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