Category Archives: Chicken Recipes

Buttermilk Chicken, Polenta Crumbed Okra with House Made Tartare Sauce

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

I have talked about “Dude Food” several times, I just have a huge fascination with it.  To me, it’s about comfort.  I love cooking and eating food that’s tasty, easy to eat and easy to recognize.

More and more people are looking for food that is “easy”.  I feel that these days, no one seems to have the patience or time for “uppity” type food in stiff restaurants.  People are looking for a place that’s comfortable, light, fun and accessible to most people.  Atmosphere plays a huge role, served by people who are knowledgeable but approachable, relaxed and easy going.  The food has got to be easy but packed full of flavour.  People have got to know it because they don’t have the patience of a long winded explanation of what they’re about to eat, they just need to be enticed quickly by recognizing it quickly on the menu or by orders being walked to tables by waiters.  Fancy food is out people, mark my words and it is also why I believe food trucks in Australia much like the food trucks in America will do so well, why you say, well for many different reasons.  The trucks are so accessible to many people, they’re cheap, fresh and they produce really tasty meals and these days, what else does one need?

There are many recipes here, from the spice mix, the okra, the chicken and tartare sauce.  Try them separately in other dishes, for example, try the spice mix with fish or baked potatoes or even on rice, paella style.  With the buttermilk chicken, try it with thin strips of beef or even fish using the same methods, it works out really well.

Buttermilk Chicken, Polenta Crumbed Okra with House Made Tartare Sauce

Serves 8

For the Cajun Mix

¼ Cup Salt

2 Tbspn Ceyenne Pepper

2 Tbspn paprika

1 Tbspn Onion Powder

1 tbspn Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbspn Freshly Ground White Pepper

1 Tbspn Garlic Powder

2 Tsp Dried Basil

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

¼ Tspn Dried Thyme

¼ Tspn Ground Mustard

1/8 Tspn Ground Cloves

For the Buttermilk Chicken

1kg chicken Wings

500ml Buttermilk

250gr Plain Flour

2litres Vegetable Oil

 

For the Okra

1kg Okra

200gr Plain Flour

6 Eggs

200mls Milk

200gr Plain Flour

200gr Polenta

2 litres Vegetable Oil – for frying

For the Tartare Sauce

2 Eggs

1Tspn Dijon Mustard

¼ Cup White Vinegar

600ml Vegetable Oil

1 Lemon – juiced

1tblsp Worcestershire Sauce

100gr Cornichuns – finely chopped

80gr Capers – finely chopped

I Brown Onion – roasted in skins until soft then peeled, finely chopped

5 Cloves garlic – roasted in alfoil until slightly brown and soft, finely chopped

1 Bunch Parsley – finely chopped

Method:

For the Cajun Mix

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly

For the Buttermilk Chicken

  1. Mix 2/3 of the Cajun spice mix together with the buttermilk
  2. Place the chicken wings into the buttermilk mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes, over night is better
  3. Once marinated, strain excess buttermilk and dust with flour
  4. Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius using a thermometer
  5. Deep fry the wings until golden brown and cooked through, test by cutting one open
  6. Once cooked, toss in a bowl seasoning with remaining Cajun mix

For the Okra

  1. Whisk the egg and milk to together
  2. Create a crumbing station by placing the egg and milk in one bowl – whisked together, flour in another then polenta in a another bowl.
  3. First, place the okra in the flour, roll around until well covered, dust excess
  4. Then place flour dusted okra into the egg and milk mixture, making sure it is well covered, shake off excess
  5. Finally, roll the okra in the polenta until well covered
  6. Using a thermometer, heat up the oil to 180 degrees Celsius in a large, deep sided pot
  7. Fry the okra until golden brown, strain using a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to absorb excess oil

