Spatch-cooked chicken

 

A great idea if you wanted to have a BBQ but the sun’s just not out! Cooking the chicken in this way really helps to keep it succulent and takes half the time of normal roasting.

 

Ingredients: 

1 whole free range chicken (believe me, they do always taste better when they’re free range)

1 teaspoon Knorr chicken granuals

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs 

Seasoning (salt and ground black pepper)

Utensils: 
1 x large baking tray

2 x long metal skewers 

 

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 6

2. Take your chicken and remove any giblets/string etc that may have been packaged with it. Take a large sharp knife and very carefully, cut through the top, middle of the bird – basically follow the middle bone between the two breasts. You will have to break through some bones so be sure to apply some pressure. (Be careful though not to cut all the way through to the bottom half of the bird!)Once you’ve made your cut, flatten out the bird so that the wings are resting on-top of the breasts and the legs are splayed out on each side.

3. Take your skewers and pierce through the leg and the breast of each side so that the skewers go into a criss cross through the bird. This will make handling the chicken much easier when turning it and taking it in and out of the oven, as well as conducting heat from the skewers through to the centre of the bird. 

4. Rub in your olive oil and other ingredients to the top and and bottom of the bird 

5. Place the bird directly onto top shelf of your oven and place a baking tray onto the shelf below it to catch any juices. 

6. Turn your bird every 20 minutes for approx 1 hour or until all of the juices are running clear and you cannot see any blood.

7. Carve and serve

This is great served with roasted sweet potatoes (they can be cooking in the baking tray below the bird in the chicken juices) and beetroot with green beans and feta.

Beetroot, green beans and feta cheese

 

Ingredients: 

2 large handfulls of green beans (blanched in hot water) 

150g good quality feta cheese 

3 large pickled beetroots (cut into wedges)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon english mustard

The juice of half a lemon

3 finely cut spring onions

Seasoning (salt and ground black pepper) 

 

Instructions: 
Take a large bowl and throw in your mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar, chopped spring onions, lemon juice and seasoning. Mix together with a spoon and then add in your beetroot and green beans. coat them in the sauce and then to finish sprinkle your diced feta cheese over the top. 

Great served with roasted sweet potatoes and spatch-cooked chicken

Tomato and basil pasta salad (great served with white meat or grilled fish)

 

The inspiration for this dish came from Marco Pierre White. I was fortunate enough to film Marco at work on a Knorr shoot with Pie ‘n’ mash films. Marco’s inspiration for this dish came from his mother who, even though she passed away when he was only 10 years old, seems to have had a real influence over Marco and his passion for cooking.

 

Ingredients: 

1 large handful of fresh basil 

4 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

2 cups of shell shaped pasta

12 baby plum tomatoes (cut into quarters)

Seasoning (salt and ground black pepper)

 

Instructions:

Boil your pasta until it’s al-dente and then leave to cool in a bowl of cold water. finely chop your fresh basil and then add to a large bowl adding to it your tomatoes, olive oil, white wine vinegar and seasoning. Once the pasta is cooled, drain and add to the mixture coating it in the oil and tomatoes. 

 

Great served with spatch-cooked chicken and beetroot with green beans or simply as an addition to any fish or meat cooked on the BBQ.

Really Chocolaty Chocolate brownies

The basis for this recipe came from Nigel Slaters ‘A Year in the Kitchen’ cookbook. I’ve simplified the baking process and have specified specific chocolate brands/products that I really think makes the difference between ‘chocolate brownies’ and ‘REALLY chocolaty chocolate brownies’!

chocolate brownies

Ingredients: 

300g golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter

150g salted butter

250g chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) – has to be Green & Blacks cooking chocolate!
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
60g plain flour
60g finest quality cocoa powder (Green and Blacks orange cocoa powder is the best!)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Utensils: 

You will need a baking tin, about 23cm x 23cm, preferably non-stick, or a small roasting tin.

