Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simon & Alison Holst’s tried and true recipes for chicken.

I'm not surprised that this book has been hovering around near the top of the best-seller lists since being published last month. Not only is chicken great comfort food but its versatility means it can be used in dishes for every occasion.
And with mother and son team Simon and Alison Holst’s original chicken book being out of print this new book is filling that gap. 100 Favourite ways with Chicken has all their great recipes from the original book plus  much more.

100 Favourite ways with Chicken is the team’s 26th book together, and all of their cookbooks quickly become best sellers. Recipes here include sensational soups, tasty salads, quick and easy techniques with the frypan or wok, barbecued delights, spicy treats, easy wraps, comforting casseroles, tender treats for your Slow Cooker, and roasts with all the trimmings that will please all age groups.

The Holst are two of New Zealand’s best known and most popular cooks and their cookbooks have sold more than 1,500,000 copies to date.

And I have made a couple of the dishes in their latest book which were both very well received and which the publishers (Hyndman Publishers) have agreed I can post here on the blog to give you a taste of the book which I must add is a bargain at $24.99.

Greek Barbecued Chicken

Cooked outdoors on a barbecue, or inside under a grill, this chicken is easy to prepare and cooks without fuss.
For 4 servings:

4 large or 8 small bone-in chicken pieces*
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive or other oil
1 tsp paprika, optional
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp oregano

* Choose chicken legs or quartered chickens for this recipe or thread wings or small pieces on skewers for easier turning during cooking. If necessary, break joints so pieces lie flat.

Put chicken with all the remaining ingredients in an unpunctured plastic bag. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat then lightly oil the barbecue grill, then arrange the chicken over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes per side over the grill, then transfer to the hotplate (if available) and cover with the hood, lid or a foil tent and cook for a further 8–10 minutes per side. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear, not pink, when the flesh closest to the bone at the thickest part is pierced (or a meat thermometer inserted at the same spot reads 80°C or 180°F).

Serve hot or at room temperature with a Mediterranean or a green salad.

Tuscan-style Chicken Baked with Tomatoes & Olives

Although it does require spending a little time indoors cooking it, there is something about this dish that gives it a real taste of summer. Serve it with pasta and a simple salad in warm weather, or replace the salad with cooked vegetables when the weather is cooler.

For 4 servings:

1 Tbsp olive or other oil
6–8 chicken thighs or assorted portions
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 medium red pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes in juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
pepper to taste
½ cup Kalamata olives
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frypan. Fry the chicken in batches until golden brown on all sides. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside while you cook the next batch. Arrange the browned chicken skin-side up in a single layer in a large non-stick sprayed casserole dish.

Return the frypan to the heat, then stir in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened. Add the red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2–3 minutes further, then add the next six ingredients, and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with grated Parmesan if desired, then transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes.

Serve over pasta, accompanied with a salad or vegetables, some crusty bread and a glass of wine.


Shelley said...

Thanks for this tasty post. On a less cheery note, I don't know how much this site might be affected by this, but it might be a good time for us to do some Paul Revere-ing on the Internet–today the U.S. FCC is passing down the first of the Net Neutrality rulings. Al Franken on HuffPo (scroll down middle column there) says we should be outraged, and he doesn’t usually exaggerate. The Internet should not be headed toward corporate blogs buying the fast lane and the rest of us stuck in slow.

Not sure where to make our voice heard, by emailing the White House or maybe the FCC page with How To Make ECFS Express Comments? It might be good if non-corporate websites had a community way for us to alert each other when something important like this comes up. Please consider passing it on.

Martin said...

Have you been following the net neutrality issue? It's the principle that all internet traffic should pass equally freely through all points in the net -- meaning that a company, for instance, can't pay for its traffic to get preferential service, eg a bigger bandwidth allocation so their website/video service/whatever works better than those who can't/won't pay. The FCC in the US finally made a ruling on this after many years of deliberation. It's a big deal for the "information should be free" (in every sense of the word) advocates but beyond most people.