Bird is the word


Packed with protein and a guaranteed crowd pleaser, what’s not to love about chicken! CW food writer Fiona Williams shares two ways to cook up some tasty chook.

Hainan-style chicken

Recipe extracted from The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet by Dr Tony Bird, Dr Michael Conlon and Pennie Taylor. Available now, Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99.

Serves: 4

Prep: 20 mins, plus standing

Cook: 45 mins

  • 4 × 200g chicken breast fillets
  • 1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 4 spring onions, white parts only (reserve green tops, finely chopped, to serve)
  • 4 thin slices ginger, plus ½ teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper
  • Olive oil spray, for cooking
  • ½ cup (100g) basmati rice
  • 2 baby bok choy, trimmed and halved or quartered lengthways
  • 1 bunch asparagus, bases trimmed, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 100g sugar snap peas, trimmed

For the chilli dipping sauce

  • 2 fresh long red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped (optional)
  • ½ small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 3 tsp lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Place the chicken, stock, spring onion, sliced ginger, star anise and Sichuan pepper in a deep heavy-based frying pan with a lid and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil and keep warm. Strain the stock and reserve.

Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce, place all the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, and then spray with olive oil. Add the grated ginger and rice and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Measure ¾ cup (180 ml) of the reserved stock and add to the pan. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes or until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Pour the remaining stock into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Working in batches, steam the bok choy, asparagus and sugar snap peas for 2-3 minutes until tender but crisp.

Add the chicken breasts to the hot stock to warm through, if necessary. Remove and cut into thick slices on the diagonal. Divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls, and then serve a sliced chicken breast on top of each, along with the steamed vegetables. Serve with the bowl of dipping sauce to the side.

Mango sticky chicken

Recipe courtesy of Calypso® Mango |

Serves: 4

Prep: 30 mins + 2 hours marinating

Cook: 20 mins

  • 1 Calypso® mango
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 tsp lemongrass paste
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grated palm sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes, crushed
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Jasmine rice or dressed Calypso® mango and salad leaves, to serve

Cut, peel and chop the mango. Place into a food processor with the garlic, ginger lemongrass, Sriracha, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or snap lock bag. Add the chicken to the marinade and mix well to ensure it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight if time permits.

Preheat a chargrill or barbecue grill to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and spray both sides lightly with oil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, use a mandolin or potato peeler to thinly slice the sweet potato into thin rounds or long strips. Pat dry with paper towel. Half fill a medium saucepan with oil and heat over medium until hot. Cook the sweet potato in batches, for three minutes until light golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve chicken with sweet potato salad or rice.

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