Cook’s tip

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Prep Cook Serves 15 min 30 min 4

1.6–1.8kg chicken, jointed, or 4 legs, split into thighs and drum­sticks

3 tbsp veg­etable oil or light olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

6 gar­lic cloves, squashed (skin on)

10 sprigs thyme Grated zest and juice of 1 le­mon

300g large-leaf spinach, washed and stalks finely chopped

1 x 600g jar but­ter beans (or 400g cooked but­ter beans, plus 200ml cook­ing liquor) Crusty bread, to serve You will need a large, heavy-based fry­ing pan, skil­let or casse­role dish.

Lay the chicken pieces on a plate, sea­son with salt and leave for five to 10 min­utes.

Put the pan on a medium-high heat and add the oil. Lay the chicken skin side down in the pan and leave to fry for 15 min­utes. Af­ter eight min­utes, slot the sliced onion and gar­lic in and around the chicken. (If us­ing a whole bird, fry only the thigh and leg pieces to be­gin with, adding the breast pieces at the same time as the onion and gar­lic.)

Af­ter 15 min­utes, the chicken skin should be golden and crisp. Turn the pieces over and pour 300ml wa­ter into the pan. This should come For best re­sults, buy El Navar­rico’s large Ju­dion but­ter beans about half­way up and not touch the skin. Add the thyme and le­mon zest, and sim­mer for 10 min­utes.

Trans­fer the chicken to a plate and re­duce the heat to low-medium. Put the spinach in the pan, de­cant the beans and the liq­uid from the jar on top, and leave for three to four min­utes. There should be 3–4cm of liq­uid in the pan. This should be a brothy dish, so add ex­tra wa­ter if nec­es­sary.

Once the spinach has wilted, re­turn the chicken to the pan (with skin still clear of the liq­uid). Warm for five min­utes more, then stir in the le­mon juice. Serve in wide bowls or deep plates, with bread. Prep Chill Cook Serves 15 min 20 min 30 min 6

For the bis­cuits 100g un­salted but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture 90g caster sugar 100g plain flour, sifted 20g corn­flour

1 tsp bak­ing pow­der 1 tsp ground gin­ger

For the figs

10 sage leaves 6 plump fresh figs 2 tbsp warm wa­ter 3 tbsp raw honey 150g creme fraiche, to serve

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6 and line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing parch­ment.

Cream the but­ter and sugar in a bowl us­ing a wooden spoon. Add the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, mix and re­frig­er­ate for 20 min­utes. Roll a wal­nut-sized tea­spoon of dough in your hands into a ball, re­peat­ing to make six balls us­ing half the dough. Space them evenly on the bak­ing tray and bake for eight min­utes, un­til they start to turn golden. Re­move and cool on the tray, then slide them off with a pal­ette knife. Re­peat with the re­main­ing dough, then store in an air­tight con­tainer.

For the figs, re­heat the oven to 200C/390F/ gas 6. Put four of the sage leaves in the base of an oven­proof dish that will fit the figs. Cut a cross into each fruit from the stalk to two-thirds of the way down. Squeeze each fig at its base to en­cour­age the cen­tre to open, and slot a sage leaf in each. Place the figs in the dish. Mix the honey with the wa­ter and pour it over the figs.

Bake for 15–20 min­utes, bast­ing with the juices af­ter 10 min­utes. The figs should be soft but in­tact.

De­cant the figs into bowls. Pour a cou­ple of spoons of juice over the top of each and serve with a dol­lop of creme fraiche and two bis­cuits per per­son.

Recipes taken from The Bor­ough Mar­ket Cook­book by Ed Smith (Hod­der & Stoughton)

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