Friday, 27 May 2011

Ten roast chicken recipes with Ten chicken fact

Red Junglefowl by InAweofGod'sCreation
I will be launching a series of chicken baked recipes by this week, the idea is to share my favourite chicken baked recipes, I considered that cooking chicken in the oven needs very little preparation and tastes great. Also every recipe will go with a fact I just learned watching the BBC program The Private life of the chickens. Also given the abuse of the chicken food industry, for all the recipes I used organic free range chicken from Abel&Cole, Waitrose organic and my local butcher, even if there is no real proof that organic food is better than non-organic I used for ecologic and welfare reasons.
How to Cook chicken. Chicken is a kind of meat like pork where bacteria are present throughout the meat; you can eat for example rare steaks because the bacteria are present outside of the meat. For this reason is very important that you always check if your chicken is cooked, to do this you must check always the more thickest part, in a whole chicken is between the breast and the leg; where shouldn’t be any pink meat.
Ps: In most of the recipes I used chicken thighs, but feel free to change for chicken breast. Also you remove the skin I recommend you to drizzle a few olive oil for avoid that the chicken pieces get dry.

Fact 1: In the planet are 7000 species of birds, we only domesticated 7 for food. The domestication of chicken started 8000 years ago.

Recipe 1: Saffron Chicken with potatoes. 

Saffron Chicken with potatoes

 500g charlotte potatoes (halved)
800g chicken thighs
2 red onions (in wedges)
150g cherry tomatoes on the vine
100g Serrano ham (in small pieces)
3 tbsp. olive oil
150 ml sherry
1 garlic clove (crushed)
3 rosemary sprigs
Pinch saffron strands.
Oven at 200ºC. 562 kcal /4 serving

1.       Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
2.       Put the potatoes in a pan and cover them with cold water, add salt and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Finally drain the potatoes.
3.       Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the season chicken skin side down for about 3 minutes and then turn over for about 2 minutes more. Now the thighs should be golden.
4.       Add onions, garlic, and sherry and stir very well, add the saffron. Remove the pan to the heat.
5.       Now put everything in a roasting tin, with the potatoes, ham, tomatoes on the vine and rosemary.
6.       Cook for about 35 minutes, shaking the roasting team every 12 minutes for wet the chicken in their juices. Ready to serve.

Fact 2: It Is believed that the domestication started in Thailand, the Red Junglefowl  in South Asia is one of  the more  ancestral population that still  exist in the world.

Recipe 2: Rioja Roast Chicken.

1 large chicken ready to cook
1 red onion (chopped)
8 garlic cloves (sliced)
80g Spanish chorizo (diced and skinned)
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 or 2 dried red chillies
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 organic chicken stock cube
250 ml rioja red wine
1 tsp. dark muscovado sugar
1bay leaf.
Oven 180ºC – 400kcal / 6 serving
Casserole with room for the whole chicken

1.       Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan at medium low heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook until browned and softened.
2.       Add the chorizo, cook for 5 minutes and add the stock cube. Stir everything.
3.       Transfer all the ingredients from the pan to a casserole pot and add the wine, tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf and chillies over the chicken, and put the lid on or cover with aluminium foil.
4.       Cook the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the lid and brush the skin with olive oil, and season. Return the chicken to the oven but without covers it for another hour.
5.       When is ready, remove the chicken from the oven and let rest in a plate or board.
6.       Now in the casserole you have a lot of juices, perfect to make the sauce. Remove the bay leaf and chillies, and put the juices in a pan at medium heat. Bring to boil and reduce by half.
7.       Serve pieces of the chicken with your favourite sides dishes, and pour some of the sauce over the chicken.

Fact 3: After humans, foxes are the greatest chicken predators. 

