Chicken makes a cheap and healthy meal and is great for the barbeque in summer.  However, if you always cook it the same way, it can be a little boring.  Liven up your mealtimes with these delicious summer chicken recipes.

Chicken for a picnic

We love this recipe for individual chicken Wellingtons from Good Housekeeping.  Great for eating fresh from the oven or for saving for a picnic.

Ingredients

15 g (½oz) butter
200 g (7oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
Plain flour, to dust
500 g pack shortcrust pastry
3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
125 g (4oz) full-fat cream cheese
½-1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, to taste
4 small skinless chicken breasts (trim a little off each breast if too big)
4 ham slices
1 medium egg, beaten

Method

  • Heat the butter over high heat in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5min or until tender and any liquid in the pan has evaporated. Empty into a bowl, season and leave to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to a 35.5cm (14in) square. Trim edges to neaten. Cut the large square into four equal squares. Set aside.
  • Add the parsley, cream cheese and mustard to the mushroom bowl and stir to combine. Check the seasoning.
  • Lay a chicken breast diagonally across a pastry square, slightly to one side of the centre. Spread a quarter of the mushroom mixture over the chicken, then lay over a piece of ham. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, mushroom mixture and ham.
  • Brush the empty pastry halves with beaten egg, then fold the pastry over the chicken stack, encasing it. Press down on the edges to seal, and crimp if you like. Transfer the parcels to a baking tray and brush again with beaten egg.
  • Cook for 30-35min or until deep golden. Serve immediately with a green salad.

 

Chicken and cheese

The combination of tasty goat’s cheese, chicken and ripe tomatoes makes this a perfect summer chicken dish from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

4 part-boned chicken breast
150g firm goat's cheese
bunch thyme
splash of white wine

Method

  • Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Loosen the skin from the chicken breasts and stuff each with a slice of the goat’s cheese and a sprig of thyme. Put in a shallow ovenproof dish.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes and scatter around the chicken with a few more sprigs of thyme, a drizzle of olive oil and splash of white wine. Season with pepper, and salt if you wish.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins until the chicken is tender and golden. Serve with Saffron wild rice (recipe right).

 

Chicken and salad

For chicken with salad it’s got to be the Hairy Biker’s Chicken Caesar Salad recipe.  So simple yet so delicious.

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 romaine lettuce hear
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 slices of ciabatta bread, each about
1.5cm thick (15g a slice)
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Put the anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar, add the chopped garlic clove and pound into a paste. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan and water and stir well to make a pourable dressing
  • Place a chicken breast between 2 sheets of cling film and bash it with a rolling pin until the chicken is about 1cm thick. Bash the other chicken breast in the same way, then season the breasts on both sides with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
  • Dip a pastry brush in the oil and brush over the base of a large nonstick frying pan. Place the pan over a medium heat, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook for 2–3 minutes on the other side until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken in the warm pan to rest.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the salad. Separate the lettuce leaves and wash and drain them well. Tear any large leaves into smaller pieces. Arrange the lettuce in a large serving dish and scatter over the tomatoes. Toast the slices of ciabatta and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Put the cooked chicken breasts on a board and cut them into thick strips. Scatter these over the lettuce and tomatoes and toss everything together lightly. Spoon over half the dressing and serve while the chicken is warm. Fantastic!

 

The summer roast chicken

Minimise your preparation by putting the whole chicken on the barbeque.  This recipe for spatchcock chicken from Weber, the barbeque manufacturers, is fresh and tasty.

Ingredients

Whole free range chicken
5 tbsp of a good quality sweet chilli sauce
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 limes, zest and juice of
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method

  • Make the marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
  • To prepare the chicken, place on a chopping board, remove the wish bone with a sharp knife and then cut the chicken down the spine. Turn it around on the board so the skin side is facing you. Flatten the chicken out by applying pressure on the breast bone until it snaps and the chicken lies flat and spread out.
  • Rub the chicken, skin side only in the marinade and allow infusing for 2 hours. Making incisions with a sharp knife into the flesh can help the marinade penetrate.
  • Roast (in-direct method) the chicken for about one hour. There is no need to turn the chicken as the underside will be protected by all the bones.
  • Remove the chicken once the core temperature of the thigh and breast meat has reached 75°C, then allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

 

Make a marinade

For the ultimate accompaniment to summer chicken, it’s got to be Jamie Oliver’s barbeque sauce.  Enjoy with chicken, chips, burgers…once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients

200 g light soft brown sugar
200 g tomato ketchup
200 ml fresh unsweetened apple juice
100 ml bourbon whisky
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 heaped teaspoons English mustard
2 oranges , juice of
a few splashes of chipotle Tabasco
1 pinch of sea salt  

Method

Place all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan over a high heat. Whisk well to combine, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it's sticky and coats the back of a spoon.

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