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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Roast chicken with garlic & thyme croutons

The croutons here are pieces of slightly stale sourdough that make a trivet for the chicken and soak up all the juices, such a clever idea. They are delicious and so is the salsa verde on the side.

Wine suggestion: We think a Jura Chardonnay with a little bit of Voile (kept in large oak barrels and not topped up for a number of years with a sherry-like flor yeast keeping them fresh) is the perfect match. The full-bodied Chardonnay matched with the freshness of the alpine foothills and the salty, yeasty Voile complements the croutons. Tonight it was our last bottle of the Jacques Puffeney Cuvée Sacha which is a non-vintage blend of Chardonnay with a small amount of much older Savignin; very compelling and complex.

Roast chicken with garlic & thyme croutons – serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken
  • ½ a loaf of day-old sourdough, cut into large chunks
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • a whole bulb of garlic, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved

FOR THE SALSA VERDE:

  • ½ tbsp Dijon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely diced gherkins or cornichons
  • 2 tbsp small capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ a small bunch of mint, chopped
  • a small bunch of basil, chopped

Heat the oven to 190C. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and season well.

Toss the bread with the thyme, 2 tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning. Spread the bread over the bottom of a large roasting tin with the garlic and lemon, then sit the chicken on the top. Make sure there is plenty of bread underneath the chicken. Roast for 20 minutes per 500g plus an extra 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Make the salsa verde by whisking the mustard, vinegar and oil together, season well, then add all the chopped ingredients.

Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes or so before carving. Toss the croutons in the sticky juices in the roasting tin and serve alongside the chicken and the salsa.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, May 2015.)

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Spicy Barbecued Chicken Wings

These have to be some of the best chicken wings we’ve tasted. They’re cooked twice so the meat is fabulously tender and there’s no need to worry about them not cooking through on the barbecue. We’ll be making more of these, especially as our daughter has now tasted them and keeps demanding we go to the butchers!

Wine Suggestion: This went really well with a dry German Riesling from the Nahe, the Weingut Korrell Paradies Riesling. A young producer doing some delicious things. Also great with lighter, spicy reds like a gently handled Grenache or Syrah.

Spicy barbecued chicken wings – serves 4

  • 16 chicken wings
  • mint leaves, coriander leaves and lemon wedges, to serve

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3cm piece of ginger, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 115g honey
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 80ml groundnut oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the chicken wings and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chicken wings cool in the water for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then toss in the chicken wings and leave to marinate for 1 hour. You can leave them for longer but you need to put them into the fridge, make sure you remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook them.

Preheat the barbecue.

Remove the chicken from marinade and put into another bowl. Pour the marinade into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced to a sauce.

Cook the chicken wings on the barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side or until charred, then brush with the reduced marinade.

Pile onto a platter and serve with the coriander and mint scatter over and some lemon wedges on the side.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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Chicken & new potato traybake

This really couldn’t be easier, everything in the one pan and shoved in the oven. New potatoes haven’t quite landed in Ireland yet but we chopped up some waxy ones which worked pretty well. Lemon, olives, bay, chicken & garlic – made for each other! Serve with a green salad.

Wine Suggestion: a joyously inexpensive southern French white, the Les Terrasses de la Negly, a Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Petit Grains and Muscat d’Alexandria blend. One highly popular grape with two that are deeply out of fashion. The wine: easy, fruity, fresh and with texture to work with the food.

Chicken & new potato traybake – serves 2

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 140g large pitted green olives
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 8 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 large chicken thighs

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

Pour the olive oil into a large roasting tray, then add the potatoes, olives, lemon, bay leaves, and garlic. Toss to coat everything in the oil, then nestle in the chicken thighs, skin-side up of course, and season well.

Put the dish in the oven and cook for an hour, basting half-way through. Check the chicken and potatoes are cooked, then return to the oven for a final 15 minutes to crispy up the chicken skin.

