Chicken – Just Imagine It
When you think of chicken, do you think of meat that is low calories, low fat, high quality, high protein, most flavourful, and health-giving of white meats? Or do you think it’s a reasonable source of meat to fall back on, and that will do because you can’t afford to buy any of the others? Think again.
Chicken Soup for the Sick
When someone is sick – say at the office – what do their colleagues take them? Chicken Soup, because it is so health-giving.
A Mother Knows
A Mother brings Chicken Soup to her grown children when they’re sick because it has healing properties.
They don’t stop and think, ‘oh, I’ll buy my sick child a nice thick steak, but rather immediately their thoughts go to Chicken Soup because it’s so healthy and nourishing.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
A grateful son even wrote a book called Chicken Soup for the Soul!
Stress Reducer and Feel Good Function
Here are a few points about chicken that you might like to hear before we go any further:
- Chicken contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that’s responsible for raising serotonin levels in your brain – which is that feel-good chemical in the brain.
- Dark and white meat contains B Vitamins that help the nervous system function.
- Easy to eat and builds muscle and bone.
- Chicken is heart-healthy and aids in weight loss.
- So many health benefits – even stress reducer
Choice of Choice Meats
If you think about the healthiest meat you could cook, some people really have to stop these days and take a moment to decide. There’s too much choice! There’s beef, a side of healthy red beef must be good for the body; then there’s a rack of sweeter lamb, which carries a high number of vitamins just like the beef. The pork also is full of vitamins and is lighter and sweeter meat.
Then there’s the good old chicken, and you would be so surprised to hear that chicken is better by far when it comes to its healing and restorative qualities – Magic Chicken almost.
Bored and Boring
I am not the biggest chicken fan, and in fact, I’ve always been of one those painful people that would shake their heads and order only breast with no skin or bone to be in sight. In other words, I was quite dull when it came to chicken.
I Drank the Soup and Converted
Then, the inevitable happened, and I got quite sick, and a friend brought me chicken soup. I did drink it and felt enormously better later, and when I next saw my Doctor, he explained to me why chicken is such an excellent addition to one’s diet.
But, unfortunately, I’ve forgotten those descriptive details and technical data, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. This is what I remembered.
One thing I can mention is that all that skin, bone, and connective tissue – from any animal – is what gives the most nourishment and gets the real job done.
Even for Vegetarians
Even for vegetarians, you can cook all that good stuff and then throw it away if you choose; as long as you have all the nourishing juices from cooking it, that will probably go into a gravy and you can consume it like that.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Too much of a good thing – is a bad thing. That’s the same with chicken. A few times a week is fine – as it is with beef or eggs or fish – but you’re certainly not going to eat it every day (and twice on Sundays), that would make you ill. It should be all about accomplishing a healthy balance during the week of all things good for you.
A Little Planning Brings you Balance
That’s why maybe at the weekend you should spend say ten minutes just writing down what you think you’ll eat and when. It’s not set in stone – you can easily change it.
Arrange or Change
On Sunday, you can sit after dinner and write Monday – Roast left overs; Tuesday – Fish; Wednesday – Chicken; Thursday – Vegetable Pie, or Casserole; Friday – fish; Saturday – Curry or Pasta dish or Pizza; Sunday – Roast. This is an example that you can change and change again according to how you feel that day you’re making it.
Here We Go
I suggest that we make a start, and after a few recipes, we can stop and discuss how we feel about things – OK? Let’s begin…..
1. Easy Roast Chicken
I think this is a straightforwardrecipe. It's supposed to serve 10 persons, but I have my doubts about thatunless your guests are dainty eaters – I would go with eight and do extra sidedishes.
I thought we'd start with the most basic of allchicken dishes. I did notice there's no stuffing here. You would typicallystuff the inside cavity of the chicken or make a mix and turn it into stuffingballs and place them around the bird in the oven for the last 30 minutes ofcooking.
- 1 Whole large chicken.
- 40 Grm soft knob of butter.
- 2 fresh sage leaves if you wish/or a sprig ofrosemary.
- 2 teaspoons sea salt.
Heatover to 200C/180C fan/gas6. Put the chicken in the roasting tin.
A small, sharp knife, will help you to very carefully ease the skin away from the breast and push the soft butter under that skin before putting the skin back inits proper place.
Sprinkle the skin with sea salt and some black pepper.
Poura little water into the bottom of the roasting pan until 2cms deep.
Tearoff enough foil to cover the whole top of chicken and pan.
