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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

 

Chicken with tomatoes, mozzarella & basilWe love easy ideas like this for adding extra interest to some chicken fillets mid-week. Serve with warm crusty bread and green salad.

Wine Suggestion: your choice of youthful, lighter Italian red; our choice tonight was the refined and under-rated Poggio ai Ginepri Bolgheri Rosso, but almost chose a Chianti. Both would be good.

Chicken breasts with tomatoes, mozzarella & basil – serves 4

  • 4 chicken skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes
  • 10 basil leaves, plus a few extra to garnish
  • 3 x 125 mozzarella balls, drained and sliced (don’t use buffalo mozzarella for this)

Slash each of the the chicken breasts four times with a sharp knife, cutting to the middle.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and gently fry the garlic and chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until golden all over.

Tip in the cherry tomatoes with the basil and season with salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for 12 minutes, turning the chicken breasts over halfway through.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Take the pan off the heat and put the mozzarella slices on top of the chicken breasts. Grind over some black pepper and put the pan under the grill for a minute or until the cheese starts to melt.

Pour some sauce onto each plate, top with a piece of chicken and garnish with the extra basil.

(Original recipe from Pronto! by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2014.)

 

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Chicken & apple pieChicken pie is an autumnal dish in our house and we usually try a different version every year. We particularly liked this one flavoured with cider and apples.

Wine Suggestion: A natural suggestion is to drink the cider you used to make the pie, and we finished the remainder of the bottle likewise. Our choice this evening was from Normandy, courtesy of our last trip to France. When matching a wine, we think the appley character of Chenin Blanc is what to go with. If your prefernces are French wine, then a Vouvray is a good choice; tonight we chose the Secateurs Chenin Blanc from Swartland in South Africa; a country that really excels with this grape.

Chicken, Leek & Cider Pie – serves 4

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 3 medium leeks, sliced into rings
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 500g cooked chicken, torn into pieces
  • 50g extra mature cheddar, grated
  • 375g puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 2tsp milk

Melt 40g of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Continue to stir over a medium-low heat for a minute to make a roux. Remove from the heat and gradually add the cider, mixing carefully with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until all the cider has been added, then gradually add the milk. Season and return the pan to the heat and, stirring continuously, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice and crème fraîche and taste for seasoning.

Melt the other 20g of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks and apples for 5 minutes. Add 2tbsp of water, season, cover and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender. If there is a lot of juice you can increase the heat to reduce it.

Add the chicken and half the cheese to the sauce, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and heat the chicken through. Gently stir in the leeks and apples. Taste and add more mustard or lemon juice if needed.

Spoon the chicken mixture into a 25 x 20cm pie dish or a round dish 25cm across. The dish should have a capacity of 1.3 litres. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and leave to cool completely.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a euro coin. Cut off a strip the same width as the lip of your dish. Wet the lip and press the strip onto it. Brush the strip with water and place the rest of the pastry on top. Press the edges to seal, then cut off the excess. Crimp the edges and decorate the top with the trimmings.

Make 3 small slits in the pastry close to the middle, then brush the top with the egg mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed up. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe by Diana Henry in BBC Good Food)

 

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Korean chicken with sesame sprinkle

Heaps of flavour in this Korean-inspired dish by Melissa Hemsley. Great on a weeknight with a green salad.

Wine Suggestion: This, like a lot of Korean dishes, is assertive, and has layers of bold flavours which makes winematching tricky but there are a number of options. Firstly a dry Marsala or dry Oloroso sherry. If neither of these are to hand then a lush and fruit forward red from Portugal. Our choice tonight was the Quinta de la Rosa Tinto from the Douro. They make lovely Ports here too, but have also dedicated vineyards and care for their dry wines as well; well worth searching out.

Korean chicken with sesame sprinkle – serves 2

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated
  • 3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes or Korean chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp tamari
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

FOR THE SESAME SPRINKLE

  • 4 tbsp black & white sesame seeds (we only had white)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes or Korean chilli powder

Preheat the oven to fan 220C/Gas 9.

Mix everything together(except the ingredients for the sprinkle) in a large heavy baking dish. Spread the chicken pieces out in a single layer, skin side down, and bake for 12 minutes.

Stir everything in the dish and turn the chicken pieces skin side up. Roast for another 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, prepare the sesame sprinkle by mixing the ingredients together. Sprinkle over the cooked chicken and serve.

(Original recipe from Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press, 2018.)

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Crispy southern-baked chicken

A take on southern-fried chicken but without the grease. These spicy drumsticks really taste good and would be perfect to serve a crowd of kids or adults. Serve with chips and salad (and maybe some cold beers).

Crispy southern-baked chicken – serves 4

  • 50g flour
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs or day-old breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt (we used ordinary salt)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

Put the flour, 1 tsp of the the paprika and salt and pepper in a large freezer bag. Put the egg in a shallow bowl. Put the breadcrumbs, the other tsp of paprika, the cayenne pepper, celery salt and plenty of black pepper into a separate bowl and mix well.

