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Confit Chicken Legs

21 Oct


  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 thyme sprigs and thyme leaves
  • 50g sea salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 lemon cut in squares
  • 2 shallots, split in half
  • 3 semi-crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tarragon spring
  • 1 l olive oil


Mix the thyme leaves with the salt and lemon zest. Rub over the chicken legs, then chill for 1 hr. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper. Place in a small roasting tin with the remaining confit ingredients. Bake in the oven for 2-2 1 / 2 hrs until tender. You can prepare the meal up until this point. It stays fine for days in the oil as long as it’s completely covered in oil.

When you’re ready to finally eat the chicken, get the legs out of the oil and wipe off the worst of the fat. Put the legs in a hot oven and let the skin get brown, nice and crispy and the inside will have reheated by then. Now it’s ready to eat. The meat will just fall off the bone. The skin is crispier than any roast chicken you could think of.

Serve with salad, potatoes of any variety or whatever else you prefer as a side dish to chicken.
P.S. Reserve and strain the oil – this is great for roasting veg or making more confit. Reserve the shallot and garlic.


Crispy skin duck breast – weird but it works!!

9 Feb


This is a John Torode recipe. Take your duck breasts and score the skin all the way through the flesh. Season the skin (and only(!) skin) with salt and black pepper. Take a solid, heavy frying pan and turn the heat to 3/4 on your stove. Lay the duck skin down in the cold (!) pan and put over the heat and turn the heat down to 1/2. Now DO NOT touch anything. Leave it alone for good 10 minutes.

The fat under the skin will slowly melt and the skin will go brown and crispy. You should have a good 1 cm of duck fat at the bottom. When the skin starts to colour around the outside you’re ready to move on. Season the flesh side now and turn the duck breast down. Cook for 2 minutes and turn the heat to full, cooking the duck for further 1 minute. Take the pan from the heat and leave the breasts in the pan for 5 minutes.

You can keep the fat for further cooking – for example for roasted potatoes 🙂

Chicken Ballotine Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Garlic & Herbs

21 Jan


  • 2 chicken breast fillets, diced
  • 100 g garlic and herb cream cheese (I used boursin with sundried tomato and garlic flavour)
  • 4 large chicken thighs, boned
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 50 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying


1. Working with one chicken thigh at a time, place between two sheets of cling film and then using a rolling pin, flatten to an even thickness. Lay out another large sheet of cling film and lay the flattened chicken thigh skin-side down in the middle of the film. Season with salt and pepper and then pipe the cream cheese along the centre of the meat. Using the cling film to help, roll the chicken up tightly, to enclose the filling and create a sausage shape. Tie the ends tightly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining thighs and mousse

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, carefully add the chicken parcels, cover and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the chicken to poach in the pan, off the heat, for about 20 minutes. Then using a slotted spoon remove the chicken parcels from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool slightly. Remove from the cling film and pat dry with kitchen towel.

3. Heat the oil for searing. Sear the chicken parcels, in batches, for about 5 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. Transfer to a plate and drain on kitchen paper. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and then carve into thick slices. If meat still pink, let the chicken rest in the oven for a while before serving. Arrange on warm serving plates and spoon over sauce to serve.

Flambéed chicken with asparagus

12 May

DSC_0056 DSC_0059Hubby and I have decided to cook together at least a couple of times a month. We have also recently bought a Spiralo to allow us to make better use of gluts of vegetables during allotment season (mainly thinking courgettes!). We are also at the moment drowning in asparagus and searched for a recipe that included this + something that would let us use our new toy. So here’s the result! Served with twice fried potato in the shape of thick spaghetti to add a bit of crunch. Yum!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 4 shallots , finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp brandy or Cognac
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 16 asparagus spears , halved
  • 4 rounded tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon


  1. Dust the chicken with the flour.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large, wide pan with a lid, add the chicken, then fry on all sides until nicely browned.
  3. Add the shallots, then fry for about 2 mins until they start to soften, but not colour.
  4. Pour in the brandy, carefully ignite, then stand well back until the flames have died down.
  5. Stir in the stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover, then cook for 15 mins until the chicken is just tender.
  7. Add the asparagus to the sauce.
  8. Cover, then cook for 5 mins more until tender.
  9. Stir in the crème fraîche and tarragon and warm through.
  10. Season to taste.

Grilled Mustard and Herb Chicken

28 Feb

mustard chicken






  • 8 chicken quarters, de-boned
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, heaping
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, heaping
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar



  1. De-bone chicken.
  2. Mix the oil, herbs, mustard and vinegar.
  3. Coat chicken and marinade overnight in the fridge.
  4. Get bbq, grill or the griddled frying pan sizzling hot.
  5. Place chicken skin side down.
  6. Expect smoke and sizzling.
  7. Cool until skin is brown and crispy, turning after 4-5 minutes.
  8. Continue cooking until juices run clear – roughly 4-5 further minutes.
  9. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.