Category Archives: Chicken

Oyako Don – Japanese Comfort Food.

So this is part three of what I have been casually referring to as my “Back in the Saddle Series” where I try to push myself back into the habit of writing, and more importantly, cooking, again.

The previous two recipes, the Asian Pickle Salad and the Grilled Onions I did as sides to this next dish I have here. This is one I have taken pretty closely from David Chang’s Momofuku book which is easily one of the best cookbooks I have ever read. It’s called Oyako Don which is Japanese for Mother and Child. Basically it’s a chicken and rice dish served with a soft boiled egg. Perfect for when you are feeling a low and need a giant culinary hug in a bowl.

This might seem like a bit of a complicated recipe but once you get started it will all fall into place pretty quickly. Also, because so much of it can be done in advance it’s a great one to whip out for large groups of people. This recipe however, is enough for two.

Two Whole Chicken Legs
2 Eggs
1 Lime
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tbsp. Mirin
1 Tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
200g Basmati Rice
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-Start by cutting the chicken legs in half, into thighs and drumsticks.
-Place them in a pot of cold water.
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-Place the pot onto a medium to high heat and bring them up to the boil.
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-Once they are boiling add in the two eggs and set a timer for seven minutes.
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-While the chicken and eggs are cooking, you can make up the marinade for the chicken. Zest the lime into a mixing bowl.
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-Finely dice up the garlic and add in the juice of the lime, the mirin, Soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix the marinade together well.
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-Take the eggs out of the water when your timer goes off and pop them into a bowl of cold, running water.
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-Pop the hot chicken into the marinade. Keep moving it around as you set up the next step.
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-For the final touches, you just need to cook the basmati rice according to the packet instructions and get a heavy based pan onto a high heat.
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-When the pan is hot, add the chicken and all of the marinade in. As the marinade reduces, start spooning it over the chicken as you turn it. This will glaze them perfectly as the skin chars.
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-Now all that is left to do is serve up a nice steaming bowl of the rice, topped off with a few pieces of chicken, an egg, some onions and a little of the pickle salad. It’s a winner every time.
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Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

A month or two back I had the pleasure of working at the Big Grill festival in Herbert Park along with John Relihan of Barbecoa in the demo tent. To say that we had fun would be an understatement of insultingly large proportions. We were supposed to cook up set dishes like a full Rib-Eye on the Bone, a Smoked Duck Breast, rubs and sauces and all manner of barbeque staples.

Once we arrived however and got talking to the organisers they pretty much gave us leave to do as we pleased with the equipment we had at our disposal. In came whole lambs, broken down into ribs and shoulders and legs, chickens, steaks, onions, chillies. We were smoking anything and everything we could get our charcoal encrusted hands on.

My personal favourite of the weekend has to be the Beer Can Chickens we did. Mustard and paprika and honey and marmalade gave those birds a skin like you wouldn’t believe, while a trust can of Sierra Nevada made sure the meat stayed succulent and tender. It was an incredible thing to eat and an even more difficult thing to dispense to the masses of awaiting punters at the demos. I felt like I was stuck in an episode of Walking Dead more often than I was comfortable with.

These drumsticks are a more accessible for an easy dish that works a treat for parties. Give it a try and I guarantee you will be doing your chicken this way for a long time to come. All credit to John for this recipe.

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Ingredients
12 Chicken Drumsticks
2 Tbs Frenchs American Mustard
2 Tbs Smoked Paprika
Half a jar of orange marmalade
5 Tbs of Honey
1” Piece of Ginger
1 Small Bunch of Coriander

-Place all of your drumsticks in a large bowl and spoon the mustard on top.
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-Using your hands, coat each drumstick well with the mustard.
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-Next add in the paprika, and a little salt.
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-Again mix them all up well. You want to have a relatively even coating on each drumstick of the mustard and paprika mix.
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-Lay all of your drumsticks out onto a grill tray with the rack on. This allows an even distribution of heat.
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-Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about 25 minutes, this will vary a bit depending on your oven.
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-While they are cooking you can make up your secret chicken weapon that will change your life. The sweet orange glaze. Start by grating your ginger and finely chopping up the leaves of the coriander (save the stalks for a killer carrot soup).
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-Add these, along with the honey and marmalade into a small saucepan.
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-You don’t really want to cook this so much as bring it together, so about 5/10 minutes over a medium to low heat will be fine.
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-Remove the drumsticks from the oven when they start to get a bit of colour and go crispy.
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-Now this is the fun bit, one by one, dip each of the drumsticks into your sweet and sticky glaze and give them a good turn over in it. Place them all back in the oven for about five to ten minutes.
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-When they come out they should be golden and tacky and the aroma from the glaze should fill every room in your house. And maybe a few from next door aswel.
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Chicken Satay Skewers

