Tag Archives: Chicken

Nigel Slater’s Chicken Stew & Mash

This winter I’ve been cooking quite a few recipes from Nigel Slater’s “The Kitchen Diaries.”  His food, stories and presentation are warm and homely. This is just one of the recipes which I adapted a little and enjoyed very much.
After cooking for two hours, the chicken will just fall apart at the touch of your fork.  The juices are sweet and tangy from the balsamic vinegar and orange peel.

Chicken & Borlotti Bean Stew with Mash

Ingredients:
-tinned borlotti or cannellini beans
-jointed chicken, or 2 chicken marylands
-4-5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-4 cloves garlic (whole)
-1-2 teaspoons dried herbs (italian or herbes de Provence)
-the pared rind of an orange
-3 medium leeks, thickly sliced
-Olive Oil

-mash, to serve

Method:
Combine the chicken, half the balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil and garlic cloves in a large mixing bowl or dish.  Scatter over the herbs, the strips of pared orange peel and season with salt and pepper.  Cover, and let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 200c.  Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan (don’t use the oil from the marinade — the liquid will cause it to spit!)  Add the chicken pieces, shaking or patting away the marinade with a paper towel, and fry them until they are golden on each side.  Remove the chicken to a casserole that has a lid. (If you don’t have one, use a baking dish and cover it with aluminium foil.)  Add the beans into the pot with the chicken.
Fry the leaks over low heat in the same oil until soft.  Do not allow them to brown — leeks can become bitter when browned.  Add the garlic from the marinade, let it soften, then add the rest of the marinade (including the orange peel) to the leeks and garlic.  Add in the rest of the balsamic vinegar and about 1 litre of water.  Bring this all to a boil, season with salt and pour over the chicken in the casserole dish.  Cover the dish and put it in the oven for 2 hours.  Check half way through cooking that the chicken is still submerged, and adjust liquid level with water accordingly.  Check the seasoning, it may need more salt, more black pepper, or more balsamic vinegar.  Add these slowly to taste, careful not to over-season, but being conscious that the seasoning will enhance all of the flavours as they meld together.
Serve the stew with mashed potatoes, allowing the juices to form pools in the mash.

As a drink with this meal, I had picked up a few Rekorderlig ciders, which I had seen in Masterchef magazine months ago.  This one was a Winter Cider, with tastes of apple, cinnamon and vanilla. Beautiful.

Gong Bao Chicken

Well, Team Billy made it far, and we’re all so proud of just how far he made it.  So in honour of the “Dessert Queen” (LOL) I’ve decided this is a good time to post this recipe, which is a tweak of his posted recipe, and the version out of reigning Masterchef Adam Liaw’s book, Two Asian Kitchens (which I highly recommend you pick up if you love Japanese/Chinese/Malaysian foods).

I first made this recipe back some time last year, and as I said, I’ve tweaked it a little to suit my tastes.  You can do the same!  Be creative and flexible, cook what you like!  I seriously love this recipe and cook it at least a couple times per month.  Billy said it’s complicated, but I find it to be a very fast, inexpensive (I have most of the ingredients stocked in the pantry) 30 minute week-night meal.

Ingredients: serves 2
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced or thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 dried chillis (soak in warm water for a few minutes, then thoroughly dry)
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn (can ommit, if you MUST)
1/2 onion (I usually use brown, accidentally bought red this time! But it adds nice colour…)
3 spring onions/scallions/green onions, cut in 2 inch pieces (optional)
A handful of roasted cashews, quickly toasted in a dry wok or fry-pan

For the marinade:
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Flour (to coat chicken before frying)

For the sauce:
4 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
4 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine (or dry sherry)
1 tbsp corn starch in warm water (to use at very end)

Method:
-Coat the chicken in the marinade and pop in the fridge, covered, for at least 1 hour (if in a time crunch, forgo this time — just pop it in as long as you can.)
-Now is a good time to prepare your “mise en place” (everything in it’s place) — this means get all your ingredients chopped or prepared and set in bowls or cups ready to add.  This is crucial when stir-frying as you must move very quickly.  The whole ‘cooking’ process will only take a matter of minutes.
-Make a little chilli oil to fry the lot in by heating a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok until almost smoking.  Add the chillis and peppercorns and stir-fry until the oil is fragrant — don’t allow the chillis to burn!  Remove the chillis into a bowl and set aside.
-Toss sliced garlic into the oil and stir-fry briefly.
-Toss your chicken through the flour to coat it all, then add to the hot oil and garlic.  Stir fry until crispy, using tongs or chopsticks to separate the pieces and keep them from sticking.
-When it is golden, add your sauce.  It will sizzle and de-glaze (getting all the sticky yummy bits off the wok.)
-Now add the onions, green onions & chillis and stir-fry around a little.
-Pour in a little of the cornstarch mixture just until the sauce thickens into a nice glaze.  Add it reasonably!  You don’t want the sauce to be gloppy.
-Add your toasted roasted cashews and toss through evenly.
-Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

BIG NOTE: be sure not to overcook a stir-fry!  Your veggies should have crunch to them still, and the dish should taste overall fresh.  The whole cooking process in the wok should take around 10 minutes (hence why you gotta be organized!)