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Sticky lemon chicken with champ February 2, 2010

Posted by Helen in chicken, Uncategorized.
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As much as I hate to admit it, Gordon Ramsay is pretty good. This was a perfect weeknight supper. Not too heavy (unless, of course, you eat as much champ as my husband does), and lovely served with steamed green beans. The recipe below serves 4, so I halved it. Rather than using a whole chicken, I used a breast and two thighs (something that seems to work well for us since I prefer white meat).











Lemon chicken:
1 large chicken, jointed into 8-10 pieces
Salt and pepper
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
A few thyme sprigs
A splash of sherry vinegar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 lemon, finely sliced
Bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped

1 kg floury potatoes (e.g., King Edward), peeled
Salt and pepper
30g butter
Bunch of spring onions (8-10), trimmed and chopped
100ml double cream
100ml whole milk

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.

Cut the potatoes into similar-sized chunks and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain well.

Mash the potatoes while still hot, using a potato ricer if you have one, then stir through the butter and spring onions.

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and gradually pour on to the potatoes, mixing well. If the mash is too thick, add a little extra milk. Season generously.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley, serve with the champ and green beans.


Pumpkin fillo triangles December 24, 2009

Posted by Helen in nibbles, Uncategorized.
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I normally make these little triangles with goat’s cheese and wild mushrooms, but as I was serving stuffed mushrooms alongside them this Christmas Eve, I decided to try a different filling. They’re called pumpkin triangles, but I cheated and used sweet potato instead. Actually, it wasn’t so much cheating as improvising as I was unable to find any pumpkin purée. I just baked one quite large sweet potato, and it yielded enough mashed contents for this recipe.











300g pumpkin or sweet potato purée
200g feta cheese, crumbled (next time, I think I’d add more feta for an extra zing)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp dried red chili flakes
Ground black pepper
Frozen or fresh fillo pastry
Lots of melted butter
Olive oil

Mix together the sweet potato, feta cheese, egg, salt, chili flakes and black pepper.

If using frozen fillo, make sure it’s thawed completely. Put one sheet of the pastry on your worktop with the long edges facing you. Brush it with melted butter. Top with a second sheet and brush with more butter, then top with a third. (Make sure that you keep the fillo you’re not working with covered with a damp teatowel so it doesn’t dry out!)

Cut the three-layered fillo into six strips the short way. Put a small spoonful of the sweet potato filling about half an inch from the top of each strip. Don’t overfill, or the triangles will split. Then the complicated folding begins. This is the fun part. Gently lift the pastry corner and fold it tightly diagonally over the filling to create a triangle (take care not to tear pastry). Continue folding, keeping the triangle shape. I’m probably not explaining it very well, but this website has some better instructions, along with photos to demonstrate the technique. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it.

Spray the triangles or brush them lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes at 200C.