Roasted chicken breast with creamy butternut squash and chilli

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Ingredients

  • 1 higher-welfare chicken breast
  • ½ fresh red chilli
  • 2 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • a little single cream
  • grated nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put 1 chicken breast, with its skin left on, in a bowl. Deseed and slice up half a fresh red chilli and add to the bowl with the leaves from a couple of sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss together. Very carefully cut a medium butternut squash into quarters. Remove the seeds and slice one quarter of the squash as finely as you can. Place the chicken breast and flavourings from the bowl into the tray and snugly fit your squash slices around the chicken. Carefully pour a little single cream around the squash (not on the chicken). Season with grated nutmeg and salt and pepper then drizzle with some olive oil and cook in the middle of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.

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Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary roast potatoes

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Ingredients

  • 2 kg higher-welfare chicken
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 kg potatoes , peeled
  • 1 large lemon , preferably unwaxed
  • 1 whole bulb garlic , broken into cloves
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh rosemary sprigs , leaves picked
  • 8 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon , optional

Method

Roast chicken remains one of our favourite dishes at home. I recently discovered a way to make the chicken taste even better, by putting a lemon in with my potatoes when I was parboiling them. It smelt fantastic and flavoured the potatoes. Then when I was draining them I decided to stab the lemon, which hissed out juice and steam, and quickly jammed it inside the chicken! The benefits of the hot steaming lemon going into the chicken are very obvious as the meat tastes amazing, and the chicken cooks slightly quicker because of it.

Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do this in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking it for lunch or dinner. By doing this, you’ll make the meat really tasty when cooked. Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves, and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic. Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy – this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast.

While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times. Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it with kitchen paper and rub it all over with olive oil. Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, then put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate. Some lovely fat should have cooked out of it into the roasting tray, so toss the potatoes into this with the rosemary leaves. Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the centre of the potatoes and put the chicken back in. If using the bacon, lay the rashers over the chicken breast and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are nice and golden. (You can tell the chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear.)

I like to remove the bacon from the chicken and crumble it up over the potatoes. Then I remove the lemon and garlic from inside the chicken, squeeze all the garlic flesh out of the skin, mush it up and smear it all over the chicken, discard the lemon and rosemary and carve the chicken at the table. Heaven!

Chicken panzanella

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Ingredients

  • 1 x 1.5 kg whole free-range chicken
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh mixed herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme
  • 1 x 270 g ciabatta loaf
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 2 kg mixed ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 small red onion
  • red wine vinegar
  • 100 g whole black olives
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • Parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºC/gas 4.

Rub the chicken all over with sea salt, black pepper and oil, and stuff with the herbs, reserving some rosemary for later.

Tear up the ciabatta and scatter in a roasting tin. Crush and add the unpeeled garlic cloves, and place the chicken on top.

Roast for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.

Remove from the oven, cover and leave to rest.

Roughly chop the tomatoes into different shapes and sizes. Keep half to one side and add the rest to a large bowl with half of the basil leaves. Keep the remaining leaves for later.

Peel, finely slice and add the onion to the bowl along with a good splash of red wine vinegar. Scrunch the whole lot together with your hands. You want to end up with a colourful, tasty pulp. Taste and season, if necessary.

Add 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper, then give it all a good stir.

Take the bread from the roasting tray and add most of it to the bowl (reserving a few pieces), and toss together really well.

Destone and chop up the olives, and add to the bowl along with the capers and remaining tomatoes, bread and basil leaves.

Mix gently to bring it all together and finish with a sprinkling of rosemary leaves and shavings of Parmesan.

Carve the chicken and serve with the panzanella.

Barbecued chicken dim sum

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Ingredients

  • 3 fresh chillies , (different colours)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 300 g cooked chicken
  • ½ a small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger , peeled and finely grated
  • 5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 500 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 400 ml light coconut milk, or semi skimmed milk
  • sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons sesame seeds , toasted
  • hoisin sauce

Method

For this recipe, you will need 300 g cooked chicken.

Halve and deseed the chillies, trim and halve the spring onions, then very finely slice the chillies and spring onions lengthways and place into a bowl of iced water until they curl. Put to one side.

Shred the cooked chicken into a bowl. Finely slice the coriander (stalks and all) and add to the bowl, then mix in the grated ginger, barbecue sauce and a good squeeze of lime juice, then set aside.

