Chicken stuffed with ricotta

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Tub of ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • Bunch of basil leaves

Method:

Butterfly the chicken so it is flat and lay on top of a large piece of clingfilm. Crush the garlic and gentle fry until soft, then remove and put in a bowl. Add the ricotta, some basil leaves ripped into bits, a good amount of paremsan grated, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

De-stalk the spinach and add a layer on top of each chicken breast. In the centre of each breast add a good portion of the mixture. Roll the chicken into a sausage shape using the clingfilm as a wrapping. The easiest way to do this is to fold one side over the mixture, pull the other side around it, tuck in the ends then wrap the clingfilm tightly round it. Pinch the ends and spin the parcel until it is tight round the chicken.

Place the chicken into the fridge for at least half an hour, this will help it keep its shape. Now you have a choice on how to cook it. Either steam the chicken in a steamer (inside the clingfilm) for twenty minutes, then remove the wrapping and fry in a pan until brown on all sides before serving. Or take the wrapping off, pan fry until brown on all sides then place in an oven at 180c for 15-20 mins before serving with veg.

Vietnamese chicken balls

Ingredients:

  • 500g Chicken mince (make your own by chopping thigh meat in a food processor)
  • 3 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 Stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • Few leaves of fresh mint and some fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • A large bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 2-3 Heads baby cos or little gem lettuce, leaves separated
  • Sweet chilli sauce to serve

Method:

Mix the minced chicken, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, fresh herbs and fish sauce together. Pull a teaspoonful of the mixture off and fry until cooked. Taste and add some salt if necessary.

Shape into about 30 balls. Chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Heat a large frying pan. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and fry the balls for about 5 minutes until evenly browned and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper. Do this in batches so the pan does not become overcrowded, adding more oil if necessary.

Fasten one mint leaf around each chicken ball with a mini-skewer and serve each one in a lettuce leaf cup. Arrange on a large white plate and serve with the sweet chilli sauce.

Spicy chicken, lentil and coconut soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp each Fennel, cumin and coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 2 Red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 6 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Red or green chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Chopped ginger
  • 1 x 400g Can coconut milk
  • 200g Red lentils
  • 2 Chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • Fresh coriander
  • Juice of 2 limes

Method:

Dry roast seeds and crush lightly.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the leek, carrots, onion, bay leaves, 4 of the cloves of garlic, chilli, ginger and the spices. Cook over medium heat for 5 mins.

Add the coconut milk then 4 cans of water and add the lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer uncover for 20 mins.

Place the chicken, remaining garlic, mint and 2 tsp fish sauce and a quarter of the coriander in a food processor. Whizz until finely minced then chill for 10-15 mins. Roll into 30 small balls.
Add these to the soup, season with more fish sauce if necessary, and lime juice and simmer for 10 mins. Stir in remaining coriander and serve.

Green herb tikka kebabs

Ingredients:

  • Finger length piece of ginger, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp Thick natural yogurt
  • 1 Green chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 Bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • Big handful of basil
  • 1.5 tbsp Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Lime quarters, raita and salad leaves to serve

Method:

This is a twist on a classic Indian recipe.

Grind the ginger and 3 of the garlic cloves to paste using a pestle and mortar and then rub into the chicken with some salt and half the lemon juice. Leave for 30 minutes.
Put all remaining ingredients into a blender and blend to a fine paste. Rub this into the chicken and leave in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 180C and lay on a baking sheet and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Can also be grilled

Chicken liver parfait

Ingredients:

  • 500g Chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed of sinew
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
  • A couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Port or brandy
  • 100g Butter, melted (plus extra for frying)
  • 4 Tbsp double cream
  • Salt and white pepper

Method:

Fry the onion, garlic and thyme in the extra butter (about 1 tbsp) gently until soft but not coloured – about 10-15 mins. Remove from pan and leave to cool.

Put the chicken livers in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add the cooled onion mixture, the Port or brandy and the double cream. Whizz and, with the processor running, pour in the melted butter. Season generously with the salt and black pepper.