Remove the tin from the oven and squash the roasted garlic, discard the papery skin and stir the garlic into juices. Serve with a green salad, we had peppery watercress.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Chicken Cacciatore

We were missing all the family and friends we were supposed to be with on Easter Sunday but had fun with an Easter egg hunt, Quiche Lorraine for lunch and this for dinner, which was truly delicious. Served with Italian-style roast potatoes, plus we pulled the rest of the chicken off the bones and stirred into the sauce for pasta another day. Our little bunny has already claimed the leftovers for her dinner for the rest of the week.

Wine Suggestion: As it was Easter and we wanted to have something special with dinner … off to the small cellar of hoarded wines we went. The first Italian we came across was chosen, and though we knew it wasn’t cheap, we’d purchased it many years ago at a very good price. We very much enjoyed the Sassicaia 2008. A classic wine of the world, made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and drinking truly fabulously now. Interestingly it was the vintage that had no “signature” head winemaker at the winery; well done those cellar hands and winery workers who just made the wine as it should be! Ignore the price if you have one and just enjoy this wine as a special event like we did. Lucky us, and pity we only had a single bottle.

Chicken cacciatore – serves 4

  • 1 large chicken jointed into 8, we used 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 70g pancetta cubes – didn’t have these so cut some thick-cut back bacon into strips
  • a glass of red wine, about 200ml
  • 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes or tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 10 black olives, pitted and halved
  • a handful of basil leaves

When you get your chicken home, remove all the packaging and season it generously with salt, then put back into the fridge until ready to cook. If, like us, you had the chicken in the freezer and forgot to season, take it out of the fridge and season with salt, then leave out of the fridge for 30 minutes before you start cooking.

Before you start to cook, season the chicken all over with some black pepper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken until golden all over. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic and cook gently until soft. Add the pancetta (or bacon substitute) and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add the glass of wine to the pan and simmer until almost evaporated, then add the tomatoes and plenty of seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the capers and olives.

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Tip the sauce into an ovenproof dish that can fit the chicken in a single layer. Lay the chicken pieces into the sauce, leaving the skin exposed. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the basil and serve.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes & Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, April 2012)

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Chicken, Mushroom & Tarragon Pie

Our chicken pies usually have some kind of cream in them but we really liked this gravy version. Try and use chicken thighs instead of breasts if you can get them, but no matter. I think we can all be forgiven for using dried herbs rather than fresh at the minute too. Though our local grocer surprisingly had some tarragon. We divided this into two dishes and baked each one fresh over two nights – reheated pastry never works out so well.

Wine Suggestion: Pinot Noir makes a nice match for this dish, be it classic Burgundy or New World. As always with this grape, make sure it is fresh and vibrant – the rich, juicy and high alcohol versions with lower acidity just don’t cut it with food. Tonight we had a cheaper “Little Yering” from the Yarra Valley found in the bargain bin of a local. While it didn’t blow us away it was delightful with the food

Chicken, mushroom & tarragon pie – serves 4

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 400g diced chicken (we used thighs but breasts fine too)
  • 100g mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 330ml white beer
  • 300ml chicken stock or veg stock
  • 4 tbsp of chopped tarragon leaves
  • a ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry sheet (all-butter not essential)

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and brown the chicken. Remove it from the pan and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook these for about 5 minutes or until softened and browned.

Add 3 tbsp of flour to the mushroom mixture and keep cooking for about 5 minutes, then add the beer and stock. Bring to the boil while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the sticky bits.

Lower the heat, then add the tarragon, some seasoning, and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, then tip into a baking dish and leave to cool.

Cut the pastry sheet to fit the dish and lay gently onto the sauce. Cut a few slits in the top and make a decoration with the pastry cuttings.

Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.

(Original recipe from Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

Chicken, Mushroom & Tarragon Pie 2

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Roast chicken with a Breton sauce

We made this on the first weekend of social distancing as our dinner date was cancelled. We were all in a bit of shock but reassured ourselves by planning all of the things that we could cook while spending time at home. We loved this recipe by Diana Henry and the sauce is absolutely delicious. We served with some purple sprouting broccoli and roast potatoes. Diana suggests green beans or Savoy cabbage and waxy potatoes.

