Category Poultry

Sticky Soy Chicken with Baby Chilli Courgettes

 

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A sticky ‘packs-a-punch’ glaze for some succulent chicken pieces courtesy of Bill Granger. I’ve managed to make it through my growing culinary life without (shamefully) having had Bill’s influence on any of my dishes? It could be his Australian roots that have kept his foodie inspiration at bay or perhaps (more likely) the Jamie Oliver shaped blinkers strapped to my head that had maintained my tunnel vision since discovering cooking? Who knows? However, with ‘Granger’s & Co’ round the corner from work and a growing love for Asian/Fusion cooking I have been sampling some of his culinary delights from Bills Asian Cookbook which is where this chicken marinade comes in. Baby courgettes courtesy of Portobello Market but normal ones work fine too!

Serves 2

Roasted Courgettes

  • 6 baby courgettes
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • Bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • Juice ½ lime

Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs/chicken pieces
  • 30ml dark soy sauce
  • 25ml Fish sauce
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Light Olive oil

To Serve: Coconut rice (I made mine with red Camargue rice here)

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Heat a frying pan until hot with a little oil and brown the chicken all over until golden. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes until cooked through.
  2. At the same time, roast the courgettes. Slice in half if using baby courgettes or into chunks if using large ones. Drizzle with oil and place in a roasting tray. Roast with the chicken for about 20 minutes. This can keep roasting until tender while you finish the chicken on the hob. (The courgettes also work amazingly grilled or charred on a griddle pan or BBQ)
  3. To finish the chicken, heat a little oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic lightly. Add the cooked chicken and the soy sauce and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer on a low heat for about 6-7 minutes making sure the pan doesn’t cook dry.
  4. Turn up the heat and add the sugar and fish sauce and stir to dissolve and combine. Heat for just a few minutes until the sauce goes syrupy and glazes the chicken.image
  5. Remove the courgettes from the oven and toss with the chopped coriander and red chilli. Squeeze over a little lime juice.
  6. Serve the chicken on creamy coconut rice with the chilli courgettes and coated liberally in any excess glaze.

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Mexican Roast Chicken Feast

 

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Sometimes an English roast can be boring (shoot me now)…especially in summer. I’ve experimented with a Spanish roast (see here) but it was time for a Mexican Roast chicken over the weekend as my craving for dark creamy black beans took over. This chicken recipe is a great BBQ favourite of mine…and Jamie’s. You know a good marinade when you make it in the morning, refrain from eating there and then and think about it all day until that charcoal is ready! The sweetcorn puree adds a lovely sweetness to this to counteract the savoury beans and spicy chicken and greens.

Mexican Roast Chicken Feast – Serves 4

BBQ Chicken

  1. Marinade the chicken the night before if you can. Massage over the chicken making sure you get it into all the cracks.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Line a roasting tray with foil and place the chicken on top with the excess marinade. Wrap in foil and roast for about 1hr and 20 minutes depending on the size. For the final 15 minutes or so, turn up the heat to 200°C and remove the foil to allow the skin to crisp up and brown. (This recipe is actually best cooked in the oven first to keep it moist and then finished on the BBQ so you get that charred outer crust and moist meat).
  4. When cooked remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes wrapped in foil while you finish the side dishes.
  5. When ready to serve, carve rustically, scatter with fresh mint and give everyone a wedge of lime for squeezing over.

Black beans

  • 2 x tins black beans, drained (retain the juice only if not salted)
  • 2 large spring onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ red chilli
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • Lime juice
  1. Fry the spring onion in a little oil to soften for a few minutes then add the garlic and chilli and soften for a few minutes.
  2. Add the beans and top up with a little hot water or the bean can juice (as long as it is not salted). Add enough to cover them gently and allow to simmer.
  3. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. The consistency you want will depend on how you like them so simmer longer for a thicker texture. I like mine to be quite loose but still sit on the plate.
  4. Use a masher to lightly crush and mash some of the beans. This will help thicken the mixture and add texture but leave most of the beans whole.
  5. Taste and season. Add the coriander and a squeeze of fresh lime before serving.

