If you’re hungry for inspiration when it comes to weeknight dinners, three of Australia’s best-loved celebrity chefs are here with a handful of tasty options. Brendan Pang, Jessica Nguyen and Adam Liaw have each shared one of their favorite flavor-packed chicken recipes with us, and these dishes are sure to inject some excitement into your kitchen.
Using a mixture of classic ingredients like broccolini and spinach, combined with a few less commonly used options like black garlic or even gin, these recipes offer a fresh take on your standard chicken dish. (And don’t forget, if you have leftovers, they can be put to good use!)
3 chicken recipes from Aussie celebrity chefs
Adam Liaw’s butterflied chicken with charred greens and black garlic chimichurri recipe
What you’ll need for chimichurri chicken:
- 1 whole Lilydale free-range chicken (about 1.7 kg)
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar salt and black pepper, to season
- 1 bunch snake beans
- 1 bunch of broccoli
- 1 bunch English spinach
- 6 thick spring onions
Black garlic chimichurri
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 cloves black garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp crushed chilli (optional)
Directions for chimichurri chicken:
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the backbone out of the chicken and place in a large bowl. Season well with salt and black pepper and pour over half the olive oil and the vinegar, rubbing all over the chicken. Set aside for about 1 hour.
- For the black garlic chimichurri, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Heat a hooded barbecue grill over medium heat. Grill the chicken skin down for 20 minutes (lid down at approximately 160C), and then skin up for a further 20 minutes. Alternatively, roast in the oven at 200C for 40 minutes. Rest the chicken for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, heat the barbecue grill over high heat. Drizzle the vegetables with oil and season well with salt. Grill separately in bunches until cooked to your liking.
- Serve the chicken on the greens with the chimichurri on the side.
Brendan Pang’s fried macadamia crusted chook recipe
Step 1: Fried chicken
What you’ll need for crusted chicken recipe:
- 6 x Maryland chicken pieces (Note: I will break down into 6 drumsticks and 6 thigh pieces)
- Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1⁄2 tsp white pepper
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1⁄2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1⁄2 tsp sesame oil
- 1⁄2 cup plain flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup crushed macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp baking powder
Directions for crusted chicken recipe:
- Place chicken into a large mixing bowl along with all the marinade ingredients. Mix until well combined. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate to marinate for 2 hours.
- Place all ingredients for the dry mix into a large bowl. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Toss again to ensure the marinade is well combined. Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly with the dry mix.
- Pour enough oil about 5cm deep into a large pot. Heat to 170 degrees and working in batches, fry chicken pieces for 7 minutes. Drain on a tray lined with paper towels. Repeat until all pieces have been fried.
- Increase the temperature until the oil is 190 degrees. Fry the chicken pieces again in batches until the exterior becomes crunchy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on a tray lined with paper towels. Repeat until all pieces have been double-fried.
Step 2: Honey sauce / plating up
What you’ll need:
Sticky Honey Glaze
- 200g honey
- 50g glucose
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- Toasted white sesame seeds
- Chives, sliced finely
- Vermicelli, to fry
- To make the sticky honey glaze, place ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, turn down stove to medium-low then leave to simmer for 3 minutes.
- To plate up, place fried chicken in a large mixing bowl and drizzle generously with the sticky honey glaze. Toss until well combined. Transfer to your serving platter and place on a bed of fried vermicelli. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chives.
Step 3: Salad
What you’ll need for the salad:
- A large handful of green mizuna
- A large handful of purple mizuna
- 1 cucumber, ribbons
- Macadamia, roasted and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
Directions for the salad:
- To make the dressing, mix all ingredients well in a small jug. Toss with salad ingredients and garnish with roasted macadamia.
Jessica Nguyen’s gin brined and truffle stuffed whole roasted chook recipe
Serves: 6 | Cooking time: 2 hours, plus brining time
What you’ll need for the whole roasted chicken:
- 1 Lilydale Free Range whole chicken
- 2 liters (8 cups) of water
- 1⁄2 cup of Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of peppercorns and or juniper berries 6 sage leaves
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup of cooking salt
- 1 (approx 30g) black truffle, finely shaved
- 40g of butter, room temperature
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- 15g of Butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 brown onion. Finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin
- 1 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 150ml of cream
Directions for whole roasted chicken:
- Pour about 2 cups of the water into a large pot (large enough for the brine and submerged chicken) with remaining brine ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stir to dissolve salt.
- Remove from the heat and chill down the brine by adding in the remaining 6 cups of cold water. Cool the brine completely (place into the fridge for 1 hour) before submerging your chicken into the brine and refrigerate overnight for at least 10 hours and a maximum of 24 hours.
- Whilst the chicken is brining, prepare your compound butter in advance to allow time to infuse. Finely grate half the truffle with a microplane into a small bowl, reserve the other half for garnishing. Add in the butter and salt and mix until fully combined. Set aside in the fridge overnight to infuse and pull out an hour before using to allow it to come back to room temperature.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the chicken completely dry.
- Prepare chicken by filling it’s cavity with any aromatics you wish (thyme / rosemary), then create a pocket between flesh and skin and slipping the truffle butter in between.
- Truss the chicken legs and allow it to come back to room temp before roasting.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Scatter the mushrooms onto the base of a baking tray. Place a baking rack on top and then place chicken on the rack and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove chicken and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the mushroom gravy. Place the roasting dish with the mushrooms over medium heat. Add the butter, onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Deglaze with the gin and then add the flour and stir for a few minutes or until the flour starts to brown. Add the stock a little at a time and simmer until a thick sauce develops.
- Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Garnish the chicken with sliced truffles, finely sliced herbs and flakey salt.
- Serve the gravy on the side to be poured on top of your chicken.
Each of these chicken recipes comes courtesy of Lilydale, which has partnered with famous chefs to spotlight the regional producers who inspire them. You can see more tips and recipes on the new cooking platform called Cooking With Lily.