Monday, 2 April 2012
We've been trying to eat a lot healthier in The English Kitchen lately. Too many pounds have crept onto my waistline over the past couple of years and I thought it was about time I did something about it . . . before it's too late.
There's been a lot of bad press lately about the consumption of red meats and cancer. Apparently if you eat one or more servings of red meat every day your chance of getting cancer is increased . . . not a big deal in this house as we eat chicken and fish most of the time!
We love chicken in this house. I most often buy my chickens whole and cut them up myself, freezing the portions individually, so that I can take out just what I need . . . when and if I need them. The legs are nice for oven bakes and stews, and the wings are good for snacks (however bad they may be for you), but more often than not they get put into a bag with the backs and necks and frozen for making stock and soup. (It's a money saver to cut up your own. The less your food is handled, the more the savings to your pocketbook.)
I like the breasts most of all. There is no end to the what you can do with a chicken breast. Sliced or chunked they are great in stir fries and curries. Pounded and breaded, they make great schnitzels. You can butterfly them, stuff them, and then bake them for a deliciously different entree.
Some I will bone out completely and freeze that way . . . others I leave with the bone in. These are perfect for roasting. Because they are on the bone, there is less chance of them drying out . . . there is nothing worse than a dried out, overcooked chicken breast . . . ugh . . . like eating sawdust.
Today I roasted some bone in breasts and served them along with some shredded stir fried brussels sprouts. The chicken cooked in about half an hour and the sprouts were done in about 10 minutes. Look at how moist that chicken is. Nothing is dried out here!
Just look at the glorious colour of those sprouts! Lovely and green and so flavourful. Oh my, but they were some good too. We do like our sprouts!
I had some leftover mash (sweet potato) and made some stuffing balls to go along with them. (I just tucked them into the roasting pan along with the chicken and they cooked at the same time.) With a bit of gravy on the side . . . we had the perfect Roast Dinner on the table in a little more than half an hour.
It was deliciously satisfying too! You can't beat that! (Of course I didn't eat the skin . . . but if you're not slimming, fill your boots!)
*Roasted Chicken Breasts with Stir Fried Fennel Sprouts*
Skin on chicken breasts, with butter and rosemary, roasted until golden brown, but still moist, served along side some delicious sprouts, shredded and stir fried in a bit of butter with some fennel seeds for added flavour.
4 partly boned, skin on chicken breasts
75g butter, softened (1/3 cup)
2 rosemary springs, leaves stripped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 pound of brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
gravy to serve
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.
Rub the chicken breasts with 1/2 of the butter, pushing some under the skin as well as on top. Push some garlic under the skin as well. Place them into a roasting tin. Sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper to taste. Scatter over the rosemary springs and roast for 30 minutes, until golden brown and the juices run clear. Set aside to rest, covered lightly with foil.
Heat the remaining butter in a large skillet. Tip in the fennel seeds and cook for 1 minutes. Add the shredded sprouts and a splash of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 3 minutes, until just tender.
Serve the chicken breasts on heated plates along side of the sprouts along with some gravy for pouring. We like mashed potatoes with this.