Recipe: Chicken Naan Wraps with Raita

I have lost count how many times I’ve eaten these naan wraps by now, so it is about time I write about them too!

They are really simple to make, and because of that I think they’re perfect for a Friday night supper. That’s when I usually want something really moreish, not too fancy (only on occasion) but something really satisfying and even a little messy. And this dish ticks all those boxes.

The inspiration comes from The Kitchn but rather than using lamb, I used chicken thighs even the first time I made it. It’s just what I prefer, but I’m sure it’s lovely with lamb mince too. This was also the first time I made raita, which was a revelation. I had no idea it was THAT easy. Easier than tzatziki, even. And so very yummy!

Chicken naan wraps with raita, serves 4

Adapted from The Kitchn’s recipe.

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

500 g boneless chicken thighs, diced

4 naan breads

2 little gems, washed andthinly sliced

Raita:

120 ml Greek yoghurt

approx 10 cm cucumber, diced small

1 tbsp mint (or coriander), coarsely chopped

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground coriander

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 150C. Heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the shallots, a little salt and a sprinkling of cumin. Fry until lightly browned and remove from pan. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add the chicken. Add more salt, some black pepper and the cumin. Stir occasionally and cook until the meat is cooked through, approximately 8 minutes.

Meanwhile make the raita and heat the naan breads. Stack the naans and wrap in tin foil and place on a rack in the oven for a few minutes.

Mix yoghurt with the spices, cucumber and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the shallots back into the pan and stir to combine. Layer lettuce, raita and chicken on the warm naans. Serve warm.

Recipe: Lockdown Chicken and Courgette Pasta

Cooking every single day is in a way easier than cooking a few days a week like I usually do. Cooking every day gives you a different continuity and it makes it a lot easier using up leftovers. In my regular life I sometimes have to throw away leftovers I had planned to use up because plans changed and they got too old. I really don’t like that. But London life is (usually) fast pace with drinks here and dinners there and impromptu plans. Which I love. It’s less conducive to meal planning though. But I do utilise my freezer as much as I can even in normal life.

But using up leftovers has become a sport of mine in lockdown. I don’t want to throw a single little thing away. I keep parmesan rinds in the fridge until I can throw them into a béchamel sauce, and add the leftover grated carrot from a carrot cake baking session to a salad. If some vegetables need using up they get used in a soup, quesadillas, salad or frittata.

And this chicken and courgette pasta is one example of using up every single little bit of chicken meat. One night we had a roast chicken with potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Two days later I reheated some of the leftover chicken pieces for lunch and made a potato salad with some already cooked new potatoes. After that there weren’t that much meat left, even though I picked every last little bit off the carcass before it went into the stock pot. So the obvious answer to how to use up the rest was of course pasta. Mixing proteins with carbs and some veg and lots of grated Parmesan is one of the best magic tricks of the kitchen craft.

This one, with lemon, soft courgette, plenty of olive oil and said parmesan felt very appropriate of spring but I could myself eating it on a sunny patio with a glass of ice cold pale rosé too.

Lockdown chicken and courgette pasta, serves 3

300 g tagliatelle

1 medium courgette, cut in half lengthways and sliced

approx 100 g leftover roast chicken

50 g parmesan, finely grated

lemon zest from 1/2 large lemon

50 ml olive oil

25-50 ml pasta cooking water

salt and pepper

Add a little olive oil to a roasting tray and add the courgettes. Toss in the oil, add salt and pepper and cook in 200C for 10- 15 minutes, until soft and a little browned.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions in saucepan.

Add the chicken pieces to the courgette to heat up and add more olive oil. Add the lemon zest and some of the parmesan and mix. Add the cooked pasta. Reserve a mug of pasta water and pour some into the roasting tray with the pasta. Add more parmesan and put the roasting tray on medium-low heat. Stir the pasta with tongs until it has the sauce consistency you like (a little gloopy). Add more pasta water if needed. Adjust the seasoning and divide between bowls. Add more grated parmesan to finish.

Updated: The Best Chicken Satay

I already have a chicken satay recipe up on the blog, but the last time I made it I thought it was a little bit lacking, so with inspiration from Rosie’s version I sort of amalgamated the two into what I think is the perfect chicken satay.

The marinade, the cooking method and of course THE SAUCE all really matter here, and this is how I think it’s best enjoyed. I added the chillies after cooking so everyone can adjust the hotness they want, but don’t worry, the meat is still full of flavour! I highly recommend the tangy cucumber and radish salad and the sesame broccoli too – they both add another dimension (and some lightness) to the dish.

