Tag Archives: chicken

twelve chicken legs

I was in Tesco last Saturday – I don’t like Tesco one bit, but they were the cheapest place to buy a couple of slimline water butts, which we wanted for the garden, and so I whizzed round and bought a few bits while I was there.

They had a special offer on chicken legs – 3 packs of four legs for a tenner. Now, I know it won’t be great chicken, but times are hard, and there was space in the freezer, so I swallowed my principles and bought some.

I turned them into Madhur Jaffrey’s lemon and coriander chicken, one of our very favourite things.  With the additional of a bunch of coriander from our local Indian grocer (65p) and a couple of lemons which would have been, what – 80p?, and a few pence worth of spices, we made 14 portions of Indian chicken for under 12 quid. Seems OK to me.

The recipe link I’ve given you is just a guideline as always. We up the garlic quotient a far bit, use more spices, and this time used dried chilli flakes, as we had no fresh ones in. I do it in the slow cooker too, which works a treat. I do generally make this dish with chicken wings, but I’m here to tell you that legs work just as well.

a chicken-y … thing

Cooking has been conspicuous by its absence chez Jordan for the past couple of weeks – we’ve been eating out of the freezer, or takeaways, but I did have a final fling with my ancient gas cooker Sunday before last, and roast a chickie!, with Yorkshire pud and roast potatoes.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, Yorky batter freezes perfectly well – I didn’t know, so I tried it out, and it was fine. That’s useful for us, because one egg’s worth of batter is too much pudding for two of us.

We had cold chicken with baked potato and red cabbage (from the freezer) one night, and then it languished in the fridge, because the cooker had been disconnected. On Friday, Pete dismantled the carcass and there was a fair bit of meat left. The bones went variously into the freezer and into the cats, and I bore the meat into the Makeshift Kitchen. I had a tub of veg left over from Sunday – carrots, leeks and green beans cooked in my ever faithful Marigold veg bouillon, so I thought I could fashion something from it all.

I set my big Le Creuset sauté pan on the halogen hob, and fried off a pack of bacon lardons in some olive oil. Then I added the veg, then two heaped teaspoons of grain mustard and some flour, and fashioned a sort of white sauce affair with milk. In went the chicken meat, and it was all stirred together till it was warmed through.

We had it with rice (our method is 13 minutes on the hob and 13 minutes off, so this chicken affair cooked in the second 13 minutes). It wasn’t terribly special – was lacking something in the flavour – but it used up the leftovers, and there’s another tub of the mix in the freezer: I shall fashion it into a pie when I have a kitchen again.

Today the plumber came and did his first fix, and so now we have no water either. However, we do have dry rot in the kitchen floor; isn’t that nice? So we’re waiting for Mr DryRotMan to tell us when he can come and rip it all out and charge us a fortune before the kitchen can be fitted.

Lend us a tenner?

Sunday cooking

I’m desperately trying to make some space in the freezer for the festering season, and also the weather here is utterly vile, so I had a bit of a Reactive day yesterday.

Chicken Pudding

I had a rather small tub of chicken pie filling – chicken left over from a roast, with bacon and veg in a white sauce. It wasn’t really enough for a respectable pie. So I chopped up a big leek, and sautéd it down in some olive oil. Half the leek went into the soup pot (more on that later) and the other half to bulk up the pie filling.

Then I made a suet crust with 6oz wholemeal flour, a bit of baking powder, 3oz of low fat veg suet (I know, I know, but it’s healthier), and some water. Lined a greased bowl with 2/3rds of it, popped in the filling, rolled the rest out to a lid. Topped with a piece of folded tinfoil, secured with a rubber band, courtesy of the postman, and bunged it in the slow cooker for 5 hours. We ate it accompanied with buttery sprouts and a really, honestly, tiny number of potatoes roasted in duck fat. And there’s half a pud left for later this week!

Plum and wizened apple crumble

I had a punnet of plums to use up, and three very wrinkled apples from the fruit bowl; they weren’t particularly nice apples to eat, but I couldn’t bear to just chuck them. I cut the plums in half, and laid them flat in a shallow pan; sprinkled them with some five spice powder, added half an inch or so of cold water, and then – in a spirit of experimentation – a tablespoon of Amaretto liqueur. These plums were quite hard, so it took about 12 minutes to soften them, turning them occasionally, and while they were cooking, I chopped the apples into fairly small dice. I did core them, but peeling them seemed like too much hard work.

