Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hearty Chicken Broth

I am of course aware that soup is normally considered but one course of a dinner, rather than as being a dinner in itself. This thick and hearty chicken broth, however, served with some crusty bread, can more than suffice as a meal in itself.


4 pints of fresh (or defrosted) chicken stock
1 leek stem (sliced across ways in to 1/4" thick discs)
2 carrots (1 roughly chopped, 1 grated)
Handful of chicken pieces (if available)
4oz basmati rice
2 tbsp frozen peas
Handful of fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
Salt and pepper to season


Heat the stock in a large soup pot until it comes to a simmer. Add all the ingredients except the parsley and peas and simmer for half an hour. Add the parsley and peas and continue to simmer for another five minutes only, before serving up bowlfuls of this hearty and delicious chicken broth.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Chicken Salad on French Toast

If you fancy just a light dinner some evening, this chicken salad on French toast could be the perfect option. Alternatively, it could be made in larger quantities to provide a more substantial meal.

The chicken leg and thigh meat works best in this salad, or even the scraps of meat which were picked off the carcass.

Ingredients (Per Person)

Meat from one chicken leg and thigh
Two slices of bread
1 egg
1 handful of green salad leaves of choice
2 tsp horseradish sauce
Sunflower oil for frying


Cut a disc as large as possible from each slice of bread with a cutter or large drinking glass. Add a little sunflower oil to a non-stick frying pan and bring up to a medium heat. Beat the egg and dip the bread discs in to it until they are thoroughly coated before frying for a couple of minutes each side.

Place the discs of French toast on a plate and spread each with a tsp of horseradish sauce. Add the salad leaves and the chicken and serve.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Really Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken

Do you love Sweet and Sour Chicken? Have you often wondered how Sweet and Sour Sauce is made? Perhaps you have looked at the ingredients of same in a supermarket and been horrified and put off by the number of strange sounding substances, such as monosodium glutamate? Alternatively, maybe you have looked up Sweet and Sour recipes online or in a cookbook and been put off by the lengthy list of ingredients and the complex sounding preparation procedure?

This recipe for Really Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken has but three ingredients in the sauce. It is simple, delicious and easy - I promise. This recipe is for two people and incorporates the two breast fillets from our chicken, prepared in the previous post.


2 chicken breast fillets (pre-cooked)
4oz basmati rice
1 small can of crushed pineapple in pineapple juice - about 8oz
1 small can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice - about 8oz
1 tbsp dark soy sauce


Open the cans of pineapple and tomato and pour the contents of both in to a small saucepan. Add the tbsp of dark soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for around twenty minutes, until a thick, lush sauce is formed, stirring frequently. Do not add sugar, salt or any other form of seasoning - it is not necessary.

Different cooking instructions are provided on different types of basmati rice but the type which I purchase usually requires that it be boiled in a large pan of water for twelve minutes. Remember to rinse the rice in cold water first and put it on that it will be ready at the same time as the sauce.

Slice the chicken breasts and when the rice is ready, drain it well and arrange the sliced chicken on top. The sauce can then either be spooned over the chicken or arranged as a moat in the picture included in this post.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

What Should I Have for Dinner Tonight?...Not Chicken Again, Surely?

What do you like most about chicken? I have no doubt that many people - even some who love chicken very much - may have to think about their answer to this question. For me, there is no need to do so: I love chicken most of all for its quite incredible versatility. There are so many ways in which we can cook and prepare chicken that entire cookbooks have been produced on this one foodstuff.

In this post, I am going to begin the process of exploring just how much value we can get out of one chicken, in terms of the number of meals or dishes it can provide for us, even over the course of two days or more. I hope to look at some original ideas over the course of the next few posts to this blog for ways of serving the chicken.

In this instance, I am poaching the chicken but it could of course be such as roasted (as elsewhere on this blog.) I know that many people think poaching a chicken either makes the meat very dry or does not create the best flavour but if it is poached correctly, it can be quite delicious.

I always buy free range and if possible, organic chicken. Yes, it is more expensive, but I truly believe that the difference in quality justifies the additional expense. When buying a chicken for poaching, also ensure that you do not buy one which will not fit in to your biggest pot!

I begin by placing the chicken in to the pot and then adding one chopped onion, one chopped carrot and three or four cloves of roughly chopped garlic. I then add boiling water up to about an inch below the rim of the pot, ensuring that the whole chicken is covered. I then bring the water back to the boil and let it simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a quarter, depending on the size of the chicken. As always, ensure that the chicken is fully cooked by checking that the juices run clear when you remove it from the pot.

I usually cover the chicken and allow it to cool for half an hour to an hour before attempting to carve it and chop it up. This makes the process much easier! I then cut off the legs and thighs and the wings, before very carefully slicing the two entire breast fillets off. These six portions, I use in different ways. Don't forget also to pull the remaining bits of flesh off the chicken, which can also be incorporated very effectively in many dishes. Remember to refrigerate the chicken not used on day one and use it the following day.

The chicken stock should be sieved to remove the pieces of vegetable and then allowed to cool before being refrigerated for use the next day, or even put in the deep freeze for later use.

In my next posts, I will begin looking at the manys ways in which we can go on to use the chicken pieces we now have prepared.

Below are details of two fantastic Chicken Cookbooks, available to buy as always at the best prices on and