Jerk Chicken Breast and Mango Salsa

I’ve made jerk chicken before but always with chicken thighs or wings. Truth be told I think I prefer it that way but this is still delicious and bursting with Caribbean flavour.

The mango salsa gives a bit of welcome relief to the spiciness of the chicken.

Make sure you make the marinade the day before you serve the chicken and marinate overnight in the fridge. This is an absolute must for maximum flavour. If you are bbqing the chicken I recommend making double of the marinade so you have lots to baste the chicken with while it is sizzling away on the bbq.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

Marinade

2 limes – juice of

1 onion – diced

5 spring onions – chopped

6-8 sprigs of thyme – remove the stalk so leaves only

3 scotch bonnet chillis – no others as only these will do

Heaped teaspoon of all purpose seasoning

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup dark soy sauce

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

3-4 dessert spoons honey

1 dessert spoon grated ginger

4 tablespoons light brown soft sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons olive oil – to pan fry

Method

You must without fail marinade the chicken the night before you cook it or else it won’t be how it should be. Scotch bonnet chillis are also a must for the most authentic flavour.

Put the chicken in a large bowl, score with a knife and squeeze over the juice of 2 limes. Obviously wash your hands after you’ve handled raw chicken and all that.

Roughly chop your onion and spring onions, thyme, chillis, chopped garlic and all the spices and other ingredients for the sauce and blend so it is a bit of a gritty consistency, basically not too smooth. It will smell wonderful.

Now pour this all over the chicken and rub in. I put sandwich bags on my hands and do this. Give it a little massage in to lock in the flavour!

Cover, refrigerate and leave overnight!

If you are going to cook on the hob heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil over a medium to high heat and once hot add your chicken breasts. Continue to pan fry turning every couple of minutes until the chicken is bronzed and crisp. Baste all the while with the marinade, there should be plenty for this.

Alternatively if you are bbqing the chicken simply place on the bbq grill until full cooked through basting and turning all the time.

Serve with my coleslaw and rice and peas recipes under my sides section or with this delicious mango salsa recipe below which you simply mix together and serve alongside the jerk chicken.

Mango Salsa

1 ripe mango

1 small onion diced

Handful coriander – chopped

1/2 red pepper diced


Lemon Chicken Orzo

A beautiful dinner that is full of vibes of mediterranean sunshine. Buttery lemony orzo with chicken and asparagus, added protein with the chickpeas. What’s not to love? If you prefer a veggie option simply leave out the chicken add a little more chickpeas and asparagus. Beautiful with an ice cold glass of white or rosé.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts – chopped into cubes

160g orzo ( 80g per person)

Vegetable stock

2 cloves garlic – minced

Cup of chickpeas

Juice of a lemon

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Splash of white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Start by boiling a pan of water and a vegetable stock cube. When the water is boiling add your orzo and set a timer. Mine took 6 minutes.

At the same time bring another pan of water to the boil and add your asparagus.

While your orzo is cooking heat a tablespoon of olive oil in your large frying pan. Add your chicken pieces to the pan and pan fry along with your garlic, splash of white wine and the lemon juice.

Now your orzo should be ready. Drain and add a knob of butter, do the same for your asparagus. Transfer both to the the pan of ingredients along with your drained chickpeas.

Season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Serve immediately.


Honey Paprika Chicken

A quick and easy marinade to liven up chicken but works great on salmon too. I served it with lots of fresh salad packed with lettuce, olives, cucumber and peppers. I make up a dressing with 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar along with a clove of minced garlic and some salt and cracked black pepper.

Best served in the sunshine with an ice cold glass of your favourite white wine.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken steaks or breasts

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Clove of garlic – minced

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon while cooking

Method

Mix up your marinade in a large bowl and add your chicken to it to marinate, coating fully. If you have the time to marinate the night before, then all the better otherwise half an hour or so would be fine while you are preparing the salad etc.

Simply add a little olive oil to your griddle / frying pan and cook the chicken until it is fully cooked through. If I’m using chicken breasts rather than steaks I would recommend cutting them in half to reduce cooking time.

Serve with your desired salad and carb of choice.


Malayan Chicken Curry

A beautiful gently spiced curry, this one is perfect for all the family including little ones. Creamy and full of authentic flavour.

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts – chopped

1 tablespoons fish sauce

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 glug sunflower oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 onion – diced

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

2 cloves garlic – minced

200ml vegetable stock

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon mango chutney

150ml double cream

Method

Chop your chicken into cubes and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry in a little sunflower oil and set aside.

Pan fry your onions until they are soft and translucent along with the ginger, garlic and curry powder, turmeric and ground cloves.

Add your stock and mango chutney.

Return the chicken to the pan with the onions and spices etc. Bring to the boil for about five minutes to reduce the liquid.

Add your cream, cinnamon stick, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for around 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Serve with lots of mango chutney, basmati rice and naan bread.


Peri Peri Chicken

Portuguese food brings back so many happy memories of being in Portugal laughing and drinking rosé with friends. Chicken peri peri is a Portuguese classic that I’ve sampled many times. It is amazing with chips, rice or my oregano and feta potatoes. I’m all for a simple no fuss dinner but tastes like you’ve gone to so much effort.

Literally mix up the marinade, massage it into the chicken (rubber gloves optional) and whack it in the oven. The marinade is also lovely on chicken cooked over the bbq just make double for basting.

Ingredients

1 large whole chicken. I used a 1.9kg chicken

For the marinade

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

4 cloves garlic – minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons oregano

Salt and pepper to season

Juice of a lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Mix up your marinade in small bowl or cup.

