Posts Tagged: chicken

Aug 10

Knee jerk reaction


Isn’t it the way? As soon as we have any glimmer of sunshine out comes the barbie, the bangers, the
burgers and the buns. There aren’t many food stuffs I’d rate higher than the barbecued sausage – that crunchy char on the outside, the smoky flavour imparted by the coals and the rich, juicy interior
(perfectly cooked, we hope!).

I do get a bit fed up of the other usual standbys though which is why when I cooked for a group of
friends recently I opted to go for something a little different.

My friend Helen has been working on her recipe for jerk marinade for a while now and I’ve followed her endeavours on her cracking blog waiting till she was really pleased with it. It was the perfect thing to cook for the barbecue – beautiful organic chicken wings in a sweet, fiery, tangy marinade that turned the wings deliciously chewy with just the right amount of spice.

It’s so good, in fact, that I’ve got a load of pork ribs cooking in the oven as I write and the smells are tantalising me away from the keyboard. Thankfully, Helen was more than happy to let me share her recipe here – so get cooking!

Click here for Helen Graves’ jerk chicken

Oct 09

Snack attack – the Katsu sandwich


Katsu or Tonkatsu is a Japanese method of cooking cuts of meat by dipping them in flour, egg and Panko breadcrumbs and deep frying them.

It’s as good as it sounds, and the Japanese serve it either with Miso soup or cut into slices in a sandwich made with the fluffiest white bread, pointed cabbage, mustard mayonnaise and a Japanese version of brown sauce (normally labelled Tonkatsu sauce) – perfect food for a TV dinner.

I have various spots in London that I head to for my favourite dishes, and Tsuru Sushi in Southwark – near the city’s famous foodie spot Borough Market – is high up on the list. They have perfected the art of Katsu and I recently managed to wangle their method.

The Katsu sandwich

Step 1
Choose your meat – pork shoulder or loin, chicken thigh or breast (or vegetables) – and cut to 1.5cm thickness. If using a chicken thigh simply remove the skin and bone.

Step 2
Coat the meat in flour (remove excess by slapping gently), then egg, then dip into panko breadcrumbs and coat evenly. The bigger the breadcrumbs, the crisper the katsu.

Step 3
Heat oil until a cube of bread browns in about 30 seconds to a minute. Fry the meat 2 minutes. Take out and rest for 1 minute. Fry for further 2 minutes. This resting ensures a crispy coating and perfectly cooked, juicy meat.

Step 4
Slice the katsu diagonally and arrange evenly on a slice of thick, fluffy white bread (the lighter the bread, the bigger the contrast in texture with the katsu, the better the sandwich).

Then drizzle tonkatsu sauce over the katsu, add a big handful of very thinly sliced pointed cabbage on top and then drizzle with mustard mayonnaise (recipe below) and make the sandwich.

Tsuru Mustard Mayo
•    100ml Japanese mayo (use normal mayo if you can’t find this)
•    20ml good English mustard
•    5ml lemon juice


Combine ingredients.

Jul 09

Rainy summer days and spicy curry nights


So our beloved country is yet again afflicted by weather. Summer seemed to be going so well and then, in no uncertain terms, came the rain. My cooking was all salads, cold cuts, jellies, berries, meringues and ice creams and now…well, now it’s rather regressed to the things I was cooking in spring.

Curry seems perfectly appropriate. It doesn’t hugely matter if the weather changes – I’d probably just swap out the rice for paratha or roti and serve it with a kachumba on the side, a light crisp, crunchy salad for contrast. Also, it gives rise to one of my favourite treats – a leftover curry wrap. If you’ve sensibly managed to keep a bit to the side for later, just pop it in a flatbread with some salad leaves, tomatoes and red onion and devour.

This recipe comes from my good friend and author, Simon Majumdar, whose book, Eat My Globe,  about his world eating tour, has been garnering praise left right and centre.

Doi Murgh

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 whole chicken, jointed and skinned
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 2 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 cup whole milk (not low fat) yoghurt

For the spice mix

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt


Blend the garlic, chilli and fresh ginger to a paste in a blender with a little salt and water.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan and fry off the paste for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Tip in the chopped onion and cook until soft and golden

Add the spice mix and cook until it begins to release its oils and lose its rawness. You can see this by drawing a spoon through the mixture – oil will pool around the spices. If they begin to stick, add a little water.

Remove from the heat and add in the yoghurt, blending it in thoroughly with the sauce.
Return to the heat and cook on a very low heat for three to five minutes.

Next put in the chicken pieces, reserving the breast to add later. Toss in the sauce. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for thirty minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked, checking occasionally to make sure it is not sticking. If it is, add more water.

Add the diced breast meat and cook for a further fifteen minutes on a gentle heat.

Remove the chicken and keep warm while reducing the sauce down to a thick consistency before returning the meat to make sure each piece is coated.

Serve with plain boiled rice or naan.

May 09

Bring out the barbie for national barbecue week


May 25-31 is national barbecue week and this weekend is supposed to be a scorcher with temperatures happily sitting around 22-ish degrees. What better excuse to get the barbecue out and enjoy a lazy evening in the garden, sipping cold beers while slices of lime and meat, fish and vegetables sizzle away?

There’s nothing quite like the British barbecue. I’ve even barbecued in the rain before – which I’m sure would make our antipodean cousins chuckle as they cook over coals in their tropical afternoon sun.

The flavour of food that comes off the hot barbecue is unique – the charring gives it a delicious depth and crunch like nothing else, and I suppose is as close as most of us will come at home to the grill that most restaurants have. It imparts a distinctly smoky flavour to whatever you’re cooking.

Boned out chicken thighs are my current favourite. With just the right balance of fat and meat, the skin blackens in places and goes crisp and moreish. A squeeze of lime or lemon juice over the top is all your really need. I always pop a few extra on teh grill to use over the next few days as they just sing with flavour. Tossed through a salad or shredded into a sandwich with a dollop of mayonnaise and a drizzle of hot sauce they have few equals.

If you fancy trying something a little more adventurous than the usual sausages and burgers, take a look at our spiced skewered lamb or beef and red pepper burgers. And this halloumi, nectarine and prosciutto salad makes a nice accompaniment.

Click here to view all our fantastic barbecue recipes.

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