Tag Archives: chicken

Absolutely Delicious Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti

One from my daughter, Maddie, who found this recipe on the Internet to liven up her Uni dinners. What a joy when she offered to cook the recipe on her last trip home! As much as I love cooking, it is an absolute treat when someone else offers to do it and this recipe went straight to the top of my ‘favourites’ list of pasta dishes – it’s hearty and really flavoursome – the tomatoes and spinach contrast perfectly with the richness of the cream and the dish is quite honestly, just fantastic! A perfect family supper dish – thanks Madz – you can do it again!!!!

Serves 6

What you need…

Splash of olive oil

4 chicken breasts, seasoned

8 rashers back bacon, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

300ml double cream

8 tomatoes, roughly chopped

150g spinach

Sea salt and black pepper

150g Parmesan, grated

A large handful fresh basil leaves, torn

Dried spaghetti (amount depends on how hungry you are)

What to do…

In a large saucepan, bring to the boil salted water in which to cook the spaghetti.

In a large frying pan, warm the oil over a moderate heat and then cook the chicken breasts for 6 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Pop your spaghetti into the pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions: mine is about 12 minutes.

Add the bacon to the chicken pan and fry until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside onto kitchen paper.

Into the pan chuck the garlic. Fry for 1 minute and then add the tomatoes, cooking for 5 minutes. Toss in the spinach and pour in the cream, cooking through until the spinach has mostly wilted.

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and then tip it and the bacon into the sauce. Stir to evenly incorporate and then add the Parmesan and basil.

Drain the spaghetti and add to the sauce. Mix the whole lot together so the sauce beautifully coats the pasta.

Serve to six hungry people, perhaps with a glass or two of robust red wine and enjoy this truly hearty, really tasty pasta dish.

Inspired by…

Maddie, who found the recipe on the Twisted Food website

How easy…

Fast, easy and very student-friendly!

Chicken with Mushrooms and Sherry Sauce

I saw Raymond Blanc do this on the telly and thought it looked absolutely yummy – it is, despite the fact that I didn’t use the specified ‘Morel’ mushrooms (which are hideously expensive). So I suspect that the flavours would have been even more fabulous than they were in my version. Really, really gorgeous and so simple to do – give it a go whether it’s a simple family meal or supper with friends – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the leeks: what Monsieur Blanc did with them is simply one of the best ways to serve them!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 teaspoon stock from a chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50 ml hot water from the kettle

4 plump chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

200g wild or interesting mushrooms, washed and roughly torn

120g button mushrooms, washed and quartered

100ml dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol

200ml double cream

for the leeks

200ml water

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

4 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and sliced

What to do…

First, make a little chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stock from the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from a pan and set aside.

In the butter remaining in the pan, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and add the sherry, chicken stock and double cream. Bring to the boil and slip in the chicken breasts – which should be covered by the sauce. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Again using your slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Turn the heat up to boil the sauce and cook until reduced by half (15 – 20 minutes on my hob) and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Actually, keep tasting because it’s bloody lovely!

Whilst the chicken breasts are cooking, turn your attention to the leeks. Into a saucepan, tip the water, salt and butter and bring to the boil. Tip in the leeks, pop on the lid and boil like mad for 3 minutes. That’s it!

To serve, place the chicken breasts back into the sauce to warm up for 2 minutes and then divide the chicken breasts and sauce between 4 plates, drain the leeks and serve them as well. We also had chunked up red potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and chopped garlic. The whole supper is absolutely delicious – gotta love food blogging!

Inspired by…

Raymond Blanc

How easy…

Easy, relaxed and really quite joyful! Glass of wine in hand, obviously!