Place the flour, coconut milk or semi-skimmed milk and a good pinch salt into a food processor, then pulse a few times until you have a sticky dough. Transfer to a flour-dusted work surface and shape into a long sausage, adding a little more flour if it’s too sticky. Cut into 16 equal-sized pieces, then flatten or roll each into circles (roughly ½ cm thick).

Equally divide the chicken mixture between each of the 16 dough circles (you’ll need roughly 1 heaped teaspoon of chicken per circle), making sure to leave a 2cm gap around the edges. Pull and fold the sides over the filling, pinching the edges together to seal. Place the dim sum balls, upside-down in double-layered, lightly greased muffin cases and divide between two bamboo steamer baskets.

Place a wok on a high heat and fill with 2cm worth of boiling water. Once boiling, place the baskets on top of the wok and cover with a lid. Steam for 12 minutes or until light, fluffy and cooked through.

Drain and scatter over the spring onions and chillies, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with a bowl of lime-spiked hoisin sauce for dipping.

Ginger & honey chicken wings

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Ingredients

  • 25 higher-welfare chicken wings
  • Ginger and honey marinade
  • 5 spring onions , finely sliced
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 red chilli , sliced
  • 1-2 cm piece of ginger , grated
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme , leaves picked

Method

Recipe by Lloyd Hayes

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl to make a sticky sauce.

Place the chicken wings in a single layer in a wide, shallow, nonreactive dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.

Heat your barbecue or griddle pan until hot. Cook the wings for 15–20 minutes, turning often, until dark and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer. If cooking on a griddle, finish the wings in the oven at 180C/gas 4 for 10–15 minutes to ensure they’re cooked through.

Keralan fish curry

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Ingredients

  • 6 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 750 g firm white fish
  • groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 x 400 ml tin of reduced fat coconut milk
  • 1 x 400 ml tin of chopped tomatoes
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander

Method

Peel and finely slice the shallots, garlic and ginger. Trim and finely slice the chilli. Cut the fish into chunks.

Heat a lug of groundnut oil in a large pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook until the seeds start to pop.

Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until softened.

Mix together the chilli powder and turmeric with a splash of water, and stir into the pan. Fry for a minute, then add the fish, coconut milk and tomatoes.

Season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the sauce has reduced.

Pick, chop and scatter over the coriander leaves, then serve with basmati rice and warm naan bread.

Cajun roast chicken, veg & spicy gravy

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Ingredients

  • 1 x 1.6 kg whole free-range chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tesapoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 750 g carrots
  • 1.25 kg potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 organic stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Place the chicken on a clean board.

Bash the dried herbs and spices with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar.

Grate in the orange zest, pick in half the thyme leaves, and bash again. Mix in 1 tablespoon of oil, then rub the spice mix all over the chicken.

Peel and roughly chop the onion, roughly chop 1 carrot, then place in a roasting tin.

Sit the chicken on top, and rub a good drizzle of oil into the skin. Halve the zested orange; pop 1 half in the chicken, reserve the other.

Reduce the oven to 180ºC/gas 4 and roast for around 1 hour 15 minutes, or till the chicken is golden and when pierced in the thickest part, the juices run clear.

Meanwhile, halve and parboil the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes; drain and let sit to steam dry for a few minutes.

Shake to scuff the edges, then tip into a roasting tin and season with salt. Mix in the unpeeled garlic and a lug of oil. Roast with the chicken for 50 minutes.

Halve the remaining carrots lengthways, then parboil for 4 minutes; drain and steam dry.

Tip into a roasting tin, season, and mix with the honey, remaining thyme leaves and orange juice, and a drizzle of oil. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven. Pop the carrots in the oven and check the potatoes, shaking the tray to turn them, and turn the oven up to 200ºC/gas 6. Keep an eye on the veg, so they don’t burn, while you make the gravy.

Transfer the chicken to a board to rest and loosely cover in foil.

Dissolve the stock cube in 750ml of just-boiled water. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and scrape the sticky bits off the bottom. Get the flour nice and dark (not burnt), then add the stock.

Bring to the boil, then simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, stirring. When the gravy reaches the consistency you like, strain it through a sieve.