Recipe 3: Chicken with garlic and apple juice

1 large chicken ready to cook
30 garlic cloves (skin on)
3 bay leaves
3 rosemary sprig

3 lemons, using juice and zest.
60ml olive oil
130 ml apple juice
Oven 220ºC
457 kcal / 4 serving

1.       Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon inside the chicken, and add the rosemary as well in the cavity.
2.       Mix 130 apple juice with juice of another 1 lemon, and mix with the olive oil. Brush the mixture over the chicken skin. Set aside the rest of the mixture.
3.       Season the chicken and put in in the oven for 20 minutes, best with some of the dressing mixture.
4.       Put the chicken in the oven again for another 20 minutes but reducing the temperature at 200ºC.
5.       Remove the chicken again from the oven, turn over and baste with more of the dressing mixture. Now put the garlic in the bottom of the baking dish, with the lemon zest and bay leaves, and cook for another half an hour.
6.       Remove the chicken from the oven, check the meat is cooked ( no pink meat) and put the chicken in a dish, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
7.       Put the remaining juices from the baking dish in a pan at medium heat. Bring to boil and reduce by half.
8.       Serve pieces of the chicken with your favourite sides dishes, and pour some of the sauce over the chicken.

Fact 4: The chicken eyes act independently, right eye look for food, and left look for predator or prey.

    Recipe 4: Chicken with chickpeas
6-8 chicken thighs
2 red onions (in wedges)
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can chick peas (drained)

1 ½ tsp Spanish paprika
6 garlic cloves (skin on)
A bunch of parsley (chopped)
Oven 200ºC 410 kCal /4 serving

1.       Put the chicken in a roasting tin with onion and garlic, sprinkle over the paprika, season and drizzle with olive oil. Now rub everything very well.
2.       Roast for 25 minutes, being sure all the thighs are skin-side up.
3.       Stir in around the chicken thighs tomatoes and chick peas. And back to the oven for 15 minutes
4.       When the meats are ready remove from the oven and scatter the parsley. Serve, no side dish are needed, but a crispy salad will be nice and plenty bread for wet in the sauce.

Chicken with artichokes and lemons
 Fact 5: Chicken can prey and eat mice.

Recipe 5: Chicken with artichokes and lemons

8 chicken drumsticks
2 red onions (in wedges)
400g new potatoes (quarterd)
400g can artichokes (halved)
5 rosemary sprigs
1 lemon (quarterd)
100 ml white wine (dry one)
Oven 200ºC 400 kcal /4 serving

1.     Put the drumstick in a roasting tin, drizzle a few olive oil, season.
2.     Stir in the onions wedges, potatoes, rosemary, artichokes, squeeze the lemon quarters and mix then in the tin as well. Pour over the wine, shake everything very well.
3.      Put in the oven for 40 minutes turning over after 20 minutes.  
4.      Check the meat is cooked  and ready to serve!

Fact 6: England consume 11.000 eggs a year. 60% of the farm eggs go to process food like mayonnaise or pasta elaboration

Recipe 6: Piri-piri Chicken

4 large chicken thighs (skin on)
1 red pepper (sliced into stripes)
1 yellow pepper (sliced into stripes)
6 thyme  sprigs
Oven 200ºC 400 kcal /4 serving

1kg whole chicken whole spatchcocked
Red or green chilli, but avoiding Thai.
Instead vinegar, port or brandy.
Piri-piri Sauce.
1 red onion (in quarters)
2 garlic cloves
6 red malagueta chilli
2 green malagueta chilli
1 tsp mild paprika
2 lemons (zest and juice)
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml red wine vinegar

First you need to make the Piri-piri sauce, adding the onion and garlic to a blender , blend a couple of time and add the chillies, plus paprika, juice of one lemon and zest of two of them, adding as well the vinegar.  Blend until smooth, taste and season with salt flakes.
1.       In a bowl marinate in the fridge the chicken with half of the piri-piri sauce ( at least  2 hours)
2.       Season the marinated chicken, then put skin-side down in a hot grill pan for 3 minutes.
3.       Then turn over and another 3 minutes adding the sliced peppers to the pan, and down the heat to medium low, stir constantly the peppers.
4.       Put the piri-piri sauce into a roasting tray, lay over the chicken skin side-up and peppers, scatter over the thyme sprigs. Put in the tray in the oven for 25 minutes basting every 10 minutes with the remaining piri-piri sauce.

Roast chicken with tuscan salad
 Fact 7: Chicken can adapt to any kind of environment and food, from mountains to jungles.

Recipe 7: Roasted chicken Tuscan style.

