–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sweet Natured


Sweet, gooey and scented, I think I’m slightly obsessed with honey. Everywhere I go, I like to pick up a jar of local honey and I always like to keep a pot of it to hand in the pantry. Decent local honey may not be cheap, but it is the pure unadulterated product likely to carry the signature flavour of our indigenous countryside and even our gardens.
I’m forever amazed at just how those busy honey bees gather the nectar and turn it into such a seductive food for us to plunder.

Generally, bees can fly up to six miles from the hive but one or two is more common if food sources are close by. They collect the pollen and nectar in the spring (when most plants are in flower) and take it back to the hive where they process and store honey in honeycombs to be used as their winter sustenance. Bees make more honey than they actually need and a typical hive can hold up to around 25lb (11kg) surplus.

Depending on the types of plants that the bees forage on, the honey can be either runny and clear or opaque and set. The flowers also impart their unique flavour characteristics too, so honeys can vary considerably from region to region.

As well as spreading it on my toast in the morning, I love using honey in cooking – it is great for baking as it has hygroscopic qualities, meaning that it attracts water, thereby keeping cakes moist for longer.

Apart from the kitchen, honey also has a place in the medicine cabinet too. Its antiseptic properties make it a soother of sore throats and it is even good for the skin when applied externally.
Honey lasts practically forever too, (although not in my house!) an explorer found a 2000 year old jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb and they said it tasted delicious.

For my recipe, I have decided against the assumed route of a dessert and used honey in a delicious main course savoury dish instead, to demonstrate the versatility of this gorgeous substance.


Zingy Honey Chilli Chicken
Chicken really lends itself to the sweet stickiness of the honey and the recipe is really easy to make too.
Don’t be put off by the amount of chilli used as honey has the ability to tame the heat into an overall mellowness.
It can be served with rice or new potatoes with a crisp green salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients
6tbsp runny honey
2 red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2tbsp worcester sauce
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken breasts
1 red capsicum pepper, cored and cut into chunks
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp cornflour

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.

In a small bowl, mix the honey, chilli, worcester sauce, vinegar and lemon juice. Add the rosemary, garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Take each chicken breast and score the flesh diagonally 3 times. Place in an ovenproof dish along with the capsicum pepper and pour over the marinade. Leave for an hour or so to allow the flavours to mingle.

Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and place in the oven for 20-30 mins, basting 2-3 times during cooking. As ovens vary check to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of a breast. The juice should run clear.

Take the dish from the oven and remove the chicken and peppers, using tongs to another dish and keep warm. Pour the juices into a small saucepan and bring to the boil and allow to cook until the liquid has reduced by half and has thickened slightly. Turn down the heat to low.

In a small bowl mix the cornflour with a small amount of cold water. Pour a little into the reduced marinade and stir until it has thickened, simmer gently for a minute. Pour over the chicken and serve.
Photo: ©childsdesign 2011

1 comments:

Lisa Attias said...

I love honey in herb teas. During the summer I make iced teas from this.
However it is important not to add honey to just boiled water as this destroys some of the special nutritious qualities of this lovely golden substance.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Delicious Cloud