For the Tartare

  1. Place the eggs, mustard and vinegar in a food processor and turn on high for one minute
  2. Add about ¼ cup of the vegetable oil in the food processor and process on high for about 30 seconds until it is emulsified into the egg mixture
  3. Slowly “stream” the rest of the oil into the egg mixture until all the oil is emulsified into the egg
  4. It should now form a thick mayonnaise, if not add extra oil.  Thickness will depend on size of eggs etc
  5. Add the lemon juice and Worcestishire until completely mixed
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients whilst still on high
Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang


Crispy Spatchcock with Pineapple & Capsicum in Shaoxing

Photo By Jun Pang

When I was a kid, I used to eat a lot of Filipino food.  I found that they used to fry a lot of food like pork belly, fish and chicken until it was really crispy, so crispy that you can eat the entire thing, bones and all.

There is nothing like eating crispy fried fish heads and fish bones, seasoned nicely with a little salt and a dipping sauce made with crushed garlic, chilli and cane vinegar and eaten with hot, gluggy steamed jasmine rice.  Top that off with some chopped, ripe tomatoes, red onions and fresh coriander dressed with a little lime juice and fish sauce and boy, I’m in heaven.

In the Philippines we have a dish called lechon kawali.  Simply put, it’s pork belly that has been boiled in aromatic stock then deep fried for a long time until its slightly browned and really really crispy.  Served with a similar cane vinegar dressing and gluggy steamed jasmine rice and the same tomato salsa but this time add a little crumbled, hard boiled Chinese salted egg and again, I bet no one would complain about this meal (except, of course, if you can’t pork for what ever unfortunate reason)

This chicken dish has similar flavours.  I love using spatchcocks for this dish.  The bones are not so dense and when fried, you can really get everything so crispy that you can eat the bones as well as everything else.  Flattening out the bird also helps because one, you don’t have to use so much oil and secondly you can the get the bones crispy.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  You can eat bones, get it so crispy and you can eat the entire thing, it truly is a flavour sensation.

The capsicum braise is fantastic with this dish because you do need a  little moisture and the sweet and sour tones to capsicum braise is fantastic.  Similar to the Filipino dishes I mentioned prior, it really cleans up the palate, allowing you to enjoy or in my case devour the entire dish with absolute ease and yes, this capsicum braise does go with the pork and fish dish mentioned before hand.

Then all you need is the San Miguel beer and life would be bliss!

Photo by Jun Pang

Crispy  Spatchcock with Pineapple & Capsicum in Shoaxing

Serve 4

4 Spatchcock

1 Bunch Spring Onions

1 Thumb of Ginger

1 Cup Light Soy

½ Cup Dark Soy

¼ Cup Chinese Black Vinegar

10gr Liquorice Stick – form Asian grocer

2 Cinnamon Quills

5 Star Anise

2 Tspn Chinese Five Spice

2 Sea Salt

1 Litre Vegetable Oil – for frying

 

For the Pineapple & Capsicum

¼ Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Red Onion – peeled & finely sliced

6 Cloves Garlic – crushed and finely chopped

1 Red Capsicum – deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

1 Green Capsicum – deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

1 Yellow Capsicum– deseeded & sliced 2mm thick

2 Large Carrots – peeled & sliced into 2mm thick, 4cm long batons

I Bunch Spring Onions – cut whites into 2cm long stems & greens into fine long strips iin ice water until it curls