 

 

 

 

Chicken, Mozzarella and Pesto Filo Parcels

I saw Tom Daley do these on TV and thought that they looked so very tasty as well as being so very easy and they are exactly that! An ideal gift of a lunch or supper (you do feel like you’re opening a present when you cut into them), these are really lovely and much more filling than I had thought. We did also think ‘ideal student food’ – one for you, Maddie!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking sheet, lined with reusable baking parchment

2 tablespoons olive oil

A large handful basil leaves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons pine nuts

450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

8 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

250g mozzarella, chopped

8 rectangular sheets filo pastry, cut in half to make 16 squares

50g butter, melted

Sea salt and black pepper

What you do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6. Pop in your baking sheet to warm up whilst you make the parcels.

To create a pesto, put the oil, basil and pine nuts in mini chopper if you have one and whizz until smooth. If you don’t have a mini chopper, just chop the basil and nuts as finely as you can and then mix them with the oil.

Put the chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella into a bowl and add the pesto. Season liberally and stir everything together.

Take 4 squares of filo pastry and lay them one on top of another, but turning each one a little to the right to create a star outline once all four are on top of one another.

Divide the mixture evenly between the four pastry ‘stars’ piling it up in the middle of each.

Brush a little melted butter in a fat circle around the mixture and then scrunch each ‘star’ together to create 4 large moneybag shapes. Brush each parcel all over (except the base) with butter – this will help the pastry stick together and will also turn it a gorgeous golden brown when cooked.

Pop the parcels onto your preheated baking tray and bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden.

There’s quite a bit of theatre to serving them: they look amazing and then when you cut into them for ‘the big reveal’ the delightful crunch of the buttery filo pastry gives way to the really very yummy contents inside!

Chick, Mozz & Pesto Filo Parcels Open w

Serving suggestion…

Green vegetables or a salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and avocado, drizzled with a olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing (which is what we did together with some fresh, warm, chunky bread – delish!)

Inspired by…

Olympic diver and now chef, Tom Daley

How easy…

Fabulously easy and very attractive on the eye as well as the palette!

 

 

Chicken Wrapped in Parma Ham with Creamy Herb Sauce

I’m really getting into these sauces that are so easy but intensely flavoured, simply as a result of a few ingredients that have been reduced. This dish is quick, easy and in my book, sensational. It could just as easily grace a dinner-party table as the supper that it was created for. Make it once and it definitely won’t be the last time – buonissimo!

Serves 4

What you need…

I bulb garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

800ml hot water from the kettle

2 chicken stock pots (I use Knorr)

12 slices Parma ham

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

400ml double cream

1 large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 large handful fresh basil, finely chopped

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Place the whole garlic bulb in a square of foil with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Wrap it up securely and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Using a balloon whisk, dissolve the stock pots into the hot water to create 800ml chicken stock.

Lay 3 Parma ham slices beside each other, slightly overlapping. Season one of the chicken breasts and place in the middle of the ham. Fold the slices over the chicken to create an evenly wrapped parcel. Repeat for each of the remaining chicken breasts.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken parcels for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest (the chicken, not you!)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan reduce the chicken stock by half, add the cream and then squeeze out the garlic from each clove, also adding it to the stock. Reduce the sauce by half again and then strain into a jug. Stir through the chopped herbs and serve over your yummy chicken breasts. Quick, easy and absolutely delicious!

Tip…

The two reductions take between 10 and 15 minutes each.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Really easy

 

 

Hunter’s Chicken

A real homely, rustic Italian-inspired casserole, this is perfect for these lovely crisp Autumnal days. Hearty and flavoursome, the dish really benefits from the addition of anchovies, which just add a real depth of flavour rather than anything fishy and there is something gloriously comforting about the aroma of garlic filling the kitchen as this recipe for Hunter’s Chicken cooks itself: a regular in our house.

What you need…

2kg chicken thigh fillets

Sea salt and black pepper

8 bay leaves

4 sprigs of rosemary

4 fat garlic cloves, chopped

¾ bottle Chianti red wine

Plain flour, for dusting

Rapeseed oil

6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped

A handful of pitted black olives

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

What to do…

The evening before you want to eat it, tip the rosemary, bay leaves, 2 cloves of the garlic, chicken and Chianti into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, cover and pop into the fridge over night, allowing the flavours to develop.