4 chicken breast (skin on and bone attached)
2 roasted red peppers (sliced)
4 plum tomatoes.
3 basil sprigs
1 garlic clove (sliced)

4 tbps olive oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp butter
Garlic Croutons (optional)
Oven 200ºC

1.       Peel 2 tomatoes, first making a little cross in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch in boiling water for 50 seconds, remove and put in a bowl of iced water. Take out and remove the skins. Quarter and scrape out the pulp and seeds into a food processor. At the end you will finish with a tomato petals, half them and set aside. Now chop the rest of the tomatoes add to the food processor and whiz for 40 seconds. Strain throughout a sieve into a bowl.
2.       Now whisk your tomato juice with sherry vinegar, 2 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt.
3.       Heat the vegetable oil in a pan a medium heat. Meanwhile season the chicken with salt and pepper. Start to cook the chicken skin side down for 5 minutes, turn the breasts and add the butter, when is melted spoon over the chicken. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4.       Transfer the chicken to a baking tray and finishes cooking in the oven, the time will around 10 minutes. When the chicken is done, retreive from the oven, cover and leave to rest.
5.       Now put the slices of roast pepper, tomato petals, garlic and basil into a bowl and drizzle with your tomato sauce of step 1.
6.       In warm plates arrange the chicken breast top with the tomato- pepper salad on top, and sprinkle over the croutons.

Chicken with beer and onion sauce
 Fact 8: In the fifties rabbit was more popular than chicken in the British tables. In 1953 a farmer introduce a new breeding species from America creating the farm factories.

Recipie 8:  Chicken with beer onion sauce.
4 chicken thighs
1 big white onion (in ring of 1 cm)
200 ml beer
2 garlic cloves
1 tbps olive oil
Oven 200ºC

1.       Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2.       Brush with the olive oil the baking tin and put the onion rings, spring over another pinch of salt. Now put skin side-up the thighs
3.       Baste them with the beer very slowly and put in the oven for about 30 minutes
4.       Remove the onion and the juices from the baking dish, down the oven temperature to 180ºc and let the chicken crisp a few for 5 minutes.
5.       Meanwhile blend the onions and juices
6.       Serve with mash potatoes and pour  over the chicken with some onion sauce.

Fact 9: Hens can change the behaviour of their chicks. 

Recipie 9: Chicken thighs with parsnips
Chicken with parsnips
6-8 chicken thighs
2 tbsp grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
4 parsnips (peeled and cut in wedges)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp red wine
Oven 190ºC 596 kcal / 6 servers.

1.       Whisk together the olive oil, honey, mustard, vinegar and thyme. Season.
2.       Place the chicken in a dish, and pour over the mixture, cover with a clean film and chill for 1 hour.
3.       Meanwhile cook the parsnips in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
4.       Transfer the parsnips to the chicken marinade and rub all together, and then place chicken and parsnips in the roasting tin.
5.       Roast for about 35 minutes, until the meat is cook.

6.        Because the dish is a bit sweet is best served with spinach or green beans like side dish. 

Fact 10: Chicken can learn very quick, even faster than dogs.

Recipe 10: Chilindron chicken.

Chilindron Chicken Sauce.
1 large chicken already cut in pieces
4 large dried peppers
1 large white onion (chopped)
125g Serrano ham/ dry ham (diced)
2 green peppers (cut into strips)
3 tomatoes (skinned and diced)
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

100 ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp mild paprika
1/8 hot paprika
40 ml brandy
250ml chicken stock         
Oven 175ºC

1.       Soak the dried red pepper in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and cut in small pieces.
2.       Rub the chicken with salt and pepper, and heat the olive oil in a deep pan and fry the chicken briskly for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and put in the baking dish.
3.       Now add to the deep pan the onion, garlic, ham until they begin to brown. Now add the soak and stripped peppers and fry for 2 minutes.
4.       Stir the tomatoes, paprika and the brandy and finally pour over the chicken stock with the parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes and season to your taste.
5.       Spoon the mixture over the chicken in the roasting tin and cover with aluminium foil.
6.       Cook for about 1 hour, until the meat is cook. Serve straight away!



  1. haha definitely an interesting post what with the random chicken facts in between each recipe ;) here are more roast chicken recipes: (not spanish but yummy anyway)

  2. Delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.