Pass this mixture through a sieve into a jug, scraping it through with a spatula. Discard what’s left in the sieve – there should only be about a teaspoonful.

Heat the oven to 180C. Pour the mixture into 8 individual ramekins and cover the ramekins with foil. Place these ramekins in a baking tray. Pour just boiled water from the kettle into the baking tray so it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Cook in the oven for about half an hour. Leave to cool completely before transfering to the fridge. Chill until required – will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

If you prefer, you can make it in one large dish rather than individual ramekins – just increase the cooking time to about 50 minutes.

Chinese-style chicken and prawn skewers

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 Dried red chillies
  • 1 Small clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 Large chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 Courgette, halved lengthways and cut into slices on the diagonal
  • 2-3 Spring onion, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 16 Raw tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 3-4 Tbsp sweet and sour dipping sauce

Method:

First make the infused chilli and garlic oil. Into a cold pan pour the groundnut oil. Crumble in the chilli and add the sliced garlic. Warm gently on a very low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and infuse.

If not already made, make your salad dressing and dipping sauce at this point.

Place the chicken, prawns, courgette and spring onions into a bowl. Pour over the cooled infused chilli oil and mix well through. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed. (This can be done a few hours ahead of cooking).
Pre-heat your grill to its highest setting. Thread the chicken, prawns and vegetables onto the pre-soaked skewers so that each skewer has an equal quantity of ingredients. Sprinkle with salt.

Cook under the grill for a few minutes each side until almost cooked through. Remove from the grill and brush on the sweet and sour sauce. Grill for a few minutes more until cooked through and browned.

To serve, dress the salad in a bowl and then transfer to a large serving plate. Arrange the cooked skewers around the salad.

Bang bang chicken salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast (skinless),
  • 1 handful spring onions, chopped,
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil,
  • 2 chillies, de-seeded and chopped,
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated,
  • 1 tsp seasme seeds, toasted,
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter,
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil,
  • 1 tsp brown sugar,
  • dash of rice wine,
  • 50g bean sprouts,
  • 3 spring onions shredded,
  • 50g carrots grated,
  •  

Method:

Place the chicken in a small pan, pour over enough water to cover and add the handful of spring onion and a little salt. Cover and poach gently for about 6 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and when cool, finely shred.

Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high heat and add the chillies, ginger, sesame seeds, peanut butter, sesame oil, sugar and rice wine. Turn down the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes before turning out the heat and allow the sauce to cool.

In a large pan of boiling water, blanch the beansprouts for a few seconds, drain and pat dry with a cloth. Mix the beansprouts with the shredded spring onions and carrots and arrange on a plate. Top with the shredded chicken and drizzle over the peanut sauce before serving at room temperature.

Vietnamese spring rolls

Ingredients:

  • 6 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 red pepper thinely sliced
  • 2 cooked chicked breasts, shredded
  • Handful of coriander and mint chopped
  • 4 Spring onions finely sliced
  • Half a cucumber, cut into thin batons
  • 2 chillies finely chopped
  • Handful of beansprouts
  • Dipping sauce (see below)
  •  

Method:

Soak the rice paper wrappers in warm water as per instructions on packet, you will be able to buy these from some supermarkets or preferably buy from a chinese supermarket.

Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and leave to sit for a couple of minutes to let the flavours combine.

Once the wrappers are pliable you can then build the spring rolls, simply remove the wrappers from the water and lay on a clean, damp dish cloth.  Place the wrapper in the centre and add a rounded tablespoon of the mixture in the centre of the roll in the shape of a cigar.  Fold both ends over and then roll lengthways to create the spring roll.

Cut in half and serve with dipping sauce, simple and tasty.

Tagliatelle with chicken and blue cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 120g blue cheese (Dolcelatte is ideal), cut into cubes
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • some grated parmesan
  • 200g tagliatelle
  • a small handful of toasted pine nuts to garnish

Method:

Proper comfort food but with a bit of class!

