In his effort to cut down on food waste, our resident chef has almost used up an entire chicken. This week, his attention turns to the breasts

 
Mark Hix

So far in my rant about how much chicken we waste, I’ve recommended a cheap and tasty soup using up chicken carcasses and a classic coq au vin using the legs.

So what have we got left? Ah, of course: the breasts. These are far and away the most popular part of a chicken, even though other cuts are far tastier.

Like the rest of the bird, the breasts have endless culinary uses. It’s important to remember that a good quality, well-raised bird isn’t necessarily going to have plump breasts. The ones you see on the supermarket shelves have probably come from an intensively reared bird that hasn’t had a lot of exercise and has been over-fed in order to get it on the table fast.

Well bred, free-range birds will do a lot of running around, so they’ll be a little tougher and not as plump, but full of flavour.

Notice I haven’t had a rant this week? That’s because I’d like to think you’ve been buying more wisely, haven’t such a full fridge and haven’t been needlessly chucking chicken in the bin.

Barbecue chicken with ginger and hedgerow garlic broth recipe

SERVES 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of black garlic (black garlic is produced down my way, on the South West Garlic Farm, and lends itself to all sorts of things including marinades or glazes like this)
  • 2tbsp treacle or honey
  • 1tbs light soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100ml chicken broth from recipe
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 30g root ginger, scraped and finely shredded
  • A handful of hedgerow garlic leaves and stems, separated

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Make a paste with the black garlic, honey and soy in a blender or small food processor and season.

Score the chicken breasts 5 or 6 times then place on a small baking tray lined with foil.

Brush the breasts generously with the marinade and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, brushing with more marinade and turning as they are cooking so they are well glazed and caramelised.

Meanwhile, bring the broth to a simmer, add the spring onions, wild garlic stems and ginger, and simmer for a minute then stir in the wild garlic leaves and remove from the heat.

To serve, place the chicken breasts in a pasta bowl type dish with the skin side up.

Related articles