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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Meal for 6 people

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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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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30Apr 12

Chicken Kievs

Chicken Kiev

A favourite for the whole family, Chicken Kievs made at home taste great!

Ingredients:

For the Herb butter

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • A couple of twists of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season

To make the Kievs

  • 6 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 150g plain flour
  • 300g breadcrumbs, fine and dry
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Fresh lemon, cut into wedges to serve

Steps:

  1. Make the sauce.  Mix the butter, garlic, lemon, parsley and tarragon in a bowl.   Season well with salt and pepper.  Lay a length of clingfilm on a clean work surface and spread the softened butter mixture thickly over it in a fat log shape.  Roll the film up to create a more defined log shape and cool in the fridge until the butter hardens.
  2. Next prepare the chicken.  Lay the breasts smooth-side down and cut off the mini fillet.  Create a pocket for the sauce:  Slit into the middle of each fillet with a sharp knife.  Take the incision to half-way deep into the breast and to within 4 cm of each side – go carefully here.  On a board, lay a small piece of clingfilm over each breast, and flatten them out a little by batting with a rolling pin.  Do the same with the mini fillets.  Put in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Remove the hardened butter from the fridge, and cut it into 6 round discs.  Place a disc inside each chicken pocket.  Seal the pocket by tucking the mini fillet just inside the slit and pulling the tops of the fillet just over it.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  5. Lay 3 shallow bowls out on your work surface.  Put the flour in one, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in the third. Roll and coat each breast in the contents of each bowl, in this order: flour, egg, breadcrumbs, egg again, breadcrumbs again.
  6. Heat a good amount of oil on high in a large frying pan.  Once hot, reduce the heat to medium, cooking the kievs for a few minutes until golden on both sides.  Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper before placing in a roasting tray and cooking in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the chicken is firm to the touch at its widest part.  When cooked throughout, serve the kievs hot with mashed potatoes or these Minty Jersey Royals with Chives and Lemon Butter.

Duration: 25 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 8 servings

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16Apr 12

Maple Roasted Chicken

Maple Roasted ChickenRoast chicken is always delicious, even when you do nothing else with it but bung it in the oven.  This maple roasted chicken with all of its sweetness and stickiness is a true delight.  One of the best things about it is that you can throw it all together the night before, let it sit in the fridge overnight soaking up all of the flavours, and then simply bung it in the oven when you are ready to prepare it.

It’s quite rewarding to eat and a great idea for entertaining on a warm spring Sunday afternoon when your friends come round.  Share it with them, along with a few glasses of your favourite white wine.  I always serve mine up with a big mixed salad, but you could also steam up some fresh spring vegetables if you fancy an entirely warm meal.

Ingredients:

  • 18 chicken wings or thighs, with bone and skin
  • 200ml apple juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 7 garlic cloves, in their skins
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon powder

Steps:

  1. Place the chicken thighs into a large dish.  Drizzle over the maple syrup, pour over the apple juice, the oil, the soy sauce, garlic and cinnamon powder and stir until all of the chicken pieces are covered.  Cover the dish and put it into the fridge to marinate overnight.
  2. When you are ready to cook the chicken, take the dish out of the oven and let sit at room temperature whilst you preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  3. If you have not used an oven-proof dish to marinate the chicken, you will need to transfer the chicken, along with the marinade into one now, or into a roasting tray.  Turn the chicken pieces so that the skin is at the top.
  4. Roast the chicken in the oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and has turned a deep sticky brown.

Serve alongside a big bowl of mixed salad and with fresh buttered bread. You could also wash it down with this kirsch and lemoncello Tanqueray presse that has a hint of maple that would complement the meal.

Duration: 15 minutes to prepare, overnight to marinate, up to 1 ½ hours to cook

Recipe for: Serves 6

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08Apr 12

Thai Green Chicken Curry

Thai Green Chicken CurryThere are so many wonderful variations on this classic Thai dish.  Mine is put together on the basis of ease and simplicity. Kaffir lime leaves characterise this curry and give it a delicate fragrance.  I’ve chosen to use a fairly short list of ingredients to keep the flavours simple and the preparation straight forward.  Enjoy Thai Green Chicken Curry with a very chilled crisp dry white wine.  If you want to add to the vegetable content of this recipe you could experiment with adding diced aubergine once the chicken has browned for 5 minutes.