Roast for 1 hr; remove the foil;
Continue to roast for another 20/30 mins until theskin turns golden brown, the chicken is cooked, and all juices run clear.
Carefully pour juices into a gravy boat. Lift out the chicken onto a carving board.
Cover chick with the foils and a clean towel or tea towel to rest.
Leave resting for about 15/20 mins, then carvecarefully.
Have someone else put all the vegetable side dishes and gravy boat on the table.
Now everyone can 'dig in' and enjoy the fruit ofyour labors!
Be pleased with yourself – you did well.
There’s a story attached to this Recipe. It’s personal, but I’d like to share it with you.
My Step Brother’s wife was pregnant with her third child (she had 2 young boys already) and was expected to go into labor that day. It was Christmas Day, and I had arrived early to help. We were all very excited. My brother had not been able to sleep, so he was already up and preparing the Christmas Chicken Roast – he was quite a good cook. He’d even made the stuffing ready to put inside the chicken.
A few other family members started to arrive, and my brother gave his two young sons some sandwiches to keep them quiet. He stuffed the chicken, put it in the oven, and waited for the labor to start.
Soon the Christmas Roast was cooked, and we all gathered around the table and enjoyed an excellent meal. As with all happy occasions, the talk flows, and someone asked my brother, whatever did he stuff the chicken with because it had tasted wonderful! My brother said stuffing, of course. But the visitor opened the fridge and pointed to the bowl of raw filling. He said he’d seen it lying around, so had put it in a safe place.
My brother suddenly put his head in his hands and tried to remember what had happened. Then he started to laugh and laugh! It turns out he’d been so preoccupied with the baby being so almost overdue that he made apricot sandwiches cut up small for one son and marmalade sandwiches cut up small for the other son. He must have grabbed both sets of sandwiches, in his extreme pre-occupation, and stuffed the chicken with them.
My sister went into labor at that point, so we all went off to the hospital. We asked the boys what they’d eaten, and they said sweeties from their Christmas Stockings! So, yes, our Roast Chicken had been stuffed with those sandwiches and had been delicious! I’m not suggesting you should try that – but I have, and it was really good!
Who’d have thought!………………………Now, back to work………………
2. Chicken Breasts with Tarragon-Shallot Butter
Sometimes when making this dish, I have a hypodermic(don't ask), and I like to inject the breasts of the chicken with a littlebrandy just before cooking; it adds great flavor.
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 (approx. 8 ounces ea) boneless, skinless ChickenBreasts
- Salt as necessaryand freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound thin green beans trimmed
- 4 tbsp butter at room temperature
- 1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon or rosemary
- 3/4 tps freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 shallot minced
- Lemon wedges forserving
Preheat ovento 375 ᵒF
Put 2tablespoons oil in a large oven-safe pan/skillet over medium heat.
Pat dry thechicken breasts and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.
Put breastssmoothest side down in oven-safe pan/skillet and cook, turning only once, untilgolden brown on both sides – about 8 mins in total.
Transfer theoven-safe pan/skillet to the oven and bake until just cooked through – 10 to 12mins extra.
Take the lastremaining tablespoon oil and heat in a large skillet over medium.
Put in greenbeans and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add ¼ water,then cover with lid slightly tilted and cook beans until tender say, about 3minutes more.
Meantime, mixbutter, tarragon/rosemary, lemon juice, and minced shallot into a small bowluntil well mixed – season with salt and pepper.
Put a dollopof this butter mix onto the top of each chicken breast.
Serve thechicken breasts with the green beans and lemon wedges.
This is a nice-lookingdish to serve to anyone – be pleased.
If fresh tarragon or rosemary isn't available, then use dried but a little less ofit as when it is dried, the taste becomes more potent.
3. Chicken Parmigiana
Just over an hour for such a professional-looking deliciousdish!
- 4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour, seasoned to taste with saltand pepper.
- 4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water andseasoned with salt and pepper.
- 2 Cups panko bread crumbs.
- 1 Cup vegetableoil or pure olive oil.
- Tomato Sauce, Recipe follows.
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella thinly sliced.
- 1/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesan.
- Fresh basilor parsley leaves, for garnish.
- 2 tbsp olive oil.
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped.
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt tomake a paste.
- 2 X 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes and their juices,pureed in a blender.
- 1 x 16-ouncecan crushed tomatoes.
- 1 small can tomato paste.
- 1 bay leaf.
- 1 small bunch Italian parsley.
- 1 Cubano chilli pepper, chopped.
- Salt andfreshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the chickenon both sides to taste with salt and pepper.
Coat eachbreast in the flour and tap off excess.
