Friday, 15 May 2015

Recipes: Chicken

Food Safety Week from is 18 - 24 May and the Food Standards Agency have some wonderful chicken recipes to celebrate…

Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad (pictured above) 

In this summery salad, succulent chunks of chicken and crispy bacon bits are served warm on young spinach leaves with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and avocado, then sprinkled with a zesty lemon dressing.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 rashers streaky bacon, snipped into small pieces
150g young leaf spinach, washed
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g roasted red peppers (from a jar, packed in brine), torn into pieces
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

Dressing
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breasts into even-sized chunks. (Never wash chicken before preparation). Wash your hands in hot soapy water after handling the raw chicken, and wash up the knife and chopping board.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chicken chunks, cooking them over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until browned. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Add the bacon and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is fully cooked. To check, cut a piece of chicken in half with a clean knife – there should be no trace of pink . If there are, cook for a few more minutes and check again with a clean knife.
Remove from the heat.

Share the spinach leaves between 4 serving plates. Add the tomatoes, red peppers and avocado slices. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper.

Share the warm chicken and bacon between the salads and drizzle the dressing over the top. Serve scattered with a few basil leaves, if you like.

Cook's tip
It's VITAL to make sure that chicken is thoroughly cooked before you eat it – so always check first.

Barbecued Chicken and Pepper Kebabs

Barbecued chicken tastes so good! Here it's threaded onto skewers with colourful vegetables for a bright and sunny summer meal.

Chicken-May15-02-590

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 courgette, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
Salad leaves, cucumber and tomato, to serve

Dressing
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Before you start, preheat the barbecue or grill. If using wooden kebab sticks, soak 8 of them in hot water for 5-10 minutes to help prevent them from burning. Otherwise, use metal skewers.

Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breasts into even-sized chunks. (Never wash chicken before preparation and always throw away the chicken packaging, do not wash and recycle it).

Thread the chicken, peppers and courgette slices onto the kebab sticks or skewers. Wash your hands in hot soapy water after handling the raw chicken, and wash up the knife and chopping board.

Make the baste by mixing together the olive oil, lime or lemon juice and herbs. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the kebabs on the barbecue or under the grill for 10-12 minutes, basting often. Check that each kebab is fully cooked by inserting a clean sharp knife into the chicken – there should be no trace of pink. If there are, cook for a few more minutes and check again with a clean knife.

Serve 2 kebabs per person, with salad leaves, cucumber and tomato, with a little dressing spooned over.

Cook's tip
Pre-cook the chicken first in the oven and finish on the barbecue. It's VITAL to cook barbecued chicken the whole way through. Blackened on the outside and pink in the middle is NOT an option!

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

In this deliciously fragrant roast, whole chicken is basted with melted butter, lemon juice and fresh herbs and cooked with lemon wedges and a few whole garlic cloves. Mmmm – the smell is SO good!

Chicken-May15-01-590

Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients
1.6kg whole chicken
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
20g butter, melted
2 lemons
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
5-6 whole garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5.

Put the whole chicken into a roasting pan and brush over the vegetable oil. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour 10 minutes. (Never wash chicken before preparation and always throw away the chicken packaging, do not wash and recycle it). Wash your hands in hot soapy water after handling the raw chicken.

Remove the foil. Mix together the melted butter with the finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and the herbs. Brush over the surface of the chicken, tipping any excess into the roasting tin. Add the garlic cloves and season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and put them in the roasting tin.

Roast the chicken for a further 25-30 minutes. Check that it is fully cooked by inserting a clean sharp knife into the thickest part of the thigh – there should be no trace of pink and any juices should run clear. If there are, cook for another 10-15 minutes and check again with a clean knife.

Cook's tip: NEVER wash raw chicken and ALWAYS wash your hands and equipment used in hot soapy water immediately after contact.


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