I have written before of my mother’s roast chicken, our Saturday lunch ritual, the way she always cooked two chickens at the same time (one to eat, as she’d say, and the other for picking at from the fridge) and the lemony and rich, yet calming, savoury scent that filled the air as they cooked. And for me, a chicken remains the basic unit of home. I don’t really feel a kitchen is mine until I’ve cooked a chicken there.
The chicken recipes that follow are all regular fixtures in my kitchen. There are easy one-pan wonders like Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken, Italian Roast Chicken With Peppers and Olives], [Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes, and - of course – One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage. If you like a little spice with your chook, may I recommend Curry In A Hurry or Mughlai Chicken, or my delicate Saffron Scented Chicken Pilaf? And you need no longer wonder what to do with any leftover roasted chicken: I say to you, Mexican Chicken Salad with Tomato and Black Bean Salsa, Chicken, Mango and Chilli Salad, and Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad, all of which liven up any leftovers and make for a satisfying meal in their own right. And if you are dining solo, then my Chicken With Chorizo and Cannellini Beans is the perfect treat to yourself – and easily do-able on a weeknight. There’s plenty more, besides, so browse below for more chicken inspiration.
But nothing can ever feel as important to me as My Mother’s Praised Chicken, which is not merely a recipe, but my family’s culinary fingerprint. It’s not quite poached, not quite braised, and so I’ve settled on “praised” – which feels exactly right, as for me both cooking and eating it feel like a devotional act.