Cook your chook like a MasterChef

30th September 2020 | Eativity editors

The recent surge in home cooking has inspired a new culinary masterclass series where Australians can roast, sizzle or grill tasty free-range chicken recipes alongside their favourite celebrity chefs from their very own kitchen. Lilydale’s Dedication You Can Taste masterclasses are a mix of live virtual cooking events and social recipe content in partnership with respected former MasterChef contestants, television hosts and authors Poh Ling Yeow, Adam Liaw and Hayden Quinn.

Yeow says she’s thrilled to celebrate the importance of quality ingredients and the farmers dedicated to producing them for the tables of Aussie families and discerning home cooks.

“Cooking with quality ingredients raised and grown with care simply means I have to do less,” she says. “It makes sense, doesn’t it? Food that’s been treated better tastes better.

“I’m excited to be part of the series alongside Hayden, Adam and Lilydale – getting in the mix with enthusiastic home cooks and sharing a few of my tricks is what I love doing most.”

The runner-up celebrity MasterChef launched the series at a virtual event on September 17, where she prepared and cooked one of her favourite free-range chicken recipes that also has a unique connection to her heritage, chicken pot stickers.

Poh Ling Yeow’s chicken pot stickers.

The second free virtual masterclass in the series will be led by Adam Liaw and will be open to all food lovers to register and receive fresh ingredients delivered to their door.

“Cooking is a kind of partnership between a cook and their ingredients – a good ingredient, treated well is the heart of it all,” Liaw says. “That’s why it’s so important to find producers who are dedicated to taste. I can’t wait to join Aussies in their own kitchens to guide them along the way to creating delicious Lilydale free range recipes.”

The new series is underpinned by a commitment to only using free-range chickens raised with care without antibiotics, added hormones or growth promotants.

Even MasterChefs can’t go past a chicken burger.

Foodie, surfer and paddock-to-plate enthusiast Hayden Quinn, will also be contributing to the series by creating and sharing recipes that align to his passion for producers who are dedicated to quality and taste. 

“I’ve always loved exploring the unique personalities and dedication of producers who are shaping the food scene in Australia,” Quinn says. “Which is why I’m really excited to work alongside Adam and Poh on the series, where we’ll explore quality produce and create delicious free-range chicken-inspired recipes.”

Yeow’s chicken and Asian mushroom stir fry.

Poh Ling Yeow’s top chicken cooking and prep tips

• To avoid drying out the breast, slice the chicken into smaller medallions. After you’ve sliced the chicken, bash the breast with a rolling pin to create a thin, almost flat surface. This ensures the chicken cooks at the same rate and holds the quality free-range flavour.

• This may sound a little unusual but when you’re cooking a larb, stir fry or even noodle soup, mortar and pestle the chicken instead of slicing. This method ensures your chicken seeps up the flavour that has been lingering in the bowl from when you grounded the spices. Ensure you wash it out for next time, though!

• Use quality Australian-made ingredients. I always use the freshest, most flavourful ingredients I can get my hands on, and it’s even better when they come from your own backyard. Fresh produce that’s raised and grown by Australian farmers enhances the flavour of the dish and brings with it a new level of complexity. With chicken, I find using free-range ingredients soaks up the flavours and makes for a better stir fry, dumpling or curry.

• Don’t waste chicken skin! If you’ve taken the time to remove the skin, pop it between two baking sheets, season well and roast in the oven until crispy. It’s outrageously tasty.

• If you’ve deboned a chicken or have spare bones (cooked or uncooked), never let these go to waste. Pop them in a freezer bag and use in your next homemade chicken stock.

• To make the ultimate chicken stir fry, add the breast or thigh pieces to hot oil and stir fry over a high heat until it cooks through and is browned. Afterwards, transfer to a separate dish while you prepare the other vegetables and aromatics. Return the chicken when the vegetables are just about done, toss and serve, pronto. This method ensures the chicken is cooked through, stays juicy, holds its flavour and it keeps the vegetables crisp.

More details about the Dedication You Can Taste masterclasses can be found on FacebookYou can also find more recipes by following Lilydale on Instagram.