Jerk chicken

Jerk chicken wings with Caroline’s secret home-made jerk seasoning, with tomato salad made with the first of the tomato crop and fresh basil, served with courgettes from the garden fried with garlic.

Now all I need is her to make peas’n’rice and ackee and saltfish.

Herb and pepper chicken salad

Steaks of chicken breast, seasoned with sea salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme, then fried gently in butter until golden on both sides.  I had some leftover duck breast, so tossed that in as well once the chicken was almost cooked.  Served with grated carrot and beetroot, shredded Little Gem, diced cucumber and sliced spring onions.

Served with a side dish of triple-cooked new potato chips and some herb-crusted roasted tomatoes

Brined slow-roast chicken with confit carrots

Heston suggests brining your chicken, then cooking it gently for 4 hours at less than 90C. Thought we’d try it with a nice free-range hen.  Made 4 litres of 6% brine, soaked the chicken for 18 hours in the fridge.  Patted dry,  then slathered it with butter all over.  Took a lemon, bashed it about a bit then stabbed it a lot with a fork and shoved it into the body cavity with a large sprig of thyme. Put the chicken on a rack over a roasting tin into the oven at 90C for almost 4 hours, basting a few times.  Once the internal temp in deep muscle was consistently 65C, took out of the oven and left to rest under some foil for half an hour. it looked disconcertingly like a boiled fowl at this point!

Meanwhile, melted a little butter, peeled and sliced some carrots into 1cm thick disks and let them cook very VERY gently for 45 mins in a single layer, turning once about half way through.

Whacked up the oven to 230C, put the chicken in to crisp up and brown a bit.  Heated up some chicken stock and white wine with chopped tarragon and parsley, and reduced by a third.

After 10 mins in the oven, removed the chicken and left to rest for 5 mins.  Deglazed the roasting tin with the reduced stock.  Removed excess oil and reduced a little to make a dark golden buttery gravy.

Served with thick slices of freshly-made bread, the confit carrots and plenty of the gravy.  Normally I don’t like chicken, but this was a totally different level, succulent and tasty.  Heston got it totally right on this one. Definitely to be repeated.


Ballotine of chicken and Serrano ham

Ballotine of chicken leg, thyme and garlic, wrapped in Serrano ham, and tied tightly in clingfim, then poached, and finished by roasting. Served with creamed potato, sweet potato mash and crushed peas. Madeira sauce made by roasting the bones and skin, then simmering with carrots and onion, straining and reducing.  Finally, I deglazed the pan in which I browned the chicken using a good slosh of Madeira and mixed that with the sauce.


Chicken with carrot and coriander

Chicken breast with crispy skin, pan-fried.  Served on a bed of mushrooms, spring onions, sweet peppers and garlic, sauteed in butter with the chicken.  Removed the meat from the pan to rest,  then deglazed with white wine, seasoned and reduced, with a handful of chopped coriander leaf.  Meat seasoned with a squeeze of lime juice and a little lime zest, then dressed with long carrot julienne blanched in boiling water long enough to retain some crunch.