Crispy Chicken with Herby Ricotta

I have used crispy chicken skins before (see crispy chicken butter). They make a very savoury crunchy base for this light ricotta topping, full of tasty umami flavours. Give it a try, it might sound unusual but it is totally mouth-wateringly good. And, if you don't get excited by these tastes, below is also a recipe for a delicious, light chicken salad with an Asian inspired dressing. Yum.

Ingredients (makes 10 approx)

2/3 large chicken thighs or breasts

2 tbsp ricotta

1 tsp fresh chopped sage

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

1 tsp parsley

0.5 tsp chopped chives

1 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon

Salt and pepper

Method

Heat oven to 200°c. Take skin off the breasts, scraping off any obvious meat or fat that is attached. Use the chicken meat for another delicious recipe (see below)

Spread the chicken skins out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and cover with another sheet of parchment. Place a heavy tin on top to keep the skins from curling.

Cook for 10 minutes until golden brown. Cook a little longer if the skins still look pale. Break into rough triangles and cool.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta with the herbs, lemon and seasoning and put the ricotta into a piping bag (or simply use a small spoon).

Put a small spoonful of ricotta onto each piece of chicken and finish with a small piece of thyme.

Will keep in a cool place for a couple of hours.

To make further ahead:

The crispy chicken triangles will keep a day or two in an airtight container with a silica gel sachet (see tips page).

Put small spoonfuls of the ricotta and chopped herbs on sheets of parchment paper, together with the thyme. Keep covered in the fridge for several hours. Put the canapé together before serving.

Chicken Salad

This is a delicious and colourful salad to use the chicken meat, perfect for summer days.

Ingredients (serves 3/4)

3-4 skinned chicken breasts or 6/8 thighs (depending on size)

Olive oil

1 celery heart, finely sliced

0.5 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely sliced.

200g green beans, lightly cooked and halved

3-4 salad onions (depending on size), finely sliced

1 small ripe mango, peeled and cut into small pieces

15g coriander, chopped

5g mint, chopped

50g roasted and roughly chopped peanuts

For the dressing:

2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1.5 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp sesame oil

0.5 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (or more depending on taste)

Method

Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice and mix in the remaining dressing ingredients. Combine the salad ingredients together.

Salt and oil and then cook the chicken breasts, preferably on a griddle. Leave to rest for a few minutes. Cut into slices.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, put the sliced chicken on top and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.

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