The Best Chicken Satay, serves 4

600 g chicken thigh filletsdiced into smaller pieces (2 cm x 2 cm or so)

8 garlic cloves, chopped

6 tsp ground coriander

4 tsp honey

1 tbsp black pepper (no, it is not a typo)

2 tsp salt

240 ml soy sauce

180 ml olive oil

wooden skewers soaked in water for an hour

To serve:

bunch fresh coriander, chopped

1 lime, cut into wedges

1-2 red chillies, chopped

Dice the chicken. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour into a bowl or a shallow dish. Add the chicken and make sure every piece is coated with the marinade. Leave it for at least 3-4 hours but preferably overnight in the fridge, covered by cling. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and place on an oven rack with a tin foil covered baking tray underneath (to catch the juices). Place the tray under the grill turned on medium-high. Grill the chicken for 10 minutes until nice and browned. Take it out, turn the skewers over and cook for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the rice (I prefer basmati), make the sauce and prepare the vegetables.

Satay sauce, serves 4

400 g coconut milk

8 tbsp smooth or chunky peanut butter

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime, the juice

salt and pepper

Bring the coconut milk to the boil. Add the peanut butter and let it cook for a few minutes. Add sweet chilli and lime juice until it is perfectly balanced. Season with salt and pepper.

Sesame broccoli, serves 4

2 packets tenderstem broccoli (approx 300 g)   

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tsp sesame seeds 

1/2-1 lemon or lime, the juice 

salt and pepper 

Trim the dry ends of the broccoli. Place in a large frying pan and almost cover with boiling water. Add salt and cook for about a minute on high heat. Drain and return to the hot pan. Add sesame oil and squeeze with lemon. Toss and add sesame seeds and season.

Cucumber and radish salad, serves 4

1 cucumber

1 small bag/bunch of radishes

1/2 lime, the juice

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

Slice both vegetables thinly and place in a bowl. Add lime juice and oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Rice, Avocado and Blue Cheese Dressing

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Apparently there’s an American chain that make Buffalo Chicken Wraps?! I found this out on Instagram and immediately felt I needed to make this. Sans celery though (shudder).

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So below is my version of a buffalo chicken wrap, with chicken wings (although chicken thighs or any dark meat will work but I had wings in the freezer- just adjust the cooking time), hot sauce, rice, homemade blue cheese dressing, avocado and cherry tomatoes.

It was just as lovely as I had hoped it would be, but much easier to eat than regular buffalo chicken wings! Score!

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Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Rice, Avocado and Blue Cheese Dressing, makes 2

2 large flour tortillas

100-150 ml cooked basmati rice 

6-8 chicken wings

1 tbsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Frank’s hot sauce

200 ml soured cream 

ca 50 g Saint Agur cheese

1 avocado, sliced

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Start with the chicken wings. Put them in a colander and pour boiling water over them. Pat dry with kitchen roll. Pour oil into an ovenproof dish and place the chicken wings in it. Add salt and pepper and place in a 200C oven. Turn them as they have turned brown, after approx 10-15 minutes and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly and pick the meat and skin off the bones. Place in a bowl, add hot sauce after taste (it IS hot!) and stir.  

Mix soured cream and Saint Agur with a stick blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Divide rice and chicken between the tortillas, top with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and blue cheese dressing. Add extra hot sauce, roll up and eat! 

Recipe: barbecue chicken

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At times I get the most peculiar cravings. I guess it ties in with my way of eating; regardless of what it is I eat for pleasure, not just fuel. And most of the time my cravings are a combination of things my body needs and my favourite foods. Typical cravings are usually something with avocado, anything with burrata and sometimes proper comfort food. Often cheese of some kind, and sometimes fish.

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One beautiful summer’s day in Norfolk my body screamed for barbecued chicken. The sticky, charred kind. Maybe I needed protein but whenever I crave something fairly healthy I always try to give my body what it wants.

As we were in Norfolk and had access to a barbecue it was also much easier to make this happen, than if we’d been in London, so I went all in. I threw together a homemade barbecue sauce and marinated the whole spatchcocked chicken in it for a few hours and then got my darling boyfriend to light the barbecue. The coal one, thank you very much, not the gas barbecue!

And apart from the sugars in the marinade burning too quickly it was a great success. We both thoroughly enjoyed the charred and tender chicken, both that night and the leftovers two days later.

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But, this almost too charred chicken was not photogenic, and I was also slightly worried about the carcinogenic properties of all that burnt sugar. And decided to perfect the recipe (and reduce the charring) the next time.