¾ Cup Shaoxing – Chinese cooking wine

1 Cup Light Soy

¼ Cup Rice Vinegar

½ Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cinamon Stick

3 Star Anise

1 Acid Free Pineapple – cored, peeled & cut into 1mm thick, 4cm long wedges

1 Bunch Coriander – leaves picked

Method

For the Crispy Chicken

  1. Using scissors, cut the spine out of the spatchcock allowing you to “open” the chicken out and flat.  Do this by cutting on both sides of the chicken’s spine using scissors.  Start from the tail end and work your way toward the head
  2. For the Marinade, pound the ginger and spring onion in a mortar and pestle until it forms a paste
  3. Add the light soy, dark soy, black vinegar, Liquorice, cinnamon and star anise to the paste and stir through
  4. Marinate the chicken in the soy mixture for at least one day, but 2 days is best, making sure the chicken is fully sub merged in the liquid
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot to 180 degrees Celsius using a thermometer
  6. Drain the chicken and pat dry.  If you have a fan, place the chicken on a wire rack with the fan on right on it to dry it right out for about 2 hours but patting it dry with a paper towel really well would be ok
  7. Shallow fry the chickens in the hot oil for about 8 minutes on each side at 180 degrees Celsius or until evenly browned and crispy on both sides
  8. Strain and allow to drain on paper towels
  9. Make a seasoning with salt and five spice and sprinkle it on the chicken whilst it’s still hot.

For the Pineapple & Capsicum

  1. Heat up a large pot on high heat for one minute then add the oil
  2. Sauté the onions stirring at all times, try not to colour it
  3. Add the garlic and sauté with out colour, stirring at all times
  4. Still at high heat, add the all the capsicums, carrots and spring onion stems and sauté for about 4 minutes on high heat, still with no colour
  5. Add the shaoxing, soy, rice vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks and reduce the liquid by half on high heat, stirring at all times
  6. Finish with pineapple wedges and turn heat off, check seasoning
  7. Place the capsicum on the plate, followed by the crispy chicken then garnished with spring onion curls and picked coriander

Photo by Jun Pang


Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Thigh

Photo by Jun Pang

You can’t get any easier than this recipe!

Perfect for the back yard BBQ or if you’re strapped for time and really want a quick, easy and tasty meal.  Try barbecuing it on a wood charcoal hibachi, it gives that extra smokey flavour that goes well with this type of marinade.  Pork is also a good substitute for chicken

There’s nothing much more to say about it!

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Thigh

Serves 4

650gr Chicken Thigh

3 Stems of Lemongrass – outer husks removed, finely chopped

4 Garlic Cloves – finely chopped

5tblspn Oyster Sauce

1tblspn Peanut Oil

4 Stems of Spring Onions – finely sliced, place in ice water to curl

Method

  1. Mix the lemongrass, garlic, oyster sauce and peanut oil together
  2. Place the chicken in the marinade and mix thoroughly.  Allow to sit in marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably over night
  3. Carefully oil the bars of the grill with an oily rag.
  4. Grill the chicken for at least 3 minutes on each side to get the colour and smoky  flavour off the grill.
  5. Serve with spring onion curls

Photo by Jun Pang


Adobo – WARNING once you start eating this, you won’t be able to stop……………

One of the best things to eat is a Filipino chicken Adobo! Adobo is as Filipino as it can get, it’s like the curry is as Indian as it gets and tacos are as Mexican as it can get. If you ask “Filo’s” what a typical Filo dish would be, most will say Adobo. Teamed with garlic fried rice, all you’ll need is warm weather and straw hutts and you’ll think you were in the Philippines.

The smell alone gets you salivating and hungry or not, you will succumb to this fabulous dish purely just on the aromas. You can make it with pork, chicken or a combination of both but when you are making it with chicken, use the legs or my favourite, the wings, cooked both on the bone. For the pork use the belly cut into strips, it’s so much more tastier. A combination of both gives such a great flavour to the juice/gravy and both ingredients remains juicy after being braised for a long time and it also gives out that “sticky” gelatinous texture that this dish is known for.

It has such simple flavours but it works, it does the job. As a kid my mum would cook this and it would be the only dish that my friends had no hesitation in trying, they loved it, couldn’t get enough of it. It is a great dish to introduce to people who haven’t tasted Filipino food in their lives.

What I love more abut this dish is that it is easy, I mean, you can really just place all the ingredients in a pot, turn the flame on and let it cook out, that’s how easy it is! I choose to brown the pig bits because I love the texture and flavour and for me, it’s about being “cheffy”, frying bits off and stuff, I mean it wouldn’t be theatrical if I just threw it all in a pot, now would it? We need flames, splatter of the oil, stirring of the pot and the theatre that comes with it all and if there’s anything you want to know about Filipino’s, it’s that every thing must be done with a little theatre!