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the marinade. Set the marinade aside and then pat dry the chicken pieces on kitchen paper.

In a carrier bag, chuck in flour, salt and pepper and then the chicken thighs. Twist the top of the carrier bag tight and shake the contents, ensuring that flour and seasoning dust all of each of the chicken pieces.

Heat a big frying pan, add a splash of oil and fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over. Put into an ovenproof casserole together with the rosemary and bay leaves from the marinade and set side.

Using the same frying pan, add another splash of oil and gently fry the remaining garlic cloves with the anchovies until the garlic is just turning golden and the anchovies are starting to break up. Add the tomatoes, olives and marinade. Bring to the boil and transfer to your casserole dish, submerging the chicken pieces in this lovely sauce.

Cover with a double thickness of foil or a lid and pop in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve with some form of greenery and perhaps potato. We however, like great doorstops of fresh, warm bread to mop up the delicious sauce. Oh, and don’t forget more Chianti to accompany this fine rustic dish! Very yummy.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How easy…

Really easy and absolutely delicious,

 

 

Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce

In this dish, the humble chicken breast is smothered in a light but tangy velouté sauce, transforming the chicken into something that is absolutely delicious. I made loads of sauce (we do like our gravies and sauces in this house) so there was plenty to around and then, uncouth individuals that we are, there was sufficient left for us to dive into the jug and finish it off with a spoon. One very, very yummy supper dish.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 chicken stock pot (I use Knorr)

500ml boiling water from the kettle

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

4 plump chicken breasts or supremes

6 tablespoons white wine

Sea salt and black pepper

60g butter

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

2 egg yolks

200ml soured cream

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Paprika

What to do…

To make a chicken stock, pop the stockpot into a jug and top up with boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help it dissolve quickly. Set aside.

In a roomy saucepan, heat the oil and seal the breasts quickly on both sides – don’t allow to brown. Tip in the wine and 6 tablespoons of chicken stock. Pop on the pan lid, turn down the heat to low and poach gently for 20 minutes, until cooked.

Remove the breasts from the liquid, season, cover and set aside, keeping warm.

In a second jug, tip the cooking liquid and top it up with the stock to make up 500ml. Discard the remainder of the chicken stock. Give your saucepan a quick wipe out with kitchen paper.

To make your velouté sauce, melt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds without browning. Tip in the tarragon and quickly stir in to evenly incorporate. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the stock. Simmer, stirring until thickened.

In your stock jug, mix together the egg yolk, cream and mustard. Then gradually add to the sauce, stirring the whole time just for 2 minutes over a low heat. Taste, adjust the seasoning if you’d like to and then pour over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle over paprika to serve this quite simply delicious supper dish.

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine (thanks Helen)

How easy…

Simplicity itself and such a wonderful outcome

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Broad Beans and Herbs

 

I spotted this recipe and thought that it looked like a good, easy and quick mid-week family supper dish. Reading through the ingredients though I did have doubts as to whether it would be that interesting. We were all really, genuinely pleasantly surprised. The dish is lovely, light, fresh and very summery. Our plates were quickly cleared and the recipe pronounced as a definite for regular repetition. Give it a go – really great!

 Serves 4

 What you need…

 4 large, plump chicken breasts

500g new potatoes

200g skinned broad beans (I use frozen)

Splash rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

300ml chicken stock

Juice of ½ lemon

Handful of basil

Handful of rocket

Large dollop of mascarpone

 What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Lightly oil a baking tin, chuck in the chicken breasts and season. Pop them in the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until cooked but still juicy.

Meanwhile, in salted water boil the potatoes (halve any large ones so that they are all roughly the same size) for 15 minutes or until tender, adding the broad beans 3 minutes before the end (longer if cooking from frozen – maybe 7-8 minutes).

In a frying pan over a moderate heat, warm the oil and then sauté the garlic for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the potatoes and beans. Stir in the lemon juice, herbs and mascarpone.

Slice the chicken and serve on top of the beautifully saucy vegetables! Nothing else required – just perfect as it is!

