Lemon Roast Chicken

What’s better for dinner than a perfectly aromatic roasted chicken?!

1 chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 tbs. sea salt
1 heaped tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil

Heat the oven to 425°F. Leave the chicken at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in a roasting tin. Put one lemon half in the cavity, sprinkle with sea salt, rub with butter and drizzle with olive oil.

Roasts for 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a carving board. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and deglaze the pan with the juice from the remaining lemon half, letting the juices caramalize and thicken. Serve drizzled over the sliced chicken.

Serves 2 – 4

Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala

I you can’t find chicken supremes, simply use bone-in breast or thighs. It’s really all about the lovely sauce.

4 tbs. Marsala
4 tbs. chicken stock
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. olive oil
2 chicken supremes
20 red grapes
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Marsala, chicken stock and mustard in a little jug.

Heat the oil in a sturdy skillet or shallow casserole that will fit the chicken snuggly and will go in the oven. Season the chicken and cook, skin-side down for 5 minutes, or until golden. Turn the chicken over and add the Marsala mixture. Bring to a bubble, then drop in the grapes and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin crisp.

Transfer the chicken to two shallow bowls or dinner plates. Put the pan over a high heat and bubble for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauces has reduced and thickened. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Serves 2

St. Tropez Chicken

Here is the smell and flavor of the south of France on a plate.

10 chicken pieces, skin-on and bone-in
juice of 1 lemon
`1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup rose wine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1 tbs. mixed herbs with lavender, such as Herbs de Provence

Put the chicken in a large plastic freezer bag. Add the lemon juice, honey, oil, wine, garlic and herbs. Squelch everything together well and chill overnight or up to two days.

Heat the oven to 325°F and tip the chicken into a roasting tin with the marinade, skin side up. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil and turn the heat up to 425°F. Cook for another 15 minutes to brown the skin. (Alternatively, grill over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.)

Pour the juices from the roasting tin (of if grilling, the marinade from the plastic bag) into a small saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Serve with the chicken.

Serves 6

 

Chicken Fajitas

Delicious, Dazzlingly Easy and Do It Yourself!

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tbs. garlic flavored olive oil
2 tbs. lime juice
2 tbs. vegetable oil
2 small onions, peeled and cut into thin half moons
3 bell peppers (orange, yellow and/or red), deseeded and cut into
strips
8 soft flour tortillas, warmed, to serve

Optional accompaniments:

grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
corn kernels
avocado
iceberg lettuce, shredded
fresh cilantro
hot chili sauce

Over a shallow bowl, cut the chicken into strips with a pair of scissors. Toss in the oregano, cumin, salt, olive oil and lime juice. Leave to marinate.

Warm the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok and cook the onions over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Tip in the bell peppers and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until everything is softened.

Add the chicken with the marinade and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with warmed tortilla and the accompaniments of your choice.

Serves 4

Chicken in a Pot with Lemon and Orzo

Here is happiness in a pot!

1 chicken (approx. 4 lbs.)
3 fat cloves garlic, peeled
2 medium carrots
2 medium leeks
1 tbs. olive oil
2 lemons
2 tsp. dried tarragon or thyme
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
6 1/3 liters cold water
1 cup orzo
6 tbs. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
fresh grated Parmesan, to serve

If time permits, allow the chicken to sit on a cutting board for abut 40 minutes before cooking, then season well. Peel the carrots and cut them into 3 lengths, then into batons. Cut the leeks into 2″ rounds. Heat the oven to 350°F .Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch Oven and add the chicken, breast-side down. Brown over a high heat for 3-5 minutes then turn breast-side up.

Take the pan off the heat and grate the garlic and lemon zest around the chicken. Add the tarragon or thyme and give it all a stir in the oil. Scatter in the vegetables, followed by the salt and chili flakes then squeeze in the juice from the lemons.

Pour in the cold water and bring to a boil. Clamp on a lid and transfer to the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Take the pot out of the oven and sprinkle in the orzo, pushing it under the liquid and give everything a stir. Cook for another 15 minutes, by which time the orzo should be plump and tender.

Let the pot stand uncovered for 15 minutes, then stir in 4 tbs. of the parsley. Using 2 forks, gently pull the chicken away from the bones and discard them. Stir everything again and ladle into warm bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the Parmesan.

Serves 4-6

Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce

The title says it all: homey, comforting, easy and fabulous.

1 chicken, spatchcocked or cut into peices
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 fat garlic cloves, grated
2 tbs. softened butter
75ml dry white vermouth or wine (or 75ml chicken stock)

For the sauce:
300ml heavy cream
4 fat garlic cloves, grated
good grinding of black pepper
sea salt flakes, to taste
3 tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbs. finely chopped chives

Start by making the sauce so that the garlic can infuse the cream. Combine the cream and garlic in a saucepan with the pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and bubble for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Put the chicken or chicken pieces in a roasting tin skin-side down. Sprinkle with half of the salt and all of the grated garlic. Rub in gently then leave to sit for 30 minuets.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Turn the chicken over, sprinkle with the remaining salt and pour the vermouth in the bottom of the tin. Roast for approx. 45 minutes until the juices run clear and the skin is golden. Transfer the chicken to either a carving board or heated platter to rest. Add the pan juices to the cream sauce.

