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Posts Tagged ‘Chicken’

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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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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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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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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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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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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Lemon & Pistachio Chicken

Diana Henry is one of our favourite food writers and we can’t recommend her book of chicken recipes, A Bird in the Hand, highly enough. This lemon & pistachio chicken from that book is nothing short of delicious. She cooks this every year, and we think we may too.

Wine Suggestion: There’s a richness to this dish that demands an equal wine like Zind Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Calcaire from Alsace that had an excellent balance of depth, fruit, freshness and texture.

Lemon & Pistachio Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 120g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 40g white breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • good pinch of caster sugar
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 large skin-on boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml chicken stock

Put the shallots, garlic & half the thyme into a pan with 50g of the butter and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then tip into a large bowl.

Chop the pistachio nuts or blend in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and nuts to the shallot mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, oil, sugar and parsley. Season well and stir to make a stiff, coarse paste. If the mixture is too dry add a little more oil and it too wet a few extra breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the point of a sharp knife into the thicker end of each chicken breast and cut a cavity that runs along the length. Season the chicken inside the pocket, then use a teaspoon to fill the hole with the stuffing. Squeeze the sides together to close the incision as much as possible. Season the chicken on the outside, drizzle with a little olive oil and put into a roasting tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the tin and skim off the fat from the juices. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and splash in the white balsamic vinegar and stock. Bring to a rolling boil and reduced until slightly thickened. Add the rest of the butter and thyme and serve poured over the chicken.

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

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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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Spicy Yoghurt Chicken

Drumsticks are a regular weeknight dinner in our house and we’re always looking for ideas for what to do with them. You can cook these on the barbecue or in the oven – we find oven first and finished on the barbecue works well.

Wine Suggestion: Our choice of the Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel was a good match with the spice, chilli and chicken, as well as fresh to suit the warm weather we’re having. Long may it last.

Spicy yoghurt chicken – serves 4

  • 8 skinless chicken drumsticks (the skins are easy to pull off)
  • 142ml pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

Make a few slashes in the drumsticks with a sharp knife.

Mix the yoghurt and spices together in a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Add the drumsticks and massage with the yoghurt mixture, then cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lift the drumsticks out of the yoghurt and shake off the excess.

Cook on a hot barbecue for 20-25 minutes or roast in the oven for 30 minutes (200C/180C Fan)

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Chicken Saltimbocca

This is an easy version of an Italian dish which is perfect for a tasty mid-week dinner. A great combination of chicken, ham & sage. Also easily halved if you are only two.

Wine Suggestion: When considering a match for the salty prosciutto and savoury sage we thought of two wines straight away. The first a good Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from the Marche in Italy, like Sartarelli. The second a choice between a good Pinot Blanc or Gris from Alsace. Each should have a minerality, nuttiness and textural spices on the palate with a good balance of vibrant fruit.

Chicken saltimbocca – serves 4 

  • 4 chicken breasts (skinless & boneless)
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Flatten the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film by bashing with a rolling pin. Cut the flattened chicken in half lengthways. Put a piece of prosciutto and a sage leaf onto each piece of chicken and attach with a cocktail stick. Coat the chicken in the flour.

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and cook 4 of the chicken pieces at a time for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown but a little undercooked. Set aside and cook the rest of the chicken in the remaining oil.

Wipe out the frying pan with a piece of kitchen paper, then add the butter. Heat until frothy, then add the wine and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Bubble the sauce for about a minute before adding all of the chicken back to the pan and cooking for a further 2 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and cook for another minute, then serve immediately with the sauce.

Serve with new potatoes or green veg.

(Original recipe by Aldo Zilli IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, May 2001.)

 

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Chargrilled Pepper & Lime Chicken with Lime Aïoli

We’re just back from holidays in France and there seems to be a little heatwave going on. You can’t get more straight forward than this for tasty barbecued chicken and a cheat’s aïoli. Less time spent inside and more time to sit in the sun. We actually cooked this back in May when the sun was also shining – serve with some seasonal veg or salad.

Wine Suggestion: one of the wines we picked up on our trip was Chateau du Hureau’s Foudre blanc, 100% Chenin Blanc made and matured in large 20hl oak casks. A good choice.

Chargrilled pepper chicken with lime aïoli – serves 2

  • 4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ a clove of garlic, crushed

Trim any big bits of fat off the chicken thighs. Lay them out on a piece of cling film and put another piece of cling film on top. Gently bash the chicken with a rolling pin to flatten.

Put the chicken into a dish and add half of the lime juice, 1 tbsp of olive oil, some salt and lots of black pepper. Leave to marinate for about 15 minutes.

To make the aïoli, put the mayonnaise into a dish and add the rest of the lime juice, the garlic and some seasoning. Stir together until combined.

Shake off excess marinade and cook the chicken on a hot griddle or barbecue for about 4 minutes on each side.

Serve with the aïoli. Some chips would also be good.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, June 2011.)

 

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Chicken skewers with oregano

Tastes like Summer! Use chicken thigh fillets if you can rather than chicken breasts as they don’t dry out as easily. Serve with baked potatoes and salads for an easy barbecue for friends.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve found that a little known, but classic combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from Cheverny in the Loire is the perfect match for this. We want to try this with some Greek white’s too being inspired by the dried oregano.

Chicken skewers with oregano – serves 4

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 red pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 green pepper, cut into squares

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Cut the chicken thighs into 4, trimming off any larger bits of fat.

For the marinade, whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and the honey in a bowl until the honey is dissolved. Add the oregano, paprika, cinnamon and plenty of seasoning. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or ideally overnight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers, alternating with the pepper pieces.

Heat the barbecue until very hot, then grill the skewers for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Baste with the leftover marinade as they cook. Serve with a few lemon wedges if you like.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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