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Sweetcorn Puree

  • 1 x tin sweetcorn, drained.
  • Milk to cover
  • 1 knob butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Drain the sweetcorn and add to a saucepan. Add enough milk to just cover and bring to the simmer making sure the milk doesn’t boil over (not speaking from experience at all…..).
  2. Simmer for about 5 minutes then drain reserving the cooking milk.
  3. Add to a food processor with some salt and pepper and a large knob of butter. Puree for a good few minutes until really soft and creamy. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved milk as it blends to thin it out until you have the consistency you’re after.
  4. Sieve the mixture into the pan to remove the tough shells and produce a really creamy velvety puree (this is optional, just as good left non sieved). Set aside to keep warm.

Garlic-Chilli Broccoli

  • ½ red chilli, sliced thinly
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Broccoli
  1. Heat a good glug of oil in a frying pan until hot. Fry the chilli and garlic for a few minutes until beginning to turn golden and crispy but make sure you don’t burn it. It can turn very quickly so remove from the heat and pour into a serving dish just before it looks ready, as it just turns golden as it will keep cooking a little after.
  2. Cook the broccoli al dente and drain well. While still warm, toss in the garlic-chilli infused oil and serve.

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Plum and Five Spice Duck

 

An archived recipe I should have posted back in Autumn…pretend its Autumn and read on…

Slow cooked to perfection – plums are fashionably in season at the moment and duck is frankly deliciously tasty. It was a cold Autumnal evening. Need I say more….?

(Adapted from Jamie O)

Serves 4

  • 4 duck legs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp five spice
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 16 plums, halved and stoned
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • 8 oz wild/brown rice
  • 1 lime
  1. Marinade the duck legs in the soy, five spice, oil, star anise and cinnamon for as long as you can.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and get a roasting tray ready.
  3. Place the chopped chillis, plums and sugar in the tray and drizzle over the marinade and mix well. Top with the duck legs, skin side up.
  4. Roast for 1-½ hours, turning the heat down after about 20-30 minutes once the skin is crisp and the fat has rendered a little. Alternatively, roast at a low 160-170°C for about 2 hours until the meat comes away from the bone and is tender.
  5. Meanwhile cook the rice. This is also lovely made with coconut milk (see here).
  6. Once the duck is ready, taste the sauce and adjust with soy to season and remove the cinnamon and star anise. Serve the rice topped with a duck leg and the roasted plums. Scatter with the sliced spring onions and coriander and a generous squeeze of lime.

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Roasted Duck, Carrot and Orange Puree, Red Wine Sauce

This week I christened the kitchen of my new London flat. I bagged myself a feathery topped bunch of bargain carrots from Portobello Road market in my fleeting lunch break; a seasonal orange for companionship and festivity; a couple of fatty winter warming duck legs and some obliging red wine (of which I am not short of these days…). Flat hunting had evoked far too many saddened hours separated from my apron and camera so a free evening midweek was the perfect time to be reunited. Whilst it tasted delicious, I’m still to work on the lighting in my new environment….

Serves 2

  • 2 duck legs
  • Bunch carrots (About 4 large carrots), peeled and chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 1 orange
  • 250ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • ½ onion, diced finely
  • 1 small carrot, diced finely
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Bunch of thyme
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1tbsp flour
  • Handful of greens to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Season the duck legs generously on the skin side and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until crisp and tender. Turn the heat down to 190°C after about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, fry the diced onion and carrot in a little oil until soft. Add one of the garlic cloves finely chopped and the thyme leaves and fry for a further few minutes.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the red wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add the stock and simmer briskly for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
  4. Once reduced by half, sieve and discard the vegetables and return to sauce to the clean pan. Season to taste and simmer very gently while you do the puree.
  5. Heat half the butter in another saucepan and add the chopped carrots. Add a whole clove of garlic (in skin) and 2 big strips of orange peel. Add enough water to just cover the carrots and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until really soft and almost all the liquid has been reduced.
  6. Puree the drained carrots in a food processor with the remaining knob of butter and some seasoning. Add a splash of the reserved liquid if you like to thin it out and then keep warm.
  7. Return to the red wine sauce. Mix together the knob of butter and the flour to form a paste in a small bowl. Whisk this, bit by bit (as you may not need all of it) into your simmering sauce which will thicken and turn glossy. Simmer until thick enough and ready to serve,
  8. Serve the puree topped with the roasted duck legs and a liberal drizzle of your red wine sauce. Serve with some cooked greens.