While the chicken is resting, bring the sauce back to a boil and add most of the herbs, simmer gently for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring it regularly. Taste and add salt to taste. (If the sauce fails to thicken, combine 1 tbs. soft butter with 1 tbs. flour and stir into the sauce.) Transfer to a warm jug.

Cut the chicken into pieces if spatchcocked and place on a heated platter. Top with some of the sauce and the remaining herbs.

Serves 6

Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry

This is a soft and mellow curry that has a gentle warmth rather than a fierce bite.

3 tbs. vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4″ piece fresh ginger, minced
1 fat garlic clove, minced
2 small green chilis, deseeded and chopped (or 1 small can)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
13 3/4 oz. tin unsweetened coconut milk
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 lbs. boned, skinned chicken, cut into pieces
7 oz. green beans or asparagus, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cashew nuts
3 tbs. sour cream
small bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a wok or a wide saucepan and gently fry the onions until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, chilis, turmeric, cumin, coriander, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or so, then stir in the coconut milk, chicken and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans or asparagus and cook a further 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.

Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a dry skillet until just golden. To serve, spoon the curry into bowl and top with the cashews and cilantro.

Serves 6

Chicken with Tarragon Salsa Verde

Let’s be honest here, the chicken is simply the vehicle by which one gets to eat this wonderful and fragrant sauce.

For the chicken:

2 tbs. olive oil
4 chicken breast cutlets or boneless chicken thighs
small bunch fresh tarragon

For the sauce:

leaves from a small bunch fresh parsley (about 1 cup)
leaves from a small bunch fresh tarragon (about 1/4 cup)
1 scallion, green and white part roughly chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Heat the oven to 425°F. Pour 1 tbs. of the olive oil into a shallow ovenproof dish in which the chicken will all fit snuggly. Arrange them skin-side up. Tuck 2 sprigs of tarragon around them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the parsley, tarragon, scallion, zest, juice, salt and half the olive oil. Using a food processor or immersion blender, whizz into a paste. Slowly add the remaining olive oil and blend well. Taste for seasoning.

Once the chicken has cooked, pour any pan juices into the sauce and blend again. Serve the sauce drizzled over the chicken.

Serves 4

 

 

My Mother’s Praised Chicken

So named because the chicken is neither pouched not braised.

1 large chicken
2 tsp. garlic flavored olive oil
scant 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
2-3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and cut into approx. 2″ logs
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
1-2 celery stalks, sliced into approx. 2″ pieces
approx. 2 quarts cold water
1 bouquet garni (mixed herb sachet or bag) or 1 tsp. mixed herbs
fresh parsley stalks, or a few sprigs, tied or banded together
2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
2 tsp. red peppercorns, or a good grinding of black pepper
To serve: chopped parsley leaves, chopped fresh dill, English mustard

Get out a large cooking pot with a lid that the chicken will fit snugly in. On a washable surface, un-truss the chicken and place it breast-side down.Press down until you hear the breastbone crack, then press down again so that the chicken is flattened slightly. Cut off the ankle joints below the drumstick, if need be.

Heat the oil in the pan and brown the chicken for a few minutes breast-side down. Turn up the heat, turn the chicken over and and toss in the cut off feet (if you have them). Still over a vigorous heat, add the wine or vermouth and let it bubble down a little before adding the leeks, carrots and celery.

Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables, then pop in the bouquet garni or your choice of herbs, and the parsley stalks. Sprinkle over the peppercorns.

Bring to a boil, clamp on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, then leave with the lid still on for another 20-30 minutes.

Serve the chicken and accompanying vegetables in large bowls over brown basmati rice. Spoon the sauce in and add fresh parsley or dill on top. Serve with English mustard.

Serves 4-6

 

Tagliatelle with Chicken from the Venetian Ghetto

The title is classic Nigella (a little cheeky) and the taste is just as fabulous. Use a rotisserie chicken if time is an issue and we are instructed, “No cheese, please.”

3 lb. chicken
2 tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs. finely chopped rosemary leaves, 2-3 sprigs
50g sultanas (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes) (1/3 cup)
100g toasted pinenuts (3/4 cup)
1 lb. tagliatelle
2 tbs. freshly chopped parsley

Heat the oven to 350°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours until well browned and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Take the chicken out of the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Take the meat off the bone, keeping the skin, and cut or tear into pieces.

Put a large pot on to boil.

Pour all the juices from the roasting tin into a saucepan. Add the rosemary, sultanas and pine nuts, then simmer gently while you cook the pasta. Salt the boiling water well and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes. Drain and toss with the chicken and sauce. Serve in a large bowl topped with chopped parsley.

Serves 6