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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Less than 1 hour

05Oct 12

Cinnamon Chicken over Couscous

Cinnamon Chicken over Couscous

The flavours you get from cinnamon mixed with oranges and sultanas gives this chicken dish a fresh and mildly Moroccan twist. Cinnamon chicken over couscous is healthy and light, and you won’t need to add any butter or oil to the pan.

It’s a great meal for summer and autumn evenings. Enjoy it with a glass of southern Spanish white.  If you like cooking with couscous, take a peek at this lamb with couscous and apricot salad recipe.

Cinnamon Chicken over Couscous
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Cinnamon mixed with oranges and sultanas gives this chicken dish a fresh and mildly Moroccan twist.
Ingredients
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 45g sultanas
  • 260g couscous
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium oranges. All of the juice and 2tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 125g green onion, cleaned and chopped
  • A large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
  • 600ml hot vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Put the dried couscous in a large pan and pour 400ml of boiling vegetable stock over it. Season with salt and pepper, mix in the sultanas, then cover the pan and leave to absorb the stock for around 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon powder with the flour in a shallow bowl; dust it over the chicken breasts and season. Place a large non-stick frying pan over the heat and dry fry the breasts on both sides until cooked throughout; around 5-10 minutes on each side depending on size. Check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked before removing to a plate and covering with foil.
  3. With the frying pan back on the heat, pour in the remaining stock. Squeeze in the juice of an orange (discarding the pips) and sprinkle in the orange zest. Bring the zesty stock up to the boil and turn down to a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes, reducing it by half, and intensifying the flavours.
  4. Peel and segment the other orange.
  5. Return the resting chicken to the stock. Add the orange pieces.
  6. Sprinkle the parsley into the couscous, stirring it in with a fork. Spoon the chicken in its sauce with the fruit over a nest of couscous.
  7. Sprinkle over with the green onions and serve.

 

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25Sep 12

Harissa Chicken and Rice Salad

Harissa Chicken and Rice SaladI absolutely adore this harissa chicken and rice salad. For me, it’s pure summer on a plate; bursting with vibrant sun-ripened colours and flavours. Think of combining refreshing cucumber, mint and lime, with the mild spice of red chilli, ginger and harissa. Afterwards, you can cool and complement all this with thick and creamy Greek yoghurt and fresh herbs.

I’m giving you the recipe for 4 people, but we sometimes double up the quantities if friends are coming round for a barbecue. It’s a complete meal in itself if you want it to be, but it also makes a great accompaniment to other marinated chargrilled meats or fish.  You could also just make the salad without the chicken, and serve it with these these ginger and coriander crab cakes.  I like to enjoy my harissa chicken and rice salad with a freezer cooled beer topped with a slice of lime.

Harissa Chicken and Rice Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Think of combining refreshing cucumber, mint and lime, with the mild spice of red chilli, ginger and harissa. Then cooling and complimenting all this with thick and creamy Greek yoghurt and fresh herbs...
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless but with skins on
  • 95ml Greek yoghurt plus a couple of tablespoons to serve
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa and a little extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 225g basmati and wild mixed rice
  • ½ cm ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and cut into small cubes or slices
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Small splash of soy sauce
  • The juice of 1 lime and the zest of ½ of that lime
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Mix the harissa, garlic, olive oil, ginger, soy sauce, yoghurt and mint in a bowl, then add the chicken thighs, coating them all in the marinade. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to absorb the flavours.
  2. Whilst the chicken marinates, cook the rice in salted boiling water until tender, normally around 10 to 12 minutes. Drain it, then rinse it through briefly with cold water.
  3. Drain it again and put it into your salad serving bowl.
  4. Once cool, mix in the cucumber cubes, lime juice and zest, and the red chilli powder.
  5. Turn the grill onto high. Arrange the chicken on a grilling tray and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked throughout and golden in colour. I recommend crisping up the fatty side first.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, cut it into thickish slices and mix about half of it straight into the salad. Top the salad with the rest of the chicken and sprinkle over the fresh coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix a little more yoghurt and harissa together and serve in a little bowl with a teaspoon along with the salad.
Notes
Requires about 20 minutes marinating time in addition to the preparation time.

 

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10Aug 12

Cheeky Chicken Strips for Kids

Cheeky Chicken Strips for Kids
My daughter loves these cheeky chicken strips for kids, which are basically strips of chicken breast cooked in a sweet barbecue sauce. There are some wonderful recipes for hot, sweet or spicy barbecue sauces out there for you to experiment with, but we use a basic recipe for this dish to suit the taste buds of our little one.