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Green Chicken Curry

 

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Its been a busy few weeks and the pantry has been in shameful neglect and I miss it badly. No work on a Sunday so it cannot possibly steal me from my apron and wooden spoon. I love this dish and these flavours. I hate the fact that amongst my travels, I haven’t ventured anywhere where I have been able to master and learn the art and recipe for an authentic Thai green curry paste that would put the salty and sugary rubbish you can buy in a supermarket jar to shame. Therefore with a little research, my (hopefully) good instinct and palate and a huge bomb proof granite pestle and motar this can be appreciated as a good English alternative. Feel free to use different vegetables, more herbs and it is absolutely open to adding a splash of whatever you think it needs. This recipe worked for me (this time) but I find it changes everytime depending on the strength and type of coconut milk, chilli or even the chicken. In this recipe, its important to taste as you go along!

Serves 4

Paste

  • Large knob ginger, peeled and sliced roughly
  • 2 red chillis, deseeded
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 stick lemongrass
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • Bunch of coriander

Sauce

  • 400ml thick coconut milk
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1tsp fish sauce
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 200g sugar snap peas/green beans/mini baby corn
  • 8 chicken thighs, boned (optional)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Handful of basil, coriander,and 2 spring onions to garnish
  • 2 limes (1 for serving)
  • 6oz wild/brown rice
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • Popadoms to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Start with the paste. Using a pestle and mortar, firmly pound together the ginger and the chilli. Add the lime leaves and repeat.
  3. Add the garlic, the lemon grass and the spring onions and pound everything together firmly until you form a really mashed and blended paste. Add the coriander leaves and pound in. Reserve your paste to a bowl.
  4. Heat a heavy based pan or casserole dish with a splash of sunflower oil over a high heat. Season the chicken thighs and fry skin side down until a really crisp skin forms.
  5. Add the sesame oil and remove them from the heat. Remove from the pan and reserve to a plate
  6. Over a medium low heat now, add the curry paste and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add 2-3 tbsp of the coconut milk and mix. Add a splash more coconut milk and mix in before adding the rest. Add the fish sauce and soy sauce and stir together. Bring to the boil and add about 200ml of hot chicken stock to form a thickish sauce.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan, try to keep the skin above the liquid to retain the crispy skin but don’t panic if not it can be crisped up later.
  8. Cook for 25 minutes in the oven, uncovered. While cooking, cook your rice with the cardamon pods thrown in or a cinnamon stick if preferred.
  9. Once the chicken is cooked and tender, remove from the dish from the oven. Remove the chicken from the pan and, if the skin isn’t crisp, place on a baking tray under a hot grill and crisp it up while you deal with the sauce. Alternatively, remove to a warm place to rest.
  10. Place the sauce over a medium high heat on the hob and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar snaps (or vegetables being used) and the coconut and simmer for a few minutes. Add the juice from ½ lime and taste. Adjust the taste as needed, adding soy for seasoning.
  11. Return the chicken to the pan. Scatter with chopped basil, coriander and thin slices of spring onions. Squeeze over the juice from the other half of the lime and bring to the table to serve with the rice.

NOTE: This can be adapted in many ways. Try topping with toasted coconut for texture of chopped salted peanuts.

Quadruple Tapas

I know the concept behind tapas is to eat each dish as it is ready- picking at little morsels of delicious oily, salty and punchy delights to give all your taste buds a go on the flavour dodgems. A long evening should be spent savouring tapas with no where to be and sipping delicious wine in the summer sun. However, I decided to make a selection for dinner and couldn’t find the relaxing side of constantly running back and forth to the kitchen to fry a croquetas or bake some fresh bread or turn off one of 100 timers. So I made a selection all to be eaten and enjoyed together with some delicious wine. I won’t lie, my way took a strong organisation and a large accommodating hob but I managed it. In addition, I have a new found respect for tapas bars….the amount of work that goes into the prep to bring together all the aspects and flavours of just one small dish is huge,-all requiring those little details to make them perfect. I won’t be opening a tapas bar in the near future but what can be gained from this experiment is that 1) I LOVE tapas but will leave it to the experts and 2) I won’t be so horrified at the staggering prices of a few small tapas dish from now on as I venture out to dine thinking that ‘tapas is just a cheap meal right?’.