Photo by Jun Pang

Chicken and Pork Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice

Serves 6

For the Adobo:

1kg Chicken Wings wing tips cut off, cut them into winglets

500gr Pork Belly cut into 1cm thick strips

4 tblspn Vegetable oil

1 Onion cut into 1cm dice

1/2 Bulb Garlic finely chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 ¾ Cup Cane Vinegar use rice vinegar if not available

1 ½ Cup Light Soy Sauce

2 tspn Cracked Black Pepper

1 Cup Water

For the Fried Rice:

1tblspn Chopped Garlic

5 Cups Cooked Rice cooked and left to cool uncovered

4 tblspn Light Soy

Method

1. Heat up a large pot on medium – high heat for one minute

2. Add the half the vegetable oil and heat for 30 seconds then add the pork strips. Cook the belly until it browns evenly

3. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent

4. Add the chicken wing and stir through

5. Add the garlic, bay leaf, cane vinegar, light soy, water and cracked black pepper

6. Bring to the boil then simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes or until the meat starts to fall off the bone on the chicken

7. For the rice, heat up a frying pan or wok really hot

8. Add the remaining oil then garlic and stir fry on high heat for 10 seconds then quickly add the rice and stir through continuously until the rice starts to break down into individual rice kernels and starts to fry evenly

9. Add the light soy and stir through

Photo by Jun Pang

Cane Vinegar – is made from sugar cane juice, made popular in the Philippines. It is a some what mellower flavour compared to other vinegars. It can range in colour from golden brown to yellow. It isn’t sweeter than any other vinegars and the closest substitute is rice vinegar. Vinegar is used in a lot of Filipino cooking and cane vinegar is the most used especially in dips, sauces etc. Cane vinegar is usually sold in most Asian supermarkets in Australia


Congee – Chicken and Ginger

Filipino’s call it “lugaw” but most people know it as “congee”

It is by far the easiest thing to cook and it was definitely one of the first things I picked just by watching my mum and my grandma cook this dish.  It is a dish that my mum cooks on a cold winter’s day, especially for lunch.  It’s filling, tasty and it warms the body  really quickly.  Traditionally the Chinese have this as a breakfast meal.  As the name translates to rice porridge, it’s usually served plain with condiments like  soy sauce, spring onion, ginger and steamed chicken.  Brilliant way to start the day!

Photo by Jun Pang

Chicken Congee with Ginger

Serves 8

 

1tblspn Vegetable Oil

1 Brown Onion                       finely diced

550gr Chicken Wings              jointed, discard wingtips

3tblspn Ginger                        cut into fine match stick like shapes

1 Cup Jasmine Rice

3lites Water

1 bunch Spring Onions            finely sliced

Salt

White Pepper

Method

  1. Heat up a large pot on medium heat and add oil
  2. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent
  3. Add the ginger and chicken wings and stir through
  4. Add the water and bring to boil then simmer for 20 minutes.  Season the stock with salt and white pepper
  5. Add the rice and cook for one hour until it takes on the consistency of porridge, stirring it often.  Season with salt and pepper
  6. Serve with chopped spring onions


Hot, aromatic Sri Lankan Kottu Roti…..

Sri Lanka is a food wonderland!  I had the opportunity to cook in Sri Lanka last year in our sister hotel.  There I met over 170 chefs in one hotel and I learnt so much about cooking in such a short time.  There were over 17 food and beverage outlets, all ranging from Japanese cuisine right through to Italian and fine dining so you can imagine the talent in these kitchens and the knowledge all in one place, to me I was like a kid in a toy store and I didn’t know where to turn to next.

One of the stand out things I experienced was the Kottu Roti.  You “heard” the dish before you saw it.  The chef would cook the roti with his two spatulas making a rhythmic ra-tat-tat-tat as he chopped away on his metal grill.  The smell is something I’ve never experience before, in fact Sri Lankan cooking aromas were all a new experience to me and it was awesome to experience it in Sri Lanka.

