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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Fesenjoon

We love this Persian dish, so rich and full of unusual but intriguing flavours. We’ve tried to make it before with limited success but this version by Yasmin Khan was much more like the dish we remembered. Serve with steamed basmati rice and salad.

Chicken with Walnuts & Pomegranates – Fesenjoon – serves 4

  • 250g walnuts (fresh is best)
  • 1.2 litres of cold water
  • 100ml pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 800g skinless chicken thighs, on the bone
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds to garnish

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until extremely fine – they will eventually turn into a smooth paste. Transfer the ground nuts into a large casserole pot with a litre of water and mix well. Bring to the boil and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, partially covered. Stir occasionally to make sure the walnuts don’t stick.

Stir in the remaining 200ml of water and simmer for another hour with the lid on. Add more cold water if the sauce starts to look dry – in the end it should have a thick, porridge-like consistency.

By the end of the time the sauce should have thickened and darkened in colour. Add the pomegranate molasses, tomato purée, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the chicken, put the lid back on the pot and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is dark and glossy.

Taste the sauce and season, you might like to add more sugar or pomegranate molasses to adjust the sweet/sour balance. Cook for a final 10 minutes with the lid off so the sauce thickens around the meat. Serve over rice and sprinkled with the pomegranate seeds.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

 

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Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Coq au vin was on every restaurant menu when we were kids. Not so much now, but still a much-loved French classic.  You can also still find it on many set menus in France – La Formule – and rightly so.

Wine Suggestion: As this is a classic French dish we would suggest going French with the wine too. For something decadent, a good red Burgundy, our choice would be Gevrey-Chambertin; for the thoughtful choice a really good Beaujolais, like Domaine Rochette’s Morgon Côte du Py; or something a little rustic and country: Côtes du Rhône. This last was our choice tonight with the excellent Coste-Chaude Madrigal CdR Villages Visan.

Coq au Vin – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pancetta cubes
  • 150g small button mushrooms
  • 12 small pickling onions or small shallots
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 8 chicken pieces (a mixture of thighs & drumsticks), bone-in but skin removed
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 300ml red wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 1 bouquet garni

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat in a large, deep, frying pan. Fry the pancetta, mushrooms and onions for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in the same pan. Season 1 tbsp of the flour and put onto a plate. Dust the chicken pieces with the flour and shake of any excess. Fry the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Add the brandy, take off the heat, and light with a match to cook off the alcohol.

Remove the chicken from the pan and add to the vegetables and pancetta. Add the remaining 3tbsp of flour to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine, stock, redcurrant jelly and bouquet garni. If it seems too thick you can add a little more water.

Return the chicken, pancetta and veg to the pan, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with potatoes and seasonal veg.

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

 

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Cajun-spiced chicken

These spicy drumsticks are really tasty and perfect when you’re relying on the freezer for dinner!

Wine Suggestion: For some reason we always think of rosé when cooking Cajun food. This time it was the Chateau St Jacques d’Albas, La Chapelle en Rosé and we were delighted to find our rosé of the year.

Cajun-spiced chicken – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks or a mixture of both

Make the marinade by mixing everything but the chicken together.

Rub the chicken pieces in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 least an hour or up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

Spread the chicken pieces out on a roasting tray and cook at the top of the oven for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through.

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

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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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