Tag Archives: lemon

Citrus Chicken with Chilli New Potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

For the citrus chicken

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest only
  • 1 lime, juice and zest only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chilli new potatoes

  • 1kg new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli paste, or 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 bag mixed green salad leaves, to serve

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Method

 

1. For the citrus chicken: lay the chicken fillets between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to flatten them out to about 5mm thick.

2. In a large, shallow dish, mix together the lemon and lime juice and zest, olive oil, coriander and salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Add the chicken fillets and coat thoroughly in the marinade then cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

4. For the chilli new potatoes: parboil the potatoes in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 7-10 minutes. Drain well then cover with a clean, dry tea-towel to absorb any excess moisture. Set aside to cool slightly then cut into diagonal slices.

5. Melt the butter and oil together in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chilli and the potato slices and fry for 10 minutes, turning halfway, until crisp and golden-brown.

6. To cook the chicken, preheat a griddle pan over a high heat (you could also cook the chicken over the hot coals of a barbecue).

7. Place the chicken fillets on the griddle pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until charred on the outside and cooked through.

8. Serve the citrus chicken with the chilli new potatoes and green salad alongside.

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Baked lemon and garlic chicken with pilaf rice

Lemon and garlicThis recipe apparently has a silly amount of garlic in it but don’t be put off and don’t be tempted to reduce the quantity.  When garlic is roasted it loses its pungency and instead takes on a mellow sweetness that works well with the lemon flavour.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 chicken (approx 2.25 kg / 5 lbs) cut into pieces: breasts, thighs, drumsticks etc

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

125ml (4 fl. oz) white wine

20 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 1 lemon

1 large sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

300ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock

For the rice

25g (1 oz) butter

1 small onion (about 125g / 4 1/2 oz), peeled and chopped

300g (11 oz) basmati rice

750 ml (1-1/4 pints) chicken or vegetable stock

To serve

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F), gas mark 3.

Heat a large casserole or saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the olive oil and chicken pieces, skin side down and cook on both sides until golden brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour off and discard any excess fat.

Add the wine and garlic cloves and boil for 2 minutes.  Next add the lemon zest and juice, the herbs and the stock.  Bring to the boil, cover and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.

To cook the rice: melt the butter in a casserole or saucepan that is large enough to accommodate all the rice (bearing in mind that it will swell).  Add the onion and season.  Cover and cook over a low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft.  Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes until it crackles, then add the stock and some salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil then transfer to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice is just cooked so that it is slightly al dente and all the liquid absorbed.

Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve the chicken with the rice in shallow bowls and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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Adapted from a Rachel Allen Recipe

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Spatchcock-it

What does that mean?  A spatchcock is a bird that has been split open for cooking – usually grilling.

Why?  A spatchcocked bird will cook faster than a whole bird (generally it will cook in 45 minutes), it can easily be set in a marinade to give it added flavour and is also a good way of preparing a whole bird for the barbecue (cook in the oven first and finish on the barbecue).

How?  The simple answer is to ask your butcher to do it for you (!) but if you’re stuck with one of those un-peopled long racks of meat in the supermarket, rather than a proper butchery section, it is actually something you can do pretty easily yourself.  I’m assuming that you are not one of those squeamish types about handling meat because you will have to get to grips with the chicken.  I should also say that if all else fails you can use good old chicken portions in a marinade.  This is just more expensive and somewhat defeats the object when there is something very satisfying about knowing how to spatcock a bird!  Isn’t there?

secateursTo spatchcock a chicken you will need a pair of poultry shears or something like very tough scissors or garden secateurs (it goes without saying that they have been reserved for this purpose as traces of poison tree bark on your bird just won’t do).  It has to be something that will pretty easily cut through small-ish bones.

Lay the bird breast side down and cut all along one side of the spine, then repeat the process on the other side.  With the spine now removed you can turn the bird over and flatten it out – it looks a little like a steamroller has gone over it but that, my friends, is a spatchcocked bird.

What next?  Here is a recipe we like from Nigella Lawson for Spatchcock Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary but do bear in mind that just about any marinade will work with a spatchcock bird so why not get creative?  General hints and tips on how to prepare a marinade are on my page here.

Ingredients

1 spatchcocked chicken (approx. 2 – 2.25 kg)

3 long sprigs of fresh rosemary

Juice of 1 lemon, plus more lemons to serve

1 red onion

100ml olive oil

Maldon (sea) salt

Serves 4

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Put your spatchcocked chicken into a large freezer bag.  Pull the needles off 2 sprigs of rosemary and drop them on top.  Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the bag then chuck in the empty shells afterwards.  Cut the onion into eighths and add to the bag.  Pour in the olive oil then tie up the bag and give it a good squidge around before sitting it in the fridge.  The chicken can stay in this marinade in the fridge for up to two days (I would give it a minimum of 4 hours to allow the flavours to infuse into the bird).