 Tips…

If you want to improve on the presentation, use skin-on chicken breasts so that you have the lovely golden cooked crispy skin (my chicken breasts were retrieved from the freezer and just happened to be skinned).

I used basil and rocket in this recipe because that’s what I had, but the addition of parsley and more particularly, tarragon would be lovely.

 Inspired by…

Delicious (online)

 How easy…

Very, very easy.

Taste-Bud Dazzling Quick Thai Curry Feast

 

Fiery hot but oh-so flavoursome, these curries and the accompanying noodles dazzle the taste buds with the different flavours that rocket about but the heat of the chillies is perfectly counter-balanced by the cooling, soothing coconut milk and coriander so that you can enjoy this lovely supper without feeling like your mouth is on fire. A definite favourite which uses lots of store-cupboard ingredients, is really quick and can mostly be prepared in advance – what’s not to like?!

What you need…

Red Chicken Curry

Splash of rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 x 90g jar red Thai curry paste (I prefer Bart Infusions)

1 x 400ml can coconut milk

4 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces

125ml chicken stock

2 tablespoons fish sauce

4 dried kaffir lime leaves

A large handful of coriander, chopped and red chilli, deseeded and sliced, to garnish

Green Beef Curry

1 aubergine, peeled and cubed

2 onions, peeled and sliced

Splash of rapeseed oil

1 x 90g jar green Thai curry paste (as above, I prefer Bart Infusions)

500g lean beef (fillet if you’re feeling flush) cut into thin strips

1 x 400g can coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 dried red chillies, finely sliced

2.5cm ginger root, grated

4 dried kaffir lime leaves

A large handful of basil leaves, torn up, to garnish

Sesame Hot Noodles

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

1 dried red chilli, finely sliced

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

Juice of 1 large lime

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 large handful coriander, chopped

400g medium egg noodles

What to do…

Curry 1: Red Chicken

Heat the oil to moderate in a large pan or wok. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Tip in the curry paste and cook for 10-15 seconds, then gradually add the coconut milk, stirring the whole time. Add the chicken pieces and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in the stock, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked all the way through. Turn off the heat, pop on a lid and set aside until you’re nearly ready to eat. Reheat and garnish with the coriander and chilli – fabulous.

Curry 2: Green Beef

Blanch the aubergine cubes and onion slices in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Drain.

Heat the oil to moderate in a large pan or wok, add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

Whop up the heat to high, tip in the beef and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and bring to the boil, stirring the whole time.

Add the aubergine, onion, chillies, ginger and lime leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, pop on a lid and set aside until you’re nearly ready to eat. Reheat and garnish with basil – yummy!

Noodle Time

In a large screw-top jar, chuck in the oils, garlic and peanut butter. Pop the lid on and shake like mad to fully mix together. Add everything else except the noodles and coriander. Pop the lid back on and shake like mad again. Set aside until you’re about ready to serve.

Cook the noodles according to the packet (mine take 4 minutes in boiling, salted water). Drain and tip them into a warmed serving dish. Shake the ‘dressing’ one more time and pour over the noodles. Toss together like you would a salad to make sure that all the noodles are amply covered with the lovely dressing. Garnish with coriander and serve with your piping hot curries. Such a joy!

Tip…

Once the curries are cooked, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before reheating them to serve. Doing so encourages the flavours to develop and also means less work in the kitchen whilst your friends are around if this is a supper you are sharing. Always a good shout: cook ahead, eat relaxed!

Inspired by…

Carol Bowen (from a very old book)

How easy…

Dead easy, you can cook ahead and this supper is absolutely fabulous!

My Favourite Chicken Marinade

I’ve been doing this marinade for years and everyone who has ever tried it has requested the recipe so I thought I’d share. We used it this time to marinade whole chicken breasts before barbecuing them. But on other occasions, I’ve cut the chicken into chunks and fried the chicken in its marinade before adding it warm to a salad of leaves, avocado and bacon. Either way, its lovely: the chicken is succulent and has a rich, almost caramelised flavour – not too sweet but just rather gorgeous – it elevates the simple chicken breast into something much more enticing, if I don’t say so myself! Give it a go!

