Chicken breasts have long been a dietary staple for anyone looking to lose fat or build muscle, but less ‘premium’ cuts can provide similar benefits for half the price.
‘Chicken necks are full of flavour and contain very little fat,’ says David Philpot, head chef at London’s Paternoster Chophouse. ‘They’re best used for stocks and soups.’
- Fry 1kg of chicken necks until golden. Add 250g chopped carrots, 300g onions, two garlic cloves, a few thyme stalks, ¼ head of celery and 4l water. Simmer for three hours and strain, keeping only the liquid.
- Cook 50g streaky bacon in a heavy pan. Add 100g finely chopped onion, 50g chopped carrots, 5g thyme leaves and ½ clove of garlic. Cook until slightly soft.
- Add 50g pearl barley and half the broth. Simmer until the barley is cooked. Add 100g shredded cavolo nero cabbage, 10g parsley and 2tsp extra virgin olive oil.
‘Wings are cheap, readily available and seriously tasty,’ says Tommy Boland, head chef at Almeida restaurant (opens in new tab) in Islington. ‘They’re also a great source of protein.’
- Add 1.5 litres of chicken stock, a chopped onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaves to a pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat down very low and add 1kg chicken wings. Cook for seven minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave for 15 minutes.
- Take the wings out of the stock. Remove the bones and put the meat back in.
- Add any extra ingredients you like, such as three chopped chillies for a bit of a kick, or soy sauce, lime juice, bean sprouts, spring onion and cabbage for an Asian edge.
‘This is one of the more common cheaper cuts,’ says Lee Bennett, executive head chef at Leeds’ Crafthouse restaurant (opens in new tab). ‘Correctly seasoned and cooked at a high heat, the skin will release any excess fat and crisp up, giving you all the flavour and none of the health downsides.’
Roast chicken thigh with wild mushrooms and peppered cabbage
- Sprinkle sea salt over four chicken thighs.
- Place 200g of mixed wild mushrooms and a finely shredded Savoy cabbage into a shallow casserole dish and sprinkle with 1tsp fine cracked black pepper.
- Add 100ml chicken stock and 150ml white wine and sit the chicken thighs on top.
- Roast in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 30 minutes. The chicken should be crisp and the vegetables stewed.
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