Tag Archives: chicken

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.


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



Lovely Chicken and Prawn Laksa


This is a lovely spicy noodle-based soup….and some! Based on a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine, it’s rich without being heavy and just bursting with flavour and fragrance. Wonderfully spicy yet fresh, light but rich and substantial without being overfilling – perfect as a really tasty supper or lunch dish. Very yummy indeed – enjoy!

Serves 4

What you need…

for the paste

2 shallots, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 red chillies, deseeded

5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

3 teaspoons fresh coriander leaves and stalks

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 lemongrass stalk, outer layer removed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

for the laksa

Splash rapeseed oil

1 litre boiling water

2 chicken stockpots

3 chicken breasts

250g raw prawns

400ml coconut milk

200g beansprouts

300g ‘straight to wok’ medium noodles

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

2 limes, cut into wedges

What to do…

Make your stock by dissolving the stockpots in a jug of the boiling water – a balloon whisk is perfect for this.

Tip all of your paste ingredients into a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste.

Splash your oil into a large frying pan and over a moderate heat, add the paste and cook for 5 minutes until you can see that the oil is separating slightly from the paste and is sizzling.

Pour in the stock and increase the heat until it starts simmering. Add the chicken and cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Add the prawns and noodles and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the beansprouts.

Remove the chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks and return to the frying pan. Add in the chilli, mint and coriander. Stir until everything is incorporated evenly.

Serve your lovely chicken and prawn laksa in bowls topped with the egg quarters and a wedge of lime on the side. Fragrant, flavoursome and fabulous! Enjoy!

Chicken & Prawn LAksa Close up w


Rather than all that chopping and peeling, I use Cooks’ Ingredients’ frozen chopped shallots and garlic from Waitrose. A lot easier – chillies, ginger and coriander are also available in the range but I think the fresh variety really boost the flavours of the dish.

Inspired by…

MasterChef winner (2010) Dhruv Baker

How easy…

Really easy to cook: the only time involved is the preparation, but once that’s done, it takes just minutes.

Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Lattice Pie

I would put this under the heading of ‘comfort food’. If you’re in the right mood, making the lattice pastry lid is quite relaxing and the actual pie itself is delicious. Despite the amount of cream in it, it is neither too heavy or rich but just rather cheering on a cold, grey evening.

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish, (something like 26 x 18 x 5cms for these quantities of ingredients)

2 x 375g packs ready-rolled puff pastry

Splash olive oil

450g roasted chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large leek, washed, trimmed and sliced

150g chestnut mushrooms, washed and chunkily sliced

200ml water

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

200ml white wine

300ml double cream

1 tablespoon tarragon, leaves torn from the stems and chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

1 egg, beaten

What to do…

To make the pastry topping: unroll both sheets of pastry so that they are lying flat. The ready-rolled puff pastry comes on baking paper so there’s no need to prepare your work surface. Cut each piece into long 3cm-wide ribbons (being a little on the OCD side I did actually use a ruler for this bit to ensure accuracy!) If your baking dish is rectangular like mine, one sheet of pastry needs to be cut long-ways and the other width-ways (see pictures). Weave the pastry ribbons together (again see pictures) until you have a pastry top that is large enough to cover your pie. Make sure there are no gaps in between the ribbons or your sauce will bubble through during cooking (mine did!) Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to firm up whilst you cook the pie filling.

pastry a w Pastry b w pastry c w


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

In a jug, dissolve the stockpot into the water, using a small balloon whisk, creating your chicken stock.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a moderate heat. Add the leeks and cook for 1 minute. Chuck in the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Add the stock, wine and double cream. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid until it thickens slightly.

Add the chicken pieces and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together thoroughly.

Once the chicken has warmed through, remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into your baking dish.

Brush the rim of your baking dish with egg and then flip the lid on top, so that the paper it came on is now facing upwards. Remove the paper and then press down over the rim to seal. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Brush the pastry lid with egg and then pop your pie in the oven for 30 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the pastry is gorgeously puffy and golden brown. Serve straight away – a lovely comforting treat and quite delicious!


Your baking dish needs to be full to the brim with the filling otherwise the puff pastry lid will sink into it. Mine did but that said, the puffiness largely covered this mistake once the pie was cooked.

Inspired by…

The lattice pastry lid was demonstrated by Mary Berry. The filling was based on but tweaked from a recipe by Shaun Rankin, www.greatbritishchefs.com.

How easy…

The lattice pastry lid isn’t difficult but takes time, so you have to be in the right mood – if you’re in a mad hurry, this is not a good idea! That said, the rest of the dish is incredibly quick to prepare and then finishes up in the oven, allowing you to tidy up and cook a bit of greenery to go with it.

Also, the necessary roasted chicken was also immediately available to me, being left over from the 2 John cooked for our Sunday Roast.

Chicken Supremes with Wild Mushrooms and Tarragon Sauce

A lovely supper dish this one, in which the sauce is the absolute star of the show. Having tasted it, I am sure that you could also use this sauce to accompany veal or pork as alternatives to the chicken that I have used here. Essentially, the creamy yet vibrant sauce adds a real zing to fairly plainly roasted or dry-fried meat. A real winner!

