Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Much or How Little?

The following recipes were all made from one just-over-3lb (1.5kg) bird (weight before cooking). All serve four or more (as stated). The winglets can be removed before cooking and frozen away to collect with others to make another dish later, or added to the stockpot after roasting and the flesh removed to add to soup or one of the dishes below.
Chicken Meatballs: serves 4
1 courgette, peeled and minced
6 oz (175g) cooked chicken, minced
2 slices bread, crumbed
1 tblsp onion, grated
pinch mixed herbs
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
Mix everything together, adding seasoning to taste, then roll into balls and fry in a little oil until evenly browned. Serve with noodles and a sauce of your choice.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Parcel: serves 4
1 x 250g sweetcorn and peppers
2 thick slices of bread, crumbed
1 egg, beaten
8 - 12 oz (225 - 350g) cooked chicken, diced
2 oz (50g) bacon, fried then chopped
8 oz (225g) puff or shortcrust pastry
milk to glaze
Drain the sweetcorn and mix with the bread and egg. Roll out the pastry to a 12" (31cm) square . Place a layer of chicken over half the pastry, top with the sweetcorn mixture and then the bacon. Fold the remaining pastry over and seal the edges. Make a couple of slits in the top to allow steam to escape, then brush the pastry with a little milk and bake for 35minutes at 180c, 350F, gas 4. Serve hot or cold.

To some extent the vegetables can be what you have, but the any of the following go well together: carrots, red bell peppers, celery, sweetcorn, mushrooms, green beans, peas, courgettes, broccoli, cauliflower)
Oriental Chicken: serves 4
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp runny honey
1 tsp cornflour
1 lb mixed vegetables (see above)
1 large onion, cut into wedges, then separated into leaves
2 tblsp peanuts or cashew nuts (opt)
8 oz (225g) cooked chicken, chopped
Mix the first four ingredients with the water and set aside.
Slice the carrots, celery and peppers into matchsticks, and if using cauliflower etc, break into small florets. Slice courgettes etc into rings. Once prepared, mix with the smaller veg such as beans, peas and sweetcorn. Put the oil in a wok or deep frying pan and when hot, fry the onion for 3 minutes, then stir in the vegetables. Stir-fry for one minute then add the cooked chicken. Stir again for a further minute then pour in the cornflour mixture, lower the heat , and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Occasionally stir the contents of the pan so that everything is coasted in the sauce. Serve hot with boiled rice.

This next chicken 'extravaganza' is a way to make a little chicken go a long, long way - for it could serve a goodly number of people. Save this dish for a buffet party.
Chicken Terrine: serves 8 - 10
1 large carrot, cooked then sliced lengthways into thin strips
8 oz (225g) cooked chicken, minced
zest of 1 orange
8 oz (225g) cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
4 oz (100g) spinach or peas, cooked and pureed
4 - 6 large soft lettuce leaves
Mix together the cottage cheese and eggs. Take one-third of this and stir into the spinach or pea puree. Mix the remaining two-thirds with the chicken and orange zest.
Line a well-greased 2 lb loaf tin with 4 - 5 overlapping large lettuce leaves, leaving enough overlap to fold over. Spoon in half the chicken mixture, pressing in half the carrots along the length of the pan. Top this with the spinach mixture, then finish with more chicken, carrots and a final layer of chicken on top. Cover with a lettuce leaf, folding over the lettuce flaps to make an enclosed parcel.
Cover with a double fold of greaseproof or parchment paper, and a lid of foil. Place in a roasting tin half-filled with hot water (bain marie) and bake for 45 minutes at 180C, 350F, gas 4. Cool in the tin, then chill in the fridge. Remove foil and paper, turn out onto a serving plate and serve cut into fairly thick slices.