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Croquetas (Makes about 9 large croquetas)

I first saw a recipe for these in a Jamie Oliver book which this recipe is based on but they are a common little tapas dish and various flavours and recipe derivatives can be found elsewhere. They are essentially a cheesy flavoured bechamel sauce that is cooled and set and rolled in breadcrumbs and fried so that the inside in a hot molten cheesy mixture hugged lovingly in a crispy coat. You can actually use anything to add flavour to the sauce such as different cheeses, smoked fish, anchovies, different herbs or spices. Go wild!

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 75g plain flour ( and extra for coating)
  • 300ml milk
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g hard cheese- Cheddar/Manchego, grated finely
  • 3 slices of cooked smoked bacon/parma ham, chopped finely
  • Handful of chives, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  1. Melt the butter and the oil in a pan over a low heat until liquid. Spoon by spoon, incorporate the flour and stir in until you have a thick paste.
  2. Add the milk, splash by splash stirring in vigourously until smooth and lump free. Once all the milk is added, keep on the heat and keep mixing to prevent lumps but to really thicken the sauce.
  3. Once thick, remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg, lots of seasoning, the bacon, cheese and finally the chives.
  4. Place into a chilled bowl and pop int he fridge until set. (NOTE: Mine was a little loose for moulding into croquetas so I popped it in the freezer about 30 mins before using to make it easier to handle)
  5. Get 3 plates and add the beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs to each.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop and roll croquetas of your cooled mixture. Coat in first the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Continue you have done all and then cover and chill.
  7. Heat some oil in a pan, or use a deep fryer. When hot enough, fry the croquetas until golden and crisp on the outside. Make sure it is not too hot or the outside will colour before the inside is warm.
  8. Drain on kitchen paper and scatter with flaky salt and serve immediately.

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Morcilla Broad Beans

This recipe is open to quantities so as long as there is a nice balance it will taste great. Don’t skimp on the morcilla however as it adds bags of flavour and depth and feel free to use black pudding which works just as well.

  • Morcilla, sliced
  • Broad beans, boiled and podded
  • Peas
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the red onion until soft
  2. Add the morcilla/black pudding slices and fry until cooked on each side.
  3. Tip in the broad beans and peas and stir to combine, breaking up the morcilla as you stir to distribute evenly. Season and then serve.

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Crisp Cod and Smoky Aioli

  • 2 cod fillets or any other firm fish
  • Plateful of polenta (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flour for coating
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, grated finely
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • About 250ml sunflower oil
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish
  1. Begin with the polenta coated cod which benefits from some time resting once coated. Skin the fish fillets and cut the fillets into chunky strips cutting with the ‘grain’/flakes.
  2. Get 3 plates and place the beaten egg, flour and seasoned polenta onto each.
  3. Coat the fish fillets in the flour, egg and then a good coating of polenta and then place the fillets on a polenta coated plate while you do the rest. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours once done to allow the polenta to swell a bit and form a good crust.
  4. For the aioli, place the egg yolks, lemon and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and turn it on to blend together. With the motor running slowly and constantly add the oil in a thin stream to allow the yolks and oil to emulsify.
  5. As it starts to thicken, add the paprika and some good seasoning and have a taste. Continue to add as much oil as you like to obtain a thin/thicker texture.
  6. When ready to serve, fry the fillets in a little hot oil with a knob of butter for a few minutes on each side until cooked with a golden crust. Serve immediately garnished with parsley and dipped indulgently into the aioli.

Chorizo

This is now my new favourite way to enjoy chorizo, partly due to this sweet tangy glaze that coats it here. The sauce is wonderful when used a dipping sauce for the olive pittas or some qwilling bread to mop up the juices like an edible sponge.

  • 150g chorizo- raw or cooked
  • 1 ½ tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • Large sprig of rosemary
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  1. Cut the chorizo into chunky horizontal slices and fry in a hot pan (you can add a tiny drop of oil to get it going is needed).
  2. Peel and crush the garlic cloves coarsely with the back of a knife. If using cooking (raw) chorizo, make sure it is nearly cooked but if using cured chorizo, as it starts to colour and crisp add the garlic to the pan in the oily juices and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the picked rosemary leaves and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar and the honey and stir to coat the chorizo.
  5. Return to the heat and very gently simmer the sauce until a little more syrupy and thick but not too reduced. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm while you do the rest of your dishes as this one will keep.
  6. Serve with the olive pittas or some fluffy bread dipped into the beautiful oily juices

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Olive Pitta

  • See here for pittas recipe– Don’t add the nigella seeds but instead, add a good pinch of sweet smoked paprika.
  • Once the dough has risen, add in a small handful of both chopped black olives and sun dried tomatoes.