Wine suggestion: Our inspiration tonight was the Loire, being the closest wine region to Brittany, which specialises in apples (cider & Calvados). We chose a bottle of Chateau du Hureau’s Foudre, a Chenin Blanc that is fermented and aged in large oak barrels; full of appley flavours alongside a refined texture and enough body and a freshness to match the rich, creamy dish.

Roast chicken with a Breton onion sauce – serves 6

  • 1.8kg chicken
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped

FOR THE ONIONS:

  • 30g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 450g onions, finely chopped

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 300ml full cream milk
  • a slice of onion
  • a few parsley stalks
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • a bay leaf
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Calvados

Preheat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Prep the chicken first by mashing the butter and thyme leaves together with some salt and pepper. Loosen the skin over the breast of the chicken with your hands. This is easy to do but be gentle so you don’t tear the skin. Spread half of the butter under the skin with your hands, then spread the rest over the outside. Season all over with salt and pepper and put into a roasting tin. Cook for 20 minutes per 500g plus an extra 10 minutes.

Melt the butter for the onions in a heavy-based pan, then add the onions. Stir to coat them in the butter, add 2 tbsp of water, then cover and cook over a very low heat until completely soft. Check them now and then and add a bit more water if needed. Set aside until needed.

Remove the chicken from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

To make the sauce put the milk, onion, parsley and peppercorns and bay leaf in a saucepan and slowly bring to just under the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes, then strain into a jug.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the flour and stir over a medium-low heat for a minute. Remove the pan from the heat, then start adding the strained milk, a little at a time, stirring until smooth. Season and add a little grated nutmeg. Return the pan to the heat and stir until boiling. Turn the heat down and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the onions and their juices, the crème fraîche, mustard and Calvados and taste for seasoning. Serve the chicken with the sauce and veg on the side.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

 

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Chicken with young ginger

We made this on Chinese New Year when the Chinese were unable to celebrate due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Over a month later and we’re still not sure what the implications of the Covid-19 outbreak will be. In the meantime we’ll keep calm and carry on cooking.

This is a recipe by Fuchsia Dunlop who recommends using tender ginger that’s not too fibrous – it should be easy to snap off a piece with no fibres showing from the cut. We’re not sure our ginger quite met that criteria but the dish was very tasty nonetheless.

Wine Suggestion: white, aromatic and with a fresh acidity. Pikes “The Merle” Riesling from Clare Valley made a great aperitif while cooking and then stepped up and paired wonderfully.

Chicken with Young Ginger – nen jiang chao zi ji – serves 2 with rice

  • 75g plump fresh ginger (see note above), peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 1 scallion, white part only (save the green part), smacked with a cleaver or rolling pin
  • 350g boned chicken thighs, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp potato starch mixed with ½ tsp cold water
  • a few 5cm pieces of scallion, green parts only
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ground white pepper

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp potato starch
  • 2 tsp cold water

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp stock or water

Put the chicken into a bowl with the marinade ingredients and stir.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a wok over a high flame. Add the ginger and scallion white and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the chicken and continue to stir-fry over a high heat, until cooked through and beginning to colour.

Add the Shaoxing wine to the chicken, then stir the sauce and add to the wok. Bring to a fast boil and season with white pepper.

Stir the starch mixture and this to the wok, stirring. The sauce should thicken and become glossy.

Add the scallion greens and toss briefly, before removing the wok from the heat. Stir in the sesame oil and serve.

(Original recipe from Land of Fish & Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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We’re all about creamy sauces, gratins and roasts at this time of the year. This is a great Friday night pasta dish by Nigel Slater with all the roast chicken flavour but quick to put together.