And that next time arose a few weeks later in Sweden when my boyfriend was over and we were having dinner with my parents. My foodie family was just as excited about the chicken as I was and my boyfriend loved it last time, so it worked out really well! The trick is to add the barbecue sauce towards the end so it doesn’t burn too much; just that right amount that makes it taste to good!

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Barbecue chicken, serves 4 + leftovers

2 smaller (just over a kilo each) whole fresh chickens

salt and pepper

1 tbsp neutral oil 

Barbecue sauce:

150 ml ketchup

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

1 tbsp brown sugar (or any sugar if you prefer but brown works best) 

1 tsp smoked paprika powder 

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp soy sauce 

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp neutral oil 

salt, pepper

Rinse and trim the chickens. (I usually cut away any loose skin and fat, the ends of the wings that is just bone etc.) Then spatchcock the chickens (instructions here) so they cook quicker and more evenly. Season with plenty of salt and pepper all around and brush with oil. 

Build up the coal barbecue so that you have the coal and briquettes all on one side of the barbecue, where you have a higher temperature, as opposed to the empty side which still emanates heat but isn’t as hot. 

Start off by browning the chickens all around on the direct heat (on top of the coals), for approx 5-10 minutes. Then move them to the indirect heat (empty side) and place them bony side down. Put the lid on and grill for another 15-20 minutes, turning as you go. Brush on a thick layer of barbecue sauce all around the chicken and char the meaty side first (as this is most important to get right) until just enough charring, then turn over and char the other side. The chickens should be ready after another 10 minutes on the grill, but cut through the meat (both the thickest part of the breast and in a joint) to make sure the juices are all clear. Remove from the grill and cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into smaller pieces (our almost fell apart so this was easy) and tuck in!

 

 

Recipe: creamy chicken thighs with white wine, tomato and herb d’Provence

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I came up with this easy chicken dish last week when I was making baked aubergine with tomato and mozzarella for supper; something I could have eaten on it’s own with just a side salad, but as my boyfriend prefers aubergine in moderation I also roasted some potatoes, courgette and peppers in the oven and made this chicken dish. My thought were to echo the cheese and tomato elements in the baked aubergine but using cream instead of cheese. It worked really well and I will definitely serve these together in the future too!

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Creamy chicken thighs with white wine, tomato and herb d’Provence, serves 2 

4 chicken thighs (with skin on), washed and trimmed (I like to trim off excess skin and fat) 

butter and oil for frying

50-100 ml dry white wine

400 ml double cream

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp soy sauce

1/4 stock cube chicken

1 tsp herb d’Provence  

salt and pepper

Fry the chicken thighs skin side down on medium-high heat in butter and oil until golden (approx 5 minutes), then fry the other side for the same amount of time. Add salt and pepper. Add the wine and lower the heat to medium-low. Add cream, tomato paste, soy sauce and the stock cube. Let the sauce thicken while stirring with a wooden spoon. Turn the chicken a few times so it cooks evenly. When the chicken is cooked through (test it with a knife), after aprox 5-10 minutes, add the herbs and season to taste. If the sauce gets too thick, add more cream or a splash of wine and adjust the seasoning. 

Recipe: nachos with chicken and chorizo

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Sometimes I can really crave nachos. And most of the time I long for the ones I had at Yankee Stadium a few years ago. Although probably really processed the tasted divine!

But the next best thing are definitely homemade ones, and these with chicken and chorizo are absolutely delicious! Also, the secret is in the cheese sauce so although it takes a bit of labour it’s SO worth it!

Nachos with chicken and chorizo, serves 2

ca 150 g salted tortilla chips

75 g chorizo, cut small

1-2 fried chicken thigh fillets, cut small

oil for frying

2-3 handfuls grated cheese

Toppings:

1 batch cheese sauce

1 batch proper guacamole

1 jar creme fraiche

Garnish:

Chopped tomato

Sliced spring onions

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Fry the chorizo in oil on medium heat until they’re crispy. Add the chicken and let it absorb the chorizo flavoured oil.

Cover the base of an oven-proof dish with a thin layer of tortilla chips, top with cheese, chorizo and chicken. Repeat with another layer. Place in the oven for the cheese to melt, approx 5-10 minutes. 

Pour the cheese sauce on top (make this while the nachos are in the oven), guacamole, creme fraîche and the chopped vegetables.

Recipe: Nigella’s slow roasted lemon and garlic chicken

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I’m a planner. Not all the time, but I like to plan ahead in several areas of my life. Especially when entertaining. So I had decided on a menu for the lunch I was hosting for a few friends in Sweden long before I even got to Sweden.