Dip into the egg mixture and let excess dripoff.
Then roll on both sides in the bread crumbs.
Divide the oil between 2 large sauté (frying) pans.
Put on high heat until oil Is about to smoke.
Put 2 chicken breasts in a pan; cook the breastsuntil golden brown on a side, say, 2 minsaside.
Move to a baking sheet. On the top of a breast, spoonsome Tomato Sauce put a few slices of mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, and atablespoon of Parmesan Cheese.
Put back in the oven and bake until chicken iscooked and cheese is melted; 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and garnish with basil orparsley leaves.
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over mediumheat.
Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.
Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushedtomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, andbring to a boil.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened,about 30 minutes.
4. Chicken Kiev
This dish is originally from RussianRoyalty and once you've Made it and eaten it, you'll know why.
- 2 x sticks, unsalted butter, softened.
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon.
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley.
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives.
- 2 tsp teaspoons finely chopped freshthyme.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- 6 x small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds) (Instead ofbreasts you can use large thighs).
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour.
- 4 x large eggs.
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
- 2 Cups panko(Japanese breadcrumbs)Vegetable oil, for frying
Mixbutter, tarragon, parsley, chives, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and a tip of a teaspoonof pepper in a bowl.
Spoon mixture onto some plastic wrap, orparchment paper, and roll into a 1-inch-thick log.
Wrap tightly; freeze until firm; between 3 hoursand 3 days.
Slice frozen butter into 6 equal pieces.
Put a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plasticwrap, or 2 large resealable plastic bags.
Hit with a Rolling Pin to 1/4-inch-thick.
Move onto a clean piece of plastic wrap. Season well.
Put a piece of herbed butter in the middle of thechicken.
Using the plastic wrap, tightly roll up the chickenstarting at a long side, tucking in the short sides as you work.
Tightly wrap the chicken rolls in plastic wrap.
Repeat with the remaining chicken and butter.
Chill chicken rolls in the fridge for at least 2hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set a wirerack on a rimmed baking sheet.
Put the flour in a shallow dish.
Whisk the eggs and mustard in 2nd shallowdish.
Put the Panko Breadcrumbs in a 3rd shallow dish.
Unwrap the chicken rolls and generously season well.
One at a time, roll the chicken rolls in flour,then dip in the egg mixture and roll in the panko to coat with the breadcrumbs.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet overmedium-high heat – about 1 and ½ inches high.
Fry the chicken rolls in 2 batches of 3,turning, until golden brown, 6 to 8 mins.
Move fried chicken to prepared rack and bakeuntil cooked through about 10 minutes.
- Flavorless oil, for deep-frying
- 1 Cup All-purpose flour.
- 2 x large eggs, mixed together with 2 x tablespoons water.
- 3 Cups panko breadcrumbs.
- 2 tsp Sweet paprika.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 x boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Lemonwedges, for serving
Pour oil into a large pot or high-sided skillet– about 1 + ½ inches high.
Clip on a deep-fry thermometer.
Heat oil tomedium.
Set up a dredging station: Put flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in each of 3 separate bowls.
Season thebreadcrumbs with the paprika, salt, and ground black pepper.
Put a piece of chicken between 2 large pieces ofplastic wrap and pound the chicken with a rolling pin (or rolls it firmly) untilit's very thin but not torn.
Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Coat chicken first in flour, then egg wash, andfinally in breadcrumbs.
Then fry in batches, turning once, until goldenbrown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Move to a wire rack that is set over a bakingsheet to drain.
Season both sides of the chicken breasts withsalt and pepper.
Hold in a warm oven if not serving immediately.Serve with lemon wedges.
6.Chicken with Creamy Bacon Penne
A rich and luxurious meal that took less than 30 minutes from prep to serving!
- 1 tbsp Olive oil.
- 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- 100 grams Smoked lardon (chopped bacon)
- 4 tbsp Dry white wine.
- 100 g Frozen petits pois (small peas).
- 5 tbsp of double cream.
- 220 g Packet of 8oz cooked penne (put a knob of butter on it while it waits).
In a deep non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and add the lardons.
Add the chicken breasts into the pan and scatteraround the lardons.
Cook contents in pan over a high heat for 4 minutes, while you get together the other ingredients.
Turn the chicken breasts over in the frying pan,give the lardons a stir, then pour the wine over it all and let it bubble overa high heat until it looks like its evaporating. Now move quickly because youstill want to keep some sauce.
Add the petit pois, cream and penne pasta,season, then stir well.
Cover the pan with a lid place slightly to the side to let the steam out.
