Tag: chicken

Chili Rubbed Roast Chicken

whole chili roast chicken

How is it Sunday again? This weekend has slid by without permission or warning. Highlights include: sunshine and lots of it, drinks and snacks with some friends, one of whom is moving overseas this week, the best cannoli in the city, sleeping in one day, getting up early the other, reading, writing, a clean house and a lot of laughs. Around here, Sunday usually means a pseudo-traditional Sunday dinner. By that I mean that we all sit at the table and the meal itself is usually something that propels us into the week with some leftovers. This particular Chili Rubbed Roast Chicken makes it into the rotation frequently because it’s so easy and versatile.

chili roast chicken


I usually do chickens 3 at a time. With five people in the house we can easily go through one and a half chickens at dinner and then leftovers go into lunches as plain pieces, chopped and added to salads and sandwiches, or for another dinner that week, shredded and used in tacos or burritos. Sometimes, it’s just eaten cold from the fridge as a snack. That’s how we roll. The recipe is after the jump, happy fleeting weekend, everybody!  (more…)

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Lately we have found that the most economical way to buy quality fresh chicken is to buy the whole bird and break it down ourselves. (By “ourselves”, I mean Rob. He is a whiz with most butchery and given the chance will regale you with tales of bygone summer jobs as a much younger man, in an abattoir. Delightful.) When disassembled, a whole chicken will yield you up to 10 portions of meat, which is great, but if your family is like ours there is a dark v. light debate and a boneless v. bone debate. Not surprisingly, those who much prefer the white meat also prefer boneless. Oh, and skinless, lest a wibbly scrap of skin disturb the dining experience. I joke, but I am not exactly a “nose to tail” eater of meats either and I do definitely appreciate the safe sterility of boneless, skinless, shapeless, no-longer-resembles-a-living-creature meats. What I’m not willing to compromise on is flavour. (Not to get political, but also in a perfect world, all meats would be local,  free-run, organic, completely affordable and humanely raised and slaughtered. Until then, let’s all just do our best.) If you are a cooker and consumer of meat, particularly poultry, you will be familiar with how much better the end result of a bone-in, skin-on piece of chicken will taste. You’re also likely familiar with the shortened cooking time and reduced fat of boneless, skinless chicken. So how do you strike a happy medium, and if, like at our house, you have a variety of palates to please?

In a single word: marinade.

mar · i · nade  – noun
[n. mar-uh-neyd; v. mar-uh-neyd]  verb, -nad·ed, -nad·ing.
A seasoned liquid, usually of vinegar or wine with oil, herbs, spices, etc in which meat, fish, vegetables, etc. are steeped before cooking. 

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

10 pieces of chicken ( a whole chicken’s worth)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 a cup of plain yogurt

juice of 2 lemons

zest of 1 lemon

leaves from a sprig each of rosemary and thyme

1/2 teaspoon of salt

black pepper

Marinate in a glass or plastic (non reactive) dish for 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 mins. before cooking.

Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until crispy and fully cooked. This also turns out beautifully when barbecued! Enjoy!

Spring Salad with Curried Chicken and Spiced Nuts

Homer Simpson sang “You don’t win friends with salad.” but not all salads are created equal. In our house we frequently have dinner salads whereby the meal is the salad. This is not because we are health food nuts. It’s because salad provides a nutritious, colourful and interesting backdrop to any number of other things and the options are endless.

In the case of this salad there are 4 parts: the salad itself, the curry sauce, the spiced nuts and the chicken. Now, don’t go getting overwhelmed. The chicken and nuts can easily be made ahead and then the whole deal can just be assembled. Or, as I did the other night for dinner, make the nuts and assemble the salad, allowing both to cool while the chicken is cooking and then add it warm.

The quantities below made 6 generous “dinner sized” portions — of course, scale it up or down as you see fit.

For the chicken:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

enough water or stock to cover the chicken in one layer in the pot of your choosing

3 cloves of garlic, whole but peeled

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon black pepper corns

1 dried chili or 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Place the chicken in a pot, making sure it is all in one layer. Cover with water or stock. Add the aromatics. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Poach the chicken for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

While the chicken cooks, prepare the curry sauce.

Curry Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 garlic clove, grated

1-1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

juice of 1/2 an orange (or 1/4 cup of prepared orange juice)

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl, large enough to toss the chicken in.

Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and allow to cool before cutting into small bite sized pieces. Toss in the Curry Sauce. Set aside to cool as you prepare the salad and nuts.

For the salad

2 large handfuls of lettuce, arugula, spinach or mixed greens per person

1 cucumber, seeded and chopped

2 carrots, grated

5 radishes, grated

1 cup peas (fresh or if frozen, defrosted in warm water)

1/2 a cup of chopped green onion

a handful of chopped parsley and or cilantro

1 head of raddichio, coarsely shredded

For the Nuts

1 cup raw whole walnuts or pecans

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as sriracha)

1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey

salt and pepper

Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until they begin to get fragrant. Drizzle in the oil, hot sauce and maple syrup/honey. Cook, tossing and stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes more until the nuts have developed some colour and are very fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly before adding to the salad. These will also keep in a sealed container for several days at room temperature.


With all components of the salad ready, top the vegetables with the chicken (the curry sauce will lightly dress the greens) and top with the spiced nuts. Hot chicken and nuts will lightly wilt the greens, which is delicious as well, but won’t give you the same texture as if all the components are cool. Enjoy!

* The croutons in the picture are nothing more than a day old baguette, cut thinly on the diagonal, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and baked at 350 for 12-15 mins. While they are still hot from the oven, rub each one with a clove of garlic to impart a gentle savory garlic flavour. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.