Mushroom and Chicken Risotto

Risotto rice gives this updated classic a deliciously creamy texture.

Serves : 4

Prep time : 15 mins
Cook time : 40 mins

Ingredients:
12oz (350g) chicken breast
3oz (75g) butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
6oz (175g) button mushrooms, quartered
11oz (300g) risotto rice
Salt and pepper
2 1/2pt (1.4 litre) hot chicken stock
2 tblsp (30ml) chopped fresh parsley

Step One : Cut the chicken into dice sized chunks. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 2 minutes.

Step Two : Add the chunks of chicken and the quartered mushrooms and fry together for about 5 minutes.

Step Three : Stir in the risotto rice and season well. Add 1/4pt (150ml) of the chicken stock and stir well. When the liquid has completely absorbed, add more stock, stirring continuously. Add all the stock in this way, letting it evaporate fully before adding more (after 20 minutes, the rice should be soft and swollen).

Step Four : Remove mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and parsley. Season to taste and serve hot.

Thai Chicken Curry

Serves : 4

Ingredients:
175g (6oz) open mushrooms
6 spring onions
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 125g (4 ½ oz) each
1 tblsp olive oil
4 level tsp thai red or green curry paste
150ml (¼ pt) water
2 tblsp light soy sauce
400ml (2/3 pt) can coconut milk
Salt and ground black pepper
Fresh coriander to garnish

Step One : Wipe the mushrooms clean with damp kitchen paper. Cut each mushroom in half, then each into four.

Step Two : Trim 6 spring onions just above root end then peel away outer layer. Cut off the dark green leaves. Cut diagonally into 5mm slices.

Step Three : Using a small sharp knife, and working on the cutting board, cut 4 chicken breasts and fillets into bite size pieces.

Step Four : Heat 1 tblsp oil and 4 tsp curry paste in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.

Step Five : Pour in the water, the soy sauce and the contents of the can of coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring to mix thoroughly.

Step Six : Stir in the mushrooms, spring onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve garnished with coriander.

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Easy Paella

You can make and serve this great family favourite all in the same dish

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Serves : 6
Prep time : 40 mins
Cook time : 50 mins

Ingredients:
¼ tsp saffron
900ml (1 ½ pints) boiling chicken stock
8 chicken thighs, skinless
225g (8oz) chicken or turkey sausages
1 tblsp paprika
2 tsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 courgettes, sliced
250g (9oz) American easy cook rice
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp sun-dried tomato paste or ordinary tomato puree
125g (4oz) stuffed green olives
2 tblsp parsley, chopped

Step One : Dissolve saffron in boiling stock. Coat the chicken and sausages with paprika. Heat oil in a large pan, add chicken, sausages and chilli powder and brown for 5 mins. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Step Two : Fry onions, garlic, pepper and courgettes for 10 mins. Add rice and stir for 1 minute, then mix in tomatoes, tomato puree, olives and 1 tbsp parsley. Pour on the stock, stir and return the chicken and sausages to the pan. Bring to the boil.

Step Three : Simmer paella uncovered for 30 mins, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Tip: Turkey or chicken sausages have only half the calories of the traditional pork and beef sausages and they’re really tasty too.

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Blackened Hot Chicken Breasts

Blackened chickenServes: 6

Ingredients:
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 tblsp butter or margarine
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme

Step One : Slice each chicken breast piece in half horizontally, making two pieces of about the same thickness. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Melt the butter or margarine in a small saucepan.

Step Two : Combine all the remaining ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir to blend well. Brush the chicken pieces on both sides with melted butter or margarine, then sprinkle evenly with the seasoning mixture.

Step Three : Heat a large heavy frying pan over a high heat until a drop of water sprinkled on the surface sizzles. This will take 5-8 minutes. Drizzle 1 tsp melted butter on each chicken piece. Place them in the pan in an even layer, two or three at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the underside begins to blacken. turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

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Chicken Stuffed with Mango & Ginger

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
6 chicken breasts
1 ripe mango, sliced
1 tsp root ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g butter
1 small carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225g crème fraiche
Salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.