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An evening off duty and a Spanish Roast

 

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Recently, I had the rare and deliciously appreciated privilege of being cooked dinner. With the responsibility of hosting and feeding guests stripped from my meddling hands, there was no way I could creep into the kitchen even for a quick stir of a bubbling pot. Instead, I was forced to sit back al fresco in the sun and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly with some great appreciating company. And the food was quite simply delicious. I always love eating at other people houses as I get inspiration for flavours and ideas to try myself. A feast of grilled and sweetly glazed Spanish chorizo was first to grace the table followed by 2 lovingly handmade loaves of fluffy focaccia and an olive laced ciabatta with a glistening pool of olive oil for dipping. With enough chicken, BBQ ribs and salad to feed us hungry guests, we devoured it with pleasure! Thanks Chef Tipping!

Inspired by that dangerously moreish chorizo I was eager to try it. Come Sunday, a Spanish- style roast chicken feast was on the cards. Roasted chicken with gremolata, glazed chorizo, and some spicy roasted potatoes went down a treat in the balmy weather. Hands down my favourite gem of a recipe was Jeff’s grilled chorizo so this one comes courtesy of him!

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Serves 4

Gremolata

  • 1 roasted chicken
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ garlic clove
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  1. For the gremolata, chop the garlic finely and grate over the lemon zest. Chop the parsley finely too and then add together with the garlic and lemon and chop together to combine.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and then use to scatter over your freshly roasted, succulent chicken.

Potatoes

  • 500g potatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato puree
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, skinned and crushed
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • Handful parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C . Mix the tomato puree, paprika, seasoning and about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Cut the potatoes into small chunks about 2-3cm in size and cover with the dressing.
  3. Place in a lined roasting tray with the garlic and roast for 40 minutes until soft, a little crisp and cooked, turning every now and then
  4. When ready to serve, squeeze over the lemon and scatter with the parsley

Chorizo

  • 1 wheel or a few sausages of raw cooking chorizo (I used the ‘Unearthed’ range. The better quality the better it will taste. I stress that this should be ‘cooking’ chorizo that is raw and not the cured kind)
  • 1-2 tbsp Membrillo quince paste
  1. Place the chorizo on a lined baking tray
  2. Grill for about 8-10 minutes until cooked and golden brown or bake.
  3. Give the quince paste a mix to loosen it and spread evenly over the grilled chorizo. Grill again for a few more minutes until the paste has ‘melted’ over the chorizo and formed a delicious crust. Add more if you like.
  4. Slice into chunks and enjoy with your roast.

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Saffron, Fig and Chicken Tagine

 

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This recipe is one from the archive. My mum and I always collect recipes we want to cook or for inspiration when seen in magazines and newspapers and this one has been patiently and modestly waiting since…wait for it…1999 from a senescent copy of ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine. But, sometimes the old ones are the best. With a few tweaks here and there to suit our tastes, it was a crowd pleaser!

Serves 4

  • 8 free range chicken thighs
  • 2 onions
  • 3cm piece ginger, chopped/grated
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
  • Large pinch saffron strands
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200g dried figs
  • 200g cous cous
  • 1 heaped tsp hot harissa paste or 1 hot red chilli, chopped finely
  • 50g toasted flaked almonds
  • 50g raisins
  • Bunch parsley, chopped
  • Bunch fresh mint, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a heavy based casserole dish. Cut the onions into quarters, leaving the root in tack so that the chunks stay nicely together (optional) and fry gently for 10 minutes of so until soft and golden.
  3. Add the grated ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the coriander seeds, saffron, turmeric and the cinnamon stick and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then scatter in the figs. Set aside.
  5. Heat a frying pan until really hot. Season the chicken thighs and fry, skin side down, for about 10 minutes over a high heat to brown the chicken and crisp up the skin.
  6. Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions and figs in a single layer. Pour 500ml of boiling water around the chicken (preferably not over it), cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  7. About 5 minutes before it is ready, place a serving dish in the oven to heat up. When ready, remove the chicken, figs and onion to the dish and keep warm in the oven. A good idea is to stick on the grill to crisp up the chicken skin but keep and eye on it if you do.
  8. You should have at least 300ml of the juices left in the dish for the cous cous but top up with boiling water if not. Bring to the boil on the hob and add the harissa or chilli. Remove from the heat and add the cous cous, raisins, almonds, all bar a pinch of the herbs and cover with a lid and leave to absorb for a few minutes.
  9. When ready to serve, stir the cous cous and pile it high onto your serving platter. Top with the reserved chicken and figs and any juices and scatter with the herbs!
  10. Enjoy with a nice, simply dressed lemony green salad.

