A series of easy-to-prepare chicken recipes by London-based chef Richard Bowman…
A food study conducted by Populus in 2014 concluded that poultry is Britain’s favourite type of meat, and among the various birds that were found to be the most popular to buy was the humble chicken. Very versatile and easy to prepare, not to mention a good source of protein, potassium and vitamin B-6, it’s easy to see why chicken is such a popular choice for so many of us.
Among the country’s most avid poultry eaters and chicken lovers is chef Richard Bowman of London’s new and recently Michelin-star-awarded restaurant, Portland, which takes its name from its central location on Great Portland Street. To celebrate chicken in all its simplicity and deliciousness he’s written a five-part recipe series, packed full with useful cooking tips and techniques to help you get the most out of this brilliant bird.
The first recipe of the series was inspired by a classic a combination that we’re all familiar with: chicken and sweetcorn. If you’ve enjoyed these two ingredients together in soup or salad, as I’m certain most of us have, then you’re sure to love this simple deconstruction. Filling, nutritious and utterly scrumptious, it’s a dish that is sure to leave you feeling comforted and well fed.
Corn-fed Chicken Breast with Sweetcorn and Courgette Salad
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 people
Equipment: You will need a frying pan, a medium baking tray, a small lidded pan and two small bowls.
1 corn-fed chicken crown
1 shallot (sliced thickly widthways)
1 shallot (diced)
2 garlic cloves (unpeeled and crushed lightly with a knife)
1 garlic clove (diced)
2 heads sweetcorn (sliced off cob)
1 green courgette (ribboned)
1 yellow courgette (ribboned)
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. ponzu
1 tbsp. sesami oil
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 pinch black sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
- First you will need to preheat the oven to 200°C. Next, remove the legs and wings from the chicken so that only the breasts remain on the crown. It’s also a good idea to remove the wishbone at this stage to make carving easier later on. If you’re not confident doing this yourself then you can ask your butcher to do it for you.
- Over a medium heat, fry the crown in olive oil to colour. When the skin has browned slightly add 50g of butter, all of the thyme, 2 garlic cloves (crushed) and 1 shallot (sliced thickly widthways), and then use the juices from the pan to baste the meat every so often as it continues to cook. This will help prevent the meat from drying out whilst also adding colour and flavour. Continue to baste for around 5 minutes before transferring onto a baking tray and then roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is roasting you can make a start on the sweet corn. Fry the garlic (diced) and remaining shallot (diced) in olive oil for 8 minutes and then add the butter and the corn. Sweat for 10 minutes before adding enough water to cover, and then simmer with the lid in place for around 30 minutes, or until the corn has thickened to a porridge-like consistency (it shouldn’t be too wet). Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before stirring in another 10g of butter.
- When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving the breasts from the bone. This will help to evenly distribute the heat through the meat before serving. If the meat is still a little pink on the underside simply kiss it in the frying pan until cooked through. Now, while the chicken is resting you can get on with the courgette salad.
- Using a peeler or mandolin, slice the courgette into vertical ribbons and then leave to the side in a bowl while you make the dressing. In another bowl, mix 2 table spoons of olive oil with all of the vinegar, sesame oil, ponzu and salt and pepper to taste, adding more of each if desired. When you’re happy with the flavour add the dressing to the courgette along with the black sesame seeds ready to serve.
- Finally, divide the sweetcorn between 2 warmed plates and place one chicken breast skin-side up on top of each portion. Serve the courgette salad in a bowl on the side and there you have it: a tasty and nutritious chicken supper. Be sure to tune in next time for part two!
Note: as with all meat products, it is highly recommended that you purchase your chicken from a trusted organic butcher.