Craig Wilson, aka The Kilted Chef, makes two poultry dishes the whole family will enjoy
Chicken is a good source of lean protein and is so versatile as it can be cooked and served in many different ways.
Poaching retains as much moisture in the meat so it stays beautifully succulent and full of flavour.
My butterflied apricot chicken breast offers a fresh, light meal perfect for sunny, summer evenings when you can eat outdoors.
Meanwhile, my recipe for Italian chicken bake is one that the whole family will enjoy.
It’s best served in the middle of the dining table so everyone can tuck in and have seconds!
I’ve used chicken thighs as they are economical and easy to get hold of.
They also soak up loads of flavour, which makes them perfect for this dish.
Poached chicken with apricot, spinach and frittata
For the chicken:
- 1 chicken breast, skin removed
- 3 dried apricots, sliced
- Washed spinach leaves
- Salt to taste
For the frittata:
- ½ red onion
- 2 stems of tenderstem broccoli
- ½ tomato, chopped
- 50g kale, chopped finely
- 2 small eggs, whisked
- 50g feta cheese
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- Butterfly cut the chicken breast (see top tip).
- Place the sliced apricots and some spinach leaves on top of the chicken. Add salt to taste.
- Take a sheet of kitchen foil and overlay with a layer of clingfilm.
- Place the chicken on top on what would have been, skin-side down.
- Using the foil and clingfilm, roll the chicken into a sausage shape and twist the ends like a cracker.
- Add to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes.
- For the frittata: Fry the onion in a little oil until softened in a non-stick pan.
- Add the broccoli, tomato, kale and salt to taste. Once the veg is soft, add the whisked eggs and allow to set in the pan.
- When the underside is cooked, place the pan under a hot grill to cook the top half. When cooked through, slide on to a plate.
- To serve: Unwrap the chicken and slice into round wheels and arrange on the same plate.
- Crumble feta cheese and pine nuts over the top.
Italian chicken bake
- 6 chicken thighs
- ½ can of cannellini beans, drained
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tsp black olives
- 2 tsp capers
- 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped (and 1 tomato sliced for the topping)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Ciabatta loaf/rolls (sliced for top)
- 1 ball mozzarella cheese (sliced for top)
- 75ml white wine
- 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 100g mushrooms (optional)
- 50g garlic butter
- Put 1 minced garlic clove, half the basil, 2 chopped tomatoes, olives and capers in a blender.
- Mix, then spread over the raw chicken.
- Put in a casserole dish and leave to one side.
- Add the olive oil to a hot pan, fry the onion and 1 minced garlic clove. Add two chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar and enough salt to season.
- Add the cannellini beans and optional vinegar and mushrooms. Reduce for a few minutes and stir through the remaining basil leaves.
- Simmer for a minute then spoon around the sides of the chicken thighs.
- Arrange 1cm thick slices of ciabatta bread, smeared generously with garlic butter in an alternative overlaid pattern across the top of the chicken.
- Intersperse with 1cm thick slices of mozzarella and 1 sliced fresh tomato.
- Finish with a good drizzle of olive oil across the top.
- Top with more basil leaves and olives, if desired. Firmly press it down with your hands to disperse the moisture through the bread.
- Bake at 170C for 50 minutes.