Glamorous Little Gems & Chicken


ts been one of the hottest days in London and I’m wishing I was anywhere else. Regardless if this is a “technically” true stat, for me, an outrageously and inhumane (#dramaqueen) commute home on a train only partially cooler than an incinerating furnace left me feeling like a spit roast chicken…without the delicious golden skin (which we all know is the best part). I power walked home with nothing but a swimming pool and a cold beer on the mind. To do just that. I love it when a plan comes together. After a refreshing lengths session in the local pool with the lane to myself and only one drifting plaster in sight I counted this as a good exercise sessions (it is also Thursday…most people have better things to do). I was feeling energised, refreshed and ready for the start of my evening round 2. Beer on the mind I wondered aimlessly around Co-op. Again, depressing for a Thursday evening I know. Inspiration at a stand still.

I’m convinced some of my favourite recipes are created out ofspontaneity and the need to EAT! And tonight, I was in one of those rare moods where (yes I’ll admit) I just want to eat and don’t care to much for the show business of blogging and aesthetics. Needless to say….I inevitably eyed up my camera as I always do as the meal was coming together and…well here you are. Thursday evenings creation. I am, if you are keen to know, enjoying a cold beer as I write this. I likely won’t be proofreading so please don’t be that ‘helpful’ reader who comments to advise of my grammatical errors….

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 4 chicken thighs, deboned
  • 8 slices thin chorizo
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Two large handfuls breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil
  • Lemon juice & yoghurt to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Start by deboning the chicken thighs as most come sold with bone in. Easiest way is crudely with a pair of scissors. Heat a frying pan until hot. Season the skin side of the chicken well and then fry skin side down until really crisp and golden (like that spit roast…).
  2. Place the 8 slices of chorizo in a baking tray. When the chicken skin is temptingly crispy, seal the flesh side in the pan by flashing it on the heat before placing on top of the chrizo slices skin side up and putting the tray into the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the frying pan again and add a little oil. Fry the breadcrumbs and the diced garlic until golden and crisp, set aside in a large bowl.
  4. When the breadcrumbs have cooled slightly, to the bowl, add the lemon zest, as much finely grated parmesan as you like, the finely chopped parsley and some good seasoning.
  5. Heat a griddle pan or the same frying pan again and add a small splash of sunflower oil. At 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, halve the little gems, discarding any tatty outer leaves, and char these cut side down for a few minutes until just beginning to soften and the outside is golden (these are ideally done charred on a BBQ but a griddle works well. I actually did mine using a frying pan so this is also fine and effective). Remove from the heat.
  6. To serve, place the crispy chorizo on a plate and top with the chicken. Serve with the little gems scattered generously with the breadcurmb/cheesy crumb.

A cooling lemony yoghurt works well here drizzled over the little gems to add some clean acidity as most of the elements here are greasy. Some freshly boil peas also add a nice clean taste and addition. This also works well as an excellent side dish to many other proteins and salad. The textural contrast is the best!