Our daughter likes to help to make the sauce, and we often find that when she takes part in cooking the meal, she enjoys eating it more – or will try something new or a little more adventurous than normal this way. We serve our cheeky chicken strips up with carrot sticks that can also be dipped in the sauce.

It’s a great meal for summer weekends that the whole family can enjoy. The sauce recipe below is also great on spare ribs or pork, as well as chicken. If you are actually hosting a barbecue, why not try these grilled veggie shish kebabs as an accompaniment?

Cheeky Chicken Strips for Kids
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Juicy strips of chicken breast cooked in a sweet barbecue sauce
Ingredients
  • 60ml tomato ketchup
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • A touch of chilli powder (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6-8 thin chicken breast fillets
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. If the chicken fillets are thicker than about 1cm, place them into a plastic bag and pound them with a meat mallet to flatten them, before cutting them into 1.5 to 2 cm strips
  3. Place the chicken strips into a casserole dish and spoon over as much of the barbecue sauce as you want to use before baking in the oven at 180ºC for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked throughout.
  4. If you want the chicken strips to be a drier finger food, you can grill them for the last few minutes on each side; or even grill them from the start – just be sure that they are thoroughly cooked before serving them.

 

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30Jul 12

Chinese-Style Lemon Chicken

Lemon ChickenA Chinese-style lemon chicken dish that you can make at home.  Serve it with plain boiled rice or a medley of yummy veggies. For more Chinese chicken recipes, why not try this hot and spicy chicken with almonds?

Ingredients:

  • 475g chicken breasts, boneless
  • 2 tsp dry cornflour, and 1 tsp cornflour mixed with water
  • 1 egg white
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • 245ml groundnut oil
  • The juice and zest of 4 lemons
  • 90ml chicken stock
  • A generous dash of dry sherry
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • A slug of sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, skin removed and finely sliced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli pepper, finely sliced
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
  • Salt and pepper to season

Steps:

  1. Make the chicken coating by mixing the egg white, dry cornflour, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into strips and stir them into the mixture, coating them well all over, and leave to one side for 25 minutes.
  3. Whilst the chicken is resting, juice and zest the lemons and prepare the remaining ingredients.
  4. Put a large wok on a high heat, and once very hot, add the groundnut oil and heat until it begins to smoke.  Take it off the heat and add the chicken, moving it about to prevent it from sticking, and stir-frying until it becomes white all over.  Remove the chicken, and drain off the oil – be careful as the oil may be extremely hot, so drain it over a heat-proof bowl.  Leave the chicken to one side.  Let the cooking oil cool, discard it, and then clean out the wok with kitchen paper.
  5. To make the lemony sauce, add the following to the wok: lemon juice and zest, chicken stock, soy, dry sherry, sugar, garlic, ginger and chilli.  Bring the mixture up to the boil and then stir in the cornflour and water mix.  Turn the heat down to a simmer for 20 seconds, adding the chicken pieces and half of the spring onions.  Move the chicken pieces about to coat them all over and ensure that they are thoroughly heated.

Duration: 25 to prepare, 15 to 30 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 4 servings

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18Jul 12

Warm Coronation Chicken

Warm Coronation ChickenCoronation Chicken is normally eaten cold. However, it’s also delicious served warm with rice.  Here’s one that I often cook in the spring and the summer.  Sometimes I make extra quantity; eat some hot, then store some in the fridge for a picnic.

The invention of the dish is accredited to a florist called Constance Spry and a chef called Rosemary Hume, who prepared the combination of cold chicken and a creamy curry sauce for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.  There are many variations of the dish, including this warm coronation chicken.

You can also use leftover chicken from previous recipes such as this sweetheart chicken curry with fragrant rice to use as a coronation chicken alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled into long, thin slices
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2-3 tsp curry powder of your choice
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 295ml mayonnaise
  • 160ml natural yoghurt or crème fraîche
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Steps:

  1. In a large saucepan, add the whole chicken breasts, the onion, carrot and bay leaves.  Cover the ingredients with water and season well with salt and pepper.  Bring the water up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Remove the pan from the heat and place the chicken breasts onto a plate to cool down.
  2. In a shallow-based frying pan, heat the oil and fry the shallots on a low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the curry powder to the onions, some of the chicken stock that you have just made, including the carrots.  Then stir in the lemon juice and the tomato purée.  Cook at a simmer for around 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
  4. Slice the cooked chicken breasts into 1.5cm pieces.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the yoghurt or crème fraîche along with the mayonnaise, stirring them together before adding them to the frying pan.  Taste the sauce, and if necessary, add some extra seasoning.
  6. Place the chicken pieces into the frying pan and coat them all over with the sauce. Add the flaked almonds.  Turn off the heat and sprinkle all over with the fresh coriander.
  7. Serve with plain boiled rice.

