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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Recipes with butter

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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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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26May 12

Brandied Chicken Liver Paté

Brandied Chicken Liver PatéAh, good old chicken liver paté, a taste from childhood that I’ve only recently rediscovered.  It was only yesterday, in fact, when my daughter and I went over to a friend’s house to play after school.  She and her buddy drank juice, drew great big pictures on a large sheet of paper in green and yellow, and then watched a movie.  And us two mums spread brandied chicken liver paté onto warm slices of wholemeal pitta bread and sipped on a small glass of good red wine in the kitchen, all the while chatting over life, the universe and everything.  An evening very well spent in good company.

You can do a lot with paté. Try this recipe for a multicultural sarnie called a banh mi, using paté as its main ingredient.

There are plenty of great shop-bought patés, but it’s very rewarding making it at home too, so here’s the recipe of the one my friend and I enjoyed yesterday, for you to try.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 250g butter + 60g melted
  • 500g chicken livers
  • 4 slices of bacon, rind removed and chopped
  • A couple of pinches of dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 30ml brandy
  • 60ml cream
  • Fresh ground black pepper to season

For the topping:

  • 120g melted butter
  • A handful of scissor-cut chives

Steps:

  1. Using a large heavy-based saucepan, first melt the butter.  Then add the onion, bacon and garlic; coating everything in the butter and sautéing until the bacon is golden and the onion is softened.
  2. Toss in the chicken livers and fry them, moving them about occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs, grind over with plenty of pepper, then stir in the brandy, cream and melted butter.
  4. Put the mixture into a blender or food processor and whizz until you obtain a smooth consistency.
  5. Turn the mixture out into a serving dish, or dishes.
  6. To create the topping, simply pour the melted butter over the surface of the paté and then sprinkle over with the snipped chives.
  7. Put the paté in the fridge to cool overnight, removing it from the fridge about half an hour before you are ready to serve it, so that it comes up to room temperature.
  8. Wonderful served with hot, toasted and sliced wholemeal pitta bread.

Duration: 30 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 8 servings

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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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24Apr 12

Grilled Chicken Wings with a Honey and Lime Butter Sauce

Grilled Chicken WingsGrilled chicken wings with a honey and lime butter sauce makes for a crispy and zesty taste experience! (For a spicy variation, try buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce.) What a treat for a spring or summer evening for just the two of you, when you’ve got a few friends round, or for a bigger party.

If you can cook your chicken outside, that’s great!  If not, grill it like me, and it will still be super tasty.  When it comes to this kind of meal, I want to keep things as quick and simple as possible so that I can drink a cold beer, and enjoy the company I’m with, whether that’s my special other, or a whole group of friends.

Ingredients:

  • 6-12 chicken wings, skins on
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped (optional)

Steps:

  1. Scatter the chicken wings onto a baking tray and season really well with salt and pepper.  I don’t use any oil.  Grill on a relatively high heat for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken at least once during the process.  If you are cooking outside, you’ll need to turn the chicken regularly.  Grill until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the skins are crispy and golden brown.
  2. Whilst the chicken is grilling, prepare the sauce.  Melt the butter slowly in a pan, squeeze in the juice of the lime and stir in the honey.
  3. Serve the chicken on plates drizzled over with the honey & lime butter sauce. You could also top it with roughly chopped fresh coriander and a sprinkling of lime zest.  Alternatively, if you’re serving this up at a party, place the chicken wings on a large serving plate on the table along with a decorative bowl of the sauce, for dipping or spooning.  And don’t forget a few serviettes for those sticky fingers later.

Also try serving as a meal with steamed asparagus sprinkled with fresh coriander.

Duration: 10 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook.  Ready in half an hour

Recipe for:  2-3 people

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23Mar 12

Hearty Chicken Soup

Hearty chicken soup

Maybe you roasted a chicken the day before and now you fancy a hearty soup?  This recipe makes perfect use of those roast chicken left-overs.  It’s simple to make and is a true winter warmer.  Winter celery adds a distinctive flavour to the dish.  Once you’ve cooked it a couple of times, you could create a variation if you fancy it by swapping the carrot for parsnip or butternut squash, or by swapping the fresh parsley for fresh coriander.  A chicken and corn chowder is also a tasty option. You don’t need to use a blender for this recipe either, just remember to chop the vegetables nice and fine and enjoy the texture of the torn chicken pieces. I often enjoy a glass of Guinness with my Hearty chicken soup for richness of flavour and relaxation.  Chicken is packed full of protein, and did you know that it’s also a good source of selenium?  Ladies and Gents, this is a simple chicken soup for the soul!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, washed and chopped into little cubes
  • 3 medium celery sticks, washed and finely sliced
  • 60g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 500g cooked, skinless chicken, hand torn into fairly fine shreds
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste

Steps:

  1. Take a large heavy-based saucepan and place on medium heat, adding the butter, onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the flour to the pan, stir it in, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and stirring the contents constantly, bring the liquid to the boil.  Reduce the heat, season with salt and black pepper and simmer the soup mixture for 10-12 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Place the cooked chicken into the soup and continue to cook until the chicken is piping hot throughout.
  5. Sprinkle and stir in the parsley, and serve in bowls with baguette or hunks of granary bread on the side.

Recipe for: 4 people

Duration: 1 hour

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