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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Less than 90 mins

24Jul 12

Chicken Marinated in Herbs and Garlic with Roasted Red Peppers

Chicken with herbs and roasted red peppersHere is a simple recipe bursting with flavour.  Chicken marinated in herbs and garlic with roasted red peppers is quick and easy to prepare, so don’t let the long name fool you! You can be getting on with other jobs whilst the peppers are roasting in the oven – and before you fry the chicken.

If you are quite hungry, you can accompany the chicken with oven-roasted peppers and pine nut couscous.

Ingredients:

To marinate the chicken:

  • 4 thin chicken fillets
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the roasted red peppers:

  • 4-6 small to medium red bell peppers, whole
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A couple of pinches of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Garlic powder to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Place the peppers drizzled with oil onto a roasting tray, sprinkle over with the herbs, and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Roast the peppers in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size.
  4. Whilst the peppers are roasting, place the chicken fillets into a bowl, cover with the oil, stir in the garlic and the fresh parsley.  Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 20-25 minutes.  For extra flavour and softness, marinate the night before.
  5. About 15 minutes before serving, take the chicken out of the fridge, and in a large frying pan, spoon in the oil from the marinade.  Heat the oil on high, testing that the oil is ready for the chicken by dropping a bread crumb in.  If the crumb sizzles, the oil is ready!  Fry the chicken with the rest of the marinade, making sure that each piece of chicken fully touches the bottom of the pan.  First seal the chicken on a high heat for a few minutes on each side, then turn the heat down to medium and continue to fry until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the fillets.
  6. Present the whole peppers with the chicken on a plate.  Serve with fresh granary bread or rocket leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Recipe for: 4 main courses

Duration:15 minutes to prepare (some of this is done during the peppers’ roasting time) and 45 minutes to 1 hour cooking time.

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21Jul 12

Paprika Garlic Chicken with Beans and Potatoes

Paprika Garlic Chicken with Beans and PotatoesPaprika garlic chicken with beans and potatoes is a meal I cook at least once a month.  It’s a modern twist on a classic meat and two veg dish: simple, wholesome and healthy.  Something for the weekend.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets, about 1cm in thickness
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  • 1-2 tsp smoked ground paprika
  • A couple of pinches of salt
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for marinating and 2 tbsp for sautéing the vegetables
  • 2 medium to large potatoes, skins on, chopped into 1.5cm rounds
  • Pack of fresh runner beans, topped & tailed, then sliced into halves lengthwise before cutting at a shear angle into 4-5 cm lengths
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Steps:

  1. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour over the olive oil, and stir in the garlic and a pinch of salt.  Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes.  You can do this some hours, or even the night before, if you like.
  2. When you are ready to prepare the meal, steam the potatoes for 5 minutes before adding the beans and steaming both together for about another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and tender.  Try to retain a slightly firm consistency in the potatoes so that they don’t fall apart at the next stage.
  3. Whilst the vegetables are steaming, pour a little of the marinade oil along with the garlic into a frying pan over a fairly hot heat.  Seal one side of each of the chicken fillets in the frying pan.  During the sealing, sprinkle a pinch of paprika over each chicken breast fillet, and when you turn the chicken to seal the other side, sprinkle paprika across the other side of the breast too.  Continue to fry the chicken until cooked throughout.  Remove from the heat.
  4. Heat olive oil in a clean frying pan and sauté the potatoes and the beans for a few minutes.  Sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of salt and squeeze over the lemon juice.
  5. Serve the chicken and vegetables together on a plate, finishing with a drizzle of cold olive oil and a twist of black pepper across the vegetables.

Duration: 20 minutes preparation time plus a minimum of 20 minutes marinating time.  Cooking time less than 30 minutes.

Recipe for: 2 people

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24May 12

Chicken Risotto with Green Peas

Chicken Risotto with Green PeasRisottos are a filling and healthy food to prepare on a budget.  Chicken risotto with green peas is a refreshing blend of spring vegetables, chicken and lemon. (I also recommend this mushroom risotto.)

