Savoury cheesecake with home-smoked chicken and beetroot
Smoke the chicken yourself in a flatbottomed cast-iron pot for this starter.
Serves 6–8 Preparation time 20–30 minutes Cooking and baking time 1½ hours
YOU NEED FOR THE CRUST
• 140 g Provita biscuits
• ¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter
• 100 ml (40 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese FOR THE FILLING
• 6 chicken thighs
• 300 g raw beetroot (about 4), peeled and diced
• a bunch of spring onions, washed and thinly sliced
• 1 cup (230 g) cream cheese
• 1 cup (250 ml) mascarpone
• 6 extra-large eggs, beaten
• 200 g feta, crumbled
• 100 g blue cheese or Gorgonzola, crumbled
• pea shoots and Parmesan shavings
THIS IS HOW
Heat the oven to 180°C. Place the biscuits, butter and Parmesan in a food processor and pulse to form crumbs. Use your fingertips to press the crumbs over the bottom and up the side of a 22 cm springform tin and place it in the fridge.
Smoke the chicken You will need a flatbottomed cast-iron pot and wood shavings, as well as a small round wire rack and a round enamel plate that fit inside the pot.
Season the chicken to taste with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Spread out about ½ cup of wood shavings in the base of the pot, place the wire rack on top of the shavings, and the enamel plate on top of it. Place the chicken on the plate and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Cover the pot with tinfoil, put the lid on and place on the stove over high heat to smoke the chicken for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and smoke the chicken for a further 10 minutes. If the chicken is still not cooked, transfer it to a dish and roast it in a hot oven until cooked through.
Make the filling Peel and cube the beetroot. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and slice it into small pieces. Arrange the beetroot cubes, chicken pieces and spring onion in the tart crust.
Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and eggs to form a smooth mixture. Stir in the feta and blue cheese and season to taste with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Pour over the ingredients in the crust.
Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour or until cooked, then let it rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before you transfer it to a serving dish. Garnish the cheesecake with pea shoots and Parmesan shavings, and slice to serve.