Tag Archives: chicken

Roast chicken with garlic, lemon and thyme

16 Oct

Roast chicken with loads of garlic, thyme and lemon, served with green beans.

Coming from a family of 6, we rarely had whole roasts of any kind when I was a child. Chicken was served as an economical dish, braaied or baked as individual cuts in a hearty chutney sauce, or boiled and deboned and served in a creamy white sauce topped with crushed tomato flavoured potato chips (one of my favourites). Both dishes were served on rice, with accompanying veggies. My Mom did sometimes buy whole chickens, but they were always boiled in water, after which I had to debone the cooled birds for my Mother to use in one of her family feasts. I have to confess: I always ate some of the meat while deboning the chickens. I once actually ate a whole chicken on the job – I started with 2, but ended up with only one for the rest of my family. My Mom was NOT impressed!! (PS: those were the days when my teenage metabolism was still as fast as a freight train.)

The first time I ever had whole roast chicken was when I made it myself, about 12 years ago. There are few things as simple and as festive as whole roast chicken. Always use the freshest and best quality chicken you can find. If you have ever tasted real organic farm chickens, large as turkeys, with beautiful brown meat, you would understand the difference. Now, I know that it is simply not always possible to get hold of these chickens, or to afford them. So we buy the specials in the supermarkets and we make the most of them.

With this simple recipe, a cheap small supermarket chicken will taste fantastic. If you can get hold of a free range organic farm chicken, it will change into something heavenly. Buy whatever you can afford!

Ingredients: (1 medium sized chicken will serve about 4 people)

  • 1 whole chicken (cleaned and trimmed)
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole heads of garlic

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Mix olive oil with rind and juice of the lemon. Strip the thyme leaves off half the sprigs and add to the mixture. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate cloves off one head of garlic, then slice the other head in half horizontally.
  4. Place chicken breast side up in a medium-size roasting tin. Place separated garlic cloves and sliced head of garlic next to chicken, along with the used lemon halves. Now drizzle all over with the olive oil mixture. Make sure the chicken is covered well. Place remaining thyme sprigs in chicken cavity.
  5. Place roasting tin in over, uncovered, and bake for one and a half hours, or until chicken is golden and garlic cloves are dark brown.
  6. Remove from oven, then serve on a large serving platter with blanched green beans and roast potatoes.

 

Credits:

This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Nicola Pretorius

 

Mediterranean chicken kebabs with olive marinade

28 Jun

Grilled chicken kebabs with a Mediterranean olive marinade

While the rain is keeping us all indoors here in the Western Cape during the height of Winter, I’m mostly in my kitchen preparing hearty dishes like stews and soups. But then a beautiful sunny day comes along, like today, and all I want to do is pretend that I live in the Mediterranean and eat  tapas-style food!

We’re having friends over for a braai tonight, and we’ll be having these mini chicken kebabs with a Mediterranean olive marinade for starters. I prefer to use deboned thighs for the kebabs, as the browner meat is always more tender and juicy. No-one likes a dry sosatie!

Rather make smaller bite-size kebabs for this recipe – they are easy to eat as snacks or starters and they are easier to cook through without the risk of being underdone. I serve them with Medi Deli’s Roasted Red Pepper Dip – the perfect partner for these Mediterranean flavours!

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 10 x Mediterranean Delicacies Calamata Style Olives, pitted
  • 1 t Mediterranean Delicacies Basil Pesto
  • 4 x Spicy Sweet Pickled Peppers (or peppadews)
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 2 T (45 ml) olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for kebabs:

  • about 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (preferably organic)
  • 10-12 thin wooden kebab sticks, sliced in half (I only use the sharp-edged halves)
  • 1 x small tub Mediterranean Delicacies Red Pepper Dip, for serving

Method:

  1. In a food processor or blender, mix all the ingredients for the marinade to a chunky paste.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size chunks (about 2 x 2 cm) and arrange on kebab sticks, about 4-5 pieces on a stick
  3. Brush liberally with marinade, then grill on an open fire until golden and just done, or bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 C for 10 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove from fire/oven and serve immediately with Mediterranean Delicacies Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

WIN this hamper!

This post is the first in a 4-week series that I am doing in association with Mediterranean Delicacies.

WIN a fabulous Medi Deli hamper by entering their competition on Facebook! Competition closes on the 1 of July 2012. Hamper includes a gourmet pasta maker, cheese board and a selection of delicious wines and Mediterranean Delicacies’ products.

Thai green chicken curry

22 May

Thai green chicken curry (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I grew up in a house that only knew one type of curry: mild. “Cartwrights Medium”, to be exact. My Mom used to cook fragrant chicken curries, beef curries, lamb curries, mince curries – all using that same simple spice mixture. I loved it, because it was sweet (she always added chutney to it) and very flavoursome, but I only discovered much later in life that “curry powder” is not a spice. It is actually a Western term given to a prepared mixture of spices. Dishes called “curry” usually refer to meat, fish or vegetables cooked in a gravy that are made from these spice mixtures.