When you’re ready to cook the bird, get it out of the fridge to let it come up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 210C / 415 – 425F / gas mark 7.  Lay the flattened chicken, skin side up, on a tin lined with foil, along with the lemon husks and onion pieces, and add the remaining sprig of rosemary torn into a couple of pieces, tucking them between the leg and breast.  Cook for about 45 minutes, by which time the chicken should be crisp skinned and tender within.  You can even turn the oven down to about 150C / 300F / gas mark 2 and let it remain in the oven long after it’s cooked through.  Somehow this doesn’t seem to make it stringily overcooked but rather infused with golden tenderness.

Take the tin out of the oven, cut the chicken into four pieces and arrange these on a plate, along with the onion bits, then pour over any syrupy golden juices from the tin and sprinkle generously with Maldon salt.  Cut a lemon or two into quarters and scatter these about the chicken.

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This recipe appears in Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Forever Summer’ published by Chatto & Windus, ISBN 0 7011 7381 5

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Yippiedeedoo

ElectroluxI’m absolutely top-hole, with a ying yang and a yippiedeedoo today.  And why?  My new cooker arrived this morning! It’s a bit like learning how to pilot the Starship Enterprise for those of us used to an almost entirely useless range-type cooker that wasn’t really a range, and certainly didn’t deserve the noun ‘cooker’ to be attached to it.  However, I’m quite sure I will very soon get the hang of all its many functions.  I’ve already tested it out with my Lemon Drizzle Cake.  There were no burnt edges, no sloppy middle.  (I can’t be doing with a sloppy middle). 

While my cakes with the old cooker were OK and tasted nice, they certainly wouldn’t have won any beauty contest … unlike the little beauty that is, as we speak, cooling on the wire rack in my kitchen.  If you were here, I’d offer you a slice and a nice cuppa.  As it is, I may just have to pig out on my own!

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

This is a lovely cake for those of us who like quite plain cakes, in other words no cream and other frou frous.  Perfect for afternoon tea…although you may want more than one slice, and that just might spoil your dinner!

I make this using a food processor, and this is how it goes …

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

Lemon Drizzle CakeMakes a cake for 8-10 servings and is best eaten freshly baked, although it will keep for 1 week under refrigeration in an airtight container.  Freezes up to 3 months.

Ingredients

2 large eggs

175g (6oz) sugar

150g (5oz) soft butter

Grated zest of 1 lemon

175g (6 oz) self-raising flour, sifted***

125ml (4fl oz) milk

A pinch of sea salt

For the lemon syrup

150g (5oz) icing sugar

50ml (2 fl oz) fresh lemon juice (about 1-1/2 lemons)

*** Re Self-raising flour (For American readers) – self-raising flour is simply flour to which raising agent has already been added.  There are several ‘recipes’  for making your own self-raising flour.  Here is one: For every 225g (8 oz) of plain /all purpose flour add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder.  Sift together 3-4 times to thoroughly mix.  Can be stored in an airtight container.

You will also need a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf tin for this recipe, together with a small amount of baking parchment or greaseproof paper

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Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.

Line the bottom of a well greased loaf tin with baking parchment.

Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process for 2 minutes, scraping the sides down once with a rubber spatula.  Take off the lid and drop spoonfuls of the soft butter on top of this mixture, together with the lemon zest, then pulse until it disappears.  The mixture should now resemble mayonnaise.

Add the flour, milk and salt, cover and pulse just until the mixture is smooth in texture and even in colour, scraping the sides down with a rubber spatula if necessary.  Don’t over-beat or the cake will be tough.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack.

To make the syrup: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until a clear syrup is formed – about 3 minutes.  Do not boil.

Prick the warm cake all over with a fork, then gently pour the syrup over it, until it has been completely absorbed.

Leave until cool, then carefully ease the cake from the baking tin and remove the baking parchment.

Just before serving, sift a little more icing sugar on the top.

Serve in generous slices!

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Miss Bright Eyes

Actress Isobel Jay, 1906Our eyes are often the first area of the body to reflect poor health and tiredness.  While there is no substitute for good nutrition, there are a few herbal and alternative remedies which may give a boost to the system and help to maintain beautiful eyes.  Herbalist Jethro Kloss advised taking the juice of a lemon in hot water, one hour before breakfast each day to help cleanse the system. 

Cider vinegar which is rich in potassium (fundamentally involved in so many of the body’s processes), may also be helpful.  Take one tablespoon of the vinegar in a glass of water each morning,  with a tablespoon of honey to sweeten if you like.  It has a cleansing and energizing effect.

There are many, many topical quick fixes that you can try.  Here are just a few:

Cucumber is well known to tone up the eye membranes and cools and soothes tired eyes.  Simply use two slices as eye pads, lie down and relax for 15 minutes.

Witch Hazel on pads of cotton wool can be used as an alternative – better still if you keep the bottle in the fridge. 

Tea bags – allow the tea to brew for five minutes or so, remove the tea bags and allow to cool then use in place of eye-pads.

Finally, if you have access to the revered old herb of ‘eyebright’ (named to obviously reflect one of its many virtues!), make a strong infusion, decant into a bottle and keep in the refridgerator.  Again use the cool liquid on pads of cotton wool, lie down and relax for 15 minutes.

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