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Packed with ro­bust flavours, these recipes put a twist on the clas­sic three-course menu

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

The ripe, ro­bust flavours of crim­son fruits and veg put a twist on the clas­sic three-course menu

orange-brined chicken with freekeh, blood orange & fen­nel salad

Serves 4–6 Prep time 45 mins, plus pre­serv­ing and brin­ing time Cook­ing time 1 hour 30 mins 1 (1.8kg) chicken 3 blood or­anges, 1 quar­tered, 2 seg­mented 1 head gar­lic, halved, plus

1 clove ex­tra, finely chopped 200g cracked freekeh

½ Span­ish onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp le­mon juice 1 tbsp blood orange juice 1½ tbsp sherry vine­gar

60ml (¼ cup) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 baby fen­nel bulbs, thinly sliced on man­dolin, fronds re­served ¾ cup each (loosely packed) flatleaf pars­ley, co­rian­der and mint PRE­SERVED BLOOD OR­ANGES 100g (1 cup) sea salt flakes 2 blood or­anges, halved, skin on 60ml (¼ cup) each blood orange juice and le­mon juice

ORANGE BRINE

160g sea salt flakes

55g (¼ cup) brown sugar 55ml sherry vine­gar 2 blood or­anges, halved 1 le­mon, halved 1 head gar­lic, halved 1 tsp each dried chilli flakes and fen­nel seeds 2 cin­na­mon quills 1 PRE­SERVED OR­ANGES Place salt and 250ml wa­ter in a saucepan over high heat; stir un­til salt dis­solves (2–3 min­utes). Cut each orange half into six wedges, add to pan and bring to the boil, then sim­mer over medium heat for 25–30 min­utes un­til ten­der (the wa­ter will evap­o­rate and the salt will crys­talise). Rinse un­der cold run­ning wa­ter, drain well and trans­fer to a con­tainer. Pour over juices to cover; re­frig­er­ate overnight. 2 ORANGE BRINE

Place salt, sugar, vine­gar and 1L wa­ter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir to dis­solve sugar and salt. Squeeze in juice from orange and le­mon halves, add squeezed fruit to liq­uid with gar­lic and spices and bring to a sim­mer. Trans­fer to a con­tainer large enough to fit the chicken; add 2.5L wa­ter and re­frig­er­ate brine un­til chilled (1 hour). Sub­merge chicken in brine, cover and re­frig­er­ate overnight.

3 Pre­heat oven to 220°C. Drain chicken, rinse un­der cold wa­ter and pat dry. Stuff with blood orange quar­ters and halved gar­lic head. Tuck in wings and truss legs. Rub with olive oil, sea­son and place in a roast­ing pan lined with bak­ing pa­per. Roast un­til juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (45–60 min­utes). Rest for 15 min­utes.

4 Cook freekeh in a saucepan of boil­ing salted wa­ter un­til just ten­der (15–20 min­utes). Drain, rinse un­der cold run­ning wa­ter, drain again and set aside. Com­bine onion, chopped gar­lic and juices in a bowl, sea­son to taste and stand un­til onion soft­ens (3–4 min­utes). Add vine­gar and olive oil. Rinse three pre­served orange wedges, dis­card flesh, then thinly slice the rind. Add to onion mix­ture with re­main­ing orange seg­ments, fen­nel, fronds and herbs. Sea­son to taste; toss to com­bine. Serve with chicken.

NOTE Cracked freekeh is avail­able from se­lect del­i­catessens. If it’s un­avail­able, sub­sti­tute coarse burghul and fol­low packet di­rec­tions.

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