By now the roast veg should be ready to serve with the cajun roast chicken and spicy gravy.

Golden chicken, braised greens & potato gratin

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Ingredients

  • 2 rashers smoked higher-welfare streaky bacon
  • For the greens
  • 200 g baby leeks
  • 200 g baby spinach
  • 200 g frozen peas
  • For the gratin
  • 800 g potatoes
  • 3 onions
  • olive oil
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube
  • ½ bunch fresh sage
  • 100 ml single cream
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese
  • For the chicken
  • 4 x 120 g skinless higher-welfare chicken breasts
  • few sprigs fresh rosemary

Method

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Oven grill on high • Food processor (fine slicer) • Medium lidded pan, high heat • Large high-sided roasting tray, high heat • Large frying pan, medium-high heat

START COOKING
Finely slice the potatoes in the processor, then tip into the medium pan and cover with boiling water and the lid • Peel the onions, finely slice in the processor, then tip into the roasting tray with 2 tablespoons of oil, crumble in the stock cube and season with salt and pepper • Tear in the sage leaves and stir regularly, adding a splash of water if they start to catch

On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and the rosemary leaves, then fold the paper over and bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin • Put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until golden and cooked through • Drain the potatoes well in a colander, then tip into the onion pan, stir together and arrange in a flat layer • Pour over the cream, then finely grate over the Parmesan and pop under the grill on the top shelf

Halve the leeks lengthways, rinse under the tap, then finely slice • Put into the empty lidded pan on a high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often • Finely slice the bacon and add to the chicken pan, tossing regularly • Stir the spinach and peas into the leeks and once the spinach has wilted and the peas are tender, pile on a board or platter with the chicken and bacon on top • Serve with the gratin

Spring poached chicken

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Ingredients

  • 2 kg higher-welfare chicken
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls new potatoes , scrubbed
  • 2 handfuls baby carrots
  • 2 handfuls baby turnips or radishes
  • 1 bulb fennel , quartered, herby tops removed and reserved
  • horseradish , freshly grated
  • 1 jar hot creamed horseradish , optional
  • 285 ml crème fraîche
  • 2 handfuls fresh peas
  • 2 handfuls broad beans
  • 1 colanderful spinach or Swiss chard
  • olive oil
  • 1 small handful inner celery leaves

Method

You will need a large casserole or stock pot to fit your chicken in so that you can cover it with water by about 2.5cm. Stuff the chicken with the parsley and bay leaves, then add your chicken to the pot, cover with water and add a good teaspoon of salt. Scatter in the potatoes, bring to the boil, then turn down, place a lid on top and simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point you can add your baby carrots, turnips or radishes and fennel. Carry on simmering for 30 to 40 minutes.

When you can easily pull the leg bone away from the chicken, you know that it’s cooked to perfection. By that time the other veg will certainly be cooked, but don’t break them up. Now… while this is all cooking, you can prepare your horseradish cream – the most joyous thing to have with the chicken. In your supermarket you will be able to find creamed or hot grated horseradish in a jar, which is OK to use, but if you’re really lucky you’ll be able to get hold of some fresh horseradish which you can simply peel and grate, season with salt and mix with the crème fraîche. (I’m lucky because my local supermarket sells them whole – just ask at yours if there are none in stock.)

All you have to do now is carefully remove the chicken to a bowl and add the peas, broad beans and spinach to the broth. Allow them to cook for one minute, then season carefully to taste. You can get all your guests to help themselves if that’s easier, but if you want to serve it up, divide a nice mixture of veg between 6 bowls, put some shredded chicken on top, then ladle over some of the wonderful, comforting broth. Sprinkle over some of the chopped reserved fennel tops or some celery leaves, with a healthy dollop of horseradish crème fraîche on top and a drizzle of nice peppery olive oil – it will look and taste brilliant.

All-in-one rice & chicken

All-in-one rice & chicken

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 free-range chicken legs
  • 2 free-range chicken thighs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 50 g long-grain rice
  • 150 g Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey

Method

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the chicken legs and thighs, then remove and set aside.

Peel and dice the onion then in the same pan, sweat the onion until softened, before crushing in the garlic and adding the spices.

Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the rice, dates, honey and browned chicken.

Cover with water and bring to the boil before allowing to simmer, covered, over a medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the rice and chicken are cooked through.