Serves 4

What you need…

4 skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce/tamari (for gluten-free)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

What to do…

Score the chicken breasts lightly to enable the marinade to get into the meat.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken breasts, give them a quick stir, cover with cling film and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade with a slotted spoon and barbecue until cooked all the way through.

Serve and enjoy! It really is lovely.

Serving suggestion…

I tried this salad from the Hemsley sisters this weekend and it works spectacularly well with the marinated and barbecued chicken!

Courgette Salad Close Up w

Per person: take 1 courgette, trim the ends and grate the courgette into a bowl.

In a small saucepan, dry-fry a handful of pine nuts for a couple of minutes, just until they are toastie!

Mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar .

Mix the dressing into the courgette, season well with sea salt and black pepper and tip over the pine nuts. Serve – so simple but absolutely delicious!

Inspired by…

I have no idea where the marinade came from but ‘thank you’ to whoever came up with the combination!

How easy…

I marinate, John barbecues – dead easy!

Chicken Breasts Duxelle with Whisky and Mustard Cream Sauce

Ooooh, this was such a surprise – the photograph does not do this dish justice – it is absolutely scrumptious. The duxelles provide a rich depth of flavour that lifts the humble chicken breast to a thing of utter deliciousness and the whisky and mustard cream sauce – simply sublime – we could have easily licked the dish clean were it not for our impeccable manners – try this one – we will be having it again and again. Easy, cheap and so, so special. Yummy doesn’t cover it!

Serves 4

What you need…

Cocktail sticks!

Small baking dish, lightly buttered

4 large boneless chicken breasts, skinned

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons whisky

3 tablespoons white wine

3 tablespoons water

Chicken stock made from a stockpot and water

for the duxelle

45g butter

150g brown mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped

6 spring onions, chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

3 teaspoons fresh rosemary needles, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

30g butter

2 tablespoons plain flour

1 egg yolk

150ml soured cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoon whisky

1 teaspoon sugar

What to do…

Let’s start with the duxelle, which you can do in advance if you like. Heat the butter over a moderate heat and fry the mushrooms, spring onions, carrot rosemary, salt and pepper for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Take your chicken breasts and either cut pockets into each breast by slicing horizontally or flatten gently with a mallet. Either stuff the pockets with the duxelle or spoon down the length of one side of the breast and fold over. Either way, pinch to close and ‘pin’ together using cocktail sticks – they won’t look pretty but don’t worry, you’re removing the cocktail sticks later.

Heat the oil over a moderate heat and seal the breasts as best you can (given the cocktail sticks) all over and without browning. Season with salt and pepper. pour over the whisky and flame it (love a bit of drama!). Pour over water and wine. Cover and gently poach over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Remove the breasts from the pan and pop them into your baking dish. Remove the cocktail sticks and discard. Pour the remaining pan juices into a jug and add enough chicken stock to make 250ml.

To make the sauce, melt the butter over a moderate heat and tip in the flour. Using a balloon whisk, quickly beat together and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add in the hot stock, whisking all the while, until thickened. In a jug, lightly beat the egg yolk and then pour over the soured cream, mustard, whisky and sugar. Mix together. Off the heat, gradually add the cream mixture to the hot sauce, whisking again. Return to the heat and whisk until thickened. Don’t let it boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken and pop into the oven for 25 minutes to warm through. Clear up so that when you sit down to enjoy this deliciousness you are not surrounded by the debris of pots and pans! Pour wine, sit down and enjoy!

Chicken Breasts Duxelle close up w

Serving suggestion…

Rice works well with maybe some greenery (tenderstem brocolli, sugar snap peas perhaps) on the side.

Tip…

I chopped my mushrooms, carrots and rosemary in a mini food chopper – much quicker than doing it manually, even though each ingredient was done separately.

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine