Tag Archives: chicken

Spanish-Style Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Weather update: still flipping miserable. What you need is a warm, comforting stew to tuck into while the wind howls and the rain lashes… and we’ve got just the one! Chunky veg, chorizo and chicken that just melts in your mouth in a delicious tomato sauce. This is inspired by a pork and chorizo stew that we made in Spain but the pork there is something else, we couldn’t find anything to match up to it here so we went for chicken. Make sure you use chicken thighs in this – they are so much more suited to stews, casseroles and slow cooking, they’ll be beautifully tender. Now imagine yourself on a sun-drenched balcony, sipping a glass of Rioja as the sun just starts to set…

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 new potatoes, sliced
  •  red/green pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • About a 10cm piece of chorizo, cubed
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3/4 pieces
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 heaped tsp plain flour
  • 1 carton of passata
  • Chicken stock (enough to cover – about 500ml)
  • 1 tin of butter beans (or any other beans you fancy!), drained
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of black olives – optional

To start with heat the olive oil in a large pan/casserole dish and add in the vegetables. Cook over a low heat for around 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Add in the chorizo and garlic and stir together until the beautiful oil starts to come out of the chorizo.

Chorizo on veg

Paprika on veg

After this time turn the heat up slightly and throw in the paprika, stir to coat all of the vegetables in it. Then whack the chicken in and immediately add in the flour. Cook all of this together, stirring almost constantly for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is lightly coloured all over. Tip in the passata and enough water to just reach the top of the meat and veg – they will squash down as they cook. Stir in the beans, sugar, salt and pepper and then cover and bring to the boil. Turn it right down to simmer and leave to cook for around 1-1.5 hours by which time the vegetables should all be soft and the sauce should be thickened slightly and coating everything beautifully. About 10 minutes before the end chuck in a handful of olives if you like them (we love them!).

Let's be honest... stew isn't *that* photogenic, is it?
Let’s be honest… stew isn’t *that* photogenic, is it?

We had ours with some braised cabbage but this would be lovely on its own, or with a big hunk of crusty bread!

Chicken and chorizo stew with cabbage

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Chargrilled Chicken with Za’atar and Roasted Spiced Vegetables

Carrying on our Middle Eastern obsession we have another really simple dinner of griddled chicken with roasted vegetables and cous cous. This is quite similar to our za’atar steak recipe and is a great healthy yet filling option. It manages to be comforting enough for winter yet light enough for summer – these chicken breasts would be incredible cooked on a barbecue. This would also be delicious in a lunchbox or taken for a picnic, what a versatile dinner! You’ll see in the photos that we have 2 trays of vegetables – this was because we had veg to use up but in the ingredients we’ve given what should be enough for two people just to go with the dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1 courgette, chopped into 2cm cubes/rings
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 peppers, sliced into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 heaped tsp za’atar
  • Cous cous
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place your vegetables in a roasting dish and coat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the ras el hanout and a good pinch of sea salt. Toss the vegetables to coat them all in the oil and spices and then whack in the oven. These will take around 45 minutes to an hour to become perfectly soft and slightly charred around the edges. Stir them every 15 minutes or so and after around half an hour shake over the pomegranate molasses for the last part of cooking.

Roasted Moroccan Veg

For the chicken place the breasts between cling film, one at a time. Use the base of a large pan to bash them out until they are about 3cm thick and an even thickness all over. Once they’re both done heat up a griddle pan. Coat the breasts with a little olive oil and once the griddle pan is nice and hot place the chicken on. Let it cook on the first side for about 1 minute so that it can start charring and then turn over. On the side that you have already started to cook and is now facing up, sprinkle half of the za’atar so it coats the chicken. After 1 minute on the other side flip the chicken over again and sprinkle the rest of the za’atar on the other side. The chicken should take about 4 minutes on each side to cook so just keep an eye on it and turn it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. The sesame seeds in the za’atar should become lovely and toasted during this time… it smells amazing!

Chicken za'atar

Just before you’re ready to serve make some cous cous by placing it in a bowl, covering with boiling water (to about 1cm above the cous cous) and covering the bowl tightly with cling film. Leave it for about five minutes and you should have perfectly fluffy cous cous! Fluff it up with a fork and season with salt. Whack the whole lot on a warmed plate and you’re done! We sliced our chicken up before serving but that’s up to you – whatever you prefer.

Za'atar chicken done

This was lovely hot but would also be great cold – you could mix the vegetables into the cous cous and serve with the sliced chicken for a mid-week lunch to make your colleagues jealous!

White Wine and Fennel Pot Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a classic, and one that can’t easily be improved upon but we’ve found a way which means you still get a classic roast but with a bit of a twist, and the moistest chicken ever! This could make a lovely alternative Christmas dinner for a smaller family or a special dinner any weekend. The chicken sits on a bed of sliced fennel, onions and celery covered in white wine which you can then turn into a delicious sauce at the end. We used a small-medium chicken here so obviously adjust the cooking times if you’re using a bigger one – this recipe is forgiving, you can cook it for a little longer than you should and still have lovely chicken, with no hint of dryness. We served ours like a traditional roast dinner but this would work really well with mashed potato and vegetables or in the summer with bread and salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bulb of fennel, chopped into 1cm strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped into 1cm strips
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped roughly
  • 1 large glass of white wine (about 200ml)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Chopped Fennel and Onions

Heat a large oven-proof casserole dish over a medium heat. Preheat the oven to 180C. Pour the oil into the casserole dish and when it’s hot add in the thyme. Then pop the chicken in, breast side down to start colouring the skin to encourage it to go nice and golden in the oven. You’ll have to tilt the chicken and move it around, we found that using your hands is the easiest way to do this, just watch out for hot oil! After about 5 minutes the skin on the breast should be lightly golden so take the chicken out and pop it back on it’s plastic tray while you put the vegetables in. Put all of the vegetables into the pot and stir over the heat for a few minutes until they start to cook, but you don’t want them to colour. Pour over the wine after this time and then put the chicken back on top, breast-side up this time. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub with a little extra olive oil if needed.

Chicken in pot

Put the dish in the oven, leave the lid off for around half an hour to help the skin crisp up, then put the lid on and leave for 1 hour. Check the fluid levels occasionally and top up with a bit of water if necessary, there should be around 2-3 inches of fluid in the bottom at all times. After the hour take the lid off and leave to brown for another 10-15 minutes and then take out of the oven.

Cooked chicken in pot

Put your chicken to rest on a board, loosely covered with foil, and then you can make a gravy out of the wine/stock if you wish, or you can just serve it as it is. It would be perfect left as it is for a light summer lunch with bread and salad… you could pop the sauce into a bowl for people to dip their bread into! We decided to thicken ours slightly as we were serving it in more of a traditional roast dinner style. To do this simply place about 1 tsp of butter in a small sauce pan, add 2 tsp of plain flour and a little of the stock, stir to make a paste. Then keep adding the stock slowly, making sure it’s completely incorporated before adding the next spoonful. Cook this for around 10 minutes to make sure the raw flour taste is completely gone. You can make it to whatever thickness you fancy, we wanted quite a thick sauce this time so didn’t add too much of the stock and then let it reduce well.

Finished pot roast chicken

And that’s it! Carve the chicken and serve with whatever you fancy. Here we have roasted potatoes, parsnips and carrots and some leeks and cabbage which were braised together in a little water and butter and of course some of the deliciously soft fennel, onions and celery. Even though this chicken was only supposed to feed 2-4 there was so much meat left on it, we boiled up the carcass to make soup which made at least 5-6 portions – you can’t get much better value than a chicken!

Quick Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

Believe it or not the origins for this recipe lie in an Asda magazine from about 1998. We mean really it’s origins lie in a Caribbean interpretation of some French and Spanish food but this one right here is a vintage Asda classic. Updated by the Bird clan with some chorizo and chilli (and what a bland dish it would be without them!), it’s now a firm favourite for when you want a comforting, warming, one pan dinner in around 30 minutes. Oh one tip though? Leave time for the pan to soak before you wash it up – that delicious crusty rice at the bottom makes it a hell of a job to clean!

Ingredients (serves two hungry people or three less greedy people)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
  • Chunk of chorizo, chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 340g can chopped tomatoes
  • 330ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 135g long grain rice

Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet and then add the onion and chorizo. Allow the oil to come out of the chorizo and the onion to soften for a minute or two. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until there are no visible pink bits left. Add the garlic and cook briefly – you don’t want it to burn! Add the peppers, chilli and chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Onion and Chorizo

Dissolve the tomato purée into the hot chicken stock – we might have mentioned this tip before but it makes it so much easier to distribute it evenly throughout the dish! Stir in the chicken stock/tomato purée mixture, the dried thyme and the rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. This last step is a bit open for interpretation, we tend to stir ours every five minutes or so to prevent it from becoming a total nightmare, and we have a well fitting lid so the stock to rice ratio usually works for us but if you need to add more stock then go ahead! Also it might be worth adding a layer of aluminium foil if your pan lid doesn’t fit too tightly.

And that’s it! Serve with salad if you want to be good but if you’re anything like us then serve yourself a mountain of the stuff and eat your way into a spicy, paprika-y, chicken-y carb coma.

Jambalaya

Chicken Tagine

This is another recipe that takes us right back to Marrakech. We spent a spectacular last night of our holiday eating on the roof terrace of a glorious restaurant near our riad (Le Foundouk, recommended by those wonderful people at Lonely Planet). We had read that it was beautiful with a gorgeous, romantic roof terrace but we weren’t quite prepared for the candlelit terrace, draped in scented plants which gave tables privacy while the stars twinkled overhead. Bird chose a traditional chicken tagine made with preserved lemons, olives and onions and this is what we have tried to recreate here (although not quite in the epic proportions it was served in Marrakech… a tiny Bird cannot eat half a large chicken!).

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 4 small portions of chicken (we used bone in thighs for great flavour)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped into strips
  • 2 preserved lemons, deseeded and finely chopped
  • A large handful of olives (black or green are fine, we used black kalamata olives)
  • 1 heaped tsp of Ras el Hanout or Baharat spice mix
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • (optional: a pinch of saffron strands – these really do add a honeyed flavour to the dish and beautiful colour but don’t worry if you don’t have any, it will still be lovely!)
  • Enough chicken stock to cover
These little strands of saffron are magical!
These little strands of saffron are magical!

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat and once shimmering add in the chicken pieces skin side down and brown. Once they have some colour turn them over to briefly seal on the other side and then remove from the pan. Add in the chopped onions and turn the heat down to as low as it goes. Cook the onions for at least 5 minutes so they are starting to take on some of the brown colour from the chicken and to soften. After this time add in the spices and cook for a further minute until they are aromatic and the coriander seeds are beginning to pop. Make up around half a litre of chicken stock and put the saffron strands in to infuse if you’re using them.

We kept the stones in the olives, it's much easier. If you do the same then make sure everyone is aware of it!
We kept the stones in the olives, it’s much easier. If you do the same then make sure everyone is aware of it!

Throw in all of the rest of the ingredients aside from the chicken, stir to combine and then pop the chicken on top, skin side up so it is just poking out of the liquid (you may need to top up the liquid with some water). Unlike a British or French type of stew Moroccan ones aren’t generally thickened in our experience, instead they come with a light liquid which is perfectly mopped up with cous cous so don’t worry if it looks a bit sloppy, it’s meant to! Put the casserole dish in the oven and cook for around 1 hour, making sure to give it a prod about halfway through the cooking time. Serve simply with plain cous cous and some chopped fresh parsley and/or coriander if you wish.

Leave the chicken poking above the liquid, so that it goes nice and crispy
Leave the chicken poking above the liquid, so that it goes nice and crispy

Italian Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Traybake

It’s been a while since we blogged any Italian food which feels like a bit of a cheat because we love it and usually cook something Italian inspired at least once a week. This is another of our “bung it in the oven” specials (we seem to have a lot of those!), leaving you free to relax after work (or do something dangerously productive). It’s a little similar to our Salmon Traybake, but with a few Italian twists.

Ingredients

  • New potatoes, halved/quartered depending on size
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 large springs of rosemary
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • Vine tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Asparagus
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Parboil the new potatoes for a few minutes until slightly tender. Once the potatoes are boiling place a large roasting dish in the oven with 1 tbsp of the olive oil in it and some salt and pepper. Drain the potatoes, let as much of the water evaporate as possible and then tip them into the hot oil. Give them a good stir/shake around to get them coated and then put in the oven.

Take the chicken breasts, lay a sprig of rosemary on each of them and then wrap each one in 3 rashers of bacon. After the potatoes have been in the oven for 10-15 minutes and are starting to colour, move them to one side of the dish and lay the chicken breasts on the other side. Coat the vine tomatoes in half the remaining oil, the balsamic vinegar and seasoning and place these in the dish too.

Sometimes it's hard to make raw meat look appetising - not on this occasion!
Sometimes it’s hard to make raw meat look appetising – not on this occasion!

After all of this has had another 15-20 minutes mix the asparagus with the lemon juice, remaining olive oil and seasoning. Tip these over the potatoes in the roasting tin and then, using a vegetable peeler, take shavings of parmesan and place liberally over the whole dish. Use as much or as little parmesan as you like (as you’ll probably know by now, we are cheese obsessed so use plenty!). Leave this to roast for 10 more minutes then take out, throw over a few more parmesan shavings and serve!

That parmesan is gonna melt and be sooo gooood...
That parmesan is gonna melt and be sooo gooood…

We’re big fans of one-pan wonders, and this is definitely one of the best. So easy, really tasty and minimal washing up, so you can put your feet up for the rest of the evening!

