The retro re­vamp

Coro­na­tion chicken and broc­coli bake

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

Cook Serves 15 min 55 min 4-6

4 skin­less chicken breasts, cut width­ways into 2cm-thick slices

3 tsp mild curry pow­der

Salt and black pep­per

80g un­salted but­ter 2 broc­coli heads, cut into 3-4cm flo­rets (about 550g)

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed 250ml dou­ble cream 250ml chicken stock 40g raisins

1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1½ tbsp

10g tar­ragon leaves, roughly chopped 140g ma­ture ched­dar, roughly grated

30g panko bread­crumbs mother cooked a ver­sion of this for her through­out her child­hood. When Esme re­cently asked for the recipe, it in­cluded con­densed chicken soup, evap­o­rated milk and Hell­mann’s mayo. I do like short­cuts, but not so many at once, so my take doesn’t taste quite the same. Esme con­cedes it’s still pretty good, though.

In a bowl, mix the chicken with two tea­spoons of curry pow­der, half a tea­spoon of salt and a good grind of pep­per. Melt 10g but­ter in a large saute pan on a high heat, then fry half the chicken for a minute on each side, un­til browned. Re­move from the pan, add another 10g but­ter and re­peat with the rest of the chicken.

Half-fill a medium saucepan with salted wa­ter, bring to a boil, then blanch the broc­coli for a minute or two, so it still has bite. Drain, re­fresh and leave in the colan­der to dry.

Melt 40g but­ter in the same saute pan on a medium-high heat and, once it starts to foam, fry the onion, stirring now and then, for eight or nine min­utes, un­til soft and caramelised. Stir in the gar­lic and re­main­ing tea­spoon of curry pow­der, and fry for two min­utes, un­til aro­matic. Add the cream, stock, raisins, lemon zest and juice, tar­ragon, half a tea­spoon of salt and plenty of pep­per, and cook for eight min­utes, un­til the sauce is thick and rich. Re­turn the chicken to the pan with the broc­coli and half the ched­dar, stir to coat, then tip into a high-sided, 20cm x 30cm bak­ing dish.

Melt the re­main­ing 20g but­ter and mix with the panko and re­main­ing ched­dar. Sprin­kle over the chicken mix, then bake for 25-30 min­utes, un­til golden brown and bub­bling. Leave to rest for five min­utes and serve hot with rice or mash.

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