Chicken Kiev

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

This simple recipe for a homemade chicken kiev is so much better than shop-bought versions.

Ingredients

For the chicken kiev
  • 4 x 175g/6oz chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 230g/8oz butter, slightly softened
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 10-12 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for frying
For the rice
  • 250g/9oz cooked white and wild rice (from a packet of mixed white and wild rice)
  • 100g/3½oz bacon lardons, fried until crisp
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 100g/3½oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. For the chicken kiev, slice a piece out of the centre of the chicken breast to make a pocket using a sharp knife. Place the garlic, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper, tarragon and butter into a bowl and mix well. Stuff this mixture into the pocket in the chicken breasts.
  3. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat completely, shaking off any excess.
  4. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the chicken breasts on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden-brown and completely cooked through.
  5. For the rice, place all the rice ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pack the rice mixture into four cups or ramekins.
  6. To serve, turn the rice out onto serving plates with the chicken kiev alongside.
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Minced Beef Pie

This tasty and economical pie recipe will quickly become a family favourite. Serve with mounds of mash.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée 1½ tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 75g/2½oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 250ml/9fl oz stout or beef stock
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 400g/14oz ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 1 free-range egg, yolk only, lightly beaten

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the beef mince for 4-5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute, then add the chopped mushrooms, the stout or beef stock and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool, then turn the meat mixture into a one litre pie dish.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface until it is slightly larger than the pie dish. Gently drape the pastry over the dish, pressing firmly onto the edges. Trim, then shape the edges into a fluted shape.
  5. Cut some leaf shapes out of the pastry trimmings and decorate the top of the pie, sticking them to the pastry with the beaten egg yolk.
  6. Make three or four slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape, then brush the pie with the rest of the beaten egg yolk and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  7. To serve, slice into wedges.

Cheese Straws

Ingredients

  • 1 x 375g/13oz packet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 55g/2oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 anchovies, drained and cut in half lengthways
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 55g/2oz freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210C/425F/Gas7.
  2. Place the pastry on a floured work surface and roll out slightly to create a square. Using a large sharp knife trim the edges of the pastry so that the straws cook uniformly.
  3. Brush the pastry lightly with the melted butter and then cut the pastry in half.
  4. On the first pastry half, arrange the anchovies in lengths along the pastry then sprinkle over the chopped parsley and a quarter of the grated parmesan. Spread the other piece of pastry with the sun-dried tomato paste and sprinkle with a quarter of the grated parmesan.
  5. Fold the bottom half of each piece over the top half and gently press down. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the remaining parmesan.
  6. With a large sharp knife cut the pastry, lengthways, into 1cm/1/2in strips. Hold the ends between your fingers and carefully stretch and twist the strips in opposite directions. Place the twisted strips onto lightly oiled baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Place in the oven and bake for 10 -12 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  7. Remove the cheese straws from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes to firm up. Using a palette knife carefully transfer the cheese straws to a wire rack or serving plate.