I transferred the plums to an ovenproof dish, then bunged the apple into the liquor and softened it over a fairly high heat, so that the liquid reduced. Poured the resultant gloop over the plums.

Crumble topping was standard for this household – 2 parts wholemeal flour, 1 part porridge oats, 1 part sugar, 1 part marg. Blitz in the Magimix, pour on top of the fruit, pat it down. Bake at 180˚ for about 45 minutes. Serve with double cream. This pud will do us three evenings, as we try not to eat too much sweet stuff.

Meat loaf

We haven’t had a meat loaf for ages, and it’s a really nice thing to eat on a cold winter evening (it’s -5˚ here in Hull as I type, and it’s only just 4 p.m.!).

I’m not really a purist about these things, I just bung in what I have. So there was a pack of sausage meat, seasoned with sage and onion, that I got from Fields of Anlaby when I collected the goose last Christmas (!), a pack of pork mince, and a pack of beef mince. Probably about 700g in all. I found a pack of stuffing mix in the pantry, which bore a legend of “best before Oct 07” (oh dear). We opened it, and sniffed it, and it seemed OK, so I made it up with boiling water.

Pete finely chopped a couple of shallots, and then manfully mixed the meats and the stuffing by squidging with his (clean) hands, and he bunged in some tomato ketchup and some Lea and Perrins Worcester sauce. We pressed the mixture into two silicon loaf “tins”, put them in a bain marie, and baked at gas 4 for about an hour.

I left them overnight to cool right down, and today I turned them out of the silicone, and cut each one into three – that 700g of meat has made 12 portions; they don’t look big, but they’re solid meat.

Wrapped the portions in tin foil, and put them in the freezer (well, five of them – we’ll eat one tonight, probably). They can come out, and be cooked in the foil for a nice quick supper. Eat with a nice gravy, or even baked beans if you’re in a rush – who needs supermarket ready meals?!

chicken pie

There’s always some scratty chicken left after a roast … so today I have fashioned a Pie.

Made a pastry with 9oz wholemeal flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 4oz of Trex and some water. That’s now in the fridge, chilling (man).

Then chopped a leek into slices, 2 carrots into small dice, and 2 cloves of garlic finely (Pete did garlic and carrot). Fried that lot off with a rasher of bacon that needed using up. In went some finely chopped sage from the garden too, then I put a lid on the pan and left it to cook for ten minutes. Then added a couple of spoons full of wholemeal flour (we always use wholemeal these days) and a teaspoon of grain mustard and stirred it all around.

Then added milk bit by bit till the consistency was right, lobbed in the chicken (all shredded up), seasoned it, and left it. I shall marry pastry and filling later, and bake at gas 5 for about 35 minutes.

This will be followed by rhubarb with an oaty crumble topping, which I know is bad, but Pete brought some home yesterday – what can I do?

slow cooked whole chicken

A friend of mine told me he “roasted” a whole chicken in the slow cooker, and I didn’t think it would work. But I was prepared to give it a whirl, so I bought a free range chickie! for the purpose.

Did my usual trick with a chicken, of cutting a lemon in half, putting one half inside the bird, and squeezing the other half over it. Rubbed the chicken’s skin with olive oil, seasoned it, put it in the slow cooker and switched it on, on high.

Then left it completely alone for about 8 hours. It was gorgeous, and it left some very nice chickeny juices in the bottom of the dish. We’ll be doing that again!

We ate it with lots of steamed buttery cabbage, and some carrots with star anise, and Pete had some potatoes too.

pasta with chicken, blue cheese and broccoli

using up: half a head of broccoli, some everlasting chicken

We had a mound of cold roast chicken left from Saturday’s roast – we had cold with steamed new potatoes and red cabbage, and chicken sandwiches, and dhal with shredded chicken, have put all the bits and bones in the freezer, and were still left with a bowlful of chicken that would feed us for two more meals.