Wine suggestion: this really needs a full bodied white wine with texture. We naturally fall towards Chardonnay when thinking this, but the Languedoc one we had in the fridge we knew was easy drinking but not able to stand up to the food despite it being fuller bodied. Luckily we also had Vouvray made by Vincent and Tania Carême from our holidays earlier this year, and despite it being “tendre” or off-dry, it was a delight and an excellent match. The key was the texture even with the residual sugars left in the wine.

Roast chicken pasta – serves 4 generously

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg chicken thighs
  • 300g fusilli or trofie pasta
  • 7g tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 10g parsley, leaves stripped and chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 75g pine nuts, toasted
  • 500ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Bash the rosemary, peppercorns and a tsp of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until you have a coarse powder, then blend in the olive oil.

Put the chicken thighs in a roasting tin, then pour over the rosemary mixture and rub to coat all over. Put into the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salty water according to the timings on the pack.

Remove the chicken from the bones, keeping it in large chunks if you can and catching any meaty juices.

Mix the tarragon, parsley, lemon and toasted pine nuts together.

Put the roasting tin over a medium heat, add the cream to the tin and stir to scrape all the crusty bits off the tin. When the cream starts to bubble, add the cooked pasta and chicken. Season with black pepper.

Serve the pasta in bowls with the pine nut and herb mixture scattered over the top.

(Original recipe by Nigel Slater in The Guardian, Sunday 1st December 2019)

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Chicken & Ham Lasagne

This is a good crowd pleaser and you can also freeze it so if you are fewer in number make two lasagnes in smaller dishes and save one for later.

Wine Suggestion: Rich and savoury; this goes really well with southern Rhône whites and our favourite, value option is the Chateau Pesquié Terrasses Blanc, a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette & Grenache Blanc. With floral hints, layers of citrus and a backbone of stonefruit flavours this is round, rich and fresh in equal measures; just what this dish needs.

Chicken & Ham Lasagne – serves 8

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ a medium onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200ml white wine
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 140g sliced smoked ham, cut into strips
  • 200g young spinach leaves
  • no pre-cook dried lasagne sheets
  • 200g ready-grated mozzarella
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated

Put the chicken in a medium saucepan with the onion, bay leaves and wine. Pour over just enough water to cover, about 200ml. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a gentle simmer, then poach gently for 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Lift the chicken out onto a board and strain the liquid into a jug.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for a minute. Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to keep the sauce smooth. When all the milk has been added, continue with the chicken cooking liquid. When all the liquid is added, continue to cook and stir for a few minutes or until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Cut the chicken into small chunks and stir into the sauce. Add the ham and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Spoon a third of the mixture into the bottom of a 3-litre lasagne dish. Top with lasagne sheets, then repeat the layers twice more, ending with lasagne. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan and season with black pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the lasagne is soft and the topping well browned.

TO FREEZE: Assemble the dish but don’t bake it. Leave to cool and cover with a double layer of foil, then freeze for up to 2 months.

TO COOK AFTER FREEZING: Remove the foil and cover with cling film. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Remove the cling film, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 or until browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Honey glazed chicken wings

We love a good chicken wing and the only way to eat them is with your fingers – like we need an excuse. Cheap as chips too. What’s not to love?

Wine Suggestion: keeping it simple we pulled out a bottle of the Petit Mazuret Viognier from southern France. Not complex, but rich and able to stand up to the flavours of the chicken; a very satisfying accompaniment

Honey-glazed Chicken Wings – serves 6 as a starter

  • 1kg chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 100g mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • celery sticks, to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 200C/200C fan/gas 6.

Put the wings in a large roasting tin. Mix the honey, soy and ½ tbsp sesame seeds in a bowl, then pour over the wings. Mix well with your hands to coat, then roast for 20 minutes or so until browned, sticky and cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and paprika. Season well, then chill until ready to serve.

When cooked, sprinkle over the rest of the sesame seeds and the chilli. Serve with the dip and some celery sticks if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Chicken with Mushrooms

This is a great one-pan dish for mid-week. Tasty, economical and good for you too. We’re all into healthy stuff now that we have a kitchen and no longer need to eat out so much. We served with buttery mash (not so healthy) but a salad or extra greens would also be appropriate.

