Just like a box of assorted chocolates, everyone has a favourite chicken part that they prefer – whether it be a drumstick, breast, wing or thigh – as well as favourite way to prepare it – roasted, fried, crumbed, in a salad, on a sandwich or flattened, marinated and cooked to perfection on a braai. But one thing remains clear, chicken is one of the most popular items to eat the world over. Indeed, it is the second most consumed animal protein in the world after pork.
Surprisingly it’s the Israelis who are the biggest consumers of poultry, eating an estimated 58.5 kilograms per person each year, followed by the Americans (49.8kg), Malaysians (46.7kg), Australians (43.9kg), Brazilians (40.6kg), Argentineans (40.4kg), Saudis (40kg) and New Zealanders (37.4kg).
In South Africa, chicken is the most consumed animal protein with locals gobbling down about 28 million chickens a week or 26 chickens each every year!
What is not surprising is the fact that the humble fowl has a world day all to itself, with the second Thursday of October celebrated as World Chicken Day annually.
In honour of the day, which this year falls on October 8, we asked Warren Swaffield, who heads up both Cassia and Tables at Nitida restaurants, to share his favourite chicken recipe and winemaker Etienne Louw to suggest a good wine pairing to go with the dish.
Grilled Chicken Supreme, chorizo saffron risotto with a sweet sour papaya salsa
Grilled Chicken Breast
4 free range chicken breasts, skin on
2 tbs vegetable oil
- Season the breasts with salt and pepper. Place the oil in a pan and heat for 1 minute over a moderate heat.
- Sear the breasts for one minute on each side until golden brown.
- Place the chicken in a preheated oven at 160°C for 14 minutes, skin side up.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes and slice each breast into four pieces
- 5½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 50gr chorizo, cubed
- 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ clove of garlic, crushed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- Pinch of saffron
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigianino cheese
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and keep warm.
- Heat a large saucepan over a moderate heat, place the chorizo in the pan and lightly cook until the rich oils start to come out of the sausage
- Add onion and crushed garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring until softened (5 mins)
- Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to thoroughly coat.
- Crumble saffron into the wine and add it to the rice. Cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed.
- Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed between additions.
- The risotto is done when the rice is al dente (about 20 minutes total).
- Season the risotto with salt and pepper. stir in the cheese, butter and parsley and serve immediately.
- ½ whole corn blanched and kernels removed and fried in a hot pan until blackened
- ½ tomato deseeded and cut into small cubes
- ¼ red onion cut into small dice
- ¼ red pepper, deseeded and diced
- large slice of papaya, deskinned, deseeded and finely diced
- ½ small red chilli seeded and diced
- 6 sprigs coriander roughly chopped
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar
- pinch of each salt & pepper
- Mix together and serve over the chicken
- Spoon the risotto into a large bowl, place the sliced chicken over the risotto and top with the salsa. Serve with tender stem broccoli, sautéed cherry tomatoes and a grilled lime as a garnish.
- Says Nitida winemaker Etienne Louw: “Best pairing with Warren’s chicken dish has to be a glass of chilled Nitida Riesling. Delicious, zesty and just perfect for summer.”