The first time I ate at a proper Indian restaurant, I was literally blown away. I couldn’t believe that there were such a vast array of flavour combinations available in Indian cuisine, and that I’ve been missing out on it for most of my life! “Curry” quickly became one of my favourite foods, and I became more and more adventurous as my taste buds adjusted to the magnificent heat that sometimes came along with it. Not only did I enjoy Indian and Cape Malay curries, but also discovered the Thai version – a lighter, fresher take on what I was used to, using a paste made from fresh green chillies, fresh ginger and lots of fresh coriander. Blended with coconut milk or cream, it became one of my absolute favourite comfort-food dishes, and I now make it very regularly for my family.

You can use any kind of meat for this recipe: chicken works very well, but also try prawns, fish, or vegetables. It is excellent served on fragrant sticky Thai rice, and keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. To entertain a large crowd, feel free to make the curry a day in advance, as the flavours tend to become even better the day after.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 fresh green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 t (5 ml) dried fine coriander
  • 1/2 t (2.5 ml) dried fine cumin
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 T (30-45 ml) water
  • 2 T (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 t (5 ml) sugar
  • a few drops fish sauce
  • 1 t (5 ml) lemon/lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander for garnish
  • Thai rice to serve with

Method:

  1. In a food processor (or using a mortar & pestle), add chillies, ginger, garlic, dried coriander, cumin, fresh coriander and process to a paste. Add a few tablespoons of water to created a more workable consistency.
  2. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add paste all at once, frying quickly for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add coconut milk, turn heat down to medium, and bring to a simmer. Now add sliced chicken and cook in liquid for 5 minutes, covered.
  3. Add sugar, fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, and season well with salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Serve on Thai rice, and top with fresh coriander leaves.

Tip: The sauce will remain quite runny – that is how it is supposed to be. For a thicker, creamier consistency, use coconut cream.

Credits:

This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Pictures: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Nicola Pretorius, Tasha Seccombe & Ilse van der Merwe.

Marinated chicken with lemon, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs

5 Mar

Poached chicken, marinated in lemon, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs, served with bruschetta (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

One of the very hot new trends on the food scene is tapas-style eating. And may I say: it is my favourite way to feast! Sharing platters full of snacks, dips, bruschettas and bites with friends around a big table is such a fantastic way to celebrate.

This recipe for poached chicken, marinated in fresh garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs, is seriously one of the tastiest ways to eat chicken. The poached chicken becomes so soft that it almost melts in your mouth while the juicy sauces run into the crispy toasted bruschetta. And best of all: you can make it a day ahead and dish it up at room temperature when lunchtime arrives.

The recipe is an adaptation out of Ina Paarman’s book “The Good Food Cookbook”. I bought it 12 years ago while I was still studying Consumer Science in Textiles at the University of Stellenbosch. It was a cheap little book back then, but has remained one of the timeless classics in my cupboard, along with Phillippa Cheifitz’s “Lazy Days”. These books have played a big part in inspiring me to follow my passion for food and cooking.

Recipes are meant to be shared, so here’s my version of Ina’s superb marinated chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large whole free-range chicken
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thick chunks
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 litre good quality chicken stock (if you don’t have access to fresh stock, use dissolved cubes)

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup great quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 big tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 big tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock, reserved from the cooked chicken
  • 1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

Method:

  1. Skin the raw chicken by simply pulling the skin off the body and thighs. Don’t bother too much with the wings. Place it, breast side up, in a large heavy-based saucepan with the carrots, onions, garlic and chicken stock.
  2. Cover with greaseproof paper, pushing the paper down to the level of the liquid. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then simmer on low heat for 1 and a half hours until the chicekn is very tender and starts to come away from the bone. Remove from the heat, then turn the chicken over (breast side down) to cool in the liquid – this takes an hour or 2.
  3. In the meantime, mix the ingredients for the marinade together and leave to stand at room temperature to allow flavours to develop.
  4. When chicken has cooled, remove from pot and reserve 1 cup of stock for the sauce (keep the rest in the freezer for your next recipe). Discard the onion and carrot.
  5. Tear the meat from the bone into long strips and add the cherry tomatoes. Beat the reserved stock into the marinade, then pour over chicken and tomatoes in a porcelain dish and cover with clingfilm, pushing the clingfilm down onto the mixture to expel as much air as possible. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavours mature. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  6. Serve with toasted bruschetta and a green salad, or as part of a tapas style menu.

Credits:

This post was written especially for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe selection & development, testing and preparation: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Photographed by Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius, Ilse vand der Merwe and Tasha Seccombe

Creamy chicken casserole with bacon and thyme

1 Jun

Chicken casserole with bacon and thyme

Yes, I’m still basking in the meagre winter sun! That means I’m also still dreaming of the great food that comes with cosy weather like this. This time I am going back to a very special time in my life: the first few weeks after I moved in with my boyfriend in 2002, who has since become my husband in 2004, and father of our beautiful 6 month old daughter. The years have just swooshed by… […]

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