Sounds scary but I am interested – the recipe looks so easy.

Serves 4-6

  • 2 x 15 ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (with skin on and bone in), preferably organic
  • 1 bunch or 6 spring onions
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 40 cloves garlic (approximately 3-4 bulbs), unpeeled
  • 2 x 15 tablespoons dry white vermouth or white wine
  • 11/2 teaspoons pouring salt
  • good grinding pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Heat the oil on the hob in a wide, shallow ovenproof and flameproof casserole (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid), and sear the chicken over a high heat, skin-side down. This may take 2 batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go.

Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl. Finely slice the spring onions, put them into the casserole and quickly stir fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.

Put 20 cloves of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (paper excess removed) into the casserole, top with the chicken pieces skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.

Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily, chickeny juices left in the bowl. Swill it around and pour this into the casserole.

Sprinkle with salt, grind over the pepper, add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put the lid and cook in the oven for 11/2 hours.

I am serving this with a big green salad and potato dauphinouse

This recipe is from Kitchen Recipes from The Heart of the Home by Nigella Lawson

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We have a great family staying with us tonight and they like to party, so I want something quick, easy and tasty to prepare.  We have a total of 6 adults and 2 children for dinner and having received Nigella Lawson’s new cook book this Christmas I was keen to test out some new recipes.

Tonight on the Menu is:

  • Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic
  • Potato Gratin Dauphinois
  • Big Green Salad
  • Wedding Pavlova
  • Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars

These all look simple and some items can be prepared in advance.

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Bacon-wrapped chicken burgers

Serves 4

  • 450g fresh chicken mince
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 55g (2oz) pine kernels or cashews, toasted
  • 55g (2oz) Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoon fresh snipped chives
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon wholemeal flour
  • 8 lean back bacon rashers
  • 1-2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced tomato

Place the chicken mince, onion, garlic, pine kernels or cashews, cheese, chives and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor (if you have one otherwise mix by hand). Using the pulse button, blend the mixture together using short sharp bursts. Scrape out on to a board and shape into 4 equal-sized burgers. Coat in the flour, then cover and leave to chill for 1 hour.

Wrap each burger with 2 bacon rashers, securing in place with a wooden cocktail stick.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add the oil. When hot, add the burgers and cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked through.

Suggested serving:  Arrange some shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato and thinly sliced red onions on the bases of 4 ciabatta rolls. Top with a burger and a spoonful of mayonnaise.

This recipe is from The Burger Book by Gina Steer

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TSUKUNE (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Makes 16 

  • 500g skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 sheet nori seaweeds, cut into strips (I didn’t bother with this)


  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Whiz chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, zest, barbecue sauce, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor for 1 minute or until completely smooth and sticky. Add the eggwhite and whiz to combine. Using damp hands, roll a heaped teaspoon of mixture into a ball and place on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining mixture or until almost cooked through.  .

Remove the tray from the oven. Brush half the sauce over the meatballs, sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. 

++ At this stage I cooked the chicken through and then brushed in the sauce over the meat balls and topped with sesame seeds and put them in a foil container and froze them.  On the day of the party I defrosted the chicken balls in the morning and then reheated them in a preheated oven 180 for 10-15 minutes until golden. 

This recipe is from Delicious Magazine December by Jill Dupleix

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Makes 24 

  • 3 teaspoons grated palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 350g chicken mince
  • ¾ cup/120g toasted peanuts, chopped
  • ½ cup/120g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ cup/125mls oil
  • Sweet chilli sauce to serve

Dissolve the sugar in the fish sauce, then place in a bowl with the chicken mince, peanuts, breadcrumbs, curry paste, lime juice, lime leaves, sweet chilli sauce and coriander. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 24 small balls – they will be quite soft. Flatten the balls into discs about 1.5cm thick. Lay them in a single layer on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heave-based frying pan and cook the cakes in batches for 2-3 minutes each side, or until firm and golden. Drain on crumpled paper towels. 