Place your chicken in a large baking dish and pour over the marinade massaging it in so every part of the chicken is coated. I use surgical gloves for this!

Roast in the centre of a hot oven according to instructions on how long you need to cook your chicken. I cooked my 1.9kg chicken for 1 hour 45 minutes. Don’t forget to baste every half hour or so with the cooking juices this will keep the chicken moist and make sure it doesn’t dry out during cooking.

Tip: Serve Nando’s style with hot buttered corn on the cobs.


Kashmiri Curry

This recipe was inspired by Mary Berry’s kashmiri chicken curry but modified somewhat. It was amazing and the chicken was so tender. A truly delicious curry with a real depth of flavour. I hope you like my take on it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon hot curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Half tablespoon turmeric

Half tablespoon ground all spice

2 tablespoons ground nut oil or sunflower oil

Teaspoon chilli flakes

2 tablespoons flour

4 chicken breasts – chopped

1 onion – diced

450ml vegetable stock

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

2 garlic cloves – minced

Method

Measure out all of your spices into a large mixing bowl except the ground coriander and chilli flakes, stir to combine and set aside.

Add your chopped chicken to a separate bowl and sprinkle over half of the spice mix and coat thoroughly. Marinate for at least an hour but overnight if time permitting.

Add your oil to a large pan and heat. Add your chopped chicken and brown. Set aside still reserving the oil in the pan.

Add our diced onions, grated ginger and minced garlic and cook down until the onions are soft and translucent.

Now add the chicken back to the pan along with the rest of the spice mix, stock, chilli flakes and flour.

Stir to combine and add your lime juice and zest. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer to an oven proof dish with a lid and cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir in your ground coriander.

Serve with soft pillowy naan breads and some fluffy basmati rice.


Chicken Stew

My mum used to make beef stew and dumplings all the time in the Winter when we were little and I think of it as the ultimate comfort food. I’ve made a chicken version that’s a twist on a classic but still really rustic, delicious and full of flavour.

What’s better it’s a one pot dinner so it’s nice and easy with hardly any washing up which is always a bonus.

Thick slice of bread and butter obligatory.

Ingredients

800ml vegetable stock (x2 veg cubes)

1 medium potato – chopped into about 8 cubes

1 medium red onion – chopped into about 8 cubes

1/2 can butter beans

1/2 can lentils

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

3 cloves garlic – minced

Teaspoon dried rosemary

Can of cream of chicken soup

Dumpling mix – feel free to make your own.

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C / 160C fan

This is literally the easiest dinner ever.

Get yourself a large cook pot that is oven proof and put all your ingredients in except your dumplings and soup.

Pop in the oven for approximately 1 hour making sure it’s covered with a lid.

Now’s the time to mix up your dumplings and leave them to rest in the fridge for a while.

After about an hour remove stew from the oven and put on a low heat on the hob for another 20 minutes or so. 15 minutes before the end of cooking time add in your dumplings and 5 minutes before the end stir in your chicken soup. Simple!


Hoisin Chicken

This is one of the loveliest dinners I’ve had in ages, so quick and easy. Hoisin is always a winner in our house. So rich and full of flavour. The spring onions and cashews add a nice crunch. It’s great served with some jasmine or coconut rice and prawn crackers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

5 spring onions – chopped

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Handful of cashews

Juice of half a lime

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cloves garlic – minced

Method

Cut your chicken into cubes.

Mix up your hoisin sauce, honey, ground ginger and lime juice in a large mixing bowl and add the chicken pieces. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan over a fairly high heat. Add the spring onions, cashews and garlic. Stir for a minute or 2 then set aside.

Now add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the hot pan and pan fry your chicken cubes until they are cooked through. You need the heat fairly high to make sure your chicken browns nicely. Add your spring onions and cashews back in and season to your taste.

Serve right away with rice of choice.


Kung Pao Chicken

What a burst of flavour this was. So much better for you than the take away and you can probably make it quicker than it would take to pick it up. The sauce is so authentic and something you can knock up at home in minutes.

Serve with white rice, prawn crackers and a glass of chilled white.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

1 red pepper – diced

1 green pepper – diced

2 medium onions

4 spring onions

Glug of sesame or chilli oil

Marinade

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Sauce

200ml chicken stock

5 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese wine vinegar ( or rice wine or cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

Half tablespoon ground ginger

4 cloves garlic – minced

Half teaspoon chilli flakes

Method

Dice up your chicken and rub over your marinade. Set aside while you chop up all your peppers and onions.

Pan fry your chicken in your hot sesame oil for 5 minutes, moving round the pan all the time.

Now add your diced peppers and onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Mix up your sauce, pour over and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Tip: Serve with your white rice and prawn crackers. Pour yourself a nice glass of chilled white.


Smokey Maple Chicken Skewers

Let’s change up chicken, rice and salad. Such a good option when keeping meals light. I love mine with lots of fresh lemon squeezed over.

Smokey maple chicken skewers are even better on the bbq so don’t forget to save this recipe for when the sun comes out later in the year.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Juice of a lemon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 lemon wedges to serve

4 skewers – soak in water before cooking

Method

Pre- heat oven to 200c / 180c fan.

Firstly make sure your skewers have been soaked in water for few minutes if they are bamboo. This will stop them burning.

Cube your chicken and set aside.

Mix up your marinade in large mixing bowl and place all of the chicken cubes in it. Mix to coat all the chicken fully. Leave for as long as you have but 20 minutes or so will be fine, overnight all the better.

Thread your chicken cubes onto your skewers. Place on a lined baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and with lots of fresh lemon squeezed over. Can be served hot or cold.