Step Two : Slice the pockets of the chicken breasts to enlarge the cavities for stuffing, then season. Fill the cavities with slices of mango (reserving a little for garnishing) and half the ginger. Sprinkle lime juice over the chicken and bake in individual buttered tin foil parcels for 20 minutes.

Step Three
: Meanwhile, sweat the shallots in the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add carrot and garlic and remove from the heat.

Step Four
: In a grinder, crush the coriander seeds, the seeds from the cardamom pods, the cumin seeds and the cloves.

Step Five : Add this spice mixture, the cinnamon and the rest of the ginger to the pan. Stir well and then liquidise with the crème fraiche.

Step Six
: Return to the pan to gently reheat. Remove the chicken breasts from their parcels and pour over the spicy sauce.

Step Seven
: Garnish with mango, lime slices and coriander leaves.

Orecchiette with Broccoli, Chicken Sausage and Harissa Paste

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2019) and taken from Skinny Pasta by Julia Azzarello.

This dish is a healthier version of the traditional sausage and broccoli because it is made with lean chicken. It still packs a lot of flavour into one meal, especially with the zing of harissa and lemon.

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Serves : 4

Ingredients:
250g chicken sausages, removed from casings and cut into 2 cm chunks
320g dried orecchiette or 400g fresh
125g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tblsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 tblsp harissa paste
2 tblsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges
40g Parmesan cheese, grated

Step One : Saute the chicken sausage chunks in a non-stick pan for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the packet states, or until just al dente.

Step Two : Add the broccoli to the pasta for the last 2 minutes of its cooking time. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Step Three : Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Step Four : Add the pasta, broccoli and sausage chunks to the pan and toss with the harissa paste and a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and parsley.

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Roast Chicken with Pomegranate, Pancetta and Brandy

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

This is a real showstopper, especially if you are generous with the brandy.  Serve with basmati rice steamed with cardamom pods to make the rice extra fragrant.

Chicken and pomegranate

Serves : 4

Ingredients:
3 tblsp olive oil
1 medium chicken, jointed into 8 pieces by a butcher
3 shallots (2 quartered, 1 chopped finely)
1 bunch fresh sage
4 garlic cloves
30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water, drained and chopped
4 medium pomegranates
25g butter
100g pancetta
generous splash of brandy
250ml double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
basmati rice, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas 4. Heat the oil in a cast-iron casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Season.

Step Two : Once browned, remove from the heat. Add the quartered shallots, half the sage, garlic and the liquid from the mushrooms. Replace the chicken, cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast in a preheated oven for 1 hour.

Step Three : Meanwhile, deseed the pomegranates by slicing them in half and bashing them with a wooden spoon over a bowl so that the seeds fall out. Crush the seeds slightly with a potato masher to release their juices.

Step Four : Take out the chicken and pour the pomegranate juices into the pan, reserving the seeds for later. Pop the chicken back into the oven.

Step Five : Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once it has melted, add the chopped shallot and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the sage and pancetta, and cook until the pancetta begins to crisp and the fat melts. Once the chicken is cooked, pour off its sauce into the mushrooms pan. Cover the chicken with foil to keep it warm.

Step Six : Add the brandy and the double cream to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, then pour it back over the chicken, sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately with bowls of hot basmati rice.

Chicken with Bacon Dal

Serves : 4

Prep time: 10 mins;    Cook time: 40 mins

Delicately spiced with Indian flavourings, these red lentils make a truly wonderful sauce to serve with chicken.

Ingredients:
2 tblsp (30ml) oil
4 chicken portions
8oz (225g) onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
4oz (125g) streaky bacon, finely chopped
1 in (2.5cm) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
8oz (225g) split red lentils
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp (5ml) turmeric
2 tsp (10ml) ground cumin
1 tblsp (15ml) ground coriander
1 pint (600ml) chicken stock
2oz (50g) creamed coconut
1 tblsp (15ml) lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 tblsp (30ml) chopped fresh coriander

Step One : Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan and brown the chicken well. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Step Two : Cook the chopped onion and crushed garlic for 5 mins. Add the streaky bacon and cook for a further 3 mins.

