Tag Archives: Chicken Recipes

Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s time to turn your beautiful, beautiful homemade Tikka Masala paste into a lovely curry which feels pretty proper and like a bit of an accomplishment. You could, of course, make this with prawns or something instead, you’d just need to add them to the sauce pretty well near the end and skip the oven stage. And you could use curry paste from a jar if you really wanted to.

This is a perfect recipe for a day at home when you have some time in the afternoon to get supper cooking for later on, and when you’re around to check on it every now and again.

You will need: 

1 tsp groundnut oil

1 onion

1 clove of garlic 

5 tbsp Tikka Masala paste, make your own or buy it in a jar, but you’ll enjoy it much better if you make it yourself

Greek yoghurt, I used about 2 tbsp for the marinade and 2 tbsp in the sauce, but use more if you’d like it milder or creamier 

1 can chopped tomatoes 

3/4 bottle passata 

1 stock cube dissolved in half can of boiled water

8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs. You could use breast if you like, but marinate for longer and cook for only around 10 minutes in the oven then serve as soon as the sauce is good and hot

Dash lemon juice 
  

  
1. Chop the onion, and cook on a medium heat in a little groundnut oil in a large saucepan. You’re aiming for the onions to take on a bit of colour as this will really add flavour to the sauce base. 

  
2. Turn the heat down a little. Grate in the garlic and then spoon in the curry paste. I used about 4 tsp of the paste as I don’t like things too spicy, but you can use as much or as little as you’d like. Obviously you could double this up if you wanted to make more sauce with double the tomatoes and stock. Allow this to gently cook out to let the flavours mature. 

 3. Add in the tomatoes, the passata and a little of the stock (prepare in the tin if using a stock cube), stir well, put a lid on the saucepan and allow to simmer. Check on this every 20 minutes or so, giving it a stir, turning the heat down a little, or adding more stock or water if necessary. 

  

4. Add another 3 or 4 tsp of the paste to a bowl, then add in 2 tbsp of yoghurt and mix well. 

  

5. Prepare the chicken. I find it easiest to do with a clean pair of kitchen scissors to remove as much fat and sinew as possible. One clean, cut eat thigh in half.

  

6. Add the chicken to the marinade and make sure each piece is well coated and then cover with cling film. You can prepare this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge if you like, and it’s best to allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of hours to really develop flavour.

  

7. When you’re ready to get cooking, preheat the oven to 180C fan, and spread the chicken out on a baking tray lined with tin foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. 

  
 

8. Don’t worry if some of the marinade runs off and catches; just keep an eye on the chicken. When it’s ready, add to your sauce and allow to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until your accompaniments are ready. 

  
9. Add a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt, a couple of drops of lemon juice, and serve.

  
If you’d like some bread with that, check out my recipe for parathas

Frisky Chicken Fricassée 

I indulged myself when I made this on Sunday, I have to admit. I was feeling pretty lousy, so a luxurious few hours in the kitchen (not just making this, don’t worry!) was just what I needed. I could have made this more quickly, but I really enjoyed the calm preparation. There are so few ingredients but it’s packed full of flavour, and it can be served in so many different ways. A perfect winter warmer. 

  
If you don’t like chicken thighs, you could absolutely make this with chicken, either baked in foil in the oven for about 20 minutes and then dressed with the sauce, or sautéed in large pieces for around 10-15 minutes. Personally, I think the slower cook works better. The thigh meat is more tender, and cooking it on the bone adds lots of natural flavour. 

If you don’t like brandy, you could use white wine, but honestly the strong alcohol flavour cooks out either way so you don’t really taste it, but it definitely improves the sauce.

  
You will need:

1 pack chicken thighs – I bought 8 with their skins on and bones in for £3 and this made 3 meals for me (or your preferred chicken cut)

3 rashers smoked bacon 

3 cloves garlic

1 punnet chestnut mushrooms 

50ml brandy 

100ml chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh 

Good crack of black pepper 

  
1. Trim off any excess skin and fat from the underside of the chicken thighs. I find it easiest to do this with a clean pair of scissors. 

2. Add a little oil to a large saucepan/casserole pot/sauteé pan (whichever you have or prefer; I used my big non-stick soup pot) and put onto a high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the chicken thighs, skin down, and leave in until the skins are nice and crisp, then turn over. I did this in batches of 4 to try to keep the moisture in the pot down to make sure the skins can brief nicely. Flip over each piece to brown on the bottom. 

  
Once you’ve done the first batch, set aside on a plate. They will be cooked through later so don’t worry too much about that. I then dried off the pot a little, carefully, using a piece of kitchen towel held by my kitchen tongs. This helps to get rid of any excess fat and water. Then repeat with the second batch and set aside on the plate. 

  

3. Chop, crush or grate the garlic then slice the mushrooms. Remove the fat from the bacon then chop it up into nice even small pieces. I know I’m breaking a hygiene rule by cutting raw meat and vegetables on he same board but they’re about to go to the same place! 

