Hearty autumn comfort with chicken Kiev and crème brûlée

THIS week’s recipes are perfect for when coming home from work on a cold and wet autumn evening.

Comforting, hearty and a bit retro, these dishes are a weekly staple in our household and the kids love them.

To make dinner time more convenient, these garlicky chicken Kievs can be batch cooked and simply served with mashed potato and your favourite vegetables.

Although it is very rare that our mid–week dinner time routine would stretch to a dessert, a traditional crème brûlée is a go–to at this time of the year.

Chicken Kiev (Serves 4)

  • 75g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 75g of flour, extra for dusting
  • 150g of breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt, pepper and oil

Method

Beat the butter, garlic and parsley together in a bowl until combined and season. Place in a roll of cling film, roll it into a sausage shape and wrap up tightly. Place in the freezer to harden for 5 minutes.

Butterfly each chicken breast and place each one between two sheets of cling film. Bash with a rolling pin until flattened.

Take the butter out of freezer and slice into four pieces. Place one on each chicken breast and wrap the flesh around the butter to fully enclose it. Use a little flour with water to create a paste to help stick the chicken in place.

Place chicken in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat the chicken breasts first in the flour, shaking off the excess, then in the beaten egg and finally coat in the breadcrumbs.

Add a dash of oil to a large pan on a medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan, seam–side down, and fry for 6 minutes, turning now and again, until it is golden and crisp all over. Transfer onto kitchen paper to drain.

Place the chicken on roasting tray and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.

Traditional Crème Brûlée (Serves 4)

  • 750ml of single cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 75g of white sugar for topping

Method

Preheat oven to 160C. Place the cream and the vanilla seeds into a saucepan on a medium heat. Once bubbling remove from heat.

In a clean bowl place the egg yolks and caster sugar and whisk until combined. Add to the cream mix, place on a medium heat and stir continuously for 5 minutes until it becomes a custard.

Pour the custard mix into crème brûlée dishes. Place in a roasting tray and add some hot water to the tray to create a bain–marie. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.

Once cooked, place in fridge to set. When ready to serve cover with 1 tablespoon of sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise the sugar. If you don’t have a blowtorch, use the highest setting on the grill and leave it under until caramelised.

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