You just have to boil the chicken (i buy pieces like tighs and remove the skins and fat for obvious reasons) with the bay leaves, 2-3 whole pepper corns and 2-3 allspice corns to make the stock – when ready you strain the liquid and de-bone the chicken and cut it into small pieces. In your soup pot you saute 1 finely chopped onion, 1-2 carrots, 1 medium courgette for a few minutes, add the stock and the chicken pieces, boil for 10 mins, add half cup of finely cut spaghetti or other small pasta shapes and boil until that’s done, approx another 15 minutes. Season with parsley and/or origano, leave to cool 10 mins . Now, in Bulgaria we never have clear soups, they are all finished off with an egg – you beat 1 egg with a sprinkling of citric acid (guess a drop or two of vinegar can also be used), you then add some of the soup liquid little by little into the bowl with the beaten egg, whisking constantly and then pour the eggy liquid into the big pot. It sounds fiddly, but it isn’t, it’s quite nice. Must ask mum why we do this….no doubt there is a reason hahahaha
This perfect summers day lunch is so easy to make and so delicious to eat. The parmesan baskets are a fantastically simple idea and are light and chewy but crisp. Wonderful!
Chicken Caesar Baskets (Makes 4)
For the Baskets:
2 cups grated parmesan
1 empty jam jar or glass
For the Filling:
1 large chicken breast
2 strips of bacon or speck
For the Caesar Dressing:
2 cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
First make your baskets:
1. Take a handful of parmesan and a hot flat griddle
2. Spread the parmesan in the centre of the griddle in a circle, thicker towards the centre and thinner towards the edges (this will make the edges more lacy)
3. Heat, then once bubbling and slightly starting to turn golden, remove from the heat
4. Loosen parmesan disk from the griddle with a spatular and as soon as you can, pick it up and drape over the up-side-down jam jar.
5. Make creases to form the bowl shape.
6. Remove from the jam jar and set aside to cool.
For the dressing:
1. Mash the garlic and anchovies together – if you have a mini blender then this is perfect.
2. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, egg yolk and then whisk in the olive oil. Blitz or whisk together until thick and creamy.
Now for the filling:
1. Slice chicken breast into small pieces and cook on a hot griddle (with any seasoning you may like)
2. Cook bacon in a similar way and cut into strips
3. Wash lettuce, tear into small pieces and toss in the Caesar dressing
4. Place a handful of the lettuce in the bottom of each basket, top with the chicken, bacon strips and chopped chives and you are done.
1/2 chicken breast sliced into 4 slices and pounded
30 grams/1 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
40 grams/3 Tbsp of stracchino or enough to form a paste with the P.R.
1 lg clove of garlic minced
2 tsp fresh thyme minced
1 cup cooked chard or spinach, cooled and squeezed as dry as possible
salt and pepper
1 egg scrambled with 1 Tbsp of water for the egg wash
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, or regular bread crumbs
2 Tbs shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper the chicken slices and set aside.
Mix together the cheeses, garlic and thyme forming a paste. Spread the paste evenly over the 4 slices of chicken, then cover each slice with 1/4 of the chard. Roll the slices into tight fairly tight rolls.
Mix together the panko or breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp of Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper.
In a medium frying pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium high heat.
When the oil is hot, dip each involtini into the egg wash and then into the Panko or breadcrumbs covering thoroughly. Place each involtini into the hot oil and cook until each side is golden brown and the chicken is completely cooked through.
Stir-Fried Cashew Nuts & Chicken by Tina Ferrari
I also learned this at Basil Cookery School in Chiang Mai. I made a few of my own changes (for example, this is for 2 – the recipe she gave me was for 1).
100 g. sliced chicken
100 g. roasted cashew nuts
1/2 cup of jelly mushrooms (not found in Italy – just use your favorite mushroom)
1/2 onion, sliced
4 baby corns if you can find them
1 or 2 tbsp chopped garlic (depends on how much you like garlic)
1 or 2 large red dried chilis (chopped into 1/2″ length) – or use peperoncino if you’re in Italy
2 spring onions
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. fish sauce
3 or 4 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1. In the wok, fry garlic in the oil over low heat until brown. Add chicken and keep stirring until the chicken is cooked through.
2. Add onion, baby corns, mushrooms, chili and stir continuously until done.
3. Add chicken stock, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and stir well to combine.
4. Add cashews and spring onions, stir quickly and then remove from heat.
Enjoy with some rice!
* for vegetarians, use tofu or seitan instead of chicken, and soy sauce or salt instead of the fish & oyster sauce.
Bangladeshi White Chicken Korma by Mary Leonardi-Cattolica Sansen
adapted from At Home With Madhur Jaffrey
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 2″ sticks of cinnamon
3 bay leaves
10 cardamom pods
1 medium onion sliced into thin rings
1 whole chicken cut into 12-14 pieces and skinned
1/2 med. onion chopped fine
3 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, pressed in a garlic press
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 1/4 tsp salt
sliced hot chilies to taste
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over med-high heat until very hot. Add the cinnamon, bay and cardamom pods and fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the sliced onions and fry stirring for about 3 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Add the chicken pieces and fry until they begin to brown 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped onion, the ginger and the garlic and fry stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the yogurt and the salt, mix well and cook stirring for 10 minutes. Add the chilies, and 1/4 cup of water, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer very gently for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.
From Rosalba via Angela Hartnett’s midweek suppers
Couscous is originally a North African dish, made with coarsely ground wheat or millet, and normally served with a meat or vegetable stew. But, like anything good, it has been modified to suit other tastes. One of my favourite recipes comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, and features dried apricots and butternut squash. It’s so vibrant and fresh.
My own version uses chicken and nuts. I cook the chicken fresh, allow it to cool, then add it to the couscous. But it is also a great way to use up leftovers. And why not experiment with other ingredients you are fond of, such as harissa paste, prawns or even coriander?
This is a beautifully quick and simple dish. But bear one thing in mind: where the couscous itself is concerned, the amount of water required may vary from brand to brand. If in doubt, follow the instructions on the packet.