Delicious chicken noodle soup is a real winter warmer

Hearty, Healthy Winter-Warmer Chicken Recipes

We love chicken. Roast, stew, stir-fry, rotisserie, BBQ, salad, sandwiches – any which way, chicken is good. It’s also good for you – and better than some other meats for the environment too, as it takes less energy to grow chickens for meat than bigger animals. Therefore, we can munch chicken to our hearts’ content – provided the chook has lived a good, healthy, free-range life first of course.

Winter recipes for tasty chicken dinners

Now there’s a nip in the air, the evenings are darkening and cosy times are ahead, we’ve started thinking about wintery recipes to warm our cockles. Without further ado, here are our best chicken recipes for wintry days.

Coq au vin

Much like a boeuf bourguignon, this red wine-based chicken stew has all the hallmarks of winter.

  • Firstly, in a large cast-iron casserole dish brown the chicken pieces, bacon and onion to give the stew a rich colour.
  • Then add some garlic and wintery herbs like thyme and a bay leaf or two.
  • Add a generous amount of red wine, and bake gently for about an hour.
  • Towards the end, chuck in some sliced mushrooms – they’ll only take about 10 minutes to cook through.
  • If the sauce at the end is too thin, you can thicken it up by straining and reducing it, and adding a little bit of cornflour paste: mix a teaspoon of cornflower with a finger’s width of cold water and whisk in to the sauce for five minutes over a low heat.
  • Serve with some greens, or mashed potato with a handful of chopped fresh parsley over the top. Delish.

 Chicken noodle soup

Chicken soup is so comforting and nutritious; it just has to be on this list. Even though it’s simple, it’s a perfect dish to make from leftover roast chicken, or to make in a big batch and freeze. Great for those days you’re feeling a little under the weather too.

  • Cover a chicken carcass, bouquet garni (a few sprigs of thyme, any herbs you fancy, and a bay leaf), and some sliced stock veggies (celery, carrot, onion) with cold water, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Spoon away the froth that forms as it simmers.
  • Simmer for 45 mins until you’ve got all the flavour out of the bones.
  • Strain the broth and chuck out the veg and bones.
  • Add fresh chopped veggies, broken up noodles or pasta, and any leftover chicken meat.
  • Simmer until the veggies are cooked, then serve with some chopped chives.
  • Tasty cheese, nuts and crackers go well with the soup to make a hearty wintery meal.
  • If you’re feeling a bit sniffly, add some grated root ginger and chilli for a chest-warming pick-me-up.

Roast chicken with mushroom gravy

Plain roast chicken is great, with just a little salt on the skin to help it crisp. This silky, delicious sauce is a great accompaniment to simple roast chicken.

  • Roast the chicken in the oven until cooked, then set aside.
  • To make the sauce, deglaze the chicken roasting pan with some cider, white wine or chicken stock.
  • Thicken with a little cornflour paste as before, and simmer, whisking in the cornflour.
  • Throw in a handful of pretty mushrooms and simmer for five mins.
  • Whisk through a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a splash of cream at the end.
  • Chopped parsley, chives, basil or a little tarragon also goes well with this sauce, finely chop the herbs and scatter over at the end.

Mushroom presentation tip: With pretty mushrooms like chanterelles, leave them whole rather than chopping them up. Chopped up, they can turn into a mushy mess – not so attractive.

To serve: I’d probably just have a bit of bread with this to soak up the gravy – or go really decadent and serve it with skinny chips. Ooh la la!

The healthy option would be to slather this delicious gravy over some steamed kale and broccoli and place the roast chicken on top.

Cheat’s Bombay potato and chicken curry

This really is not at all authentic and just plain lazy. But it’s so tasty we had to share it with you. The secret is simply adding chicken to the packet recipe of Bombay Potatoes spice mix from Schwartz. (Shhh!)

This spice mix is super-hot, super-fragrant, and a staple for us when the cupboard is bare – all you need is a few potatoes, an onion, and a tin of tomatoes and you’re set!

  • Follow the packet recipe first, getting everything ready.
  • Add the chicken (if you’re using raw), some other veggies, and garlic and ginger too if you like, just after the onion is softened.
  • If you’re using cooked chicken, you can add that 10 mins from the end instead.
  • Carry on with the method from the packet.
  • When everything’s cooked through, a dollop of cooling plain yoghurt on top and a scattering of toasted flaked almonds finishes this easy-peasy, healthy dish.

After all this healthy chicken-and-veg focussed food, you’ll probably be ready for a few chocolate buttons, a handful of nuts or a slice of really rich fruit cake. Check out our decadent and delicious Christmas hampers for divine after-dinner snack inspiration now.

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