Easy chicken recipes you’ll love...
Who doesn’t love chicken? It’s cheap, nutritious and popular with all the family. But if you’re struggling to find new chicken recipes or ideas, these may provide you with flocks of new meals, from unusual ways to roast, family food the children will love and tasty ideas for the barbecue!
At this time of year, many thoughts turn to barbecues, and of course chicken is one of the most popular foods for cooking al fresco! One good tip is to part-cook the chicken in the oven or microwave before adding it to the grill – as always, it must be cooked through and this can take a while, especially if you’re feeding a crowd.
Delia has some fabulous barbecue chicken recipes on the site, including chicken marinated with whole spices and the lovely low-fat marinated chicken brochettes wtih green couscous
You can, of course, make up your own marinades: just combine oil, an acidic ingredient such as lemon or orange juice, herbs, spices, onions and spice pastes and cover the chicken for a few hours or overnight before cooking.
When roasting chicken, it’s really important to make sure it’s fully cooked through to avoid the risk of salmonella.
One summery way of perking up a roast bird is to add a handful of mixed herbs and half a lemon to the cavity – soft-leaved herbs such as parsley, mint, basil and chervil work best.
You can also finely chop some of these same herbs and stir them into crème fraiche or natural yoghurt for a quick and easy sauce.
If you’re new to cooking, see How to roast a chicken for step-by-step instructions.
Delia has some fantastic roast chicken recipes – why not try the summery roast chicken with grape and herb stuffing or roast chicken with Riesling, grapes and tarragon
Another unusual way to cook a chicken is to take a whole chicken, place it in a deep roasting dish and cover it with orange juice. The juice keeps the flesh moist and gives a lovely flavour to the meat. You can reduce the juice at the end if you like. Or try Delia’s chicken with lemon sauce
Roasting chicken is a real British tradition but you should also try a more exotic approach. Rub ras el hanout mixed with a little oil into the chicken before roasting (this would be good with couscous) or a little Indian or Thai curry paste.
Chicken breasts are another popular choice – try Delia’s chicken with stem ginger sauce, marinated chicken with honey and ginger and mango salsa , spiced chicken Madras – all quick and easy ideas for midweek suppers.
Other ideas include combining chopped soft herbs with cream cheese and inserting this under the skin of the breast (secure it with a cocktail stick so it doesn’t fall apart) or why not pour a jar of pesto over some chicken breasts, add a handful of olives and maybe some chopped Peppadew and a sprinkling of Parmesan and bake in the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. A lovely supper idea with a crisp green salad.
Chicken thighs are a good choice when cooking chicken as they tend to be juicier than breasts, which can dry out easily – thighs often have more flavour too (and they’re cheaper!). One quick supper idea is to chop some shallots and slice a few lemons. Layer these in a baking dish with the chicken, then pour over a dressing made from olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the juice of another 2 lemons. Season and bake for 35-40 minutes. Alternatively Delia has some great chicken thigh recipes: the gorgeous low-fat oriental chicken will be popular with all who try it: chicken Waldorf salad and the ever-popular chicken paprika .
Poaching is another good way of preparing chicken as it retains its moisture – particularly good with breasts. All you do is add the chicken to very gently simmering water – it’s important the water isn’t bubbling or the meat will become tough. Add a few peppercorns, salt and a few sprigs of herbs if you like to the water. After 15 minutes or so, cut into the chicken to make sure it’s cooked through. Poached chicken is good in a salad: why not try it with soft leaves, toasted almonds and sliced fresh mango or wild rice, peas and sweetcorn? Delia’s lovely chicken salad recipes include chicken Waldorf salad
Children love chicken too – one fun way of serving it is to cut chicken breasts into halves then before roasting, coat them in cornflakes for a crunchy appeal. You could also do this with matzo meal or cornmeal . Drumsticks are also popular family fare: try Delia’s devilled chicken drumsticks or does, with pistachios – crunchy pistachio-coated drumsticks - perfect picnic food.
More chicken recipes from Delia
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