5 for the pot

Seriously flavourful chicken, simmered on the stove or done in the oven. The slow, easy ways of cooking are just right for now…

Recipes by Annie Bell. Follow Annie Bell on Twitter @annibellcook and check out Annie’ s books, including How To Cook, Baking Bible, Gorgeous Cakes and Low Carb Revolution at kylebooks.co.uk.

Food: 5 for the pot

Smoky chilli tex-mex chicken

 

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

1 x dried ancho chilli

sea salt and black pepper

1.5kg free-range mixed chicken thighs and drumsticks

2 tbsp good olive oil

1 large onion peeled and chopped

2 long red peppers core and seeds removed cut into thin strips 6cm long

3 garlic cloves peeled and finely sliced

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried mint or oregano

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

Method

1 Place the ancho chilli in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes, turning it over halfway through. Drain, pull out the core and coarsely chop the flesh, discarding the seeds.

2 Season the chicken pieces on both sides. Heat a large, heavy casserole with a lid (or similar) over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and colour the chicken on both sides in batches, removing the pieces to a bowl as you go.

3 Tip out the fat, add another tablespoon of oil, turn the heat down a little and fry the onion and peppers for 6-8 minutes until starting to colour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, spices, mint and chopped chilli and fry for a couple of minutes longer until fragrant and lightly golden. Add the tinned tomatoes and stir the chicken into the sauce, pressing the pieces down to almost cover them. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for 1 hour, turning the chicken pieces halfway through.

4 Divide the chicken among warm plates or bowls. Skim the excess oil off the surface of the sauce, taste and, if wished, simmer to reduce and concentrate the flavour a little before ladling over the chicken.

SERVING IDEA Add a dollop of sour cream, some diced avocado and chopped coriander scattered over.

Food: 5 for the pot

Turkish chicken with orange & sumac yoghurt

SERVES 4

Ingredients

sea salt and black pepper

1.5kg free-range chicken thighs and drumsticks

2 tbsp good olive oil

3 leeks trimmed and thickly sliced

3 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

1 cinnamon stick

1 level tsp allspice

2 thick strips of orange zest (removed with a potato peeler)

1 medium-hot red chilli

150ml smooth orange juice

150ml white wine

a large handful coarsely chopped mint

a large handful coarsely chopped coriander

YOGHURT 150g low-fat greek yoghurt 50g sour cream 1 heaped tsp sumac a squeeze of lemon juice extra coriander finely grated orange zest to serve optional

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Heat a large heavy casserole with a lid (or similar) over a medium heat and season the chicken pieces on both sides. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and colour the chicken on both sides in batches, removing the pieces to a bowl as you go.

2 Tip out the fat, add another tablespoon of oil, turn the heat down a little and fry the leeks for several minutes until glossy and starting to colour, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, allspice, orange zest and whole chilli and fry for about 1 minute longer until fragrant. Add the orange juice and wine, and nestle the chicken pieces into the sauce (which will half cover them). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender, turning the pieces halfway through.

3 Combine the ingredients for the yoghurt with a little salt in a small bowl.

4 Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and cover with foil. Skim any excess fat off the cooking juices and discard the orange zest, chilli and cinnamon stick. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer vigorously for 7-10 minutes until the sauce has enriched a little, then taste for salt. Stir the mint and coriander into the sauce, and serve this ladled over the chicken pieces. Dollop with the yoghurt, scatter with more coriander and, if wished, a little finely grated orange zest.

ADDED ASPARAGUS This is good with 300g fine asparagus on the side or cut into lengths and stirred into the sauce for the last 7-10 minutes of cooking time.

Food: 5 for the pot

Jerk chicken & sweet potato stew

 

SERVES 6

 

Ingredients

¾ tsp allspice

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp cider vinegar

6 free-range chicken legs

good olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1 bunch spring onions trimmed and thickly sliced

2 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

300ml chicken stock

700g orange-fleshed sweet potatoes peeled halved lengthways and thickly sliced

 

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 2½. Combine the spices with the sugar and lemon thyme in a small bowl. In another small bowl, blend the tomato purée with the lime juice and vinegar.