Duration: preparation and cooking time less than an hour
Recipe for: 4 people

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09Jul 12

Hot and Zingy Chicken and Rice

Hot and Zingy Chicken and Rice
Here’s a one pot Chinese chicken dish that’s fast to prepare and is full of wonderful oriental flavours. It’s a great mid-week meal which is simply yet beautifully presented; with finely sliced spring onion and plenty of coriander sprinkled over hot and zingy chicken and rice. Sometimes I substitute the ginger for fresh, finely sliced lemongrass to give this dish more of a Thai twist. It is one of our staple recipes that comes out every couple of months.

We had the family over to stay this weekend, and we cooked this dish because it is so tasty, and you can prepare it quickly in the kitchen; leaving more time to catch up with loved ones that you haven’t seen for a while. It was the first time my husband’s parents made the 4 hour drive to come and stay under our roof, and a special time was had by all.  For another spicy chicken dish, try this chicken tikka masala.

Hot and Zingy Chicken and Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here’s a one pot Chinese chicken dish that’s fast to prepare and is full of wonderful oriental flavours.
Ingredients
  • 1.5L hot chicken stock
  • 2 long green chillies, finely sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 12 thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 600g jasmine rice
  • 8 chicken thigh fillets
  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped or cut into long shreds
  • 2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Soy Sauce to serve
Instructions
  1. Pour the stock into a deep-sided frying pan.
  2. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger and bring the stock up to the boil.
  3. Add the rice, stirring once to separate it out evenly in the pan.
  4. Bring the stock back up to the boil and then add the chicken thighs.
  5. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender; and the stock has been absorbed into the rice.
  6. Sprinkle over the coriander and the finely sliced spring onions; spoon into bowls and serve with soy sauce.
  7. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

 

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03Jul 12

Chestnut Spaghetti with Chicken Livers

Chestnut Spaghetti with chicken liversFresh ribbons of pasta topped off with soft livers, and plenty of crunch; chestnut spaghetti with chicken livers is an unusually satisfying dish.

Let’s face it; chicken livers are not everybody’s favourite; perhaps they’re one of those things, like Marmite, that you either love or hate! If you’re one of the lovers, you’ll enjoy the combination of the soft livers with the crunch of the chestnuts in this dish. If you’re still not convinced, well, what’s the harm in giving it a try? You might just enjoy it, and livers are packed with nutrients, you know.

If livers really don’t float your boat, you could make this prawn and courgette tagliatelle instead. I recommend fresh pasta for this meal; or for the deeply committed pasta lover, you may want to make it yourself for the most delicate of textures and the best of tastes.

Chestnut Spaghetti with Chicken Livers
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Fresh ribbons of pasta topped off with soft livers, and plenty of crunch; chestnut spaghetti with chicken livers is an unusually satisfying dish.
Ingredients
  • 250g fresh chicken livers, each chopped in half
  • 300g fresh spaghetti
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 120ml chicken stock, hot
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced or minced
  • 100g chestnuts, cooked and peeled
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Crème fraiche to serve
  • Olive oil to drizzle when serving
  • Parmesan shavings to serve
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Heat the white wine and chicken stock together in a saucepan, reducing the liquid to about one third.
  2. Melt half of the butter in a large heavy-based frying pan, turning it up to medium-high. Sprinkle salt generously over the chicken livers and flash-fry them in the butter for 1-2 minutes, browning them all over but so that they remain pink in the centres. Then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
  3. Now, with the heat turned down a bit, melt the rest of the butter, combine it with the oil in the pan and cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.
  4. Add the chestnuts and the garlic to the frying pan and fry on until the onions are translucent, at which point add the reduced wine stock. Return the livers to the pan, season well with salt and pepper and stir everything together, including the crème fraiche.
  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  6. Stir the flat-leaf parsley into the livers. Serve the pasta with the chicken livers on top, a drizzle of oil and some Parmesan shavings.

 

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25Jun 12

Chicken and Pesto Tart

Chicken and Pesto Tart
Here’s a really lovely midweek meal to put together in no time and leave cooking whilst you relax or get on with other things. Chicken and pesto are always a wonderful combination. Sometimes I make this chicken and pesto open tart with green pesto, as in this recipe – but I also like to vary it with red pesto or aubergine and olive pesto when I can find it.

Another nice variation is to throw over a few walnuts or almond pieces 10 minutes from the end of the cooking time to add a little crunch.

We had friends over at the weekend who are about to go abroad to their homeland to get married (exciting times), and we served up this chicken and pesto open tart and tucked into it together, accompanied by a glass of sparkling white wine – now that we are getting into the warmer season. The tart is also really nice served with this lamb’s lettuce salad with serrano ham and apricots.