Wine Suggestion: Given it’s mid-week, we’d suggest the Domaine Ventenac Cuvée Carole which is mostly Chardonnay, but has a touch of Gros Manseng to brilliant effect. Fresh and easy, and yet textured, savoury as well as full of joyful fruit.

Chicken with Mushrooms – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • flour, for dusting
  • 50g pancetta cubes
  • 300g small button mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 50g frozen peas
  • small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan. Season and dust the chicken with flour, then brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Fry the pancetta and mushrooms in the same pan until softened, then remove.

Add another tbsp of olive oil and cook the shallots for a few minutes until soft. Add the stock and vinegar then bubble for a couple of minutes before returning the chicken, pancetta and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes more before serving with mash, salad or veg.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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We’re back from our holidays and sadly no longer living on a diet of bread, cheese & wine (bread, cheese & ice cream for Orlaith – age 5). This is a nice simple pasta dish for a Friday night.

Wine Suggestion: our choice is a fresh Chenin blanc, the Chateau Hureau Argile which has a crisp freshness as well as great depth matching the creamy chicken.

Chicken, Rocket & Pine Nut Pasta – serves 4 to 6

  • 450g penne pasta
  • 6 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 large chicken breast fillets, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100g rocket or watercress, remove any tough stalks
  • Parmesan shavings, to serve

Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salty water until al dente.

Heat a frying pan and lightly toast the pine nuts, then set aside.

Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté the onion, garlic & thyme for a few minutes, then tip into a bowl and set aside.

Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the chicken strips for 2-3 minutes and season lightly, then turn and cook for another few minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Return the onion mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the crème fraíche and mustard, then bring to a gentle simmer but don’t let it boil.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, then pour in the creamy chicken and add the rocket or watercress. Toss lightly to combine and season.

Divide between warm bowls and garnish with the toasted pine nuts and some Parmesan shavings.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Devilled BBQ Chicken

Spatchcocking chicken is a great way to cook chicken on the barbecue. This works best over indirect heat – using a charcoal barbecue you need to push the hot coals to the sides rather than directly underneath the chicken. It’s all too easy to undercook chicken on a barbecue so we recommend using a meat thermometer if you have one – the chicken should get to at least 57-60C in the centre of the breasts.  Serve with salad and chips or jacket potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: We’d suggest a juicy, lighter bodied red for this dish and a youthful Beaujolais cru came to hand, the Rochette Morgon Cote du Py which had both depth and joyfully youthful freshness; a good balance to the peppery warmth and BBQ charring.

Devilled Grilled Chicken – serves 4

  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 175ml olive oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Ask your butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you or alternatively put it onto a chopping board, bread-side down, and cut along either side of the backbone with kitchen scissors. Open the chicken, turn it over and press down hard on the breastbone so it lies flat.

Coarsely crush the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Add the chilli flakes and crush a little more.

For the marinade, mix the olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic and ½ tsp of salt. Put the chicken into a shallow dish or tray and pour over half the marinade. Turn the chicken over a couple of times to coat it and finish with the skin-side up. Sprinkle with three-quarters fo the pepper and chilli mixture, then cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Light your barbecue about 40 minutes before you want to start cooking and rearrange the coals for indirect cooking (see introduction).

Mix the remaining pepper and chilli mixture into the reserved marinade and use this to baste the chicken as it cooks.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and season on both sides with sea salt. Discard the marinade left in the dish.

Put the chicken carcass-side down onto the barbecue and cook for 15-20 minutes, basting with a little of the leftover marinade occasionally. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 15-20 minutes and continue to baste. Keep working like this until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy (ideally use a meat thermometer and test the breast until it reaches 57-60C). It will. probably take 15 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes, but this is really dependant on the BBQ on the day

Heat through the remaining basting mixture and pour off the excess oil.

Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the basting mixture and lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

 

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Roast Chicken with Morels

We’ve never managed to find fresh morels but they’re such a reminder of Spring that we like to cook with the dried ones at this time of year. The sauce with this simple roast chicken is delicious. Some steamed asparagus is good on the side.

