The poultry yard (detail) by Jan Steen


see also on the rice page:

and on the meals-in-themselves soup page:

and on the salad page:

and on the first courses page




'Well now, said the waiter, in a tone of confidence, 'what would you like for dinner? Young gentlemen likes poultry in general: have a fowl!'

David Copperfield




1 chicken

4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

4-6 leeks, white part only, cut into 1 inch slices

8 fluid oz/250ml long grain rice

juice of 1 lemon

120-150ml cream

1-2 tablespoons cornflour

chicken stock

salt, pepper, parsley, light cooking oil

Lightly brown the chicken and carrots in a casserole with two tablespoons oil. Add enough stock to come a little way up the thighs of the chicken. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley, and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, turning the chicken upside down half-way through.  Add the rice and leeks and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until rice is cooked, adding more stock if it looks dry (it should still be sloppy when the rice is cooked). Take out the chicken and lift off the flesh. Drain surplus stock from the rice, making it up to about half a pint (250-300ml) with further stock if necessary, and reserve. Place the chicken flesh on top of the rice and keep warm. Dissolve the cornflour in the lemon juice and pour into a small saucepan with the chicken stock and the cream. Heat through, stirring, until thickened, and pour over the chicken.



This is inspired by the famous Butter Chicken served at the Moti Mahal restaurant in Old Delhi. The restaurant is said to have introduced this dish to the world after Partition when it acquired a chef from Peshawar. There are many different versions, but the chicken and sauce are always cooked separately (both can be done a few hours in advance) and combined at the end.

8 skin-on chicken thighs, preferably boned

3 tablespoons Greek or Greek-style yogurt

juice of 1 lemon

2 knobs of ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (methi), or 2 bay-leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 cloves

The seeds from 2 cardomom pods

¼ - ½ teaspoon chilli powder or more to taste

800gr Italian peeled plum tomatoes (2 tins), roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons cream

Cooking oil, salt, pepper

Mix together the yogurt, the lemon juice, salt, half the ginger and half the garlic. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mixture for several hours and preferably overnight. Place the chicken pieces in a baking tray, skin side up, and bake for 30-35 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 200°, until just cooked (this can be tested by sticking a knife in and seeing if the juices run clear; the chicken will cook quicker if boned). Remove and discard the chicken skins (or use for broth).

For the sauce, melt the butter, plus a little oil to stop it burning (the oil is not necessary if using ghee or clarified butter), in a saucepan and add the onion and chopped chilli, cooking very gently until they are almost soft. Add the rest of the garlic and ginger and cook a few more minutes. Add the spices and cook for a few more minutes until the spices begin to release their aroma. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for 20-25 minutes (the sauce can be done in advance up to this stage). When ready to eat, add the chicken pieces, simmer gently for a few minutes to warm through, and finally stir in 2 tablespoons cream.




2 chicken legs cut into two (or other chicken joints)

4 fluid oz/125ml basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon each of fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds

1 pinch saffron threads

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

8 fluid oz/250ml chicken stock (made with a cube will do)

butter, oil, salt

Toast the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a dry saucepan until they have coloured. Grind to a powder. Put 1 tbsp butter and a little oil in an oven-proof pan, and gently fry the chicken pieces in it for about 20 minutes, until nicely gilded. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the onion to the pan, and fry until softening. Add the garlic and ground spices and cook for a minute or two more. Add the drained rice, salt, saffron and chilli, stirring well together so that the rice is well coated in the fat. Bury the chicken pieces in the rice. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, cover tightly with foil and lid and cook for half an hour in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180º C. Remove from oven and leave for 10 minutes with the lid on before serving. Good with a cucumber, mint and yogurt raita.



2 chicken legs or 4 thighs

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch of chilli powder or cayenne

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon tomato purée

salt, pepper

Skin and bone the chicken legs and cut the flesh  into 2 cm pieces. Marinade with all the other ingredients for at least 2 hours. Thread onto skewers and grill. 



2 chicken legs or wings

1 heaped tbsp flour

1 heaped tbsp grated parmesan

½ teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons butter

salt, pepper

Mix the flour, parmesan, curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper together in a plastic bag. Melt the butter and coat the chicken pieces in it. Then put them in the plastic bag, hold it shut and shake well to give them a good coating of the flour mixture. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish, skin side down, and bake for 40 minutes in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 7 or 8/220° C, turning them skinside up half way through.   




Olla podrida means "rotten pot" in Spanish, although there asre as many explanations of the origin of the name as there are ways of preparing this Spanish dish, characterised by a mixture of meats, vegetables and beans or chick-peas.