Chicken and Bacon

Sticky Chipotle Chilli Chicken

What a revelation this is – chipotle chilli paste is AMAZING! It has already made an appearance on our pizzas, but that was the second time we had used it – the first was as a marinade for some delicious chicken, it provided a smoky flavour that just blew us away. This recipe also features a great side dish of squashed coriander potatoes, which we’ve nicked from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals – they’re the perfect accompaniment to spicy chicken.

For the marinade you’ll need:

  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

And for the rest of the dish:

  • Chicken – 4 thighs between 2 ought to do it, or a mixture of legs and wings
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large potato
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Green salad to serve

Firstly, make the marinade – mix up all the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. When it’s done, rub it over the chicken – you’ll need to get proper messy! – and put the result in a covered container. We left ours in the fridge overnight to marinade, but an hour or so should still give it a good flavour.

Chicken marinade ingredients

Once your chicken has been sitting pretty soaking up all that lovely flavour for a while, preheat the oven to 180°C and chop the normal potato into wedges (we normally get about 8 out of one medium potato), put them into cold water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, chop the sweet potato into similar sized pieces. Once the normal potato wedges have come to the boil and been boiling for about 2-3 minutes drain them and leave them to steam so they are as dry as possible – this gives you lovely crispy wedges. Pop a roasting dish large enough for all of the wedges in the oven with 1 tbsp of olive oil in lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Allow this to heat up for around 5 minutes and then throw your wedges in, tossing them around so they get coated in the sizzling oil. Put these into the oven, they will take around 40 minutes to cook and the chicken will take a similar time so grab yourself another roasting dish for the chicken and tip them into it, making sure to scrape all of the marinade over them. Put these in the oven too and then go and put your feet up for a bit!

Halfway through give the wedges a good jiggle and the chicken a mini jiggle to make sure it’s happy and then go back to putting your feet up, while sniffing at the intoxicating aroma and perhaps drooling a bit. Once the wedges have had 40 minutes and are lightly golden (but not really crispy) take them out.

Mixed wedges

At the same time put a little extra drizzle of honey onto the chicken for the last few minutes to make it extra sticky and delicious.  Tip the wedges into a large bowl along with the roughly chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime. Mash these together very lightly with a potato masher or a fork, you want big pieces still recognisable as wedges, but for all the flavours to mingle.

Smashed wedges

Chipotle chicken

Serve the chicken and wedges with a green salad and tuck in!

Chipotle chicken dinner

We think this at least rivals… well, actually we think it dicks all over… a popular chicken restaurant that rhymes with Schmando’s. Smoky, spicy, tangy, sweet – it doesn’t get much better!

One Pan Spanish Chicken

We told you it wouldn’t be long before we were back with the recipes! This one is one of our favourites, we have been known to have it every other week sometimes if running low on inspiration. It’s another one-pan wonder (neither of us are fans of washing up) and the ingredients can be swapped around -there are several different variations which we will share with you at a later date.

This one is the Spanish version, it feels particularly Autumnal but is gorgeous any time of the year.

Ingredients (for 2 hungry adults):

  • 4 chicken thighs – bone in and skin on
  • About 5-80g of chorizo – you can choose normal or picante depending on how spicy you like things – cubed
  • 1 410g tin of butter beans
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 orange
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic (we forgot to buy any for this time and it was still nice without it)
Guess where we shop.  Other food retailers are available.
Guess where we shop. Other food retailers are available.

Grab your chopped vegetables and place in a large roasting dish along with the butter beans and the chorizo. Make up the chicken stock and squeeze in the juice from the orange and then stir in 1tsp of the smoked paprika. If you’re using the bulb of garlic leave it whole but remove as much of the papery skin as possible so that each individual clove is exposed. Place this in the middle of the roasting dish nestled amongst the vegetables.

Don't forget the garlic.  D'oh!
Don’t forget the garlic. D’oh!

Pour the stock/orange/paprika mixture over all of the vegetables trying to get everything coated, then place the chicken thighs on top (skin side up) and sprinkle them with sea salt. Put this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes, checking about halfway through to make sure the pieces near the edge aren’t burning. After 40 minutes mix the remaining 1tsp of paprika with 1tsp of olive oil and brush this over the chicken thighs which will have started to go beautifully crisp by now. Whack this back in the oven for 10 minutes and you’re done!

One of our absolute favourites!
One of our absolute favourites!

We love this meal not just because it’s ridiculously tasty but it’s low maintenance, you can get on with other stuff while it cooks and it will forgive you if you overcook it because the stock keeps the chicken really moist.

Give it a go and keep an eye out for the other variations!