Thursday, 12 August 2010

Chicken Chicken and More Chicken

It occurred to me last night while cooking chicken with lemon and tarragon, that my family eat chicken at least 3 times a week.  Such is it's versatility.  If we are not eating chicken we are enjoying the tasty soups made from chicken stock from the left-over chicken carcasses which seem to be bubbling away on the hob most days of the week.  There is also the lunch time sandwiches made from chicken remnants especially tasty if the chicken has been cooked with lemon, herbs and spices or encased in crispy bacon.  My personal favourite is left-over lemon/tarragon chicken with slices of avocado, cos lettuce and a little mayonnaise.  (today's lunch).

Here are 3 of my favourite chicken recipes.

Chicken with Lemon Tarragon and Garlic

1 chicken, medium-large, washed and patted dry
2 lemons
Large handful tarragon, roughly chopped
1/2 garlic bulb, cut horizontally through the centre
Salt and freshly milled pepper
Olive oil, to drizzle (optional) for crispy skin

Pre-heat the oven to 240C

Cut one of the lemons into slices and place inside the chicken along with the garlic, seasoning and chopped tarragon.  Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the skin of the chicken. Put the lemon halves inside the chicken.   If using, drizzle a little olive oil over and season with salt and pepper.

Put on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour, rest the chicken for 7 minutes before serving with sweet potato mash and griddled courgettes.

Chicken with Cream and Mustard

4 Chicken legs
150ml double cream
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/ gas 5

Mash together the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to make a thin paste.

Rub the mixture over the chicken, place in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Reserve the rest of the mixture.

Remove from the oven and add the cream and the last of the mustard mixture. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Until golden brown.

Sprinkle with chopped Parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Thai crusted chicken

With salad leaves, fresh coriander and sweet chilli sauce


150g unsalted pistachio nuts
2 tbsp peanut butter
4 large chicken breasts
60g red curry paste
80ml tinned coconut milk
50g fresh coriander leaves, stalks removed

Blend or process pistachio nuts, curry paste, coriander and milk until combined and the nuts are roughly chopped.

Place the chicken breasts into an oiled baking dish and spread the peanut butter over each one, spoon  a quarter of the mixture on top of each breast. Bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven for 20 minutes until the topping is browned and the chicken cooked through.

Stand the chicken for 5 minutes then slice thickly.

Serve with salad leaves and fresh coriander and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce.

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