Tag Archives: chicken

Orange and Coriander Roast Chicken

I’m sitting on a farm in the Natal Midlands with seriously free-range chickens clucking around me. I’m surprised at how easily I can imagine what great dinners they’ll make. You may gasp,  but I’d rather eat these gorgeous, healthy birds than those manky white things called battery chickens.

But let’s get back to the bird that’s already been in my oven.

Zest breasts

Orange Coriander Roast Chicken

Everybody eats roast chicken. It’s the floozy of meats; the go-to gourmet; the all-pleasing poultry.

We’re in the middle of a blazing hot summer and roast chicken with rys en artappels won’t go down that easily. Plus – isn’t it SOOO boring? The poor chicken is already so everyday, it deserves a bit of zhuzhing up.
So we’ll spice it up, clean it off with some citrus and cool it down with coriander.

Orange and Coriander Roast Chicken
Serves 4 or more

1 medium free range chicken
2-3 oranges
Generous sprinklings of chicken braai spice
Bunch of coriander
Maldon salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place the hefty bird in a roasting pan. Squeeze orange juice all over your whole chicken, making sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies. Slice the squeezed half and insert it into the cavity. (I know that sounds awful, but just try not to think about it.

Sprinkle the chicken with the braai spice so that it almost forms a coating. Stick a handful of coriander in the cavity as well as some around the dish.

Pop it in the oven for an hour or so – prob an hour and 20 minutes depending on the size – and watch it turn the most glorious colour. Turn the chicken over half-way through the cooking time, and then back again for the last 10 minutes.
If your colouring is less than glorious, sprinkle some salt for shine and brush with a little bit of olive oil. I usually forego the oil as the chicken skin is fat aplenty.

Garnish with slices of orange, some zest and the rest of the coriander.

Serve with a green salad or a cold couscous and veg salad. Leftovers can be shredded for chicken mayo, a lovely chicken and corn broth should the weather suddenly turn, or simply take yourself a doggy bag to work. The flavours will intensify overnight. 


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Apricot and Mustard Chicken

My new favourite favourite.

Fiery Fruit

FIERY FRUIT: Apricot Mustard Chicken

I get into a rut very easily in the kitchen. When I find something that works, I clutch to it for dear life, or until Danny begs me to vary it up.

My latest flavour fixation is Apricot and Mustard. It stems from a recipe found in an old edition of Fresh Living. It’s also very adaptable because you can use any mustard and any apricot product really. From Dijon with apricot jam to English mustard with freshly sliced appelkosies, it’s delicious any way you want it.
I used my colleague Shaheema as my guinea pig and gave her some to try. Her comments: “I feel like judge on Top Chef“. I’ll take that as a compliment!

I’ve come to regularly serve it with a warm couscous salad as it just seems like the appropriately Moroccan thing to do… 🙂

And one last tip: The chicken breasts with the bone in work better than the fillets.

Apricot and Mustard Chicken
Serves 2
2 free-range chicken breasts with bone in
1 cup of chicken stock
8 fresh apricots, sliced and stoned – for a sweeter palate use tinned apricots which are just as yummy
2 tbs Colman’s English mustard
1 tbs yellow mustard seeds
1 tbs olive oil

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Remove chicken skin. It’s will looked old and wrinkled once the chicken is done in the oven and that’s just eeuw. Fry chicken in a pan or pot that can go in the oven, such as my wonderful Le Creuset casserole pot. Yes, I’m bragging. Fry until brown.

Mix apricots, stock, mustard and mustard seeds together. Pour over chicken. Cover the chicken dish with foil or a lid and pop it in the oven for an hour.

After the hour, you’ll notice the sauce will still be thin. Add some maizena if you like it thicker and gloopier. No judging – that’s how I like it. Return to the oven for a few minutes.  Then serve with warm couscous salad and fresh coriander.

Not a square meal...

Not a square meal...

Warm Vegetable Couscous Salad
Serves 2
1 cup of couscous, cooked according to box instructions
1 onion, sliced
1 red, yellow or green pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen peas or corn
1/2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Cook the couscous as best you can. I often screw it up – too mushy, or too dry. I’m working on it…

Fry the rest of the ingredients together for a few minutes until soft. Mix it with the couscous. Douse with lemon juice. Serve shaped with a bowl.

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Coq au Vin

If Julia Child could Master the Art of French Cooking, so can I! I have discovered, however, that you do indeed need that je ne sais quoi and savoir faire to turn this simple chicken stew into something très magnifique!

The heart-mending Coq Au Vin

the piece de resistance?

While I wasn’t particularly sure of my stock of said french terms, what I did have was a magnificent blog to trawl and a boyfriend to impress. I diligently printed out The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Coq au Vin, only to arrive home without it. Grr. Luckily my stash of Fresh Living mags had a recipe in there somewhere. So I amalgamated the text with my rather good memory to make my own version of the stew. As long as there’s red wine and chicken, how wrong can you really go? Just remember to leave some red wine for in case it turns out kak… then you can drown your sloppy sorrows.

I’ve had some sorrows to drown lately. Danny moved out about three weeks ago.

We had a big fight and now I don’t know how to put us back together again. I don’t cook anymore. You know that I really just cook to impress him. Cooking for one is so flippin’ sad I’m scared I’ll drip snot en trane into the pot if I attempt it. So when he told me he was coming to visit on Saturday I took the opportunity to get back into the kitchen and hopefully back into his heart as well.

The Pioneer Woman serves her Coq au Vin with pasta. Traditionally I’d imagine rice to go well with chicken. I chose creamy, buttery mashed potatoes as my secret weapon in this fight for his heart.

Coq au Vin pour mon Coeur

For the chicken:
8 free range chicken pieces, or one whole free range chicken you cut up yourself using your anger and frustration
1 onion, roughly chopped
8-10 small carrots, chopped
4 rashers of bacon (preferably fatty bacon), chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of flour
1 punnet of mushrooms, sliced in half
1 bottle of red wine – half for the pot, half for you
3cm slice of butter from a 500g brick
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1-2 cups of chicken or beef stock

For the potatoes:
4 medium potatoes, preferably the really yellow, organic ones, peeled and chopped small
1 tbs butter
75ml milk
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper


Pre-heat your oven to about 170ºC.

Melt half the butter in a warmed up pan. Fry the bacon to ‘render the fat’ (thanks for that term Pioneer Woman). Once the bacon is not oinking anymore, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Dust the chicken pieces with flour and fry in the pan with the butter and bacon fat until browned. Put it to one side.

Fry the onions, carrots and parsley in the pan until soft. Put these together with the chicken and bacon in a casserole dish. Add the chicken stock and wine until everything is covered and it’s decidedly purple in colour.

Put this in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Peel your potatoes and chop them up small or else they’ll take forever to cook.

Now put the rest of the butter in another pan (not the same one you used for the chicken) and fry the mushrooms. The reason for the extra dishes is that your mushrooms could end up full of black speckles from the bacon and chicken frying.

Take the casserole dish out of the oven and add the fried mushrooms. Close the dish again and pop it back in the oven for another 40 minutes.

Cook your potatoes until soft, but not too soft. I like quite stiff, chunky mash, especially with a saucy dish like this. Once done, mash with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Take the casserole out of the oven and remember to turn it off. Scoop some of the sauce into the mushroom pan and heat it up with a bit of Maizena mixture to thicken it.

Serve with more chopped parsley. Don’t put too much of the sauce on the mash as it might go soggy.

Then watch his heart melt…

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