Cook for 4 more minutes until the chicken iscooked all the way through. Serve straight away.
7.A Lighter Chicken Cacciatore
This is known as a light dish because the fatfrom the prosciutto ham is removed
- 1 tbsp Of olive oil
- 3 Slices of Italian ham (prosciutto) fat removed and chopped small
- 1 Medium brown onion, chopped into small cubes
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Sage sprigs (optional)
- 2 Rosemary sprigs (optional)
- 4 Skinless chicken breasts, preferably organic, (550gtotal weight), (bone in or out to your taste)
- 150 ml Dry white wine
- 400 g Can plum tomatoes in natural juice
- 1 tbsp Tomato purée
- 225 g Chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- Small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
- Rigatoni or Fusilli Pasta cooked – enough for two.
Heat oil in the large non-stick frying pan.
Put in the prosciutto and fry for about 2 minsuntil crispyish.
Use a slotted spoon (a large metal spoon with many small holes in it for draining) to remove the prosciutto, letting any fat drain back into the pan. Set aside.
Put in the onion, garlic and herbs in the pan and fry for 3-4 mins.
Spread the chopped onion across the bottom of the pan, then lay the chicken breasts on top of the chopped onion.
Put some pepper on it and fry for 5 mins over amedium heat.
Turn the chicken once, until starting to brown on both sides and the onion is caramelising on the bottom of the pan.
Take the chicken out of the pan; place on a plate until you're ready to use it
Raise the heat under the pan, stir the contents of the pan.
Pour in the wine and let it bubble for 2 mins to reduce slightly (but not much).
Turn the heat down to medium setting.
Return the prosciutto to the pan, stir in the tomatoes (breaking them up with your spoon), also add the tomato purée andmushrooms.
Pour 4 tbsp of water into the empty tomato can, swirl it around, then empty it into the pan.
Cover but allow the steam to escape, and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the sauce hasthickened and reduced slightly.
The chicken should be put back in the pan and cooked, uncovered, for about 15 mins or until the chicken is cooked through and not tough or stringy.
Season and scatter the parsley over the dish to serve with the warm rigatoni or fusilli pasta which place to one side with a little butter and black pepper. Ready to serve.
8.Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta (1 pot)
Nourishing, economical, and yummy!
- 1 x 500g | 17oz packet macaroni pasta
- Small pocket plain flour
- Onion, chopped
- Carrot, washed, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Red bell pepper/capsicum. Wash it, remove theinside seeds, etc and dice.
- 500 g to 1lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets, cubed and floured
- One head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets, use the stalks, don't discard them, they have the same flavour.
- 200 g | 7oz sliced mushrooms, lightly washed. Don't spend time washing, they're not dirty, so wiping with a kitchen roll is good – too long in water, and they lose their flavour.
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 500 ml Light cooking cream (you can instead use 2x tubs Philadelphia Extra Light cream for cooking)
- 2 tbsp Vegetable stock powder
- Salt to yourtaste
- 3/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
Preheat oven to 200c | 390f.
Cook pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water, according to directions on pack.
Toss in a colander to drain the last drops then pour into a deep baking deepbaking dish
While pasta boils, cook onion and carrot in a large pot until onion looks clear.
Add the chicken,broccoli and mushrooms.Cook until chicken is becoming golden and broccoli has startedto soften.
Stir through garlic, cooking cream, stock powderand salt (adjust to your taste).
When cream begins to simmer, remove from heatand stir through 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
Pour the Creamy Chicken mixture onto the pasta and stir through gently and carefully tomix well.
Change ovensetting to grill/broil on medium heat. Sprinkle remaining cheese on pasta andchicken mixture, and place into oven to brown on top.
When golden on top, remove from oven and serve!
9.Perfect Chicken Alfredo
This is a fun recipewhere quantities are never exact, but always make more because everyone ishungry when they see and smell this.
- 4 chicken breasts or thighs if you prefer
- 1 Small tin heavy cream
- Small tin medium cream
- med packet frozen veg
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 Packet of fettuccine or other pasta you prefer
- Panko breadcrumbs
Maybe a richer sauce will please you better. In that case, substitute heavy cream or half-and-half for the milk—that's never a bad move.
Swap thighs for breasts if you prefer dark meat; how ever, it required longer cooking time so the thighs will take longer in thepan. The best way to cook them is with a quick trip to the oven. These chickenthighs, when baked in garlic butter are wonderful. Brilliant flavour!
Get experimental with the noodles if you like:fettuccini is a classic, but angel hair or spaghetti could work just as well.