Every night after service, I would visit chef Ravi at his stall to watch, learn and eat his Kottu Roti.  By the end of it all, I didn’t have to ask him, he just knew why I was coming to see him, he had the Sri Lankan tea sweetened by jaggery (a type of palm sugar) and he would already have the Kottu Roti started on the grill.

It is a spicy dish, very aromatic with its pandan leaf but specifically with the large use of curry leaves.  I realised that curry leaves and green chillies were not only in endless supply but was also used in almost all their dishes, so yes, Sri Lankan food is very spicy and very aromatic.

Try this recipe when you have left over chicken curry (or any curry really).  Instead of heating it up with left over rice, try this and you’ll have a totally different meal.

Chef Ravi getting ready with his Kottu Roti

Kottu Roti

Serves 4

1/4 Cup Peanut Oil

4 Eggs

1 Pandan Leaf

1 cup Curry Leaf

1/2Cup Leek Greens               finely sliced

1 Onion                                  finely sliced

5 Green Chilli                         finely sliced

1 tblspn Garlic                       finely chopped

4 Tomatoes                          roughly chopped

1 Carrot                                finely grated

1 tblspn Chilli Flakes

6 Roti                                   finely chopped

2 Cups Chicken Curry

1 tblspn Chilli Flake Paste    made by slowly frying off in oil until paste

Method

  1. Heat up a large grill top, preferable a flat top of a BBQ
  2. Add the peanut oil onto the flat top and allow to heat up
  3. Crack the eggs on the grill top and using a spatula or grill scraper, chop the egg up on the grill as it cooks
  4. Add the pandan leaf, curry leaf, leek greens, onion and green chilli and garlic on the grill and cook using the chopping motion with the grill spatula, cook for at least one minute
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook until it breaks down, about 2 minutes
  6. Add the carrots, chilli flakes and chopped roti and continue to cook with the same chopping motion
  7. Add the chicken curry and chop it through the mixture
  8. Add chillie flakes and continue to cook through
  9. Cook until the roti and chicken and cook together

The grill ready for the Ra-tat-tat-tat!!

Kottu Roti served with Hoppers


Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Marinade

1 Whole Chicken –     cut length ways along the backbone and flatten out

2 Thumbs of Ginger

1 Brown Onion

3 Hot Chillies (red) – scotch bonnets if available

2 Tspn All Spice

2 Bay leaves

Spring Onion

Limes

Thyme

Soy Sauce

Olive Oil

Sauce:

Some Marinade

Tomato Sauce

Dark Soy

Rice:

1 Cup Rice

¾ Cups Kidney Beans

1 Cup Coconut Milk

1 Cup Water

Thyme

Chilli

Method

  1. Pound all ingredients of the marinade to a semi fine paste (or food processor).  Marinate the chicken in the jerk spices.  Leave some marinade for the sauce.
  2. For the sauce, heat up the left over spice mix then add tomato sauce and dark soy.  Cook until melded together.
  1. Cook the chicken on smokey BBQ (Webber’s are good).  The smokey flavour along with the flavours of the marinade are the important aspects to get right in this recipe.
  2. For the rice, place the rice in the pot and wash until the water turns clear.  Add all ingredients in a pot, cook on low with a tight fitting lid for 14minutes without lifting the lid for a peek.
  3. Serve with rice or bread and the sauce.

I am always fascinated with food from other countries.  There is so much to learn from other cultures.  My sister lives in the Grand Cayman Islands.  It was on that island where I first experienced jerk chicken with much anticipation.  I watched it being cooked in an old tin shed with smoke bellowing out from it on a hot sunny day.  I fell in love with the smokey, spicy flavours of Jamaican food.  They served it wrapped in news paper and with bread that was slightly sweet.  Amongst other food I experienced and fell in love with on my trip, jerk chicken became a food memory I will never forget.

Photo by Jun Pang