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Coq Au Vin (French Chicken Stew)

Coq au vin is one of the most well known and popular French chicken dishes. It consists of chicken braised with wine, bacon and mushrooms. Although red wine is typically used, white wine can also be used to make Coq Au Vin Blanc. It can be prepared a day or more before serving, which will result in an flavourful stew.

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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.

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Chicken & Chicken Liver Pâté Phyllo Roll

Baked paté as good as it gets! Serve warm as a nutritious light meal with mashed potato and steamed vegetables or snack-style, either warm or cold, with favourite pickles or pickled vegetables, sweet chilli sauce and olives. Be sure to also try Carolié’s Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port.

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Turkey Breast Roast

If the idea of roasting a whole turkey is not appealing to you, this recipe for brined and stuffed turkey breast roast is just the thing. No trussing or fancy carving needed.  If you do ever decide to tackle a whole turkey, be sure to read my post How To Truss Poultry and How To Carve Poultry for step-by-step instructions.

Turkey breast roast or rolled turkey breast (about 2,5 kg)
Oyster sauce to baste

Brine
60 ml coarse salt (or if using table salt only use 30 ml)
60 ml brown or yellow sugar
1 litre cold tap water
30 ml lemon juice

Stuffing
125 g couscous
125 ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
100 g dried fruit, cut into small pieces (dates, raisins, apricots, cranberries, etc.)
250 ml black rooibos tea
50 g nuts, finely chopped (pecan, almonds or peanuts)
10 ml lemon rind
15 ml lemon juice
15 ml fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper

Gravy
250 ml hot water
250 ml white or red wine
15 ml cake flour
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
10 ml chilled butter

  1. To make the brine, mix all the ingredients together in a large rectangular Tupperware or similar container with a lid until dissolved.
  2. Place the turkey in the brine and refrigerate overnight.  Turn after a few hours.
  3. To make the stuffing, place the couscous in a large mixing bowl, pour over the stock, cover with cling film or a plate and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the dried fruit in a medium mixing bowl, add the tea and set aside to plump up.
    Drain the fruit and reserve the liquid.
  5. Loosen the couscous with a fork and add the well drained fruit as well as the nuts, lemon rind and juice, rosemary and seasoning.  Add a little of the reserved liquid to moisten the couscous mixture.
  6. Remove the turkey breast from the brine and make a slit in the side to form a pocket (if using Turkey breast) or unroll the Turkey roll and spread the stuffing into the pocket and secure the opening with sosatie sticks or stainless steel skewers.
  7. Brush the skin generously with the oyster sauce.
  8. Place the turkey skin side down on a roasting tin and roast in a pre-heated oven at 200  ℃ for 20 minutes.  Then turn the breast over and roast for another 25 minutes per 500 g of meat at 180 ℃.
  9. Remove the turkey from the oven and remove the sosatie sticks or stainless steel skewers.
  10. Transfer the turkey to a serving dish and keep warm until ready to serve.  The turkey should rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
  11. To make the gravy, stir the flour into the pan juices and add the hot water and wine.  Add the salt, pepper and butter and stir continuously while bringing to the boil.
  12. Transfer to a sauceboat and keep warm.
  13. Serve the turkey hot, cold or a room temperature with the gravy.

8 – 10 servings.

Turkey Breast Rroast

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Marinated Turkey

Turkey cooked in a marinade or basting sauce produces a mouth watering result – the exterior has a golden sheen while the flavour of the marinade penetrates and softens the meat. The turkey can be roasted whole or halved and the two sides placed flat in large shallow roasting pan and covered with foil. Please note that stuffing the turkey is not recommended for this recipe.

Be sure to read my posts How To … Truss Poultry and How To … Carve Poultry for step-by-step instructions on how to carve a chicken or turkey.

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How to … Truss Poultry

Trussing poultry is an important step in preparing it for oven-roasting.  Trussing involves tying it snugly with twine so that the wings and legs stay close to the body. This makes it more compact which helps it cook evenly. Trussing poultry also helps prevent the tips of the wings and legs from burning, and makes the cooked poultry look more attractive when you serve it.  This method is suitable for chicken or turkey.

You will need: cotton butcher’s twine or string, someone to hold the twine (since your hands will be handling raw poultry), and something to cut the twine with.  Cotton twine is strong enough to hold a turkey together but won’t burn, melt or otherwise ruin your roast.

  1. Cut a piece of twine long enough to encircle the whole turkey lengthways twice.
  2. Position the turkey breast-side-up with the legs facing you. Place the center of the twine directly beneath the tailbone of the turkey with the ends extending left and right.
  3. Lift the twine, loop each end around the legs and then reverse the twine to make a cross.  Pull tightly on both ends of the twine so that the legs come together.
  4. Pull the ends of the twine forward (away from you), loop it around the front of the turkey and over the wings.
  5. Flip the turkey upside down so that the neck is now facing you, keeping the twine pulled tight.
  6. Tie a knot so that the twine stays secured underneath the neckbone.
  7. Trim any excess twine and flip the turkey onto its back again.
  8. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting tin and roast according to your favourite recipe.
  9. Remove the string when you are ready to carve the turkey.  See step-by-step instructions on how to carve poultry here.

