Don’t know about you but when I am stuck home with no social plans to fill my pleasure time, all I think about is how to be creative about what to cook next. Not to mention, I do follow a few great chefs on Facebook and Instagram so when I see their posts on what they have cooked each day, it is difficult not be inspired to crank the stoves.
My husband loves chicken, so I cook a lot of chicken. Here are a few chicken dishes to inspire your taste buds. Firstly, I started with making a master stock, once I have this stock, besides the chicken dishes I will be sharing with you, I have also used this master stock for stews, slow cooking meat dishes, pasta sauce and sauces.
You will need at least a good few hours to make the stock. I truly believe that besides all the ingredients I have used, the key to this amazing stock is the use of chicken necks. Chicken necks are full of nutritional benefits as well as helping your stock to be amazingly silky. Using a large stock pot, fill it with 2/3 of water, add all ingredients, bringing it to boil then turn the heat down to simmer for at least three hours, stirring every now and then.
As you are discarding all the ingredients once the stock is ready, you don’t have to be too particular in how you cut them, just large chunks or bunches as you are cooking them for a long period of time.
If after about three hours, the flavour is not intense, then turn the heat up a little and continue simmering for another hour or so with the lid off. You can add a bit more salt or soy sauce but I would only do this if the flavour is there or after you have reduced it a bit more by simmering with the lid off.
1 large bag or 2 packets of chicken necks
1 large onion cut into quarters
3 cloves of garlic (whole)
5cm piece of ginger (smashed) or 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
Handful spring onions
Bunch of coriander
2 stalks of celery, chopped into large pieces
1 carrot, chopped into large chunks
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 chunk of rock sugar
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Peel of 1 mandarin
100ml of Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Poached Chicken, Rice and Bok Choy
There is nothing more satisfying than flavoursome succulent poached chicken. When you have an amazing stock, your chicken will also be amazing. Once poached, all you need to do is serve with fragrant rice steamed in stock and some steamed or fried bok choy in oyster sauce.
4 bunches of bok choy
2 cups of rice
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
Seasoning for chicken: 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, ketcup manis, light soy sauce
Once the stock is well cooked and the flavour is quite intense, turn the heat up to bring it to boil. Once the stock is boiled, immerse the chicken into the pot breast down. When the stock arrives back to boil, turn the heat off and cover.
Leave chicken in the pot to poach for 1.5 to 2 hours. In the mean time, prepare the bok choy by washing each leaf, then set aside ready for frying. Prepare the seasoning by mixing all ingredients together. When the chicken is ready, pull it out of the stock and cut into pieces and drizzle the seasoning over the chicken.
Cook rice as per instructions, using stock instead of water. Whilst the rice is cooking, fry the bok choy in a hot pan with a little oil or steam. Once wilted, stir through the oyster sauce and serve. You can also serve this meal with fresh chilli in soy sauce, chopped spring onions in the chicken seasoning and a bowl of the stock with a sprinkle of white pepper.
Before you store the stock for future use, remove all ingredients from the stock and strain it into a container. If you are intending on using the stock within the week, keep it refrigerated. Otherwise, separate into smaller portions and freeze.
Sweet Corn Soup
Before you put the stock and poached chicken away, this is an easy super tasty soup that can be made in almost two seconds. To serve four, all you need is one egg and a large can of creamed corn. As the master stock is so intense in flavour, you do not need any more seasoning, unless of course you would like to sprinkle some spring onions or add some fresh chilli to your soup.
Put four ladles of stock in a saucepan and bring to boil. Scramble your egg well. Cut a piece of chicken into small dices or as big as you like. When the stock comes to the boil, add the creamed corn and stir well. When this comes to the boil again, stir in the egg and stir gently. It does not have to come to boil, just as long as the egg is cooked, then add the chicken, stir through and the soup is ready to devour. I like to sprinkle a bit of white pepper in mine.
Chicken Marinated in Yoghurt and Curry Spices
This is Matt Moran’s recipe. I saw it on Facebook. The only thing I changed was the amount of chilli as I don’t tolerate chilli very well but do enjoy a bit of heat in my food. I reduced his chilli spices by half and it was still really hot for me, so if you don’t like your food too firey, then it’s okay to leave the chilli and peri peri powders out completely or just add a smidgeon of peri peri or both. It will still taste incredible.
4 to 6 pieces of chicken thighs bone in and skin on
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chilli powder (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon cumin (I used ground cumin)
1 tablespoon corriander powder
1 tablespoon tumeric
1 tablespoon peri peri powder
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or large zip lock bag and marinate chicken pieces for a couple of hours in the fridge. Take chicken out of fridge about 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven 180 degrees.
Scrape off excess marinate before baking chicken for 25 to 35 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.
As I wanted something light and refreshing to serve with the chicken, I made a salad of black beans, edamame, corn, tomato, red onion, bacon with lemon juice & olive oil. I also added a generous dollop of yoghurt to my plate to ease the fire of the chilli.
Who doesn’t like roast chicken, right? We recently inherited a coal Weber so we have been roasting whenever we have the time. We marinated the chicken for a couple of hours in the fridge then took it out of the fridge 30 minutes before roasting. When you take the chicken out of the fridge, slide thick slices of butter under the skin of the breast.
This is how we marinated the chicken this time, however you can use whatever marinate or spice mix you like or just simply salt and pepper the chicken. We didn’t stuff the chicken, again you can simply stuff a lemon into the cavity or make your favourite stuffing.
Glug of olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon plus zest
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cracked pepper
Butter for under the breast skin
4 to 6 potatoes or any vegetables you wish to roast
2 teaspoon of corn flour
In the Weber, we set the coals on each side, under the chicken we placed par boiled (in salted water) potatoes so they can roast with the chicken drippings. Next to it, we placed about 250mls of stock (yes the master stock) so there is some moisture preventing the chicken from drying out.
Baste the chicken with the marinate every 20 minutes until juices run clear from the thickest part. Our chicken cooked in just over an hour. Once the chicken is ready, take it out and cover loosely in foil to rest for about 15 minutes. Finish roasting the potatoes (in the Weber) by emptying the juices from both trays into a saucepan to make the gravy.
Bring the juice and stock to boil and simmer to reduce. Mix the corn flour in cold water to ensure it is well mix dissolved with no lumps. Once the flavour is intensified, add corn flour mix to thicken the gravy.
We also made a simple salad of Sicilian olives, tomatoes, cucumber and capsicum to go with this meal. The dressing I used is olive oil infused with dried oregano, salt, pepper and honey. I’m sure the chicken, roasted vegetables and salad would taste even tastier when you go for seconds.