The Ingredients

Chicken Satay is one of those dishes that everyone loves. The perfect combination of sweetness and zest and that huge hit of peanuts and glazed over creamy chicken breast. There are few who can say no to that. This recipe is a really simple and quick take on the ancient Asian recipe. Alternatively you could make it up the day before and throw it on the BBQ when your mates come round.
This satay paste turns out a lot greener than the usual golden brown due to the full bunch of coriander but it really lift the flavour and makes it incredibly fresh and sweet. There will also be a fair bit of the paste left over to use next time.

2 Chicken Breasts
5tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
2 Spring Onions
1 Bunch of Coriander
3 Cloves of Garlic
1” piece of Ginger
1 Lime

-Roughly chop up the spring onion, coriander and garlic. Grate the Ginger on a microplane and zest the lime.

The Ingredients-Juice the lime into a blender. Add the spring onions, coriander, garlic, ginger, lime zest peanut butter and about 5tbsp of sunflower oil.   Blend all of these together until you get a smooth paste. Add a little more oil if necessary.
In the blender-Thinly slice the chicken breast and thread it onto wooden skewers.
Sliced Chicken Breast-Coat with a few tablespoons of the paste and leave to marinade overnight, or use immediately.
The Marinaded Chicken Breast-These are great for a BBQ but if you don’t have one just crank your grill on to full.
Threaded onto a skewer-Cook for about 5/7 minutes each side until they are gnarled and crispy and dark.
On the BBQ

This recipe is is one that once you have tried, you will never be able to go back to the plasticy orange goop that is shovelled at you in Charlies. Actually scratch that, Charlies is great.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

There is an awful lot of talk these days about the future of the lime and whether or not it will be around in the future. This terrifies me as without lines, chillies, coriander and mint I may as well hang up my knife kit now. my main response to this is to use them as best as I can while they are here. Namely mainlining margaritas and making Jerk Chicken.
Jerk, in my opinion is the ultimate goal to which all limes aspire. This incredible combination of fruity scotch bonnets, zingy pimento berries , tacky brown sugar and warm cloves is brought to a whole other world with the addition of that electric green zest and banging juice. The Caribbean cuisine is all about fire cooking, attitude and chilled out vibes.
Jerk paste doused on plump chicken legs over a boucan grill is enough to send me into a Walking Dead state of single minded desire for meat.
Who knows how long the lime has until it shuffles off it’s mortal coil. Don’t insult it in it’s final days. Give it the send off it needs. The send off it wants. Make Jerk.
Well,… either that or the mainlining margaritas thing.

5 chicken legs,
4 Cloves of garlic,
2″ Piece of Ginger
2 Whole Scotch bonnet Chillies
4 Spring Onions
2 Limes
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbs Salt
1 tbs Dried Chilli Flakes
2 tbs Jerk Seasoning
2 tbs Sunflower oil
2 tbs Brown Sugar

-Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
-Take out your chicken legs and with a very sharp knife score three slashes across each thigh and drumstick.
-The Jerk Paste is the key to this dish so that’s what I’m going to focus on here. You can either use a food processor to combine all of the ingredients or if you don’t have one, just finely chop all of them.
-Start by dicing up the garlic, spring onions and the scotch bonnets. Leave the seeds in if you are looking for something with a serious kick.
-Next measure in your dry ingredients, the Jerk seasoning, chilli flakes, black pepper, salt and brown sugar.
-Finally go in with the brown sugar and the zest and juice of the limes.
-Blend everything together adding the sunflower oil in a little at a time until you have a thin paste consistency. Think pesto.
-Now that your paste is ready to go, start to rub it into the legs.
-You can leave them to marinate overnight if you can or you can just get straight into it.
-Get a large, heavy based pan onto a high heat. Fry each leg, skin side down for about 5/6 minutes and then flip them over for another 5/6 minutes. This may take a few batches.
-Once they have started to brown and crisp up, place each of the legs, skin side up into a large baking tray.
-When you have all of the legs ready and into the baking tray, pop it into the pre-heated oven for about twenty minutes.
-Check the meat at the middle of the thigh, next to the bone after 15 minutes. If it is still pink, leave them in for the remaining five minutes.
-When they come out they can be paired with any sides you like. In the photo above I had a little Pineapple and cucumber salsa, rice &  peas and grilled potato skins. Jerk chicken goes with so many things. Try it out and let me know how you get on.