But the draught threw a spanner in the works. Three days before I was leaving for Sweden the government issued a BBQ ban in most areas and it was forbidden to barbecue even on your own property. All to prevent any more wild fires. Totally logical and something we all had to accept. But since my original lunch plan involved lighting the barbecue I had to think of something else to cook. I thought this would magically come to me as ideas so often do, but no.

So, in this moment of crisis (well not really, but I was starting to panic a little as my days were packed full of activities) I turned to my trusted cook book collection in the beach house and as usual they helped me out. This time it was a recipe in Nigella’s book Summer that saved me! This slow-roasted lemon and garlic chicken is summery (and delicious) enough to make you forget all about your beloved barbecue and appreciate a dish that basically cooks itself in the oven.

And if you don’t find butchering chickens as therapeutic as I do, I would suggest you either ask your butcher for help or buy a mixture of skin-on chicken breasts and chicken thighs.

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Nigella’s slow roasted garlic and lemon chicken, serves 4

Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.
1 chicken cut into 10 pieces

1 bulb of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves

1 lemon, cut into chunky eighths

1 bunch fresh thyme

3 tbsp olive oil

75-100 ml white wine

salt and black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin, season and add the oil. Toss the chicken pieces in the oil so they’re coated all over. Place skin side up. Add garlic cloves, lemon chunks and  thyme. Sprinkle over the white wine and put in the oven to cook for 2 hours. 

Turn up the oven to 200°C and cook the chicken for another 30-45 minutes, by which time the skin on the meat will have turned golden brown and the lemons will have begun to scorch and caramelise at the edges. 

 

Recipe: chicken bulgogi

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This Korean chicken dish has everything I want from a dish; plenty of flavour, seriously tender meat and a little heat.

The first time I made it I had it with rice, thinly cut carrots and pickled cucumber (using rice vinegar instead). The second time I used to fill steamed buns (recipe to come) and both ways were delicious.

Apart from flattening the chicken this recipe is as easy as making a marinade and forgetting about the chicken until the next day, when it takes a mere 5 minutes to cook it.

The recipe is courtesy of David Leibovitz via Koreatown: A Cookbook.

Chicken bulgogi, serves 4

Adapted from David Leibovitz’s recipe.

125 ml soy sauce

1-2 tbsp Korean chilli sauce gochujang 

1 small onion, finely chopped of puréed

2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

1 tbsp mirin or rice vinegar 

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

black pepper

2 tsp sesame seeds (I omitted these)

4-5 chicken thigh fillets  

Mix soy, chilli sauce, onions, sugar, mirin/rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil and ginger in a large ziplock bag. Also add black pepper and sesame seeds.

Cover a plastic chopping board with cling. Place a chicken thigh fillet (or two) on top. Cover with cling and flatten it by bashing it gently with a rolling pin. Repeat with all the chicken. 

Add the chicken to the marinade in the ziplock bag, squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Place it in the fridge overnight. 

Grill or fry for approx five minutes of medium-high heat. Brush with extra marinade while cooking. Slice thinly and serve. 

 

Harissa chicken with yoghurt sauce

 

 

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This slow-cooked chicken dish with a little heat went down a storm among some of my Swedish friends. And I do agree, it’s really yummy! Plus it’s served cold so perfect to prep ahead of a dinner, picnic or luncheon.

Harissa chicken, 6 portioner

2 whole quite large chickens

2 tbsp harissa

3-4 olive oil

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp ground coriander

plenty of salt and pepper

Harissa yoghurt:

400 ml Greek yoghurt 

approx 3 tbsp harissa (to taste)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, pepper

To serve:

chopped parsley

Rinse and trim the chicken. Mix harissa, oil and spices. Season the chickens properly on all sides. Add the harissa mixture to the skin of the chickens and massage it in. Place in cooking bags or in a roasting tray covered with parchment paper (to keep the moisture in). Place in 150C oven for two hours. Leave to cool.

Once the chickens are cool enough to handle (or completely cool if you prefer), separate the meet from the skin and bones and pull larger pieces into smaller ones (like pulled pork).

Mix all the ingredients for the harissa yoghurt and mix 2 tbsp into the chicken meat. You don’t want it wet just the added flavours. If you prefer more of a kick to the meat add some more harissa paste and mix it in. Season to taste with sale and pepper. 

Serve on a large plate with some harissa yoghurt drizzled over. Add some chopped parsley for colour.