it up. Cut cherry tomatoes and garlic into the baking dish, added couple of splashes of Arak, put chicken on top, drizzled olive oil, sprinkled a bit of salt and baked at 375F for about 40 min. Served with leftover rice and steamed swiss chard. Yum-O :)

        2. I love Donna Hay! I have quite a collection of her magazines, as well as 3 cookbooks. Unfortunately, I just lent the cookbooks to a friend, and the magazines are boxed up, in preparation for a move on Saturday. Will this be an ongoing thread? I'd love to participate once I get unpacked.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pavlova

            Absolutely pavola, all the best with your move and can't wait to have you back in the kitchen w us!!

          2. breadcrumbs,

            This is an exciting idea! Just to be clear, this will be an ongoing thread that will stick with Donna Hay and all her books/recipes? No specific timeframe or agenda?
            I have heard of Ms. Hay but don't own any of her books. A quick scan of reviews on Amazon gives me a very good feeling. If I got 2 or 3 what would be your recommendations? I liked the look of Cooking from the Pantry and see that her books are very reasonable. I'm a little OCD and prefer to read books in order.
            The chicken dish sounds simple & tasty and reminds me I'm going to make ricotta sometime soon.

            Good luck on your launch!

            2 Replies
            1. re: ItalianNana

              Welcome ItalianNana! Yes, this will just be an ongoing thread, pop in for a visit or cook-along any time you like!

              If you are going for 2 or 3 I'd definitely go w Off The Shelf because it's timeless and I've made so many great recipes from it. Modern Classics 1&2 would give you a book devoted to cooking and #2 is devoted to baking. If you need to get food on the table really quickly though, I'd go for the Instant Cook or No Time to Cook. If you entertain, DH's Entertaining and Instant Entertaining are sensational....

              sorry, I've likely made it worse!!

              1. re: Breadcrumbs


                No indeed, you've told me just what I need to know!

            2. Thanks Breadcrumbs! I'm looking forward to reading this.. and maybe contributing!

              1 Reply
              1. I'm a huge Donna Hay fan, I am very up for this! My favourite Donna book is actually a Marie Claire cookbook called Flavours. It's pretty old but still seems fresh and so many of my favourite recipes come from it. I've given it so many times as a gift to friends.

                I'm new to chowhound so not quite sure what I do, cook some of her recipes, reference them, review and post a photo?

                3 Replies
                1. re: helen_m

                  Welcome aboard helen and I'm super excited to have another DH fan here!

                  I'd love to hear about some of your favourite recipes from Flavours.

                  Please feel free to post as you wish with as much or as little detail as you see fit. A photo would be great but I totally recognize not everyone has time or interest in posting them so just do what works best for you.

                  Welcome to Chowhound & this thread!

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Thank you for the welcome! All my cookery books are somewhere in the Atlantic as I've just moved from the UK to DC but we should be reunited at the end of the month. In the meantime I have a Donna Hay magazine (spring edition) and have treated myself to the iPad subscription too so I can start cooking from those.

                  2. re: helen_m

                    hi helen
                    Welcome :-D I'm fairly new here. It's a wonderful site, with many knowledgable, happy-to-share members! Donna Hay is not currently on my shelf, a situation I am remedying. In case you haven't found the Home Cooking DOTM (dish of the month) thread, check it out. In fact you can still vote thru tomorrow.

           (hmmm, my link doesn't look clickable.)