BBQ Piri Piri Chicken Wings

Piri Piri Wings
Piri Piri is an incredible combinations of flavours that has roots in both South Africa and Portugal. The name is derived from the Piri Piri chilli, or birds eye chilli. It is an incredibly fragrant and potent blend that when smothered on anything from chicken to fish to pork to roasted vegetables it will lift the dish to new heights.
Doubt me? Just ask the guys at Nandos. People go mental for that stuff.

2 Piri Piri Chillies,
2 cloves of garlic,
Zest and juice of two limes,
The stalks from a small bunch of coriander,
2 Tbsp of brown sugar,
1 small bunch of thyme
Salt and Pepper
A dozen Chicken Wings

-Firstly, prep your wings by removing the wing tips, they are the boney pointy bits at the end. Then cut through the skin attaching the two limbs and extend the wings out fully.
-Next finely dice the chillies as small as you possibly can.  Leave the seeds in for a bit of a kick. Place them into a mixing bowl.
-Finely chop the coriander stalks and garlic and add to the bowl along with the sugar, lime juice and lime zest.
-Strip the leaves from the thyme stalks and add the the mix.
-Finish with 2 tbs olive oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper.
-Now that you have your sauce made, you just need to marinate the wings. You can cook the wings straight away but leaving them overnight will seriously help things along.
-When you are ready to get going, get your grill seriously hot by placing all of your coals on one side, allowing you direct heat, and indirect heat.
-Fill the direct heat side of the grill with wings and allow to crisp up nicely. Turn them over and repeat.
-Make sure you have good colour on the wings before transferring them over to indirect side. Close the lid of you BBQ and allow to cook for about 25 minutes. This will give you incredibly deep flavour, perfect skin and fall off the bone meat.
-Enjoy in whatever way you see fit.

Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

 

This was one of the first recipes I learned to make a few years back when I first got into food in a big way. It was early summer and there was a gaping Leaving Cert shaped hole in my free time which I was all too happy about. While I spent most evenings in the cinema or drinking in a field (I was still underage at the time, don’t tell the Feds) It was coming up on my lil’ sisters birthday and I wanted to cook something special for her.

 

She is a massive fan of thai food and was at the time a regular customer of Siam Thai in Dundrum. As part of my unofficial training I was watching all the first seasons of Jamie Olivers Naked Chef back to back. The day before the big meal, with little or no inspiration in my head this recipe came on the show. Fate, some would call it. Fucking good luck to me.

 

You can add any veg you like really or just have it as meat and the curry broth. I always like to serve it with fluffy basmati rice but noodles would work just as well. The paste I used is the one that I had on the site before, you can find it here or if you don’t have time you can just get a good one from the supermarket and it will do the same job. This is enough to serve two.

 

4 tbs Thai Green Curry Paste

2 Chicken Breasts

1 mug basmati rice

1 tin of coconut milk

1 bulb of fennel (finely sliced)

1 handful of green beans

1 handful of asparagus

Sesame seed oil

 

-Slice up the chicken breast into 1 inch square pieces

-Mix into the paste and leave to sit for at least half an hour or overnight if you can.

-Once these are marinated and ready to go, get a medium pot onto a med/high heat.

-Add in the mug of rice followed by two mugs of boiling water. As the rice cooks it will absorb the water and leave you with perfect rice every time.

-Next, add a tbs of sesame oil to a wok and get this onto a high heat.

-Add to this the marinated chicken and fry quickly until coloured. Make sure to keep the chicken moving constantly so not to burn it.

-Once the chicken is cooked, add in the  veg and continue to stir fry for another 5 to 7 minutes.

-Next you want to go in with the coconut milk. Once this is boiling your dish is ready. Usually, in perfect time for your rice aswel.

-Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and a few fresh coriander leaves and you are sorted for a quick and seriously good weekday dinner. Enjoy.