Chicken and Pesto Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here’s a really lovely tart to put together in no time and leave cooking whilst you relax or get on with other things.
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted
  • 4 tbsp green or red pesto
  • A little beaten egg or milk for the glaze
  • 225g chicken, skin and boneless, cut into thin strips
  • 60g frozen spinach leaves, thawed
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Open out the ready rolled pastry flat onto a baking tray.
  3. Put the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl, spoon in the pesto and stir them together, coating all of the chicken. Spoon the chicken out onto the pastry, leaving a 2.5cm border filling free around each edge.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and arrange them on top of the chicken, with the cut side up.
  5. Arrange the spinach leaves around the tomatoes.
  6. Turn the pastry edges up and press the corners together to create a border casing for the tart.
  7. Beat the egg in a little bowl and brush it around the pastry border.
  8. Bake in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the pastry is nicely risen and golden brown.

 

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20Jun 12

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

Chicken and Pineapple SkewersNow that the summer is coming, I’m starting to think more about eating outside. Chicken and pineapple skewers can be cooked on a barbeque or in the kitchen under the grill as in this recipe. Juicy pineapple goes really well with the subtlety of chicken, and peppers are always mouth-watering when grilled or flame roasted. This side dish is great accompanied by a rice dish. Why not try this Indian-style brown rice?

I use tins of pineapple chunks for my chicken and pineapple skewers so that I can add the juice to the marinade, and save on preparation time. For a nice variation to the peppers, and as a further time saver when you need it, thread whole cherry tomatoes onto the skewers instead.

 

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken fillets, skinless, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 2 x 227g pineapple chunks in their juice
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into bite size chunks
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 small pots of natural sweetened yoghurt
  • ⅓ cucumber, chopped into very small cubes
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Make the marinade for the chicken by mixing the lime, soy sauce, honey and oil together in a shallow bowl.
  2. Add 4 tbsp of the pineapple juice from the can into the mixture and stir well.
  3. Coat the chicken pieces in the marinade in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour to absorb the flavours. You can even do this the night before to save preparation time on the day.
  4. When you are ready to assemble and cook the skewers, turn the grill onto a medium heat.
  5. Thread the skewers with the chicken, pepper, onion and pineapple chunks. Coat the ingredients with some more marinade and place them under the grill for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Turn the skewers occasionally as they grill.
  6. Whilst the kebabs are grilling, make the minty yoghurt dip.
  7. Mix the yoghurt, little cucumber cubes and the mint together in a serving bowl.
  8. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
Requires marinading for a minimum of 30 minutes

 

 

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01Jun 12

Lemon and Sesame Chicken Breasts

Lemon and Sesame Chicken BreastsLemon and sesame chicken breasts – a lovely recipe for the height of spring; with plenty of refreshing lemon juice in the sauce.

Lemons are very rich in vitamin C, but did you know that they also contain potassium, iron and vitamin B6, amongst other nutrients? Lemons store for longer in the fridge, but if you take them out and allow them to come up to room temperature before extracting the juice, they are much easier to squeeze, and so the juice comes out more easily.

Lemon has antibacterial properties because of its high acid content. The origin of this wonderful fruit is not entirely certain, but its cultivation can be traced far back to Burma, China and India; spreading from there around the warmer climes of the world. Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola during his voyages in the mid 15th century. Did you know that lemon trees produce fruit all year round? And I’ve heard it said that the fashionable ladies of the European Renaissance used to put lemon juice on their lips to redden them! The humble lemon as a beauty accessory – who would have thought it?

Serve lemon and sesame chicken breasts with these minty jersey royals and a glass of home-made lemonade for an all-round lemony meal. I also like to serve it alongside a fresh spinach and tomato salad, drizzled with just a bit of oil and vinegar.

Lemon and Sesame Chicken Breasts
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Lemon and sesame chicken breasts - a lovely recipe for the height of spring; with plenty of refreshing lemon juice in the sauce.
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, chopped into thin pieces
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A glass of white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 pinches of flour
  • Salt flakes and fresh ground black pepper to season
  • A few pinches of sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Put the chicken breasts into a clean food bag or between a couple of sheets of clingfilm; then lay them onto a wooden board and pound them with a meat mallet (or rolling pin) to flatten them.
  2. Fry the breasts in a heavy-based saucepan in the olive oil, on a medium/high heat for a few minutes each side; sealing in the juices, and browning them all over.
  3. Season generously with salt and pepper, and then pour in the white wine and lemon juice, reducing it in the pan for a minute or two.
  4. Scatter over with the sesame seeds and fry on until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Roll the butter in the flour, and add it in to the pan, thickening the sauce.
  6. Serve warm.

 

 

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