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Entries in chicken (35)

Wednesday
Sep012010

roast chicken pasta

 

my freezer is absolutely bursting at the moment so the main criteria for deciding what to cook is clearing space. the obvious starting point for this was a very plump 2.5kg chicken.

i always like to roast chickens so that i can make stock with the carcass but i’m not that keen on a traditional roast dinner. i usually get round this by ditching the roast potato option in favour of something like a pilaf but this time i took inspiration from a friend who mentioned “i did have a very nice meal which was roast chicken, which you then break up and separate as soon as it is out of the oven, and mix with tagliatelle, fresh rosemary and sultanas, making sure to include all the chicken skin and juices and just serve straight away like that. it was gorgeous.”

perfect, decision made. this dish was based on a nigella lawson recipe which i adapted given i didn’t have any tagliatelle or sultanas (the chicken was already in the oven by the time i worked out what i wanted to make with it!).

i used orechiette (i love the way juices get caught in this shape of pasta) and substituted cranberries for the sultanas. as there were only two of us i just carved a mix of breast and leg meat, complete with crispy skin, rather than break up the whole bird. i did use all the pan juices (having strained off the fat and added white wine to it) plus a tablespoon each of toasted pine nuts, soaked cranberries and fresh parsley plus a little less fresh rosemary. i also squeezed over a bit of lemon juice and added plenty of seasoning.

the resulting dish is packed with flavour and was perfect for a slightly damp evening which, sadly, had a  hint of autumn in the air.

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Wednesday
Mar242010

chicken fattee

 

keeping to the theme of food that is difficult to photograph in an appealing way, let me share with you the culinary delight that is chicken fattee. this moro recipe, chicken fattee with rice, crispbread and yogurt to give it its full name, is a much-loved favourite of mine.

i think it was one of the first recipes i made from casa moro and is one which i return to regularly. it’s not quick to pull together but the different components can all be prepared in advance (i wrap them in foil and warm through gently in the oven) and work together wonderfully.

it is a great dish for feeding people frugally – one chicken can be stretched to feed eight without any problem. i also think it has a wonderful celebratory feel – i pile it up on a large platter in the middle of the table and tell people to help themselves. my vegetarian equivalent is diana henry’s bulgar and spinach pilaf with labneh and chilli roast tomatoes.

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Saturday
Nov142009

last lick, yum lick

 

i’m not a big fan of rich creamy food but when i heard a friend raving about his mum’s “last lick sauce”, describing it as the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken and a fabulous gravy replacement in the summer, i had to give it a try.

garlic, rosemary, anchovies and sundried tomatoes. plus cream for richness. definitely worth a go.

the sauce has a fabulous depth of savoury flavour but it is very rich. i tried versions using crème fraiche (full and low fat) and sour cream. none of these was a patch on the original so, here it is, the original last lick sauce.

it is indeed a great accompaniment to roast chicken and is a very delicious way to ring the changes if your sunday roast is looking a little jaded. 

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Wednesday
Sep232009

chicken amatriciana

 

when i was a student i regularly ate platefuls of pasta with a fresh tomato sauce (growing up in africa means i have always cooked from scratch and never used jars for things like pasta sauce) and it is still a dish i turn to regularly, sometimes adding anchovies or smoked pancetta to add extra flavour.

when we had a bowl of roast chicken leftovers in the fridge i decided to revisit it and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it can be with the addition of a handful of chicken. i think the key is having a really intensely tomato-flavoured sauce so that the dish packs a punch with very mouthful. i achieved this by using a mix of tinned and fresh vine tomatoes plus a selection of fresh herbs from the garden.

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Thursday
Jul162009

chicken and almond pilaf

 

the key to making a decent chicken pilaf is having really good quality chicken and chicken stock. if you skimp on these then there is a high likelihood that the dish will be bland and not worth the effort. this dish was made using leftover meat from a roast chicken plus the stock that i had made from that chicken’s carcass.

 

making chicken stock whenever you have a roast is incredibly worthwhile and easy. i also ways strip the majority of the meat off the carcass, then put the bones into a large pan, cover with water, add a peeled and halved onion, a peeled carrot, a bay leaf and some peppercorns. if i have fresh parsley in then i’ll add that as well (you can just use the stems and keep the leaves for something where they will be part of the end dish). bring to the boil and then let it simmer (i cover it so there isn’t too much steam gathering in the kitchen) for an hour or two. when it’s ready, drain and strip any final tiny bits of meat off the carcass.

 

this dish has subtle flavours which, i think, really let the chicken shine through. we ate it with salad as a summery supper, sitting in the garden, but it was as nice the following day, eaten at room temperature as a packed lunch.

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