:: Cuisine: Asian :: Cuisine: British :: Cuisine: Chinese :: Cuisine: Danish :: Cuisine: European :: Cuisine: Finnish :: Cuisine: French :: Cuisine: Greek :: Cuisine: Hungarian :: Cuisine: Icelandic :: Cuisine: Indian :: Cuisine: Italian :: Cuisine: Mediterranean :: Cuisine: Mexican :: Cuisine: Middle Eastern :: Cuisine: Moroccan :: Cuisine: North African :: Cuisine: Norwegian :: Cuisine: Oriental :: Cuisine: Scandinavian :: Cuisine: Swedish :: Cuisine: Thai "Spouse Specials" A Slice of Cherry Pie A Taste of the Unexpected Absolute Press Accompaniments Aiden Byrne Alan Coxon Alcoholic Drinks Ale-Gar Almond Ancient Greek Vinaigre Anjum Anand Apples Aromettes Ashbourne Asparagus Bacon. Baileys Real Food Company Bakewell Baking Barbecue Basil BBC Beans Bed and Breakfast Beef Beetroot Bere Marsh Farm Beverages Bill Granger Bill McCarrick Bipin's Masala Birthday Biscuits and Cookies Bish Muir Blackberries Blackberry Blagger's Banquet Blakeney Bolludagur Book Reviews Books Bramley Apple Week Bramley Apples Bread Breakfast Breckland Orchard Breton Breton Cake Brett Cohen Bristol Britain British British Pie Week British Sausage Week Brittany Brunch Brussels Sprouts Bun Day Buns Bursting Day Butternut Squash. C.J. Jackson Cafe Cakes Carrots Casseroles • Stews Celebrations Cheeky Spouse Cheese Cherries Cherry Chestnuts Chicken Chives Chocolate chocolate cake Chocolate Unwrapped Chocri Christmas Chutney Cider Claire Martinsen Clarissa Dickson Wright Cley Cley Smoke House Cley-next-the-Sea Cloudberries Cloudberry Coast Coffee Cold Remedy Comfort Food Competition Condiments Confectionery Conversions Cookbooks Cool Cuisine Côtes d'Armor Cotswold Legbar Crackers Cream Cripbreads Culture Curries Dairy Damian Allsop Danish Danyel Couet David Oliver Fine Foods David Thompson Derbyshire Desserts Distillery Douwe Egberts Douwe Egberts Aromettes Dressings and Marinades Drinks Easter Eating Out Edible Flowers Eggs Elderberries Elderberry Elderflowers Europe Events Farm Farmhouse Breakfast Week Fennel Festivals and Shows Fettouma Benikrane Finland Fish Fish at the Fox Fish Market Fishmonger Flapjacks Flavoured Bread Flavours and Spices® Flax Flax Farm Flowers Food By Alan Coxon Food from Many Greek Kitchens foodbyalancoxon.com Foodies Festival France Frugal Fruit Fudge Fudge Kitchen Gadgets Gaia's Kitchen Game ganache Gardening Gin Gingerbread Gordon Ramsay Great Glen Game Greece Green Books Hafod Cheese Henry Dimbleby Herbs Hertfordshire Historic Food Historic Food Range History Hodder and Stoughton Holkham Holkham Beach Honey How To I Love Curry Iceland In Print In the Media Ingredients Jam Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver John Vincent Jon Birchall Josceline Dimbleby Julia Parsons Julia Ponsonby Karen Nethercott Kent King's Walden Kitchen Garden Kitchen Garden Companion Kitchen Helper Kitchen Tips KoL Lactofree Lactose Intolerance Lahloo Tea Lamb Lanvollon Lavender Leftovers lemon Lemon Balm Lent Leon Leon Book 2 Naturally Fast Food Letchworth Food Festival 2010 Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Living Light Meals Linseed Local Producers London Loquats Love Farm Made in Great Britain Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible Madsen Magazine Magog Muffins Main Course Mark Diacono Marsh Marsh Samphire MasterChef LIVE 2009 Matt Armendariz Meat Medieval Mediterranean Merchant Gourmet Mexico Milk Mint Moomins Cookbook Moroccan Cooking Muffins Murdoch Books MyBooks Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir National Chocolate Week National Curry Week Natoora New Holland Publishers News Nordic Norfolk Occasions Offley Hoo Oils On A Stick Open Farm Sunday Oregano Oysters Pancake Day Pancakes Paris Pasta Pastes Pastries Pastry Paul Wayne Gregory Peak District Peas Picnic Fayre Delicatessen Pie. Pies • Flans • Tarts Pilkington Farms Plums Pork Pies Pork. Potatoes Potty: Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook Poultry Pre-Prepared Foods Preserving and Pickling Press Product Reviews Products Puddings Quadrille Publishing Quickasteam Quince Quirk Books Rabbit Radio Radishes Radisson Blu Hotels Ramsay's Best Menus Ramsoms Rants Raspberries Raspberry Raw Food Raw Nibbles Read and Reviewed Ready Meals Real Food Festival 2008 Real Food Festival 2010 Recipes Every Man Should Know Relish Restaurants Reviews Reykjavik Rice • Grains • Pulses Risotto roasting Roman Vinaigre Rosemary Sage Salads Salmon Salt Marsh salted caramel Saltmarsh Sambocade Sami Malila Samphire Samphire Shop Sandwich Sauces Sausages Savoury Pancakes Scandinavian Scandinavian Cookbook Scandinavian Kitchen Sea Seafood Seeds SelfMadeHero Sereena; Alexa; Priya Kaul Serious Pig Shake Up Your Wake Up Shellfish Shopping Shrove Tuesday Simon and Schuster Sipsmith Skyr Sloe Wine Smoked Fish Smoked Haddock Snacking Salami Snacks Soup Special Offer Spices Spirits Sprengidagur Spring Taster Box Squash Squirrel St David's Day Stephanie Alexander Stocks Stories Strawberries Suffolk Summer Susan Russo Sweetmeats Tea teapigs Tesco Tessa Kiros Tests Thai Food The Artisan Food Trail The Artisan Smokehouse The Big Chocolate Tea Party The Big Yum The Billingsgate Market Cookbook The Chocolate Festival The Great Exhibition 2012 The Josceline Dimbleby Collection The Kitchen Trials The Pearl Fisher The Scandinavia Show The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook The Use-It-All Cookbook Thomasina Miers Three Counties Kitchen Three Counties Radio Thyme Tips Toastabags Tomatoes Total Greek Yogurt Tove Jansson Tracklements Traditions Travels Tried and Tasted Trina Hahnemann Twitter Two Fat Ladies Union Hand-Roasted Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Vinegar Vodka Wahaca Wales Watercress Week Watercress. Weights and Measures West Whelks Whitstable Wild Food and Foraging Wild Garlic William Curley Willian Winter Warmers Wiveton Wiveton Hall Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Writing Yogurt