Put the chicken in the freezer bag and toss to coat in the flour. Tip out into a sieve and shake to remove any excess.

Dip each drumstick in the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to help the breadcrumbs stick.

Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy tray in the the oven for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken to the tray spacing well apart. Cook in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning once the underside is golden brown and crusty. Drain on kitchen paper before serving with chips and salad.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Kung Pao Chicken

The last time we had this famous Szechwan dish we’d just arrived on a stop-over in Abu Dhabi on our way to visit family in Melbourne. We arrived late and ordered room service and this truly hit the spot. A great combination of velvety chicken, roasted peanuts and a bit of spice. This recipe is from Yan-Kit’s fabulous Classic Chinese Cookbook. Serve with rice.

Wine Suggestion: our choice in Abu Dhabi was a Kirin beer, which was perfect that night. Similarly, choosing a wine this time we looked for a savoury dry texture and chose an Emilio Hidalgo La Panesa Fino Sherry which is kept under flor for 15 years and is outstanding; smooth and velvety even though completely dry and with a salty, nutty texture. A good match, but you needn’t find this exact example as any good Manzanilla or Fino works.

Kung Pao Chicken – serves 3

  • 350g chicken breasts, cut into thin strips and then cubes about 1cm square
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil or corn oil
  • 2-3 long dried red chillies or 4-5 smaller dried chillies, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 4 to 6 thin slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or medium dry sherry
  • 3 scallions, cut into small rounds
  • 50g roasted peanuts

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • third of tsp salt
  • 2 tsp thin soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaohsing wine or medium dry sherry
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp egg white, lightly beaten

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp rice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp cornflour
  • 6 tbsp clear stock or water

Put the diced chicken into a bowl.

To prepare the marinade; add the salt, soy sauce, wine/sherry, cornflour and egg to the chicken. Mix well and leave to marinate for 15-30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornflour and water together.

Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking, then add the oil and swirl it around the pan.

Add the dried chilli, stir, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until aromatic. Add the chicken. Turn and toss for about 1 minute.

Splash in the wine or sherry, stirring and tossing continuously.

Add the scallions and cook for another 30-45 seconds by which time the chicken should be cooked.

Add the well-stirred sauce to the wok and keep stirring while it thickens.

Finally stir in the peanuts, then remove to a warm serving plate. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

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Chicken in Vermentino

A fresh, vibrant Vermentino brings the elements of this River Café one-pot dish together; juicy roast chicken, buttery waxy potatoes and earthy porcini mushrooms.

Wine Suggestion: there’s only one choice here, and we would recommend the Poggio ai Ginepri Bolgheri Vermentino from the Tuscan coast. This is from the superb Argentiera estate with a clever 80% Vermentino and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. We say clever as the vines are quite young and the Vermentino brings at this early stage very typical texture, salty-savouriness and appley lemon fruit with the Sauvignon giving fresh acidity and backbone. Argentiera say they expect the percentage of Vermentino to rise as the vines age, but at the moment it is deliciously light and vibrant.

Roast chicken with Vermentino – serves 4

  • 2kg organic chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 1kg waxy potatoes
  • 75g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
  • 250ml Vermentino

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Wipe the chicken pieces clean with paper towels and trim off any excess fat.

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 400ml of hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and keep the soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit and chop.

Heat a medium frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, then add the garlic and lightly brown. Add the porcini and cook for 2 minutes. Add a little of the mushroom soaking liquid and simmer gently, adding more liquid to keep the mushrooms quite wet. Season.

Peel the potatoes and quarter them lengthwise.

Put the chicken pieces into a roasting tin in a single layer. Add the potatoes, rosemary, wine, and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Stir in the porcini and season. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for another 30 minutes. The chicken and potatoes should be light brown. Serve with the pan juices.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes from the London River Cafe by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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Merguez pot au feu with couscous

A dish of Merguez sausages and couscous from Marseilles. Like a Pot au Feu with flavours of the Maghreb. So delicious!

Wine Suggestion: French meets the Mediterranean, meets the Middle East – the Massaya le Colombier is a Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo blend. Made in stainless steel to preserve the fruit we love to chill this for 30 minutes, but you don’t have to.

Merguez with Couscous – serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 700g skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, halved and sliced
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 large piece of orange zest (use the juice to soak the raisins)
  • 400g merguez sausages
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp harissa

FOR THE COUSCOUS:

  • 450g couscous
  • 100g raisins, soaked in orange juice
  • 50g butter

Put the spices in a large wide pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat until sizzling. Add the chicken, vegetables, chillies, saffron and orange zest with 1 litre of cold water and slowly bring to a simmer. Season well and continue to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add the merguez sausages to the chicken, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas.

Meanwhile, put the couscous into a bowl and cover with the same volume of boiling water. Cover with cling film and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then fork through.

Tip the couscous into a serving bowl and add the raisins, butter and plenty of salt and pepper.

Add 4 tbsp of the chicken cooking liquid to the harissa to make a sauce.

Serve the chicken & sausages with the couscous and harissa sauce on the side.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: Olive Magazine, September 2013.)

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