Ingredients:

For the chicken marinade

  • 900g chicken breast, fresh, skinned and diced into 3cm cubes
  • 4 tsp Barts Thai green curry paste

To make the sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 6-10tsp Barts Thai green curry paste
  • 1L (2 ½ 400ml tins) coconut milk
  • 3 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 fresh lemon grass stalks, slightly crushed
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 300g mangetout, washed and with ends trimmed off

To garnish

  • 1 pack of fresh coriander, washed and roughly chopped

Steps:

First marinade the chicken

  1. Put the chicken cubes into a bowl and mix in 4 tbsp of the Thai green paste.  Cover and pop in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

Then make the curry sauce

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil, add the onion and soften for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. Add the Thai curry paste to taste and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the chicken cubes and cook again for 5 minutes, moving the contents of the pan frequently.
  3. Add the coconut milk, the Kaffir lime leaves and the slightly crushed lemon grass.  Slowly bring the sauce up in temperature until it is simmering (be careful it doesn’t boil as this will make the chicken tough).
  4. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, then add the fish sauce and cook on for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the mangetout and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the lemon grass stalks from the curry and serve with a portion of fragrant Thai rice, sprinkling the fresh coriander over the entire dish.

Duration: 55 minutes to prepare and cook (plus the 15 minutes chilling time)

Recipe for: 6 people

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29Mar 12

Yellow Thai Chicken Curry

Yellow Thai Chicken CurryThere are such good authentic curry pastes now that my original desire to create them from scratch has rather ebbed away over the years.  Yellow Thai chicken curry works really well with potatoes, and I use chicken thighs because they tend to be more succulent than chicken breast.  The result of all of the combined ingredients is colourful and aromatic.

Thai curriesred, green and yellow were traditionally made from similar ingredients but with each featuring its colour-corresponding chilli, and with each chilli providing different tastes and properties.  Over time the ingredients have evolved to further accentuate the colour aspect of the dishes.  The Indian spice turmeric helps to give yellow curry its beautiful golden colour.

Although coriander is more characteristic of Thai green chicken curry, I like to add it to my yellow curry too because quite simply, it adds colour, and is totally delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless and cut into chunks
  • 6 shallots (or 1 large onion) peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced lengthwise into fairly thin strips
  • 100g (1/4 tub) Cock Brand Yellow Thai curry paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 235ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into smallish chunks
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil and fry the chicken in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat for 7-8 minutes, until the surface is golden brown all over.
  2. Add the shallots and the yellow pepper and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat, until softened.
  3. Add the curry powder and the yellow curry paste, stirring in well so that the chicken is coated in the paste.  Cook like this for a few minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, the chicken stock and the fish sauce, stir, and bring the mixture up to a very gentle boil.
  5. Add the potatoes, turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chicken and potatoes are thoroughly cooked and tender.  Stir the curry occasionally during cooking.
  6. Squeeze in the lime juice, stir in the sugar and the coriander, and serve with fragrant rice.

Duration: 45 minutes

Recipe for 5-6 people

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14Feb 12

Chicken and Pear Burgers

Chicken and Pear BurgersChicken and Pear Burgers are succulent and flavoursome with a hint of sweetness that really works.  In fact, this is a great recipe for the whole family – you can make nice big chunky burgers for the grown-ups and mini ones for the kids; even toddlers seem to love them as a tasty finger food.  If you buy chicken that has not been pre-frozen, you can make these in batches and freeze some for those nights when you’re too tired to cook up a meal from scratch.  They are yummy served with a carrot, chickpea and orange salad or in burger buns with lettuce and mayonnaise.  This recipe gives you a healthy, low-fat, traditional burger alternative.  If you don’t have any pears in the house, or if you fancy a change, use a Granny Smith apple to give the burgers their sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large Conference pear, peeled and grated
  • 2 chicken breasts, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs, dried will also work well
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion until soft.
  2. Put the chicken, onion, fresh parsley and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl, crumble in the stock cube, squeeze the grated pear over the sink to remove excess moisture and add to the mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Note: If you can’t find chicken mince, you will need to whizz the ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Form the burgers with your hands and coat them in flour on both sides.
  5. Shallow fry in oil for 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked throughout, turning the burgers halfway through cooking.  If you decide to make some mini finger-food burgers for your toddlers, reduce the cooking time to 4-5 minutes, but always ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving.

Serve alongside a large mixed salad, or pop the burgers in buns with lettuce and mayonnaise.

Duration: 45 minutes

Recipe for: 6 people

 

 

 

 

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