Margaret's Pages

Cooking Chicken with Herbs
CHICKEN with HERBS. Many delicious dishes combine the delicate taste of chicken with summer herbs.
Enjoying sampling some of these .....
1 each of carrot, onion, leek, 4 chicken breasts,
4 sprigs each of parsley and lovage, a bay leaf,
1 tea sea salt, 10 black peppercorns,
225 g or 8 oz or 1/2 lb noodles, and
25 g or 1 oz or 2 tabs. butter.

100g or 4 oz or 1/4 lb sorrel or small pkt of frozen spinach, 1 bunch watercress, 2 tabs flour, salt and black pepper, 40 g or 1 1/2 oz  or 2/3 cup light/thin cream,  1 1/2 tabs chopped tarragon, 1 1/2 tabs chopped

Peel and slice onion, clean and chop carrot and
leek.  choose saucepan large enough to hold chicken breasts and put vegetables in with parsley, lovage and bay leaf.  Cover with cold water, add salt/peppercorns and bring to boil.  When boiling point is reached, put in chicken and lower heat.  Cover pan and simmer for 35 minutes.
When chicken is tender, lift out, remove skin and keep warm.  Strain the stock and measure 300ml or 1/2 pt or 1 1/4 cups.  Cook noodles as usual, and drain, and keep warm.
To make herb sauce -
cook sorrel briefly in boiling water, drain, and chop to fine puree.  (or cook spinach and drain well).  Throw the tips of watercress into boiling water and cook for 4 minutes; drain well and chop to fine puree. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in flour and cook together for 2 minutes, stirring all the time.  Pour on the strained stock and stir till blended.  Add cream and simmer for 3 mins still stirring.
Allow sauce to cool slightly, then put in blender with pureed sorrel and watercress, chopped tarragon, and parsley.  Blend all together then reheat in a clean saucepan, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Put noodles in shallow serving dish.  Dot them with butter, and sprinkle with salt/pepper.  Lay chicken breasts on top then pour the sauce over them and serve.  If necessary, the dish can be reheated for 20 mins in a moderate oven (180C or 350F or Gas Mark 4).  Serve with a tomato salad.

50g or 2 oz or 1/4 cup butter, juice of 1 orange,
1.5 kg or 3 1/2 lb chicken,
2 sprigs each of marjoram and lemon thyme,
4 sprigs of chervil,  4 lage leaves basil,
sea salt and black pepper.
Heat butter in flameproof casserole, put the chicken in and let it brown all over.  Pour over the juice of orange and surround chicken with herbs.
Add salt and pepper.  Lay bird on its side and cover the pot.  Cook in a cool oven (150C or 300F or Gas Mark 2) for 90 minutes turning chicken over once or twice.
When cooked remove bird from casserole, carve it, and arrange pieces on a hot serving dish.  Strain the cooking juices, discarding herbs.  Pour over chicken pieces and serve with noodles and a green salad.  Garnish with orange slices.

1 each of stick celery, onion, carrot,
1.5 kg or 3 1/2 lb roasting chicken,
1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs each of parsley and lovage, 6 black peppercorns, and 1 teas sea salt.
CURRY SAUCE - 3 tabs desiccated coconut, 1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic, 50 g or 20z or 1/4 cup butter, 1 tab mild curry powder, 1/2 teas. ground turmeric, 1/4 teas ground cumin seed, 1/4 teas ground coriander, 1 tab red currant jelly,  pinch ground chilli, juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon, 4 tab. natural yogurt, 2 tabs chopped almonds, 2 tabs chopped coriander or 3 tabs. chopped basil.

Peel and halve onion, clean carrot and celery and chop coarsely.  Put vegetables in saucepan with chicken, bay leaf, parsley, lovage, salt and peppercorns.  Pour in enough cold water to just cover the chicken and poach for 1 hour (or 20 minutes in a pressure cooker).  Lift out chicken when it is tender.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove all skin and bones and meat into neat small pieces.  Set aside.
Strain liquid in which chicken was cooked, discarding vegetables and herbs.  taste, and if too weak, reduce it by fast boiling until it has a good flavour. Measure out 600ml/1pint/2 1/2 cups.

To make Curry sauce, pour half the stock over the desiccated (shredded) coconut in a bowl and leave for 15 mins to form a coconut "milk". Peel onion and chop finely.  peel garlic and crush.  Melt butter in large saucepan and cook the chopped onion gently until pale golden, adding garlic halfway through.  Sprinkle on the curry powder and spices, stirring all the time.
Pour remaining 300 ml or 1/2 pt or 1 1/4 cups of stock and stir until blended.  Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then add red currant jelly through a sieve (strainer) and the lime or lemon juice.  Pour coconut "milk" through sieve into curry sauce, pushing lightly with back of wooden spoon to extract all liquid.  Stir the flour into yogurt to make a smooth paste and add it to the curry sauce, continuing to stir until all is blended.

Add chicken pieces to sauce.  Reheat, stirring and finally add chopped nuts and the coriander (or basil).  Stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Accompany with plain boiled rice.

1 medium onion, 1 chicken jointed, seasoned flour,
25 g or 1 oz or 2 tab butter, 1 tab sunflower seed oil,
300 ml or 1/2 pt or 1 1/4 cups chicken stock,
1 tab Dijon mustard,  salt / pepper to taste,
1 1/2 tabs. chopped dill.

Peel and chop onion.  Melt butter and oil in saucepan
and cook onion until pale golden.  Toss in chicken joints in seasoned flour and add to onion.  Turn chicken over until all pieces evenly coloured on all sides. Heat the chicken stock and pour it on, stirring until blended.  Stir in mustard with salt/pepper to taste.  Cover pan and simmer gently.
After 35 minutes test a white piece of chicken to see if it is tender.  If so, lift out breasts, wings and all white meat and keep warm on a serving dish.
Leave the legs and thighs to cook for a further 5m inutes.  Lift out the dark joints and add to white in the serving dish.
Taste sauce for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed, then stir in chopped dill and pour over the chicken.  Stand for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with new potatoes and string (snap) beans.
This is part of a Cooking with Herbs series. Be sure to check out other titles listed here.
SAUCE & Garnish
DRINKS and Tea
Herb series begun July 2000
Updated 3 January 2004