Whatever pasta you choose should be completelysubmerged in your cooking liquid.
If you feel you need more veg, wait till thepasta is cooked then try stirring in a few handfsul spinach, and some halvedgrape or cherry tomatoes.
If you want a crunch, you can easily toast up some panko bread crumbs in a skillet with butter.
This trick works for any pasta, and the added texture makes a difference on the top.
10.Chicken and Mushroom Garlic Zucchini Boats
This is a lovely versatile dish. Serve with the pasta of your choice. If Zucchini boats aren't big enougheither cook in empty marrow cups or boats, or small oven dishes.The dishes can beserved invididually with say 3 for each person or in a couple of large serving dishesas demonstrated here- above.
- Large zucchini, halved lengthwise (do you call them zucchini or courgettes?) doesn't matter
- 1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 3/4 lb Chopped chicken
- Fry some diced bacon rashers – say about 6
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- 3 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c Heavy cream
- 1/4 c Grated Parmesan
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 c Shredded mozzarella
- Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Score zucchini, as if you'redicing an avocado, and scoop out the insides to use later in the Recipe.
Put zucchini boats in large baking dish. Drizzlethe boats all over with oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinklethyme leaves on top.
Bake until tender, about 20 minutes.
Put a large skillet over medium heat on stove, and melt butter.
Add chicken pieces and cook through.
Add mushroom quarters.
Season with salt and pepper. Cook through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and also add bacon bits to skillet
Stir in theextra zucchini and tomatoes, and garlic. Cook until fragrant (sweet smelling); aboutanother minute
Add cream, Parmesan, and lemon juice, and cookuntil slightly reduced, 3 minutes.
Carefully fill zucchini boats with chicken, mushroom, and bacon mix. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is bubbly, say about 8 minutes more.
If you like, you can garnish the boats with morePParmesanand parsley, before serving.
11.Best Butter Chicken with Rice
A most fragrant andmouth-watering dish of spicy chicken and fluffy white rice
Chicken and Marinade
- 2.2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into1" – 2" cubes
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ Cup Vegetable oil
- 2 ½ Cups Chopped onion about 2 medium-large
- 2 tbsp Coarsely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp Garam masala
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp Kosher salt or to taste
- 2 Cups Diced no-salt-added canned tomatoes
- ¾ Cups Heavy 35% or whipping cream
- 2 tbsp Butter
- Chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a plastic zip-topbag, or shallow baking dish.
Massage Chicken at room temperature while youprepare the sauce.
If preferred, marinate in the fridge overnight
Heat oil to medium heat in large saucepan ordDutchoven.
Add onions and slowly cook for about 20minutes, until golden.
Reduce heat. Do not let them get crispy or burnt
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1minute
Stir in garam masala, paprika, cinnamon and salt
Cook for 1 more minute – more fragrance
Add tomatoes: cook 2 minutes
Add cream and carefully purée the mixture, using an immersion blender (or standing blender).
Do this in batches or the steam will blow the lid off.
Put sauce back in saucepan to simmer.
With your slotted spoon, take chicken out of marinadeand put it in sauce (discarding remaining marinade).
Cover, the mixture in the pan and simmer overmedium-low heat until cooked, say about 12 minutes.
Take out a piece and check to make sure it isn't pink inside.
A slow simmer is needed to cook the breasts, sothey don't become tough; you don't want to overcook them.
Stir in the butter, and add more salt to taste. Serve sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.
12.Creamy Chicken and Potato Bake
- 6 Potatoes peeled thinly sliced
- 4 Free Range Chicken Thigh fillets, cubed
- 1 tsp Salt and pepper
- 1 Onion chopped
- 4 Bacon rashers chopped
- 8 Swiss brown mushrooms halved
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 300 ml Cream
- 1 Cup Cheese grated
Pre heat oven to about 200C / 400F / Gas 6
In a frying a, heat some oil, over a fairly highheat on the stove
Brown the chicken thighs.
Remove chicken from pan and set aside
Turn down the heat to low, add the onions andgarlic and soften them in the chicken juices. (For around 5 mins)
Empty the pan to sit with the chicken until you'reready to finish the dish
Using the same pan, melt 40g of butter and addthe flour and mustard powder to form a roux (a smooth paste that will cause thegravy to thicken).
Slowly add the stock to the pan, a little at atime, stirring continuously (you don't want lumps) until the sauce is smootherand thicker.
Simmer for 3 mins, then add the herbs.
Put the chicken and onions back with the sauce,into the pan. Slowly add the cream and carefully stir (you don't want the creamto split).
Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish (the dish used here was 10" X 7.5") and stir in the peas.
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, (approx 5 mm)
Arrange the slices over the chicken mixtureoverlapping so the surface is completely covered
Heat the remaining butter to just melted andbrush over the potatoes
Bake the potatoes in the oven for 35 mins untilthey are golden brown and crispy
If you prefer, you can use breasts instead of thighs. The darker meat has a littlemore flavour but it is drier in texture so don't overcook and always keepmoist.
It's not necessary to peel the potatoes but as the real nutrients are just under the skin; it's up to you and your thoughts on heath (I haven't peeled a potato in over 10 years or more – even when mashing –but I do wash the skin on the vegetable and pat it dry with a paper kitchentowel)
So, you can just wash the spuds and pat dry witha paper towel if you so wish
Use potatoes that will hold shape, but turncreamy and fluffy as they cook
Your slices of potato must be uniform inthickness – not easy to do.
A mandoline is the easy way and gives the bestresults.
You can cut by hand but it takes more time – andlife's too short.
13.Chicken Noodle Soup
An excellent version of Chicken Noodle Soup. It takes only 40 minutes to make – which is fast. Whenyou look at the Recipe, it seems like lots of hard work, but once you start, the work goes fast, and you're drinking it in less than the hour!
- 2 tbsp Butter, chicken fat or olive oil
- Large onion, chopped
- 2 Large carrots, chopped
- 2 Stalks celery, chopped (optional)
- 1 Heaped tablspn chopped garlic (4 cloves)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 Sprigs fresh thyme, or use 1/2 teaspoon driedthyme
- 1 Pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5thighs)
- 8 Cups Chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock
- 5 Ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 Cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Water or more stock, as needed
- Dry Cooking Sherry
Melt butter in a large pot, or maybe a Dutchoven, over medium heat.
Put the onions, carrots, and celery in the pot.
Keep stirring whiole you cook until veggiesstart to soften; 5 to 6 minutes
Add the seasoning by stirring in the garlic, bayleaves, and thyme.
Cook, while stirring the garlic around in thepan, for about one minute
The chicken stock should be poured in. Bring toolow simmer. Taste soup and adjust seasoning
You might need to add more salt
If the seasoning is still not right, may I suggest a cup of dry cooking sherry – after all, that's what it's there for, half a cup for the soup and half a cup for you, of course.
The chicken thighs should be deep into the soupso that they are covered with the soup. Bring the soup back to a low simmerthen partially cover the pot with a lid at an angle to let out the steam.
Cook, stirring a few times, until the chickenthighs are cooked through; about 20 minutes.
If, during this time, the broth seems to begetting less in volume, add a splash more stock or some water. Turn the heat tomedium-low.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
Put the noodles into the soup and cook untildone, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used
While they cook, shred the chicken into strips (Iprefer strips), or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot andthen taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust the seson to exactly howyou like it.
Stir in the parsley and serve.
To Refrigerate this soup: As the soup sits, thenoodles soak up the soup broth. To reheat, add a splash of extra chicken stockor, if you don't have any, use water.
To freeze this soup: The noodles don't do well when frozen. If you want to freeze the soups, remove the portion of soup youplan to freeze before adding the noodles. Freeze the soup, chicken, andvegetables. When you are ready to reheat the soup, add dried noodles to it and simmer until done.
To season the soup: if you think the soup is missingsome zing, add a bit more salt. You can also add a pop of flavor with a squeezeof fresh lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce (a well-known trick) orWorcestershire sauce.
14.Chicken Lo Mein
- 1/2 Pound chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
For the Marinade:
- 2 tsp Light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Rice wine(or dry sherry)
- 1/4 tsp Sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
For the Sauce:
- 3/4 Cup Chicken broth
- 2 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 3/4 tsp Sugar
Other Stir-Fry Ingredients:
- 1/2 Pound Chinese noodles (thin or thick noodles are fine)
- 1 Cup Carrots (shredded; about 1 carrot)
- 1 Punnet of button mushrooms
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil (or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed)
- 1 tsp Garlic (chopped)
- 1/4 tsp Salt (plus more, to taste)
Slice the chicken into thin strips about 2 inches long
In a medium-sized bowl, add the light soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix then marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, combine thesauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Boil some salted water in a pot on the stove,and cook the noodles in that water until they are cooked al dente (tender, but stillfirm). This will take about 3 minutes for fresh noodles, and 4 to 5 minutes fordried noodles.
Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again –set aside.
