Tag Archives: chicken

Recipe | A punchy chicken curry

As is often the case after a week in another country, on return from Australia all I wanted to eat was something comforting and familiar. Curry it was, and it was good. Just hot enough to for the body to respond with sweat and serotonin, without you having to bury your face in the freezer.

Serves 4
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves
10 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp mustard seed
A few curry leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp onion seeds

1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tin coconut milk
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
A couple of large handfuls of spinach

– Start by toasting the whole spices (cumin, coriander, cloves) in a dry frying pan until their scent tickles your nostrils. Some recommend toasting separately but life’s too short. Tip them into a pestle and mortar and grind with the cardamom.

– Heat a little oil in a saucepan over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and, once they start to pop, chuck in the curry leaves, asafoetida, dried red chillies and onion seeds. Keep stirring until the chillies char and wilt, then throw in the onion and garlic. Lower the heat and soften for 10 minutes before banging it back up and stir-frying with the ground spices, chilli powder and turmeric.

– Add the coconut milk and tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes until thickened, then add the chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes then stir in the spinach. Cook until wilted and serve with rice and a handful of coriander.


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Recipe | Moroccan pot-roast chicken

The first ‘random ingredient generator‘ of 2011 provided some fantastic suggestions. As ever some people predictably put spanners in the works; perhaps I should be more explicit that the generator’s raison d’etre is to offer inspiration when it’s 6pm and I can’t think of what to have for supper. Not really the time to go out in search of tripe and yucca. Still, I appreciate Ollie and Lizzie’s enthusiasm and admire their ability to keep me on my toes. Continue reading


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Recipe | Chicken with tarragon and cream

In this week’s random ingredient generator game, there were – as ever – plenty of appealing options. It was a miserable day, so suggestions of cauliflower, chorizo, and aubergine were particularly enticing, but in the end it was Clive Coombs’ simple recommendation of tarragon that swung it. It’s such a simple and somewhat old-fashioned dish, this, but on an evening that felt like autumn had come early, it hit the spot. Continue reading


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Recipe | Chicken and broad beans with yoghurt and lemon

More broad beans, more chicken. There’s something about the innate sunshine of these green fellers that pairs them well with a simply cooked piece of chicken. Roast chicken ideally, but ’twas just me last night and an entire chicken seemed unmerited, if tempting. The Marsala and smoked paprika give the beans a great lift; a happy marriage of Spain and Sicily. Continue reading


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Recipe | Chicken, prawn, and asparagus pilaff

I’m starting to wonder if leftover chicken recipes are all I have up my sleeve. The blog is inundated with them. This is largely down to the fact that Sunday night roast chicken is a fortnightly treat, thus Monday morning brings with it the promise of leftover goodies. This dish was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe in the latest Sainsbury’s magazine. Cheers Nige.

Serves 1
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
100g brown basmati rice, soaked in cold water
Chicken stock
Asparagus, roughly chopped
Leftover chicken
A handful of cooked prawns
Parsley and mint
Half a lemon
Olive oil, salt, pepper

– Sweat the shallot and celery in olive oil until softened. Drain and rinse the rice under cold running water for a minute or so, before adding to the pan with salt and pepper. Add enough stock to cover by a couple of centimetres, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes.

– Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the asparagus. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap for a minute.

– When the rice is cooked add the chicken, asparagus, and prawns, along with some chopped parsley and mint, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Warm through and serve.


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Recipe | Japanese-style chicken and avocado salad

Chicken and avocado is a classic and criminally boring combination. In a sandwich, with enough mayonnaise and lemon juice, it is just about acceptable when other options are wanting. But other than that it’s a marriage of a not particularly flavoursome fruit with yesterday’s chicken. Both ingredients need something more than bread to make them really sing, and that’s just what this recipe does.

Serves 1
1/2 tsp wasabi powder
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Squeeze of lime
A few drops of sesame oil
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 chilli, sliced
1 avocado
Leftover roast chicken
Salad leaves


– Mix together the wasabi powder, mirin, rice vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, groundnut oil and soy sauce, along with a pinch of salt. Add the chopped chilli.

– Pick apart the leftover chicken and toss through salad leaves. Add scoops of avocado and dress. Serve immediately. Quick lunch eh?


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The unbearable wetness of sweating [pot-roast chicken]

It’s blinkingly hot outside. I’m up north for a week doing a cooking job at a rather wonderful 13th century house just south of Ripon, and while cranking out endless lemon polenta cakes (or ‘lemon placenta cake’ as one of my brother’s friends once called it when waitering for me) is just about bearable on a drizzly day, when the weather is like this it is not much fun. I want to be swimming in the river, or fishing, or, ideally, sitting with a book and a beer. Even sitting in the window writing this has given my forehead a light sheen – us northerners just aren’t built for the heat. I’m dreading my return to London and my stuffy bedroom. There it’s a toss up between the unbearable wetness of sweating and the excruciating noise that greets me when I open my window onto the Hackney Road. It’s like trying to get some kip on the hard shoulder of the M1. Industrial earplugs and an industrial fan are probably the only ways to get through this heat wave. But I’m not complaining. Last summer was utterly miserable, and I vowed never to complain about good weather again. Bring it on.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, pot-roast chicken, as I discovered a couple of nights ago, is a better summer feed than your standard roast chicken, which is associated with root vegetables, bread sauce and a roaring fire. This pullet, juicy in its light broth and perky with the accompaniment of broad beans and peas, was just the ticket.

Pot-roast chicken

Serves 4

A little groundnut oil
6 rashers of streaky smoked bacon, sliced finely
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
A handful of whole and unpeeled garlic cloves
200ml white wine
A chicken, 2kg in weight or so
A bouquet garni
As many new potatoes as you think you can eat – they are fantastic cold the next day with a little Maldon sea salt
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan (one large enough to house your fowl), heat the groundnut oil over a medium heat and add the bacon. Fry until golden, then add the butter, onions, celery and garlic, season, stir, cover and soften for 5-10 minutes, giving them a poke occasionally.

Slosh in the white wine and scrape up all the bacon bits from the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken generously, inside and out, and place on top of the vegetables. Add enough water to come halfway up, along with the bouquet garni and potatoes, and bring to the boil. Put a lid on and gently simmer for 1 hour.

After 45 minutes or so, preheat the oven to 220C. When the hour is up, remove lid and potatoes (keep them warm somewhere – they don’t need to be stinking hot), and put the pan in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the skin on the chicken has crisped up (you made need to add a little oil to help it along).

Rest the chicken for 15 minutes, during which time prepare any other vegetables you want to accompany – broad beans/peas are perfect, sauted courgettes would be lovely too. Serve with the spuds and green veg, with a generous ladleful of broth.


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