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 26 x 18 x 7cms deep) lightly buttered

Good glug and then a splash of rapeseed oil

6 chicken supremes (breasts with the fillet and wing bone attached) with skin on

2 knobs butter

3 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

500ml water

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

200ml dry white wine

150ml double cream

250g wild or chestnut mushrooms

Handful tarragon sprigs, leaves picked

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Squeeze lemon juice

What to do…

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

Heat your glug of oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and cook the chicken, skin-sides down, for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and arrange snugly, skin-sides up, in your baking dish, cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. First of all, dissolve the chicken stockpot into a jug containing the 500ml boiling water (from the kettle) – a small balloon whisk is ideal for the job. Set aside.

In your frying pan, add a knob of butter to the remaining chicken juices and melt over a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and white wine, turn up the heat to high and cook for 15 minutes, reducing the liquid and cooking off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another pan, melt your second knob of butter with a splash of oil over a high heat. Tip in the mushrooms and cook over a high heat, stirring, until they are golden.

Return to your sauce and very gradually, stir in the cream. Then, chuck in the cooked mushrooms, tarragon, mustard and lemon juice. Mix together. Taste. Season. Taste. Put the pan back on a very low heat to keep warm, until you are ready to serve.

Pour the sauce all over the cooked chicken breasts and pop your casserole dish in the middle of the table and request that everyone ‘digs in’. Enjoy your delightful chicken supremes with wild mushrooms and tarragon sauce perhaps with a lovely glass of white burgundy – a very nice pairing indeed! Cheers!


The sauce can be made in advance and kept chilled until needed. When you reheat it though, do so gently – overheat it and it will go thin (as experience has shown me).

Rather than using fresh garlic and shallots, I replace them with Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients frozen versions – a quick shake of roughly the right amount into the pan is so much easier than all that peeling and chopping!

Inspired by…

Delicious Magazine

How easy…

Very easy, especially as the sauce can be made in advance and the associated cooking pots, washed and put away.



Chicken with Mushrooms and Soured Cream

I did this for friends who were coming to supper. The original plan was to have fish but their son, Ali (you know who you are!) doesn’t eat fish so our planned meal had to be quickly revised. I found this recipe and just wasn’t sure about the soy sauce and sherry thing going on – I couldn’t imagine how it was all going to taste. Persuaded by John and the fact that we had all the ingredients, I went ahead, somewhat apprehensively. Imagine my delight when it turned out simply wonderfully. My only problem that evening was that I hadn’t cooked enough – we all wanted seconds. Never one to be accused of small portions, the following recipe will feed four hungry people. Try it, love it and add it to your autumn and winter favourites list!

 Serves 4

 What you need…

 1 large baking dish (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

1 kg chicken thighs

2 teaspoons paprika

Splash rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons plain flour

500ml hot chicken stock (I dissolved 2 Knorr stock pots into 500ml water)

300g brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

150g wild mushrooms, rinsed

5 teaspoons sweet sherry

4 teaspoons soy sauce

125ml soured cream

 What to do…

Preheat oven to 170°c / 325°f/ gas 3.

Lightly butter (going off the word ‘grease’) your baking dish.

Sprinkle the paprika evenly over the chicken thighs.

Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan and fry the chicken on both sides until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove to the baking dish, fitting them in together snugly in a single layer. Season lightly.

To the frying pan juices, add the onion and garlic and sauté lightly. Tip in the flour and mix it in evenly. Slowly add the hot stock, stirring continuously. When thickened, remove from the heat and then add the mushrooms, sherry and soy sauce. Add the soured cream slowly (to avoid curdling).

Pour over the chicken and bake, uncovered, for 90 minutes or until the sauce is a lovely, thick and bronzed. It’s quite simply gorgeous!

Serving suggestion…

Chicken with mushrooms and soured cream goes really well with boiled, seasoned basmati and wild rice

 Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine and Helen, who introduced me to this old but fabulous book.

 How easy…

Really, really easy with the added benefit that you can clear up the cooking pots whist it does it’s thing in the oven – very relaxed cooking for superb results.

Chicken Breasts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Tarragon and Paprika Sauce

One of my favourite supper dishes to share with family and friends, it’s easy to prepare, light and really flavoursome

Serves 4

What you need…

5-6 skinless chicken breasts

8 tablespoons lemon juice

2 rounded teaspoons paprika

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Knob of butter

12-14 sun-dried tomatoes

300ml double cream


Chilli powder

Bunch of rocket leaves to garnish

What to do…

Put lemon juice, paprika, garlic and tarragon in a bowl, mix together.

Slice chicken and add to mixture. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes at least.

Melt butter in a large, deep frying pan/wok.

Add chicken mixture and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, slice the sundried tomatoes in half.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from pan and set aside.

Bubble pan juices fiercely for two minutes, reducing slightly.

Remove from heat and slowly stir in the double cream.

Bring the mixture back to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.

Season with salt and chilli. Return chicken to pan and add in sundried tomatoes and warm through.

Serve chicken breasts and sun-dried tomatoes with tarragon and paprika sauce with rocket scattered over. It goes really well with some garlicky pasta on the side or garlic-fried green vegetables such as shredded cabbage and leek. Lovely!

Inspired by…

Josceline Dimbleby, The Almost Vegetarian Cookbook

How Easy…

One of the few main courses that I can produce whilst chatting to visiting friends – I normally have to focus completely on the cooking!