An alternative way to cook these is preheat the oven to 180C, brown the cakes quickly in the heavy-based frying pan, put them in a baking tray and finish them off. 

Thinking ahead: The uncooked Thai chicken cakes will keep frozen for up to 2 months or refrigerated in a single layer for 1 day. 

This recipe is from Small Food by Murdock Books

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[blackbirdpie url=””]Serves 4

This is a simple , delicious summer salad, making the most of sweet Australian ingredients at their seasonal peak. This salad also works well with duck, prawns or lobster. 

  • 1 free-range roast chicken (remove bones – skin optional – and slice meat)
  • 2 firm mangoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways and sliced on the diagonal
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
  • 4 French shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 radicchio, sliced (or red witlof if you can get it)
  • 1 handful coriander leaves
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 2 green spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g (2/3 cup) macadamia nuts, roasted until lightly golden and sliced or roughly chopped


  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mild chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • Juices of 2 limes
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

PREPARE THE DRESSING first. Combine all the ingredients in bowl and season with salt and pepper. It should be sharp and hot, with a nutty balance from the olive oil.

FOR THE SALAD, put all ingredients, except the nuts, in a blow, add the dressing and mix well. Divide the salad amoung 4 large plates, then sprinkle with macadami nuts, give a good grind of the fresh pepper and drizzle over any remaining dressing from the mixing bowl. 

This recipe is from the Good Weekend Magazine and is by Neil Perry

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My butcher sells a double chicken breast with the bones removed, they are stuffed and tied with string (to stop them falling apart) and small pieces of butter under the skin. All you have to do is roast and carve – too easy. My family love them because there are no bones.

– 2 Double chicken breasts (4 chicken breasts in total)
– Olive oil
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 packet of ready made salad leaves
– 1/4 iceberg lettuce
– extra olive oil for the salad
– 1kg new potatoes

Preheat the oven 200C. Place the chicken breasts in a roasting tray (with a rack if possible to stop the breasts from sticking). Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 30-45 minutes until golden and cooked through. When cooked let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes, then carve.

Add the new potatoes to a large pan add water until all the potatoes are submerged, bring pan to the boil allow to boil until potatoes are cooked through. When cooked drain and keep warm until the chicken is ready.

Wash the salad leaves and iceberg lettuce. Mix together in a large bowl, breaking up the iceberg to your desired size. Just before serving drizzle with olive oil.

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Serves 4 

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil 

Combine chicken, garlic, juice, pepper and basil in a medium bowl. 

Cook chicken, in batches, on heated oiled grill plate, brushing occasionally with marinade, until browned and cooked through.  Cover, keep warm. 


Serves 4 

  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes (480g)
  • 250g cherry bocconcini cheese
  • 1 large avocado, halved
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Slice tomato, cheese and avocado thickly. 

Arrange slices of tomato, cheese and avocado on serving platter; top with basil leaves, drizzle with combined oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

This recipe is from Christmas and Holiday Entertaining 2008 by Women’s Weekly

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Serves 4

  • 4 x 200g chicken breast fillets, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon each oregano leaves and dried chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cos lettuce, quartered
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 100g pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 200g feta, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Place the chicken, oregano, chilli, half the garlic, 11/2 tablespoon olive, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Heat a char-grill pan (normal frying pan will do) or barbecue over high heat. Char-grill or barbecue the chicken for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.

Arrange the tomato, lettuce, cucumber, olives, parsley, feta and sliced chicken on plates. Whisk to combine the vinegar, remaining olive oil and garlic and spoon over the salad to serve.

This recipe is from the Donna Hay Magazine – October/November 2010 issue

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We are off to a barbecue tonight and everyone is bringing a dish – this is our offering. 

Makes 20 

  • 6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 20 large chicken wings, tips cut off

 Combine soy sauce, sherry and honey in a bowl. Add the wings and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 200C.  Arrange the wings on a wire rack over an oven tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes bake until golden and cooked through. 

This recipe is from Barbecue by Eric Treuille and Birgit Erath

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