4 chicken thighs

1 chorizo sausage

1 onion, finely sliced

¼ Savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 carrot, halved and sliced

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces.

200gr cooked chickpeas

salt, pepper, paprika, bay-leaf, chopped parsley, olive oil


Brown the chicken and chorizo in a little olive oil. Add the onion, ½ tsp paprika, bay-leaf, cabbage, carrot and potato. Add cold water to cover and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer gently for 1 hour, covered. Add the chick-peas and cook for a further 10 minutes. Cut the chicken and chorizo into chunks, return to the pan and serve with chopped parsley (this can be served either as a hearty soup or – with some liquid removed – as a stew). 




This is a recipe from the amazing Lindsay Bareham, who has for many years been producing a recipe a day, all good, for the different newspapers to which she has contributed.


1-2 chicken breasts, skinned and boned

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or squeezed through a garlic press

1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2-3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated

¼ teaspoon sugar

200ml coconut milk

1-2 tablespoons each of chopped dill; chopped mint; and chopped parsley

salt, pepper, light cooking oil


Cut the chicken into strips 5cm x 1 cm, and put in a bowl with the lemon juice. Soften the onion in a little cooking oil. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger to the onion and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and coconut milk and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Liquidise with the green herbs to make a green sauce. Reheat the sauce in a small frying pan until almost boiling and add the chicken. Simmer very gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve with rice or rice noodles. Some just cooked green beans, chopped into short lengths, can be added to the chicken mixture.




Cooked or tinned chickpeas can be substituted for the potatoes in this recipe.

4 chicken thighs or 2 legs

300-400gr new or waxy potatoes (eg charlottes)

1 dessertspoon ground cumin

1 dessertspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice

Mix together the cumin, coriander, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3-4 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces in this mixture and marinade for several hours or overnight. Peel and cook the potatoes and reserve. Place the chicken pieces on a rack in a baking dish or other ovenproof dish. Pour any remaining marinade over them. Cook for 35 minutes in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180° C. Slice the potatoes and put them with the chopped mint, salt and pepper in the dish under the chicken, mixing well with the juices from the chicken. Turn up the oven to gas mark 7/225° C and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve with the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes. 




This is adapted from a Latin American recipe by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz (no relation).


1 large chicken or 6 chicken pieces

¾ pint/500ml chicken stock

1 onion, peeled

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 large bunch green coriander, with big stalks removed

1 small bunch parsley, stalks removed

1 heart of a kos lettuce

1-2 green chilis, deseeded

100gr/3 oz ground almonds

light cooking oil, salt


Simmer the chicken in the stock until done (about 60 minutes for whole chicken; 30 minutes for chicken pieces). Remove the chicken from the stock, carve it if it is whole, and set aside. Coarsely chop the onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, lettuce and green chili, and reduce to a coarse purée in a blender or food processor, together with the ground almonds (do not overblend, as the sauce should not be too smooth). Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add the purée and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Stir in a bit more than half the stock that the chicken was cooked in (enough to make a thickish sauce) and salt to taste. Simmer covered for 5-10 minutes, then add the chicken, warm through and serve. This sauce, made with either chicken or fish stock, also goes well with fish cooked separately.




This is a slightly adapted version of a recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook by Jules Rosso and Sheila Lukins.


4-8 chicken thighs (depending on size), skin on and bone in

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons pitted green olives (100gr)

2 tablespoons capers plus 1-2 tablespoons caper juice

70 gr medjool or other dates, pitted and cut into four lengthwise

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

120ml white wine

1 big tablespoon molasses or black treacle


Put the chicken in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients except the white wine and molasses. Mix well together. Cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally. Spread the chicken out, skin side up, on a baking sheet or cast iron dish. Mix the white wine with the molasses and pour this together with the marinade ingredients over the chicken. Roast for 50 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180°, basting a couple of times.  



Roman mosaic, Tunisia


Chicken liver



A recipe given to me in France many years ago.

200gr chicken or duck livers, cleaned

4 eggs, separated

4 slices white bread, crust removed

a little milk

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

120-150ml cream

salt, pepper, chopped parsley

well-flavoured tomato sauce

Liquidise or process the chicken livers with the parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, cream and egg yolks. Tear the bread into pieces and soak in a little milk. Squeeze out the milk, and add the bread to the chicken liver mixture, liqidising or processing briefly. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg yolks. Pour into a soufflé or other oven-proof dish. Cook for about 40 minutes in a bain-marie in a pre-heated medium oven. It is done when a knife comes out clean. Serve with a well-flavoured tomato sauce (e.g. sharpened with a little balsamic vinegar).