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Barbeque Chicken and an Italian Stuffed Flatbread

 

Balmy summer evenings and a seduceable glowing barbeque like this evening, consistently bring out this beauty of a recipe and reinforce my opinion that Jamie Oliver, is in fact, descended from God! Ok…….this may be taking it a little far, but this cheeky barbeque marinade from ‘Jamie at Home’, is without doubt my most favourite and not a summer goes by that we don’t devour this, with smiles and sticky faces. Its great for coating a leg of lamb, rack of pork ribs or, in our case, a spatchcoked chicken- its devine. Served alongside a fresh, cleansing coleslaw and a cry-worthy Italian stuffed bread, supper is done and dusted……

Marinade

  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 bulb garlic, crushed
  • 4 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 130ml tomato ketchup
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 spatchcoked chicken or your chosen meat
  1. Grind the cumin, fennel seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar with some salt and pepper.
  2. Chop the thyme and rosemary leaves and combine with the orange zest, juice and garlic and place into a large bowl with the spices. Mix together.
  3. Add the rest of the your ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now add your chosen meat and coat completely with the marinade to cover all the surfaces. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinade for as long as possible or at least an hour.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover the chicken with foil and roast for about 1 hour to cook the majority of it and release the juices. Finally, finish the cooking on the barbeque, which will crisp the skin and the outside and give a crunchy texture. Use the excess marinade to baste the chicken as it cooks.

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This flatbread is absolutely delicious. I filled mine with a rich, punchy blue cheese but any good melter does the job. A (and I stress- good quality) buffalo mozzarella is stringy and mild or a personal favourite for its meltworthy quality, taleggio is tasty and gooey but here I have used a blue cheese which is just down-right decadent and rich. It was a little overpowering if I’m honest but it makes a lovely alternative to a hunk of filling, stodgy bread as it is lighter, crispier and doesn’t steal the show from the main event- the chicken (did I mention is was amazing yet…………?)

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g cheese, taleggio, buffalo mozzarella, blue cheese or any other good quality melting cheese
  • Flaky maldon salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
  1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the oil, a pinch of salt and 100ml of warm water.
  2. Mix with a spoon or fork until combined into a smooth dough (you may need a splash more water depending on your flour). Form into a smooth ball and place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 30 minutes
  3. Then, knead the dough for a few minutes until elastic and smooth. Divide into two and place back in the bowl to rest for 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225°C . Roll one half of the dough as thinly as possible (a couple of mm) into a large circle and place on a lined baking tray. Grate the cheese over the top and a pinch salt if you want.

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  5. Roll out the other halve of the dough to the same size and place over the cheese. Pinch the edges together to seal in the cheese.
  6. Scatter the top with salt, rosemary and a drizzle of oil. Make a couple of slits in the top to let out the steam.image
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until crisp and golden. You may need to check the underneath of the bread to check it is crispy towards the end. If not, return to the oven directly onto the racks without the tray for a few minutes.

Finally, a lovely tangy coleslaw. Any, in fact, will do but I however got carried away and opted for a lovely Thai infused/Asian Slaw which- I know, I know, does not go ideally with a barbeque chicken and an Italian, cheesy bread, but, all the same, our hungry stomaches didn’t protest too much….

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Slaw

  • ½ a red cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 handful of salted peanuts

Dressing

  • 8 tbsp lime juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 good pinches of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch of chopped basil and coriander leaves
  1. Using the shredding attachment on a food processor, shred the cabbage and carrots, separately, then combine in a large bowl.
  2. Slice and finely chop the spring onions and add to the cabbage mix and add a handful of chopped coriander.
  3. To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients in a jam jar and shake thoroughly together until combined. When ready to serve the salad, coat the cabbage in the dressing and top with the salted peanuts.
  4. Serve!