Ingredients:

  • 600g risotto rice
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A generous splash or two of Martini, or white wine
  • 6 chicken breasts sliced into diagonal strips about 1.5cm wide, skin removed
  • 1.5L prepared, hot chicken stock
  • 300g peas
  • 300g courgettes, halved then sliced into long, thin strands – or however you prefer them
  • 2-3 tbsp crème fraiche or double cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • A generous twist or two of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

Steps:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan.  Sauté the onions and courgettes until soft.  Add the minced garlic and the chicken pieces; fry until the chicken is well-browned on all sides and about 2/3 cooked throughout.
  2. Add the rice to the pan, coat it all over with the oil and juices and fry for a couple of minutes.  Splash in the Martini, turn the pan down to a simmer and reduce away all of the Martini.
  3. Spoon in a ladle or two of the hot chicken stock.  Stir it in and with the pan uncovered, simmer the rice until the stock is absorbed.  Continue to add ladlefuls of stock in this way until the rice is fully cooked.  Stir the contents of the pan regularly.  Some of the chicken will fall apart in the cooking process, but this is normal and just contributes to the texture of the dish.
  4. Use your judgement to gauge when the rice is around 10 minutes from being cooked, adding in the peas at this point, and stirring everything together.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat, season the pan well with salt and pepper, spoon in and combine the crème fraiche, twist over the lemon, and sprinkle over with half of the coriander and all of the parsley.
  6. Serve into pretty bowls and garnish with the remaining coriander.

Duration: 30 minutes to prepare, 40-60 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 6 servings

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08May 12

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee 

Chicken fricassee is a bright and colourful dish which combines the meat with a mix of vegetables which are roasted together in a stock.

You can thicken the sauce into a white gravy at the end of the roasting time with cream if you wish, but here is the light version for you.  It’s a great meal for a Sunday to share with family or friends.  Enjoy it with a light and fruity red wine, or a crisp dry, herby white. (For a vegetarian version, try this lentil fricassee.)

Ingredients:

  • 4kg chicken pieces; breasts and legs, skins on, boned
  • 6 cloves garlic whole and with skins left on
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 225g shallots, with skins left on and cut into halves
  • 300g courgettes, cut in half lengthwise and then into chunky strips
  • 200g cauliflower, cubed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into medium-size rounds
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 10 whole mixed colour peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Salt flakes and fresh ground pepper to season

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. In a large heavy-based frying pan, heat half of the oil on a medium to high heat, and brown the chicken pieces all over as you seal in the juices.  This only takes a few minutes on each side, until the chicken is golden brown.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and put the chicken in a large roasting tray, along with the rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves.
  4. Now return the frying pan to the heat, add the remaining oil and sauté the chopped vegetables until golden brown on all sides.  Mix them in with the chicken on the roasting tray.
  5. Back to the frying pan now!  Give it a little wipe with a piece of kitchen paper to remove any browned pieces of meat and vegetables, and then pour in the chicken stock.  Bring the liquid up to the boil, season it with salt and pepper and pour it over the chicken and vegetables in the roasting tray.
  6. Roast the fricassee in the oven for between 40 minutes and an hour, or until all of the chicken pieces are cooked throughout.

Duration: 25 minutes to prepare, 40 – 60 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 6 people

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20Apr 12

Easy Coq Au Vin

Coq au vinI haven’t cooked this French inspired dish for a while, and now I’m wondering why.  I want to share this easy coq au vin recipe with you. I’m ashamed to admit that it has been nestled away in my recipe drawer for some time, gathering a little dust.  I’ve just come across it, looking for a little new inspiration, and so here it is.  And I’m certainly going to get cooking it again as soon as possible now that I’ve rediscovered it. 

Chicken, mushrooms, white wine and garlic are always a winning combination, wouldn’t you say?  That reminds me – I must go looking for my chicken and mushroom pie recipe, which has also been tucked away for a while.  I think it’s time to go hunting for it, and once found, I’ll share it with all of you.

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs, with skin and bone removed
  • 112g bacon cubes
  • 6 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 220g oyster mushrooms, roughly torn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ bottle of a decent white wine
  • Small pot of double cream or crème fraiche
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped to garnish

Steps:

  1. Using a large and high-sided pan, fry the bacon pieces in the olive oil for 5-8 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.  Add the chopped shallots to the pan and continue to fry until they are soft, perhaps another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Chop the chicken thighs into thirds before adding them to the pan, along with the mushrooms, the wine and the bay leaves, and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring the contents of the pan up to the boil, before turning down the heat, and simmering, covered, for between 30 and 40 minutes, until the chicken and carrots are thoroughly cooked.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream or crème fraiche.  Sprinkle over with the chopped dill.

Serve with a side of potatoes, a hunk of buttered granary bread or these grilled toast with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.

Duration: 20 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to cook

Recipe for: 4 people

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