Instructions:

1. Set the oven at 180°C/Gas 4. Line the tin (bottom and sides) with baking paper.

2. Break the chocolate into pieces, set 50g of it aside and melt the rest in a bowl suspended over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. As soon as the chocolate has melted remove it from the heat. Chop the remaining 50g into chunky pieces and leave to one side.

3. Put all of the ingredients (except the chunky choc pieces) in to the bowl of a food mixer and beat for a few minutes until mixed and creamy.

3. Add in the choc pieces and give a final quick blitz.

4. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes. The top will have risen slightly and the cake will appear slightly softer in the middle than around the edges.Pierce the centre of the cake with a fork – it should come out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached to it. If it does, then return the brownie to the oven for three more minutes. It is worth remembering that it will solidify after cooling, so if it appears a bit wet, don’t worry, that’s a good thing!

5. Leave on the side to cool, and then transfer to the fridge overnight.

Enjoy 🙂

This is also great if placed in individual pots and then serve hot and gooey with some double cream or custard. Mmmmmm

Seafood and Chorizo Paella

Serves: 4 people

Prep & cooking time: Approx 40 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

1 x chorizo sausage  

1 x large white onion

1 x yellow pepper

1 x green pepper

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 x wine glass of white wine

1 x chicken stock cube 

1 tablespoon Knorr fish buillon

3 tablespoons of paprika

1 large pinch of saffron

200g peeled prawns 

6 large squid tubes (preferably with tentacles)

8 x green-lip mussels

4 x uncooked kingprawns

4 x large scallops

seasoning – salt and pepper

 

Utensils: 

Ideally a large paella pan but if you don’t have this you may need to split the ingredients in half and cook in two frying pans as the paella rice expands and will become too much to fit into one!

 

Instructions: 

1. Heat your stock and add to it a large pinch of saffron. 

2. Pour the oil into the pan and once heated through, add the onions, peppers and chopped chorizo. Stir for approx 5 minutes, or until the onions and peppers are nicely softened and the chorizo has released its oil 

2. Add your paella rice to the pan and stir for approx two minutes to allow the rice to soak up any juices and crack slightly. 

3. Pour in the stock with saffron little by little – you want to ensure that the rice is just covered by the liquid but not swimming in it. Once all liquid has been soaked up, add the next lot and so on until all of the liquid has gone. 

4. At this point, if you wanted to prepare in advance to a dinner party, you could remove the pan from the heat and cover with tin foil until you’re ready to cook for your guests. 

5. When ready to eat, add the selection of shellfish to the paella mixture with the wine and cook through until all of the wine has been absorbed and the fish cooked through (approx 10-15 minutes) 

Enjoy!

Pork fillet with fennel and green lentils

The inspiration for this dish came from a recipe that I saw in Donna Hayes magazine. It’s nice and simple and can be prepared in advance and then popped in the oven 20 minutes before you want to eat… 

Serves: 3-4 people

prep + cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 x decent size pork fillets

3 x cloves of garlic 

1 x large white onion 

1 x fennel bulb 

A mug full of green lentils 

2 mugs of boiling water 

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper for seasoning

1 x chicken stock cube

utensils: 

A deep baking dish and heavy bottomed frying pan

 

Instructions: 

1. Finely chop your garlic. Chop your fennel and onion into chunky pieces. Add the olive oil and some seasoning to a baking tray then toss the garlic, fennel and onions in the oil and pop into the oven on gas mark 6 for 20 minutes. 

2. Add your mug of green lentils to a saucepan with 2 x mugs of boiling water and the chicken stock cube and simmer for 15 minutes 

3. Rub some olive oil into your pork fillets and then season. Heat a frying pan and then sear the fillets in the pan for around 2 minutes each side (until golden in colour) 

4. Once your lentils are cooked and your pork seared, remove the baking tray from the oven, pour the lentils and any stock from the pan over and give it a quick mix, then place the pork fillets on top of everything and place back into the oven for 20 minutes, or until you’re happy that the pork is cooked through

5. Remove from the oven, slice the pork and serve on-top of your onion, fennel and lentil mix 

Enjoy!