CHEF MEL is serving up a selection of her recipes, in-house TV and media events for you to share, enjoy and to inspire and motivate you in the kitchen so that you’ll surely get you a round of applause the next time you cook a meal, you’ll be happy in the kitchen in no time!

 

3 Wild Ways with a chicken breast

Chicken breast is tender, lean and really easy to buy.  Cheap as anything and very very versatile.  These are my three favourite things to do with chicken breast…

Quickie around the world chicken breast with a culinary spray tan

Chicken breast scored with culinary spray tan

This is a wonderful trick to know for those quick and easy week night meals.  When the family is starving and you’ve literally just walked through the door and you need to feed them fast before they turn on you…

Chicken breast fillets can take on a multitude of personalities.

You can literally take your chicken breast around the world with my versatile culinary spray tans.  Now, for those of you that don’t know, I refer to good old fashion spices as spray tans.  Mix your favourite spice mix into a paste with oil or water, or simply sprinkle the chicken breast with the spice, then drizzle with oil or water and rub to coat.

Chicken breast scored with culinary spray tan

My favourite North African/Moroccan spice mix is Chef Mel Culinary Spray Tan Ras el Hanout…which means top shelf spices.  Think mysterious and fragrant cumin, ginger, saffron, fenugreek and more.  Simply throw about a teaspoon of this spice on each breast, about the same of olive oil and rub in. You can now buy this on my brand new online store. But of course these are easy to make on your own, so get creating.

I like to cut my chicken breast open lenghways, and then score with the tip of a sharp knife to make fancy diamond cuts or straight slashes, allowing the heat and the flavour in.  Beware, these will cook a lot faster with the scoring, so you can save time but don’t overcook.  Serve with salads, sides and veggies.

 

You can also use curry powder, Thai or Indian curry paste out of a jar, or for a Spanish twist use paprika and turmeric for your spray tan.

 

I did this video years ago but it’s still good to go, click here to see this recipe in action!

Velveting for stir fry

Have you ever had succulent and tender stir fried chicken from an Asian restaurant and wonder how on earth they get the chicken to be so soft?  It’s a super easy technique called velveting and you can do this easily at home!  Slice your chicken breast against the grain and place in a bowl.  To every 500g add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch/cornflour, 3 tablepoons of water and 3 tablespoons soy sauce, curry paste or marinade.  Mix to coat the chicken and then place in fridge for at least 20 minutes. This is then ready to stir fry in a swearword hot wok with some additional seasoning and ingredients.  You’ll love this silky tender new chicken in your stir fries.  For stir fry success…not a soggy mess…head to my cooking channel and I’ll help you fix this!

Grilled

Just want to shove something into the oven and get on with your life?  If you need some quick and easy shove in the oven ideas then chicken breast is a great one!  I always cut my chicken breasts in half lenghways and open them up.  Place on a greased roasting tray, brush with oil and your choice of a culinary spray tan (spices mixed with oil), season well with salt and pepper,  and then top with chopped bacon, onion and mushroom.  Place in the middle of the oven at 220c for at least 20 minutes until brown and golden and then chicken is cooked through.

You could then sprinkle with my amazing Pistachio and Ras el Hanout Gravel to give your chicken breast some crunch, flavour and personality.

Happy Cooking 

Chef Mel