It’s not the sexiest of foods but they say that garlic is great for fertility. It’s high in vitamins C and B6, which play a role in hormone balance, and contains an antioxidant, which is good for the health of the eggs and sperm.
Some people also believe that eating a clove of raw garlic everyday before ovulation can improve the quality of your cervical mucus, making it a better environment for fertilisation to take place. That doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, but garlic is something that can be added to your diet easily enough – whether raw or cooked.
A childhood favourite of mine is the Chicken Kiev, which of course is packed with garlic butter. It’s a bit indulgent as you have to use a lot of oil and butter, but screw it; it’s worth it once in a while. I’ve tried to balance the naughtiness out by eating brown rice with it…that’s how it works right?
- 4x chicken breasts
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- 30g Parmesan, grated
- ½ tsp paprika
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the garlic butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 100g butter, softened
- Juice of 4 lemon
First you want to make the garlic butter. My mum’s friend taught me to chop parsley really finely by snipping it with scissors in a cup so in honour of her garlic butter I did the same for this recipe. It does ache your arm after a while though so I always stop before it’s as fine as she is truly happy with! But this will do.
Place all the ingredients for the garlic butter in a bowl and mash them together, making sure they’re well mixed. Lay out a sheet of cling film and dollop the butter in a line leaving an inch or so at the bottom and either side. Use the cling film to roll the butter up in to a sausage shape then pop in the fridge or freezer to firm up. I made this the day before to save time but you can make it on the same day and chill in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to make the kievs, cut the butter into four pieces. Make a pocket in the chicken breasts so you can insert the chilled butter. To do this pull off the little skinny fillets on the back (save these and you can make goujons), then make a slice in the fat part of the breast taking care not to cut all the way through as you don’t want the butter to spill out. Push the butter in as much as you can and squeeze the edges together to seal it in.
Set out three bowls: one for the flour, paprika and a bit of salt and pepper; one for the beaten eggs and one for the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan. Dip the chicken breast in each bowl in that order: flour, egg and breadcrumbs allowing any excess to fall off. If you’re not going to cook them all at once, place any that you want to save on a baking sheet and chill for an hour, then wrap tightly in cling film and place in a freezer bag and freeze until you want to use them. You can cook them straight from frozen – just like the supermarket versions!
To cook, heat the oven to 180°C then shallow fry the chicken in an inch of vegetable oil. This is just to get that lovely golden colour, so fry for a couple of minutes on each side then transfer to a baking tray. You can do this in stages so you have space in the pan.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes for the goujons).
Serve with rice and sweetcorn, and/or peas (I would have added peas but didn’t realise my husband had used them all!). If you have any leftover garlic butter you can stir this through the rice – just melt first in a hot pan and mix the rice in. Yum.