Step Three : Stir in the ginger, lentils, chilli, turmeric, cumin and ground coriander and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Step Four : Add the chicken, cover and simmer gently for 25 mins, stirring occasionally and adding a little more stock if necessary, until the chicken and lentils are tender.

Step Five : Grate the creamed coconut and stir into the lentil mixture together with the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning, heat through and stir in the fresh coriander just before serving.

Other Dal recipes can be found here …

Buttermilk Chicken Shish Kebab

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Berber & Q by Josh Katz.

Shish kebab is commonplace to all the cuisines across the Middle East.  Most use chicken breast meat, but chicken thighs is good in this recipe for its juiciness and flavour.

IMG_1006Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

• 100ml buttermilk
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp Garlic oil or olive oil
• 1 tbsp hot red pepper paste (biber salcasi))
• Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ½ onion, sliced
• 8 chicken thighs, deboned, skinned and quartered
• 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
• 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
• 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
• Pittas or flatbreads
• 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush
• 1 tbsp thinly sliced spring onion
• 1 tbsp picked oregano leaves

Step One – Put the buttermilk, spices, garlic, Garlic oil, red hot pepper paste, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and onion in a bowl and stir together to combine. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and massage the mixture into the chicken to ensure it’s evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step Two – Skewer the chicken pieces intermittently with the red and green peppers and red onion. Warm up your barbecue so you are cooking on medium-hot embers. Grill the skewers directly over the burning coals, turning frequently to ensure both sides are well-coloured and the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Step Three – Brush the pitas or flatbreads with a little olive oil mixed with a few drops of water, and warm through briefly on the grill. They can be placed directly on top of the skewers if there isn’t sufficient room in the barbecue.

Step Four – Remove the pitas and transfer to a serving platter. Place the skewered chicken thighs on top, brushed with olive oil. Scatter the spring onion and oregano leaves liberally over the skewers.

Chicken Casserole

Take succulent chicken quarters and ad a selection of your favourite vegetables, spice up with a little salami and herbs, add a splash of port … and you’ve got a meal in one.

Serves: 4;   Approx. Cals per portion: 739
Prep time: 25 mins; Cooking time: approx. 55 mins

Ingredients:
1 1/2lb (675g) new potatoes, scrubbed
225g (8oz) shallots
225g (8oz) baby sweetcorn
225g (8oz) sugar-snap peas
Small bunch of fresh coriander, washed and tied together with string
175g (6oz) mushrooms
4 chicken quarters, each weighing approx. 300g (10oz)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
100g (4oz) sliced salami, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 1/4pt/750ml fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1/4pt/150ml white port or dry sherry

Step One : Depending on the size, halve or quarter potatoes. Peel and halve the shallots and place in a bowl with the potatoes. Reserve. Wash the baby corn and sugar-snap peas, then trim corn and top and tail peas. Place the bunch of coriander in a large casserole dish, then place the prepared peas and corn on top. Wipe and slice the mushrooms.

Step Two : Wash the chicken quarters and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim away excess fat from the chicken and cut each portion in half to make eight pieces. Season with black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the chicken for 6-7 mins until golden brown on both sides. Drain and add to the casserole.

Step Three : In the same frying pan, sauté the new potatoes, shallots, mushrooms, chopped salami and garlic for 4-5 mins until lightly golden. Drain and place in the casserole. Mix the casserole ingredients well. Preheat the oven to Gas 5 / 375oF / 190oC.

Step Four : Spoon 1 tbsp of the frying pan juices into a saucepan and season.
Pour chicken stock into the saucepan. Blend cornflour with a little of the port or sherry and add to pan with remainder. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook until thickened. Pour into casserole, then cover and bake in oven for 45 mins, or until cooked through. Discard bunch of coriander before serving casserole with crusty bread.

Find other Casserole recipes here …