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chicken with fried corn and crispy feta

Thu, 8 October, 2020

⯆ JUMP TO RECIPE

Fresh sweetcorn slicked in butter and charred with a touch of spice. Old Bay roasted chicken fillet, tender and juicy. Herbed and crispy feta crumbs sprinkled over the dish. It’s a perfect trio.

roast chicken with sweetcorn and crispy feta cuisinefiend.com

Three recipes in one

There are in fact three excellent recipes here: roast chicken fillet, fried corn and baked crispy feta. Feel free to use them separately or together, as you wish. The three go together like the three amigos though so make sure you try out the trio.

Old Bay magic

Chicken is the most boring element: a breast fillet, roasted. Not many things are more boring than that. But I discovered Old Bay seasoning a while ago, an American spice blend widely used on chicken and shrimp. The blandest duo, Old Bay transforms them into a lightly umami, plenty homey flavour feast.

It’s a mix of celery salt which on its own is a bit in your face, plus smoked paprika, red pepper and black pepper. If you get hold of it or make your own blend, use it next time you roast a whole chicken. Marinate the bird overnight in salty buttermilk and then scatter Old Bay all over profusely. It will be a transcendent experience.

fried sweetcorn with roasted chicken slices and baked feta cuisinefiend.com

Butter caramelised sweetcorn

Corn is fresh, kernels shaved off and caramelised in butter. Paprika, chipotle and coriander give the corn flavour – and I usually don’t add salt to it because there is plenty of salt in the feta topping. We usually kill the corn experience in Europe by opening a tin or boiling the ears.

They do it much better in America and Mexico: barbecuing corn in the husks, grilling shucked ears until charred or stripping the kernels to cook them in butter, cream, cheese or all of the above. It also takes much less time to cook even a whole ear of corn than we tend to think. You can turn a shucked ear of corn over on a hot griddle and it’s ready in minutes.

caramelised corn with chicken and feta cheese cuisinefiend.com

How to strip corn off the cob?

Stripping corn off the cob is easier than it seems: against professional and YouTube advice, I use a small serrated knife and saw the kernel rows off gently. Do it in a large bowl if you like, but unless the corn if freshly picked and super ripe, with its milk spraying the whole place, it won’t make much mess. And in the latter case, the taste will compensate for the cleaning up.

Crispy baked feta crumbs

And finally – feta. Baked feta is divine, tossed with herbs and olive oil, it gets crisp around the edges and breaks into crumbs over a salad or a meat/veg dish like this. Certainly, Greeks know what to do with feta, with their feta saganaki. We most often crumble it raw into our so-called Greek salads with no imagination whatsoever.

All together, chicken corn and feta work beautifully and it has been my recent favourite meal. Frozen corn can be used out of season but I do not recommend using tinned sweetcorn: it is a/ already cooked and b/ pretty awful in general. Mix it into your tuna mayo if you must – otherwise stick to frozen kernels if you can’t get full fresh ears of corn.

How to build the dish?

Roast chicken breast can be served at room temperature, the feta crumbs need not be piping hot either, so start your cooking with those. As they bake and roast, melt your butter and cook the corn in it. It will take about fifteen minutes or less, taste a kernel for tenderness after ten.

When it’s nicely spiced and herbed, plate it up. First spoon piles of sweetcorn on the plates.

fried fresh sweetcorn cuisinefiend.com

Arrange the chicken slices on the sweetcorn.

sliced roast chicken breast with sweetcorn cuisinefiend.com

And finally, top it with the feta crumbs quite liberally. Add some mint leaves for esthetics and you’re good to go. Bon appétit!

topping of baked feta crumbs cuisinefiend.com

chicken with fried corn and crispy feta

Servings: 2Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 large chicken breast fillet or 2 smaller ones, about 400g (1 pound) in weight
  • sea salt
  • 2-3 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or a mix of celery salt, smoked paprika, black pepper)
  • olive oil
  • 200g (7 oz.) feta cheese
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 60g (4 tbsp.) butter
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ bunch of coriander
  • 2 sprigs of mint


METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/300F/gas 3. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs into a bowl and set aside.

sweetcorn kernels cuisinefiend.com

2. Season the chicken fillets liberally with salt, sensibly with Old Bay seasoning and drizzle with olive oil. Place on a roasting tray and roast for 25 minutes.

chicken breast cuisinefiend.com

3. Dry the feta with paper towels and crumble it coarsely into a bowl. Add the za’atar, mint and oregano, drizzle with olive oil and toss to mix. Spread it over a small baking tray lined with parchment.

crumbled feta cuisinefiend.com

4. When the chicken is ready, take it out of the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Turn the oven up to 220C/425F/gas 7 with the rack moved up to the upper half. When it heats up, put the tray with feta in for 12-15 minutes or until browned and bubbling.

baked feta cuisinefiend.com

5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the corn and stir. Stir in the spices, cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every 5. While the corn is cooking, finely chop the coriander and mint.

cooking sweetcorn cuisinefiend.com

6. Take the corn off the heat and stir in the herbs.

7. Slice or shred the chicken.

roast chicken slices cuisinefiend.com

8. To plate up, spoon a mound of corn in the middle of the plate, place some chicken on the corn and top with crispy feta pieces. Serve with a green salad.

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