2 Brush the chicken legs all over with oil and season well. Heat a large heavy casserole with a lid (or similar) over a medium-high heat and add the chicken in batches, colour the pieces each side and set aside.

3 Turn the heat down to medium-low, drain any rendered fat, add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the spring onions and garlic for about 2 minutes until glossy and starting to relax, stirring frequently. Stir in the spice mixture and

briefly fry until fragrant, then add the tomato purée mixture and the stock.

4 Add the sweet potatoes and return the chicken to the pan, nestling it among the potatoes. The liquid will only half cover the ingredients, but the stew gets juicier as it cooks. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until the chicken is tender, turning the pieces halfway through.

SERVING IDEA I like this with a simple green salad on the side.

Food: 5 for the pot

Chicken & mango balti

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

1 x 400ml tin coconut milk stored in the fridge (see method)

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 x 4cm knob of fresh ginger peeled

1 tsp chopped medium-hot red chilli

2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil

1 large onion peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

6 green cardamom pods

6 cloves

6 curry leaves

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 heaped tsp tamarind paste

4 tomatoes (skinned if wished) core cut out and coarsely chopped

600g free-range skinless chicken breast fillets cut into 3cm dice

sea salt

Method

1 Have ready the tin of coconut milk, making sure it hasn’t been shaken or turned so that the cream has settled at the top.

2 Whiz the garlic, ginger and chilli to a coarse paste in a food processor. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and fry the onion with the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and curry leaves for about 10 minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Stir in the ginger mixture and fry for a minute longer.

3 In the meantime, blend the garam masala, turmeric and tamarind paste with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Stir this into the onion and cook briefly until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes longer until mushy, stirring frequently.

4 Stir the chicken into the curry base, give it a good stir and season with salt, then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times, or until it is just cooked through and tender. Stir the thick layer of coconut cream from the top of the tin into the curry, leaving behind the coconut water, which can be reserved for some other use. Gently heat through without boiling.

SERVING IDEA This gorgeous soupy balti curry cries out for warm naan breads and mango chutney on the side – and rice, too, if you want the full works. A bowl of dressed Rocket is a good leafy addition.

Food: 5 for the pot

Harissa & rose chicken with saffron

SERVES 4

Ingredients

2 red onions peeled halved and thinly sliced across

300g slim carrots trimmed peeled and thickly sliced

300g small cauliflower florets

4 small rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves peeled

good olive oil

sea salt and black pepper a small pinch of saffron filaments (about 10)

ground 2 level tsp harissa

4 x free-range skinned chicken breast fillets about 175g each

150ml white wine

150ml chicken stock

75g pitted black olives

1 tsp dried rose petals

coarsely chopped coriander to serve

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/ gas 6½. Combine the onions, carrots, cauliflower, rosemary and garlic in a large roasting dish. Pour over 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season and toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes until lightly golden, stirring halfway through. In the meantime, blend the saffron with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and leave to infuse.

2 Ten minutes before the end of the roasting time, start to prepare the chicken. Add the harissa to the saffron infusion and blend. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat, brush the chicken fillets all over with oil, season them and sear half at a time for about 1 minute each side to lightly colour them (or use a griddle pan if preferred). Transfer to a plate when cooked.

3 Spread the harissa over the top of the chicken fillets and nestle them among the roasted vegetables, then drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the chicken and return the roasting dish to the oven for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

4 Remove the chicken to a plate. Place the roasting dish over a lively heat, add the wine and simmer until well reduced. Add the stock and olives and bring to the boil. Serve the chicken on top of the vegetables and juices. Crumble over the rose petals and finish with a scattering of chopped coriander

SERVING IDEA This would be lovely with a pilaf or some couscous alongside.

Recipes Annie Bell

Photographs Chris Alack

Food Styling Clare Lewis

Styling Sue Radcliffe