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Chicken Puttanesca

This tangy, somewhat salty Italian pasta dish has ingredients that are typical of Southern Italian cuisine: tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, olive oil, capers and garlic. Traditionally, the sauce is served with spaghetti, although it also goes well with penne, tagliatelli, linguine and even rice,

salt and pepper to season the chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 100 g each)
olive oil to fry
125 ml white wine or chicken stock
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
30 ml tomato paste
10 ml crushed garlic
15 black olives, pitted
15 ml capers
30 ml basil, finely chopped fresh
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. Brush the chicken breasts lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and then sear the chicken breasts on both sides until nicely colored and almost done. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add half of the white wine or chicken stock to the hot saucepan to deglaze – scrape any bits of chicken that may have stuck on the bottom.
  4. Add the chopped onions and cook until the onions are translucent and soft – about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Season with some salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
  7. Stir well and add the other half of white wine and cook covered with a lid for about 7 to 8 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Stir in the the olives, capers and minced garlic, and cook for another couple minutes.
  9. Add the chicken breasts into the saucepan. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes covered, or until the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked.
  10. Sprinkle with the chopped basil and serve either with pasta of your choice or rice.

chicken-puttanesca-7

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Cajun-style Blackened Chicken & Salad Sandwich

This very contemporary way of serving a low-kilojoule chicken and salad sandwich would be ideally suited for a casual meal on the patio with friends and family.  Prepare an open sandwich for a light meal or a stacked sandwich for a more substantial feast.

± 750 g chicken breast fillets
100 g butter

Cajun Spice Mix
15 ml paprika
5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
2 to 5 ml cayenne pepper
1 to 2 ml white pepper
2 to 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
10 ml salt
2.5 ml dried thyme
2.5 ml mixed dried herbs

To serve
fresh bread
soured cream
home-made tomato salsa OR Mexican-style canned tomato
salad ingredients, e.g. lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, avo, spring onion, chives

  1. Flatten the chicken breast fillets with a mallet or rolling pin to 10 mm thick.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the spice mixture and sprinkle over the breasts and set aside or cover and refrigerate until ready to fry and serve.
  3. In the meantime, butter 6 to 12 slices of bread or enough for 6 to 12 servings.
  4. Arrange the bread on a large serving platter or individual plates and top neatly with the salad ingredients.
  5. Spoon soured cream and tomato salsa into small bowls and keep refrigerated until required.
  6. Het the butter until moderately hot and fry the chicken breasts for about 3 minutes on a side or until nicely browned and thoroughly cooked but not dry.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve and slice into slightly smaller portions if preferred.
  8. Place the the hot chicken on top of the salad, spoon over a little sour cream and scatter a few shreds of lettuce, spring onion, avo, etc.
  9. Serve immediately, passing around the remaining soured cream and salsa.

6 to 12 servings.

Recipe by Carolie de Koster from the Art of Cooking recipe book p. AOC p. 28.

Blackened chicken salad sandwich-p28

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Quick French chicken

French cookery does not imply complicated techniques and expensive ingredients.  Simple wholesome fare have been served by French cooks for generations!

8  uniform chicken portions e.g. thighs (about 1.5 kg)
5 ml salt
1 ml white pepper
30 ml cake flour
30 g butter
15 ml oil
250 g white button mushrooms
30 ml cake flour
5 ml crushed garlic or 2.5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
1 ml mixed dried herbs
125 ml dry red wine
250 ml water
5 ml chicken stock powder
15 ml tomato paste
30 ml chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish

  1. Combine the salt, pepper and flour and coat the chicken portions with the seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the butter or margarine and oil in a large heavy saucepan and brown the chicken portions evenly over moderate heat, turning continuously.  Remove the chicken portions and set aside.
  3. Add the whole mushrooms, stir and cook 5 minutes, remove and set aside.
  4. Add the flour,  garlic or garlic and herb seasoning and mixed herbs to the saucepan and stir over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes to brown the flour.
  5. Add the wine, water, stock powder and tomato paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring until a smooth sauce forms.
  6. Return the chicken portions, add the parsley, cover and simmer about 1 hour or until tender.
  7. Add the mushrooms, cover and simmer 15 minutes more.
  8. Season to taste, spoon into a suitable dish for serving, sprinkle with parsley and serve piping hot with French bread and salad or with cooked rice and vegetables as preferred.

4 to 6 servings.

Variations

  • Sauté about 8 peeled pickling onions with the mushrooms and add to the dish together with the mushrooms.
  • Increase the herbs added or substitute about 15 ml chopped fresh herbs for the dried herbs.

Notes

  • Replace the chicken with 4 turkey drumsticks for the festive period.
  • Make this dish in advance and freeze to have ready at short notice.

Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 314.

Quick French Chicken p. 314

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Chicken In Buttermilk Marinade

The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so start this recipe a day in advance.  The end result will be chicken that is tender and flavorful.  You won’t be disappointed!

4 skinless chicken thighs
4 skinless chicken drumsticks

Marinade
500 ml buttermilk
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
15 ml hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
15 ml salt
10 ml freshly ground black pepper
2.5 ml teaspoon paprika

Coating
200 g Cream Crackers or Salticrax

  1. Combine the buttermilk, garlic, hot sauce, if used, salt, pepper and paprika in a large bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer it to a 20 x 30 cm ovenproof dish.
  3. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours, turning once.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 ° C.
  5. Fit a wire rack inside a roasting pan and set it aside.
  6. Place the crumbs in a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk marinade, letting the excess drip off, and place it in the crumbs, turning to coat completely and pressing the crumbs onto the chicken to adhere.
  8. Set the chicken aside on a cutting board and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  9. Transfer the chicken pieces to the rack in the roasting pan and bake until golden and crispy – about 35 minutes.

Variation
Substitute the chicken pieces for skinless & boneless chicken breasts and cut them into strips before adding them to the marinade.  The cooking time will be about 20 minutes.

ButtermilkChicken