Spring Chicken - Old Favourites
A good free range chuck is a truly versatile base for delicious dining, from sandwich filling to formal supper.
These recipes are based on ideas to maximise the joy of taste, without necessarily challenging culinary skill.
Chicken & Leek Casserole
Soften 2 diced shallots in butter or oil (or both) with 1 tsp of thyme leaves. Let these bubble for 6 or 7 minutes then brown a chicken breast each, cut into a third or quarters for 5 minutes.
Lift the chicken from the pan onto a plate. Add a knob of butter to the pan and make a roux with 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of Stokes Cider & Horseradish Mustard. Add a glass of white wine (or dry cider) and 750 ml of chicken stock, simmering to thicken the liquid, then add the chicken and any gathered liquid back to the pan with 2 or 3 sliced leeks. We like chunky slices of leek so they hold their texture and flavour.
Stir in half a tub of Philly-style creamed cheese and 2 tbsp of our Brown Sauce – the two together make the casserole creamy with the additional flavours of the Persian spices in this truly grownup Brown Sauce. Pour in a little more stock if it needs it and a splash of cider vinegar, then simmer for 25 minutes before serving with an amazing mashed potato, made better still with our Creamed Horseradish Sauce spooned through it.
Mediterranean Style Chicken
Slice a red onion and fry it in olive oil before adding skinned, boned chicken thighs cut in half. Gently brown the meat, adding 3 grated cloves of garlic, 150g of thickly cut chorizo, fresh thyme and oregano (dried is fine).
Slice the contents of 1 jar of roasted red peppers, adding these to the chicken with 2 chopped sticks of celery, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 4 or 5 peeled, sliced Maris Piper style potatoes and a mixture of green and black olives.
Pour a glass of red wine into the pan with sufficient beef stock to cover the chicken, potatoes and peppers, season and add 4 tbsp of Stokes Chipotle Ketchup (for its smoky finish and gentle chilli heat) and 5 tbsp of our Tomato Ketchup (for its thick fruity Italian tomatoes).
Put the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes before checking the potatoes, liquid and seasoning. Are the potatoes tender, does it need more stock and how’s the seasoning.
Cut a chicken breast each across the grain into 1cm thick slices. Heat sesame or vegetable oil in a pan or wok with about 1 inch of finely sliced ginger and cook the chicken slices (in batches if necessary) for 4 minutes on each side.
When it’s simmering, coat the chicken well and let it cook through for 5 minutes before serving on boiled rice with sliced spring onion scattered over the top.
Chicken in Red Wine
Take a succulent thigh (or two) each – skin off, bone in – and sit it in a simple marinade of red wine, orange juice, 1 tbsp of Stokes Brown Sauce and 4 or 5 tbsp of our amazing Bloody Mary Tomato Ketchup. Let the meat bathe for a couple of hours to enjoy the flavours.
Soften 1 medium sized onion in olive oil with a pinch of Italian dried herbs and another of ras el hanout which sits so well with the Persian spices in our Brown Sauce. Drain and reserve the marinade and brown the chicken for 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
Spoon 2 tbsp of flour over the chicken, turning the thighs to coat them well and absorb the flour before adding 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 150ml of red wine and the reserved marinade. Top the pan up with chicken stock, sufficient to cover the meat, pop the lid on and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked right through.
Served with utterly buttery mashed potatoes and perhaps a few greens, this is a lovely midweek supper.