  
4. Brown the bacon in the pot you used to brown the chicken, then throw in the brandy and garlic, and turn down to medium. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side up, and add the herbs and bay leaves.   

 5. Leave the heat at medium, and carefully add in the chicken stock. This should just simmer away at the bottom of the pot, otherwise you’ll risk the skin going soggy. 
  
6. After about 20 minutes of simmering, add the mushrooms, trying to keep them down in between the chicken pieces so they can’t throw out too much water into the chicken. Add in batches if this is easier. Cook for another 20 minutes, adding a little more stock if it starts to go dry. 

7. Check the chicken is nicely cooked through and serve! If you’re using chicken breasts, these can be gently browned on both sides as for the chicken pieces at stage 2, although it will take less time if you use skinless breasts (or skinless and boneless thighs!), then make the sauce and let it simmer away to itself for around 20 minutes before adding the chicken for the last 10 – 15 minutes so it can cook but won’t dry out. 

Serving suggestions!

Because I’m trying to eat healthy, I actually decided to skin and bone my chicken after going to the effort of browning the skin (like I say, I was in the mood for cooking!). It doesn’t look as pretty but it’s much easier to eat. Traditionally, I think you would just serve up a couple of thighs per person with some if the sauce and perhaps some potatoes and vegetables. 

  
The first night, I added a couple of ladles of this deliciousness to some cooked penne, added a spoonful of crew fresh and mixed together, before serving it with broccoli.

  
The next night, I plumped for brown rice. And broccoli. 

  
Last night, I served it up again with some wholewheat spaghetti and broccoli (this is what happens when you live alone) and I honestly enjoyed it equally each night. I’ll definitely make this again! 

Chicken and Chorizo Cassoulet

I think I’ve solved the problem of healthy winter comfort eating! I used to make this recipe with some really good pork sausages so  it was a sort of sausage and bean casserole, but I had some chorizo in the fridge and thought I’d give it a try with some chicken thighs to lean it out a bit. I might actually try it with turkey thigh meat the next time…I digress! This is hearty, delicious and packed with loads of really good for you veggies. It’s nourishment in a cast-iron dish. It would be great served with pasta if you want to stretch it out a bit, or with some good crusty bread or pitta for dipping, but if you’re keeping things low carb, just serve a slightly bigger portion with plenty of fresh, green vegetables.   

You will need (for 4 generous portions):

 1 onion

2 peppers, I used 1 red and 1 orange for some contrast (who likes green peppers?!)

1 carrot 

2 cloves garlic 

8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (it saves so much time if you like to remove all the fat and prefer not to eat meat on the bone – plus it makes your bin smell a lot nicer!)

1 cooking chorizo, chopped into smallish pieces 

2 cans chopped tomatoes

2 chicken stock cubes 

Salt and pepper 

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup red wine 

1 can cannellini beans

1 tsp parsley 

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

Pinch sugar

Splash lemon juice   

1. Chop the vegetables – I like reasonable sized chunks as they’ll cook down, but keep the onion quite finely chopped. 

  
2. Chop up the chorizo and add it to a cold, large casserole on a low heat on the hob. Allow the oil to leak out and leave in, flipping every now and again, until it starts to crisp. Set aside in a plate, leaving the oil in the dish. 
  

3. Throw the vegetables into the oil and turn the heat up a little and let the vegetables sautée until tender. 
  
  4. Trim the chicken thighs and cut each one into 2 or 3 large pieces. Put a medium frying pan on the heat and add a little of your favourite frying oil. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides then set aside. Try to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. 
  
  5. Add the tomatoes to the vegetables, then add the chicken stock, using as little water as possible to dissolve them. I like to do this in the tomato cans so they can be swilled out at the same time, using up any remnants. Cook out for around half an hour.  

6. Add in the chicken, beans, spices and flavourings and chorizo and cook for another hour or so with the lid on at a low heat, so it’s just simmering. Then it’s ready to serve!

Chicken Teriyaki 

This is unbelievably sticky, crunchy, tender, juicy and all round delicious. Add as much spice as you’d like. It makes a great accompaniment to rice or noodles, or you could even use it as lead role in a warm Asian salad, loaded with crisp peppers and topped off with seeds. 

You will need (to feed 4):

2 tbsp shaohsing rice wine

2 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp grated ginger 

2 cloves grated garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

Splash groundnut oil for frying

Boneless and skinless chicken thighs, at least 2 per person

  
1. Trim the chicken thighs and cut into chunks.

2. Mix the wet ingredients, apart from the groundnut oil, in a bowl big enough to take the chicken. Toss the chicken in the marinade and set aside for around half an hour. You can also do this earlier, but you should cover it and put it back in the fridge then take it back out again around half an hour before cooking it. 

3. Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok then place in the chicken and brown on all sides. Be careful with the honey as it can catch and burn quite easily.

  
4. Turn the heat down to medium and pour in the remaining marinade. Allow to simmer until cooked through. If you’d like to add vegetables, like peppers, broccoli and carrots, add these before or at the same time as the chicken.