chicken, chorizo and tomato orzo, with a tomato and red wine sauce

This is the perfect Monday recipe. Why? Because it’s a great way to use up leftover roast chicken from your Sunday dinner. Shredded roast chicken works so well with this dish, as the smaller pieces work really well with the petite, almost rice-like orzo pasta. You can of course use chunks of chicken breast or thigh, but shredded chicken from the bone is a clear winner for me.

Orzo pasta is a new love of mine. As a dedicated risotto-maker and -eater, I’ve been looking for an alternative that satisfies those cravings without eating risotto all the time! I love pearl barley too, but orzo is fantastic. It’s filling and tasty, and can contribute towards a tasty yet nutritious dinner for those of us who aren’t scared of carbs!

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dry-spiced, roasted chicken supreme with seyal curry sauce, saffron basmati rice and mustard seed and chilli green beans

Now, this is the real celebration of National Curry Week, which took place in the UK last week. I spent ages looking through various curry recipes, trying to find a new idea that I hadn’t yet trialled (it’s harder than you think when you make as many curries as I do). Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian… You name it, I looked. But Indian is my favourite cuisine, and I loved how Seyal curry incorporates onions and yoghurt into its flavour. Traditionally, Seyal is cooked like a stew, with chunks of meat (typically chicken). I wanted to give the dish a little twist, so decided to cook one great piece of chicken with sauce poured over.

I paid a visit to Southampton Butchers this weekend, with the aim of buying 2 x chicken breasts on the bone. Apparently, chicken is THE meat to buy at the moment, and they had no chickens left fresh other than the pre-butchered cuts, such as boneless breast fillets and thighs. Luckily, they dug me out 2 x portions of chicken supreme, which is effectively a chicken breast with the wing still attached. It works perfectly with the dish, as you have the joy of a crispy spiced wing and a chicken curry in one meal.

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thai chicken satay chunks

I’m very guilty of making food with cheese, oil and pretty much anything unhealthy. I’ve been trying to incorporate some healthier meals that are also treats. These Thai satay chicken chunks were really delicious but also relatively guilt-free.

Of course, I bought some fresh chicken from my local butchers – Southampton Butchers – as it really does make all the difference. The meat was juicy, and not pumped full of water.

I chose to serve the chicken and satay dip with a spicy Thai cucumber salad – simply use a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips off 1 x cucumber, and mix well with some bean sprouts, a dash of fish sauce, a dash of rice wine vinegar, a pinch of muscovado sugar and a finely chopped birdseye chilli.

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whole jerk chicken with spicy mac’n’cheese and buttery corn

 

I love jerk chicken. Who doesn’t? That unique sweet spice that only Caribbean food gives you. Mr Greedy actually makes a fantastic jerk chicken, but I thought I’d give it a go using Carol Hilker’s recipe from Dirty Food. The original recipe recommends 4-6 chicken breasts (skin-on), but thighs and drumsticks would work really well on the BBQ. I decided to try using a whole chicken – the only reason being that you often get a lot more value for money buying the chicken whole. You could then butcher it into pieces or keep it whole like I have.

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lemon and garlic poussin, with chicken jus, garlic aioli and twice-fried chips

A few restaurants near to where I live offer different variations of this dish using half-chickens. I spotted poussins in my supermarket and couldn’t resist giving it a go with my own twist.

My version of aioli is definitely a cheats method – I’m not a great fan of mayonnaise so I don’t personally take the time to make it from scratch. This recipe uses shop-bought mayonnaise as the base of the aioli, which is still very flavourful and a great accompaniment for both the poussin and the chips.

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