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Two family favourite chicken recipes - the best from Lynn Bedford Hall
I love to cook (and to eat!)
I love to cook – maybe because I love eating and maybe because I like to get the praise of others when they like what I cook. Whatever!
I have been cooking for many years, mostly on Sundays, so I guess you could call me a Sunday chef!
One of my favourite recipe writers is South African cook Lynn Bedford Hall, whose recipes are simple and never fail – or at least I have never failed with them!
The two chicken recipes below are from two of her books, the first from her Lynn Bedford Hall's All-Colour Cookbook and the second from The Best of Cooking in South Africa .
The first recipe she calls “simply saucy chicken” but in our family its known as “Caitlin's Chicken” as I had cooked it and we had just finished eating it when the contractions that heralded Caitlin's birth began! I don't think the food had anything to do with it, though.
Here they are, then, the two favourite chicken recipes in our family, two dishes that get cooked regularly. I present them here exactly as Hall does, with her introductions and all, because I think they are great. Where I have introduced my own variations I will indicate them.
Simply Saucy Chicken (also known as Caitlin's Chicken) from Lynn Bedford Hall
The title says it all. First marinated in a zesty sauce, and then left to take care of itself in the oven, this is a singularly easy way of treating chicken pieces. They turn out browned and succulent (Oh boy, don't they just – Tony), with sufficient sauce to serve with rice, or with baked potatoes and sour cream flavoured with chives (its also excellent served with couscous – Tony)
1 kg chicken portions (halved if large)
30 ml tomato sauce (ketchup)
15 ml Worcestershire sauce
25 ml smooth apricot jam
10 ml curry powder
5 ml salt
5 ml ground ginger
5 ml ground cinnamon
125 ml fresh orange juice
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (why stop at two? - Tony)
25ml sunflower oil
25 ml chutney (the fruitier the better – Tony)
Arrange chicken, skin side up, in a single layer in a glass or porcelain baking dish to fit without overlapping. Mix remaining ingredients (I put them all together in a food mixer and give them a good whirl – Tony), pour over chicken and marinate for one hour.
Turn the chicken portions, cover, and bake at 160º C for 50 minutes. Turn again and bake uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes, until the chicken is tender and golden-brown, and the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced.
Serves 4 to 6.
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Chicken baked with soy sauce and sherry
This next is the family's absolute best:
Another aromatic and quickly prepared chicken dish. Serve this one with a salad and baked potatoes topped with a creamy mushroom sauce (I have to confess I never have done the potatoe thing, we always serve it with jasmine-scented Thai rice).
1 kg chicken pieces
oil for frying
1 large onion, coarsely grated
1 knob root ginger, peeled and grated
25 ml oil
50 ml soy sauce
50 ml sweet sherry (I use the South African sherry known as Old Brown Sherry or OBS for short!)
5 ml curry powder
(I always add a little
honey to the mix as well - don't tell Lynn!)
Cut chicken breasts in half, if large, and remove excess fat from thighs (actually I mostly just use thighs from which I remove the skin and all the fat I can find)
Brown on both sides in a little oil, then transfer to a baking dish in a single layer, close together and skin side down. Sprinkle over onion, garlic and ginger. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. Do not season. Bake at 180º C for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 160º C , turn chicken over and continue baking for about 30 minutes more until richly browned and tender. Serve with the flavoursome juices spooned over each serving.
Serves 5 – 6.
I tend to do the first baking session with a lid on the baking dish and the second session with the dish uncovered. I guess a little experimentation will determine what is best for you – Tony.
Hope you enjoy these recipes (let me know if you do try them) and if you can find Hall's books, get them. They are worth their weight in gold!