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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Recipes with sesame oil

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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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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19Apr 12

Simple Chicken Satay

Simple Chicken SatayI want to share a simple chicken satay recipe with you – one you can whizz up indoors all year round.  The sauce is rich and spicy, and we’ll fry the chicken for simplicity.  Of course you can always barbecue the chicken outside in the summer if you wish, or grill it in the oven.  You can also vary the amount of chilli to your taste.

There are many variations on this classic Malaysian dish, which is often served with rice.  One such variation is this chicken satay with sun-dried tomatoes. My version works to bring out the elemental flavours of the dish, combining the juicy meat with the tangy sauce.

The peanut is actually part of the bean family and is thought to have originated in Peru.  This humble legume which we all think of as a nut is both energy-giving and rich in nutrients.  A good source of niacin, fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and protein, peanuts may also help to reduce levels of bad cholesterol.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh chicken breasts, skinless
  • 1 tbsp olive oil to fry the chicken
  • 8 tbsp peanut butter
  • 8 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1-2 red chillies, very finely chopped

You will also need 8 short wooden skewers

Steps:

For the sauce:

  1. Blend the peanut butter, chilli, water, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and the soy sauce in a food processer.
  2. Transfer to a serving dish or individual dishes.

For the chicken:

  1. Cut each chicken breast into 4 strips length-wise and concertina fold them onto the wooden skewers.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a shallow-based pan and fry the chicken on the skewers until golden brown and thoroughly cooked, usually 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the chicken.
  3. Serve on one communal plate alongside the satay sauce.

Duration:  15 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook

Recipe for:  8 skewers to serve 4 people as a starter

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28Mar 12

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger and Cashew Nuts

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger and Cashew NutsI recommend using chicken thighs for my chicken stir-fry as this part of the fowl is generally tenderer than the breastStir-frys are renowned for being speedy to cook and healthy to eat.  As long as the vegetables are piping hot throughout, they taste great when they hold on to some of their crunchSesame oil adds a subtle nuttiness, and ginger gives a little zing to this recipe.

In this recipe, I recommend ginger and cashew nuts. However, there are a million flavour combinations. Another particular favourite of mine is a honey and garlic chicken stir-fry.

Ginger was first cultivated in South Asia.  It is used as a delicacy, a medicine and a spice, and is from the same plant family as cardamon, turmeric and galangalCashew nuts are a good source of protein and iron, amongst other nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into thin slices
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ pack of beansprouts
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • Handful of cashew nuts, whole

Steps:

  1. Heat the oils on a high heat, in a wok if you have one, or in a large frying pan if not, and cook the chicken with the garlic until both are golden brown all over – around 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.
  2. Throw in the yellow pepper and the ginger, and continue to fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Splash in the soy sauce, add the beansprouts and the chicken stock, and keep stir-frying over a medium to high heat for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Once you are sure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and that the vegetables are piping hot throughout, sprinkle in the cashew nuts, cook for another minute then remove from the heat.
  5. Serve alongside rice or noodles.

Duration: Less than 30 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook

Recipe for: 2 people

Note: Remember that small children can have trouble swallowing nuts. When making this dish for them, cut the cashews into small pieces.

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