Carrots should be cut into thin strips to matchthe chicken.
Slice the mushrooms in quarters (or halves).
Put a frying pan, on the stove, heat onetablespoon of oil over medium-high to high heat. Also, add the garlic andstir-fry for a few seconds until aromatic.
Put the chicken in and stir-fry until it changescolor and is 80 percent cooked. (If you need more oil, try adding onetablespoon water instead).
Take out the chicken and clean out the wok.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil and the salt in the wok;add the carrots and mushrooms; stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the chicken and the noodles, stirring to mix in with the other ingredients.
Add the sauce into the wok, mixing well
Cook for two more minutes. Taste,add salt orpepper if desired.
Serve hot and enjoy!
15.Chicken A La King
- 1/2 Cup Salted butter
- 8 ounce mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose flour
- 2 Cups Chicken broth
- 1 1/2 Cups Milk
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1/3 Cup Heavy cream
- 1 Cup Frozen peas
- 1 Cup Chopped drained pimientos
- 4 Cups chopped cooked chicken
Melt some butter over medium-high heat In a large saucepan on the stove.
Add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add in flour and stir until it's all in a paste.Pour in chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low andsimmer until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks withheavy cream. Working quickly, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the hot mixture iinto theegg mixture while whisking vigorously. Immediately pour this mixture back into the saucepan, whisking the entire time. Cook 2 minutes more.
Stir in frozen peas, drained pimientos, andcooked chicken and let heat through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve hot over cooked fried rice, or pasta, or toast,or biscuits.
16.Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp Granulated garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
- 3/4 Cup All-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup Panko or regular breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp Chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Large eggs, beaten
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 8 Slices (about 4 ounces) prosciutto or sliced ham
- 6 Ounces Gruyère or Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2-inch thick stick
- 3 Cups Vegetable oil, for frying
- Lemon, sliced into wedges
Put the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper together in a small mixing bowl.
You will use this spice blend later to season the breadcrumbs, flour, and chicken.
Prepare the breading station and baking sheet:by arranging three shallow dishes in the following order: flour, beaten eggs,breadcrumbs.
Season both the flour with a 1/2 teaspoon of thespice mixture. Season the breadcrumbs with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixtureand the chopped fresh parsley. Set these aside while you prepare the chickenbreasts.
Put a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet andset it aside. This is to allow hot air to circulate under the chicken, lettingit bake on all sides without the risk of getting soggy.
Three dishes lined up to batter chicken cordon bleu — one with breadcrumbs, one with eggs and another with flour.
Put the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten them to a 1/4-inch thickness.
Slather a teaspoon of mustard onto the flattenedchicken breast, then season the meat with a pinch of the spice mixture.Slightly overlap two slices of the prosciutto in the center of the chicken.
Place a baton (stick) of Gruyère on top of the prosciutto at one of the longer sides of the chicken.
Starting with the cheese side, roll the chickenover the cheese until the meat and cheese are fully encased in the chicken. Ifyou can, try to fold the chicken over the ends of the cheese to prevent thecheese from oozing out during cooking. Use one or two toothpicks to secure thechicken bundle.
Chicken breast rolled and being secured with atoothpick
In a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heaton the stove, bring the oil to 350 °F Heat your oven to 350 °F
Lightly dredge the chicken bundles in the flour.Pat off any excess flour, and coat the floured chicken in the egg, allowingexcess egg to drip off, then press the chicken bundle into the breadcrumbs tocoat it thoroughly.
Three dishes lined up to batter chicken cordonbleu — one with breadcrumbs, one with eggs and another with flour.
Once your oil is hot, add the chicken to thepan. Fry the chicken for 5 minutes on each side.
You may have to do this in batches. Don't overcrowd the container
When the chicken breasts have finished frying, drain them on paper towels before transferring them to the cooling rack topped baking sheet, and place them in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu being fried in butterin a black cast iron skillet. Breaded and fried chicken cordon bleu on a bakerscooking rack.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it torest for 5 minutes before serving. The thrill of a chicken cordon bleu iscutting into the bundle, separating the pieces, and watching that gloriouscheese ooze out.
17.Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Cups
- Cup Frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- Cup Chopped deli rotisserie chicken
- Can (10 1/2 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
- Can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescentdough sheet
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffincups with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix vegetables, chicken and soup.
On large cutting board, unroll dough sheet; cutinto 8 squares with sharp knife or pizza cutter. Line each muffin cup bypressing 1 dough square in bottom and up side of cup. Divide vegetable andchicken mixture evenly among dough-lined cups (about 1/4 cup each).
Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until dough is deepgolden brown and mixture is heated through. Cool 5 minutes in pan; remove frompan with metal spatula.
This Recipe can be made up to two hours beforetime. Just cover and refrigerate until you're ready to bake. You may need toadd up to 5 minutes extra bake time with this method.
- 1 ½ Cups Brown sugar
- 1 ½ Cups ketchup
- ½ Cup Red wine vinegar
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 ½ tbsp Dry mustard
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 ½ tsp Black pepper
- 2 Dashes hot pepper sauce dashes hot pepper sauce
Heat up a grill to about medium hot or preheat the broiler. If using the broiler, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Season the chicken to taste. Put the chicken onthe grill or, if broiling, put it on the prepared baking sheet. Grill or broil,4 inches from the heat, turning once, for 10 minutes per side.
Put 1/2 of the BBQ sauce in a small bowl, fordrizzling and serving. Reserve.
Baste the chicken with the remaining sauce and grill or broil for 5 minutes more.
Move the chicken to a serving platter, drizzlewith some of the reserved sauce, and serve with lime wedges and the remainingreserved sauce.
19.Chicken Chlli Wraps
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 6 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Large onion thinlyy sliced into half-moons
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 cm Piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ tsp Ground cumin
- ½ tsp Garam masala
- 1 tbsp Tomato purée
- 1 Red chilli, thinly sliced into rings
- Juice ½ lemon
- 4 Rotis, warmed
- ½ Small red onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp Mango chutney or lime pickle
- 4 Handfuls mint or coriander
- 4 tbsp Yogurt
Over a medium heat on the stove, heat the oil ina large frying pan. Add the chicken, brown on all sides, then remove. Add theonion, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 mins or until softened.
Increase the heat to high. Return the chicken tothe pan with the spices, tomato purée, chilli and lemon juice. Season well andcook for 10 mins or until the chicken is tender.
Divide the chicken, red onion, chutney, herbsand yogurt between the four warm rotis. Roll up and serve with plenty of paperserviettes/napkins.
- 12 Chicken thighs, bone in
- Lime, halved
- Hot sauce, to serve (optional)
- Big bunch spring onions
- Spring onions roughly chopped
- Thumb-sized piece ginger
- Ginger roughly chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves
- ½ a small onion
- 3 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseed if you want less heat (these are really hot)
- ½ tsp Dried thyme, or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- A lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Ground allspice
For the rice & peas:
- 200 g Basmati rice
- 400 g Can coconut milk
- Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut
- Bunch spring onions
- Spring onions, sliced
- 2 Large thyme
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Ground allspice
- 2 x 410g cans kidney beans
- Kidney beans scattered on a white surface, drained
Mix together the spring onions, ginger, garlic,onion, scotch bonnet chillies, (hot); dried thyme, lime juice, soy sauce,vegetable oil, brown sugar and ground allspice in a food processor along with 1tsp salt, and blend to a purée.
If you have trouble blending it, just keepturning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually itwill start to blend – don't be temptedto add water, as you want a thick paste.
Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it shouldtaste pretty salty, but not unpleasant.
With a very small but sharp knife, make some incisions(not too deep) in 12 chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat,rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in thefridge.
If you want to barbecue your chicken, get thecoals burning 1 hr or so before cooking.
Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilledas we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authenticjerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chickenover slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.
To cook in the oven, heat to 180C/160C fan/gas4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the halved lime and cook for45 mins until tender and cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse the basmati rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan. Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme sprigs, garlic and ground allspice.
Season with salt, add 300ml cold water and setover a high heat. Once the rice begins to boil, turn it down to a medium heat,cover and cook for 10 mins. Add the kidney beans to the rice, then cover with alid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed.
Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken andserve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.
There you have it. Twenty different chicken recipes as promised. They are all healthy. I chose them carefully as I wanted to give you healthy recipes and a good assortment of types of recipes so you would be, say, a little spoiled for choice.
Anyway, I do hope you find at least several dishes that take your fancy. Chicken seems to be everyone’s friend! It’s easy to cook and very versatile so that you can feed the adults and the kids fro the same bird but even with different dishes! It’s also extremely nourishing.
When I selected these recipes, I made a beeline for the simplest and easiest to make that I could find. Not because I think you can’t cook, but because if you take an easy, simple recipe, you can always improve on it if you choose. But if you begin with the most difficult of all dishes, then you’ll struggle just to get it right – never mind improving it!
I’ll leave you to your chicken now and check-in with you next week, maybe. May you all have a Blessed Weekend