Put a large pan of water on to boil.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken strips until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t catch.

Next, add the wine and, over a fairly high heat, bubble for a few minutes until the wine has almost reduced away.

Add salt to the pan of boiling water and add the tagliatelle.

While the pasta is cooking, add the cream to the chicken. Bring to the boil then reduce and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Once the cream has slightly thickened, add the blue cheese. Mix well and allow to melt over a very low heat. Once the cheese has melted, add the parsley, a handful of parmesan and some black pepper. Taste and add salt if needed but remember the cheeses are quite salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the chicken. Mix well, serve in bowls with the pine nuts scattered over the top and more parmesan.

Achari chicken curry

Ingredients:

  • For the curry:
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 good-sized chicken thighs, skinned but with bone in
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp achari spice mix (see below)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 400ml passata (or 1 tin chopped tomatoes)
  • fresh coriander

Method:

Achari is a type of curry from the Punjab which has this spice blend as its base. Whizz all the whole spices in an electric spice grinder if you’re lucky enough to have one. If not, do it the old fashioned way with a pestle and mortar. You only need 1 tsp for this recipe but the rest will keep well in a jar.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken thighs. Remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring, until they are soft and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a few minutes more. In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp of the achari spice mix, turmeric, ground coriander and salt with the vinegar to make a paste. Add to the pan and mix well. Next add the cinnamon stick, cloves and passata. Stir well and return the chicken to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender and falling from the bone. Serve sprinkled with the fresh coriander and some basmati rice.

Masala Chicken with cumin carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1 free-range chicken
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt (not low fat)
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • couple of glugs of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 small onions, peeled and cut into thick slices

Method:

Joint the chicken into 8 pieces – legs, thighs and cut each breast in half – and place in a non-metallic dish. Leave the skin on and the bone in. Keep the carcass for stock. If you don’t want to joint a chicken, you can just use pre-bought chicken pieces.

Mix the yoghurt, coriander, olive oil, garam masala, salt and garlic in a small bowl and add a grinding of black pepper if you wish. Add this marinade to the chicken and mix well – hands are best. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

 

To cook – Arrange onions in a thin layer on a large baking tray to form a ‘tasty trivet’ on which to cook the chicken. Place the chicken pieces on top and roast in a hot oven (200C) for 45mins-1 hour or until the juices run clear.

 

Cumin-roasted carrots
12 small/medium carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into thick pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sea salt

 

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and tip out onto a baking sheet. Cook in the oven along with the chicken – these will only take about 35 minutes.

 

Cucumber raita
2 cups natural yoghurt (Greek-style is best)
½ cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and grated
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

 

Mix everything together and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Second helpings: If there are any leftovers, they are great for next day’s lunch. Shred the chicken, chop the carrots and fill a wrap or pitta bread along with some raita. You can add salad leaves, tomatoes, spring onions etc for extra crunch if you wish. Yum yum.

One pot biryani

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 chilli (red or green), chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • Quarter tsp each turmeric, fenugreek, garam masala
  • Half tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 250g lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of saffron strands

Method:

Heat the oven to 180C.  In a large ovenproof casserole pan, fry the onion gently in about 2 tbsp groundnut oil until it starts to soften and caramelise. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for 2-3 minutes.   Add the bay leaf, cardamom pods and cloves and mix well before adding the other spices. Stir fry gently to release the aromatic flavours of the spices before adding the meat.

Fry the meat in the spices for a few minutes until the pieces are well coated.   Add the rice and mix through before adding the tomatoes and salt. Mix well then add 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to the oven to finish cooking.

This will take about 50-60 minutes. It will be ready when all the liquid has been absorbed into the rice and the lamb is tender. Soak the saffron in a little hot water and drizzle over the top of the rice 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Return to the oven to finish cooking.

Chicken mulligatawny soup

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion, carrot and parsnip on a low heat for five minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add the potato, rice and stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue reading “Chicken mulligatawny soup”