Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jamie Oliver Chicken in Milk

Whenever I need to feed a big group of people and do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I go to this recipe.  It is very easy to make, the only work involves pan frying the chicken, and some cutting.  Everything else is then poured into  oven-safe casserole and bake till you are ready to serve.

Who knows that milk and chicken can give you such satisfaction.

The only thing to take note is frying the chicken.  The last time I gave my sis this recipe verbally, I told her to pan-fry till it brown.  So she skipped this step at her discretion.  It ended up her dish has a thick layer of yellow liquid floating on top.  Quizz her further than realised that's the chicken fat that should have been take off after pan-frying.

The photo was taken during my recent vacation in UK, cooking for my friend's family. The original recipe uses whole chicken but I used thigh which is relatively cheaper there!  :-)

Also, I added vegetables (whatever I can find in the fridge which happen to be carrot and fresh mushrooms) to make the meal complete.

Chicken in Milk

1.5 kg chicken parts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
½ stick cinnamon
1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked
zest of 2 lemons
10 cloves garlic, skin left on
565 ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

2. Marinate chicken with black pepper and fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.

3. Put your chicken back in the pot/casserole with the rest of the ingredients (including vege if you are using), and cook in the preheated oven for 60min. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce  which is absolutely fantastic.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Braised Balsamic Chicken

I always enjoy eating my lighted toasted bread with olive oil and balsamic mix.  Each time very little balsamic is used up that a bottle will easily last me a year.  I still remember the last bottle (a very good one *sob*)I had ended in the bin cos it was more than 2 years old.  My mum used to tell me that vinegar, like salt and sugar, has an infinite shelf life but i just felt a little funny knowingly consume something so "ancient".

Anyway, now that I found this recipe shared by Wendy at Table for 2, I am sure no balsamic vinegar will ever go to waste.  Not only for the sake of consumption, this dish has a very balanced taste of sourness and sweetness making it a hit with B.

I served it with rice and some accompanying vegetables as my family must have rice. 

Just a word on cookware.  Personally, I felt that when cooking with acidic liquid like balsamic, it is best to use a non-reactive cookware such as enameled cast iron (e.g. Le Crueset) or stainless steel.  Aluminum cookware will colour acidic foods with a grey tinge while cast iron (the one with enamel coating) will have acidic food leach iron from the pot.  Though you can argue that this is one way of getting your douse of iron that your body need!

Below is my version:

Braised Balsamic Chicken
3 pieces of chicken leg (1 for each diner)
Some salt and black pepper to taste.
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water

2 tbsp honey
1 tsp dried italian herbs

Some corn flour & water for thickening

1. Marinade the chicken with black pepper, preferably overnight.
2. Heat up a non-reactive pot, and add some olive oil.  Fry chicken leg with skin side down until it brown.  This will remove some fats.

3.  Remove excess oil, and keep about 1 tbsp to cook the onion and garlic.  It is ready when onion turned translucent.

4.  Add all the rest of the ingredients (except corn flour) and cover the pot until chicken is cooked through, about 20min.  Also check the taste, and add more salt/pepper/honey when necessary.  I used more honey.

5.  Take out the chicken and thicken sauce by adding corn flour/water mixture.  Though Wendy said this is optional, I find that thickened sauce will enable the sauce to "stick" to the chicken better.

6. Serve the chicken with steamed rice and vegetables, drizzling the thickened sauce over the chicken.