Wine Suggestion: with the classic French flavours of morels, brandy and crème fraîche we had to go with a classic white Burgundy. Tonight a favourite, Patrick Javillier’s Bourgogne Cuvée des Forgets … our mini Meursault.

Roast chicken with morels – serves 4

  • 20g dried porcini
  • a whole chicken, about 1.5kg (if you have a different sized chicken cook for 15 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes)
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced
  • a handful of dried morels, soaked (or fresh if you can get them)
  • a splash of brandy
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • a small bunch of parsley, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
  • a small bunch of tarragon, leaves stripped and roughly chopped

Soak half the porcini in a small bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Put the butter into a small bowl. Drain the porcini, pat dry, then roughly chop and mix with the butter and some seasoning. Put the porcini butter inside the chicken and lift into a roasting tin. Pour 100ml of water inside the chicken too. Rub the chicken all over with vegetable oil and season. Roast in the hot oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Grind the rest of the dried porcini to a powder.

Check the chicken is cooked and cook for longer if needed. Lift the chicken out of the roasting tin carefully and try not to let the butter inside escape. Keep warm.

Remove half the fat from the roasting tin. Put the tin over a low heat and gently cook the shallots. Add the dried porcini powder and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the brandy and flambé carefully. When the flames die down, add the soaked morels, then add the juices, butter and porcini from the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes, then add the crème fraîche and mix well. Stir in the herbs and serve the chicken with the sauce.

(Original recipe by John Torode in Olive Magazine, April 2011.)

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Roast Chicken, Pancetta & Mushroom Orzo

We really liked this easy recipe for leftover roast chicken, a very tasty dish for midweek.

Wine Suggestion: mid-week, or weekend, this works great with a Pinot Noir-Gamay blend like you can find in Cheverny in the Loire; freshness from Pinot and smoothness from the Gamay … both earthy and the right flavours for this dish. Our choice tonight was an old favourite Domaine Bellier.

Roast chicken, pancetta & mushroom orzo – serves 4

  • 15g porcini mushrooms
  • 30g pancetta cubes
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 50g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 300g orzo
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 300g roast chicken, skin removed and shredded
  • Parmesan, shaved to serve

Soak the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes.

Heat 2tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Cook the pancetta until golden, then scoop out with a slotted spoon.

In the same pan, cook the shallots and garlic until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms and fry until golden. Add the drained porcini, reserving the liquid, and cook for a minute.

Add the orzo and thyme and stir to coat in the oil, then add the porcini’s liquid and enough stock to cover. Simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, adding stock as needed, until tender.

Add the chicken and heat through, then serve with the pancetta and some Parmesan shavings sprinkled over.

(Original recipe by Justin Turner in Olive Magazine, April 2012.)

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Chicken Sours

We’re forever looking for things to do with chicken drumsticks. This spicy and zesty recipe from Claire Thompson’s New Kitchen Basics doesn’t disappoint. Serve with some rice if you like.

Wine Suggestion: a zesty, dry Riesling is our choice. Something like the Pikes Riesling from the Clare Valley, or alternately the Dönnhoff QbA Dry Riesling (or even better one of their Grosses Gewächs (great growth) dry wines) from the Nahe in Germany.

Chicken sours – serves 4

  • 1kg chicken drumsticks and/or chicken wings
  • 2 small unwaxed oranges
  • 1-2 jalapeños or other green chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Season the chicken with 1 tsp of salt and lots of coarsely ground pepper. Place on baking tray.

Grate the zest and squeeze the juice from 1½ of the oranges; finely slice the remaining half.

Combine the chilli, garlic, honey, oil, lime & orange zest and juice in a bowl, then brush over the chicken pieces.

Arrange the orange slices on the tray with the chicken and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through and glazed. Baste occasionally with the pan juices as it cooks.

(Original recipe from New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thompson, Quadrille, 2019.)

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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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