( Theguardian) – From chicken tinga and black bean tacos to lemongrass chicken with green mango salad: children will love putting together these fragrant, tasty meals
Chicken tinga and black bean tacos
Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr
8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken legs
Salt and pepper
6 firm tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ lime
1 x 400g can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsedAdvertisement
Season the chicken thighs or legs. Place a frying pan over a high-ish heat, cover the base with oil, and the chicken then fry, skin-side down for five to seven minutes, until browned and crisp. Cook the other side for about two minutes. Transfer to a warm plate and wipe the pan clean.
Add the whole tomatoes, garlic and onion, and cook over a high heat for eight to 10 minutes, turning now and then, until charred. Transfer half the vegetables to a bowl, then add the spices, oregano and bay leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, roughly mashing the vegetables as you go.
Add the vinegar, and return the chicken to the pan along with 250ml water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the liquid is at a bare simmer. Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the reserved vegetables; season with salt, pepper and a handful of coriander. Add lime juice to taste.
Transfer the chicken to a plate. Heat the sauce for a few minutes more, until it has reduced by half. When the chicken is cool, discard the skin and bones, and finely shred the meat. Return it to the sauce and add the beans. Heat through, then serve with tortillas, soured cream, avocado and lime quarters.
Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
40ml sesame oil
3 fat slices root ginger, peeled
12 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 shallot or small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2–3 small dried chillies
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 4cm dices,or 600g leftover cooked chicken
80ml mirin, dry sherry or dry white wine
80ml light soy sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
1 small bunch Thai basil, or Greek or ordinary basil
Salt and pepper
Jasmine rice, to serve
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the ginger, garlic, shallot and chillies, and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.
If you’re using uncooked chicken, lay the pieces in the pan in a single layer. Cook for one minute, then turn over and cook for another minute on the other side, until just coloured.
Add the alcohol, soy and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat (if using cooked chicken, add it now), cover and simmer for about 25 minutes (or eight to 10 minutes if using cooked meat), until the chicken is done (turn it a few times as it cooks) or warmed through.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Check the seasoning, and serve immediately with rice
Chicken with garlic and almonds
Prep 20 min
Cook 35 min
8 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
2 slices of crusty white bread, crusts removed, soft parts torn into 2.5cm pieces
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic bulbs, cloves separated, skins left on
2 bay leaves
200ml dry sherry such as amontillado or manzanilla, or white wine
200ml chicken stock or water
Season the chicken. Put the almonds in a frying pan over a moderate heat and dry-fry for two minutes, until golden. Remove the almonds from the pan and leave to cool. Add enough oil to liberally coat the base of the frying pan, and fry the bread for about three minutes, until crisp and golden-brown in parts.
Use a food processor to blend the roasted almonds, fried bread and parsley into a coarse crumb. Set aside.
Add another measure of olive oil to the pan, and fry the garlic over a moderate heat for five minutes, until just golden, then remove to a plate, reserving the oil in the pan.
Add the seasoned chicken to the same pan and fry for five minutes on each side, until deep golden-brown all over.
Return the garlic to the pan with the chicken and bay, and pour in the sherry or wine, shaking the pan to help the wine emulsify with the oil. Cook for two minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol, then stir in the stock or water, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
At the last minute, add the almond crumb to the pan and barely stir to thicken the braise, keeping some of the crumbs on top for a crunchy texture. Remove from the heat, check the seasoning, then serve.
Lemongrass chicken with green mango salad
Prep 30 min
Marinade 1 hr +
Cook 45 min
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot or ½ small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
1 tbsp grated root ginger
1 tbsp light-brown soft sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp five-spice powder
8 chicken thighs, slashed through the skin to the bone a few times
For the salad
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp light-brown soft sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 unripe mango, pitted and cut into thin matchsticks
1 small shallot or ½ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 small bunch coriander, picked and finely chopped
1 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
To make the marinade, blend all the ingredients, apart from the chicken and the salad ingredients, to a coarse paste. Toss the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for one to eight hours.
Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to cook it, and heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/gas 7.
Line a baking tin with foil, (this makes washing-up easier) then arrange the chicken in a single layer. Bake for about 35‑45 minutes, basting with any reserved marinade or cooking juices two or three times during cooking, until the flesh is cooked through and the skin crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for five minutes.
While the chicken is resting, toss the salad ingredients in a bowl with three tablespoons of water, until everything is evenly distributed. Check the seasoning, then serve the salad with the chicken and some of the tin juices.