Oven-roasted Turkey

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How To … Carve Poultry

Be sure to check out the recipe for Marinated Turkey for an interesting take on the traditional oven-roasted turkey.

Carving a turkey is just like carving an extra-large chicken.  The same method can therefore be used for either.  To carve poultry, use a very sharp carving knife and a fork or tongs.

  1. Remove the trussing string.
  2. Cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick. Slice down until you reach the joint. Grab the leg and push down, separating the leg and thigh from the bird. Use your knife to slice through the joint, i.e. where the bones join.
  3. Separate the drumstick and the thigh by cutting through the joint that connects them. Transfer the drumstick to a serving platter. Set aside the thigh meat on a cutting board to slice later. Do the same with the other leg.
  4. Remove the wishbone from the front end of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out.  Removing the wishbone makes it easier to carve off the breast meat.
  5. Find the breastbone. Position a long, flexible knife (or a boning knife) on one side of it, and slice downward, as close to the bone as possible. As you slice, use your other hand to pull the meat away from the breastbone, until you’ve cut the breast off the carcass in one piece. Transfer the breast to the chopping board.
  6. Remove both of the wings from the carcass.
  7. Remove the meat from the thigh and transfer the thigh meat to the platter.
  8. Slice the breast meat against the grain and transfer it  to the platter.
  9. Set aside to cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to plate or reheat.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is perfect for rainy or cold weather.  Read more about the movie Tortilla Soup (2001), starring Hector Elizondo and Raquel Welch) here.

Tortilla Strips
5 corn tortillas, cut into 0.5 cm wide strips
30 ml olive oil
5 ml salt, or to taste

Soup
30 ml olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 liter chicken broth
2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes and juice
1 x 400 g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
500 ml shredded cooked chicken
500 ml corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer, fresh may be substituted)
15 ml lime juice
1 to 5 ml chili powder
10 ml ground cumin
5 ml salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
5 ml smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
15 g fresh coriander leaves, stalks removed

To serve
diced avocado
grated cheese
sour cream

  1. To make the tortilla strips, preheat the oven to 190°C, line a tray with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  2. Scatter the tortilla strips loosely onto the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with olive oil, evenly sprinkle with kosher salt, toss with hands to coat evenly, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. While strips bake, begin making the soup.
  3. To make the soup, add 30 ml olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  4. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, chicken, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil.
  7. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
  8. Add the coriander and season to taste. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately.

Notes
Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Extra tortilla strips will keep in airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.

Photo credit: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com

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Chicken Salad in Phyllo Baskets

Crispy phyllo baskets are filled with Thai-spiced chicken, tossed in a peanut dressing and mixed with noodles. Prepare ingredients several hours before but fry and assemble close to serving time. The salad baskets are garnished with crisp and colourful salad ingredients to compliment the filling.

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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

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Fruit & Veg Chicken Sosaties

Pineapple&CHickenSosaties

These colourful sosaties can be prepared in advance and can be served as a starter or main course at a braai.

1 kg chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 large red sweet pepper, cut into chunks
2 large onions, cut into wedges
1 x 800 g tin pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved

Marinade
125 ml reserved pineapple juice
60 ml soy sauce
50 ml honey
60 ml vinegar
10 ml sesame oil
2.5 ml ground  ginger
60 ml olive oil

Grilling Sauce
60 ml reserved pineapple juice
30 ml honey
15 ml olive oil
5 ml soy sauce

  1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
  2. Cut each chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Transfer the chicken pieces to the bowl with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the grilling sauce in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
  5. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Soak the sosatie sticks for at least 30 minutes before using. Or use metal skewers instead.
  7. Cut the sweet pepper into bite-sized chunks and the onion into wedges.
  8. Thread the ingredients onto 6 or 8 sosatie sticks, leaving about 4 cm at the blunt end of the sosatie stick to make holding easy.
  9. Transfer the sosaties to a airtight container and brush each sosatie with the grilling sauce.
  10. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  11. Lightly oil the grill grates and place the sosaties on the grill.
  12. Cook over medium-high heat, turning and brushing with pineapple grilling sauce often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

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Sweet & Sour Chicken And Bacon Bites

Bacon_Chicken_Bites

These bites will disappear in an instant.  It also tastes great as leftovers.

600 g boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
125 ml canola oil
30 ml lime juice
a few drops Tobasco or other hot sauce such as Sriracha sauce
500 g rindless bacon strips
125 ml brown sugar

  1. Combine the canola oil, lime juice and Tobasco or Sriracha sauce in a large Ziplock bag.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it to the bag.
  3. Once all of the chicken pieces are in the bag, turn the bag to coat the chicken with the marinade and place in the fridge for about 1 hour, turning after half an hour.
  4. Soak toothpicks in hot water to prevent them from catching fire if you plan to grill the bites in the oven.
  5. Cut each slice of bacon into two or three pieces (it must be big enough to wrap around the chicken pieces).
  6. Wrap the bacon around each piece of chicken and secure with a wooden toothpick.
  7. Brush the bacon with a little olive oil before coating it with brown sugar.
  8. Braai on a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the bacon is crispy.  Alternatively, pre-heat the grill and grill the bacon bites on a roasting pan about 10 cm from the grilling element.