We also had a half a head of broccoli to use up, and we wanted something quick last night as we were both going out.

So, cut the broccoli into florets, and steamed for 6 minutes. Fished it out into a colanader, topped up the pan with some more boiling water and put in some pasta. As an aside, I have taken to weighing pasta (120g) and rice (80g), as I’m watching my carbs – this is about half the amount of both we used to eat, and it’s plenty!

Fried off a roughly chopped onion in olive oil, and added some thyme from the garden. Then lobbed in some chopped up cold cooked chicken and stirred it all around. When the pasta was almost done, I added the broccoli to the chicken pan, then in went the pasta, and about 100g of blue cheese. Stirred all that around till the cheese melted, then served in bowls.

It was nice, but I thought it was lacking something – not sure what. I shall ponder.

a sort of chicken tagine

I bought a pound of diced chicken last Friday, and soaked and boiled some chickpeas, with the full intention of making a tagine with them on Sunday. Didn’t get to it, due to an unfortunate cycling incident (OK, I fell off), so I stole 30 minutes yesterday morning to make it.

Browned the chicken pieces in olive oil, and put them in the slow cooker. Cut two peppers (one red, one yellow) into chunks, and fried them off until they were just starting to blacken at the corners, added them to the cooker. Hurled in a sliced courgette which was getting a bit tired, a lemon cut into 8, salt, pepper.

Cut a red onion into chunks, and chopped four cloves of garlic, fried them off, added some ras el hanout to the pan and cooked it for a few seconds. Rummaged in fridge for ideas, and found a jar of tomato and pepper relish, so bunged in a couple of tablespoons’ worth, then a squirt of honey and some water. Brought all that to a simmer, hurled it into the slow cooker with the chickpeas, switched on.

The smell drove us demented all afternoon, and we ate some for supper with rice, and chopped coriander sprinkled over the top.

chicken with blue cheese

I did another stuffed chicken breast on Sunday evening – this time with blue cheese, chopped sage, shallot and some walnut oil. I was going to add pine nuts, but we seemed to have run out, which is very bad planning, I know.

It was delicious – accompanied by steamed new potatoes and asparagus. But I should have used more sage. And it only occurred to me yesterday that it would probably have been far more successful, and much easier to stuff, had I beaten the chicken flat first with my trusty meat hammer, so I shall do that next time.

Next time won’t be far away, as when I sent Pete up to the CoOp to get the chicken, they had a stack on special offer as it was approaching its sell-by date, so there are six more in the freezer.

chicken with feta and basil

Regular readers will know that our regular fare is Indian, middle Eastern, Italian, but rarely, very rarely, something that involves potatoes and veg and so forth.

But we had a dying basil plant and half a block of feta that needed using up, and some chicken breasts in the freezer, and Jersey Royals, and English asparagus, so some combination was called for.

I chopped the feta into small cubes, and bunged it in a bowl with a finely chopped shallow and clove of garlic, some black pepper, some chopped basil, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cut a pocket into the chicken breasts, and bunged as much of the mix in as I could – there was far too much stuffing, of course.  I tied the chicken breasts round with string, put them in an ovenproof dish, and scattered the rest of the feta mix over the top.  Into the oven at gas mark 5 for 20 minutes, then turned it up to 6 for another ten.

Boiled the potatoes, steamed the asparagus on the top.  Utterly lovely.

cheap as chipsH^H chicken

From time to time – actually, quite often – our local CoOps (and probably yours, if you have one) do great offers on fresh chicken. I like to take advantage of these and stow them in the freezer. The most recent was two packs of chicken thighs for four quid, which seems like a bargain in anyone’s eyes.

I fetched two packs out of the freezer on Saturday, and yesterday turned them into Madhur Jaffrey’s lemony chicken and coriander, which is one of our very favourite things to eat. That recipe is a good guideline, but we use far more garlic and ginger, and I tend to do it in the slow cooker, then the meat falls off the bones.

We tend to eat this with rice and dhal, so we have small portions, and the two packs of thighs made 10 servings – £4 for the chicken, 75p for the coriander, and sunk costs for the ginger, garlic and chillis, which we always have in, I reckon about six quid the lot.  Can’t grumble at that.