I know it's all a big marketing ploy, but...
It's that time of the year again! It's Black Friday and I'm suddenly panicking about Christmas shopping and what an earth I need to buy.
So I've stuck to what I know best - food.
Currently in my basket I have:
All very random but I think I'm onto some winners this year!
Chef Tip: SPATCHCOCK 1.0.1.
By Mike Robinson, Master of Meat, Head Chef at the Michelin Starred Harwood Arms
This is the secret to quicker, evenly-cooked chicken.
I'm all for nose-to-tail eating, but cooking a whole chicken can be tricky to ensure that your thighs are tender and your breasts moist!
Essentially, to "spatchcock" means to remove the backbone of the bird.
- Simply, start with the chicken, breast-side down, with the legs closest to you on a chopping board.
- Using some strong scissors or a sharp knife, cut along each side of the backbone, cutting the rib bones as you go.
- Turn over the bird, flattening down with the heel of your hand so the chicken is all one thickness.
Just add your marinade or flavouring and you're ready to go!
A great technique, that you can carry through from summer BBQ to Christmas Dinner. Check out Sabrina's spiced chicken recipe below.
Watch a video of how to spatchcock here.
This Week's Recommendation: Recipe Christmas Cards
By Banquist Head Chef, Hope Pointing
**Sorry, cheeky plug incoming...**
I have teamed up with super talented illustrator, Alex Hoskins to create these Christmas greeting cards with some EPIC festive dishes. We've created 4 designs, each with a delicious recipe on the back.
Can confirm, the salted pretzel and dulce de leche brownies are on another level (Santa's favourite too!).
Great for any food lover -order yours here!
This week's recipe: Spiced Spatchcock Chicken with Bejewelled Rice
Recipe by Sabrina Ghayour, Persian Chef and Award-Winning Cookbook Writer
I saw this recipe on last week's Saturday Kitchen and knew instantly that it was going to be hit.
As soon as the festive period starts, I develop a boarder-line OBSESSION with preserves and chutneys. So much so, that by the 25th I am 90% vinegar and basically part of the cheese board.
This recipe showcases Membrillo (quince paste) - an under-used and under-appreciated condiment in my opinion. When paired with the subtle heat of Baharat, a Middle Eastern spice blend, it is simply delicious.
For the Chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaped tbsp baharat (or ½ tbsp mix of cumin, paprika, ginger, clove, cinnamon and cayenne)
- 1 medium chicken, spatchcocked
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken glaze
- 100g/3½oz membrillo (quince paste)
- 100ml/3½fl oz apple juice
For the bejewelled vermicelli rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 100g/3½oz cut vermicelli
- 425g/15oz basmati rice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 50g/1¾oz butter, plus extra for serving
- 50g/1¾oz dried apricots, chopped
- 50g/1¾oz dried cranberries, chopped
- 50g/1¾oz toasted pine nuts
- 50g/1¾oz slivered pistachios
- 15g/½oz fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 50g/1¾oz pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix the oil and baharat in a bowl, then brush all over the chicken. Roast for 45 minutes, adjusting this timing depending on the size of the chicken.
- To make the chicken glaze, combine the membrillo and apple juice in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until it boils down to a glaze consistency (4–5 tablespoons of liquid). Season the glaze with salt and pepper and set aside until the chicken is cooked.
- For the rice, place a saucepan with a lid over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vermicelli, stir well and toast until it turns golden brown.
- Add the rice, spices, butter and a generous amount of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vermicelli is evenly coated in the melted butter and spices. Pour in 600ml cold water and stir again, then cover the pan with the lid, reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for 30–35 minutes, or until the rice on top is cooked and fluffy.
- Fluff the rice up with a fork and add a few extra knobs of butter. Fold in the chopped apricots, dried chopped cranberries, toasted pine nuts and pistachios.
- When the chicken is cooked, brush the chicken with the glaze as it rests. Serve the chicken with a flourish of chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds, and the rice on the side.