There is so much more you can do with chicken

FOOD

Whatever time of year there is always time for some barbecue chicken.

Whatever time of year there is always time for some barbecue chicken.

My daughter Siobhán is now in sixth class and has a lovely teacher called Zoe. Zoe asked her to ask me for a few new chicken recipes that she can try at home, so here goes.

Obviously, a simple roast chicken with gravy, veg, mash and roasties is hard to beat, as is a chicken curry with rice, but here are a few other ideas that are not too hard to make, so give one of them a go?

Chicken carbonara with penne pasta

Penne pollo carbonara as they say in Italy, is a deliciously creamy chicken dish mixed with penne pasta, it’s quick and easy to prepare. This dish is traditionally finished with egg yolk, but this is my easier version. It serves four people.

chicken carbona

A creamy chicken pasta dish is a nice treat this time of year

Ingredients

4 tsps oil

4 boneless chicken breasts - diced

4 rind less streaky rashers - sliced

1 onion - diced

8 mushrooms – sliced

1 garlic clove finely chopped

Splash white wine

1 chicken stock cube

500ml cream

Freshly grated parmesan

Freshly chopped basil

Black pepper and salt

12oz cooked al dente penne pasta

Serve with garlic bread

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan, add the diced chicken and seal until brown, add the sliced rasher and cook for a further two minutes, add the onion, mushrooms and garlic and stir until cooked. Then add the wine and the stock cube to the pan, along with the cream.

In a separate saucepan cook the penne pasta for about 10 minutes, drain and add to the chicken cabonara. Mix all the ingredients well, so that the sauce coats every piece of pasta. Season with salt and crushed black pepper, and the addition of basil and Parmesan cheese brings this dish to another level.

Overall, this should not take any longer than 15 minutes to make and serve in warm bowls with lots of warm crusty garlic bread to soak up all the sauce.

Honey glazed chicken and penne pasta salad

A warm honey glazed chicken and pasta salad is a winner every time. I like to use chicken thighs in this recipe as they are full of flavour. I remove the skin and score them with a knife to let the flavours of the marinade get into the meat.

honey chicken

Twist things up with a honey glazed chicken pasta dish.

Ingredients

1,200g bone-in chicken thighs (prepared as above )

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup honey

2 cloves of garlic - crushed

Juice of a lime

2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into long and thin matchsticks (about 1 cup julienned )

2 tablespoons of vinegar

100g roughly chopped almonds

1 tbsp finely chopped basil

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

180g penne pasta

2 cups of mixed baby lettuces

Ground black pepper

Method

Firstly, we make a lovely marinade for the chicken. Mix one tablespoon of oil with the soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, tomato ketchup and honey. Give it a good stir and then add all the chicken thighs and mix well.

Try to make sure that the marinade gets into the scores that you have made in the chicken to get a fantastic flavour. Leave this to marinade for at least four hours in the fridge or overnight if possible for maximum flavour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, toss with one tablespoon of olive oil to stop the pasta sticking together, and set aside.

In a frying pan, dry fry the chicken on high heat for about 1½ minutes per side, or until slightly charred. Put the chicken and the marinade into an ovenproof dish and into a warm oven (170C ) and cook for an additional 12 to 16 minutes, basting frequently with the honey glaze, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool; once cool, discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones, and shred.

Place the vinegar and herbs in a large bowl. Whisk in the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and then add the carrots and almonds. To serve, I warm the shredded chicken in the microwave, and mix with the mixed greens, carrots, herbs, cooked pasta and some salt and ground black pepper to taste. This really is a lovely warm salad, and if you are careful with the amount of oil that you use, a low fat meal for all.

Barbecue chicken salad

This classic with a twist is a great dish that everyone can enjoy together.

Ingrdients

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 can of sweetcorn, drained

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise

Method

Preheat grill for high heat. Grill chicken 10 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and cube. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, red bell pepper, onion, and corn. In a small bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce and mayonnaise. Pour over the chicken and veggies. Stir, and chill until ready to serve.

There you go Zoe, three easy and different ways to cook chicken; I hope that you will try to cook at least one of them.

Next week I hope to share a few ideas for Halloween, which is coming up really soon, until then, if you have any culinary queries, feel free to contact me on [email protected] and I will do my best to help you out, talk to you all next week.

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