chicken, cooking, food blogging, food photography, recipes, restaurant food

Griddled Chicken and Chicken Skin Bites. Served with Salted Peanut and Caraway Bread.

Griddled Chicken
Griddled Chicken with Crispy, Chicken Skin Bites. Served with a Honey and Paprika Yoghurt. Accompanied by a Salted Peanut and Caraway Bread.

This chicken dish is top of the pecking order when it comes to ease of cooking and combination of flavours. Yoghurt and honey sweetness are a perfect match for charred chicken, crisp chicken skin and crusty peanut bread. With roasted tomatoes, that burst to create a light sauce – ‘dip dip hooray’ – it’s a rustic family meal for sharing or to wow your friends during an informal dinner.

Griddled Chicken


Chicken:  (Serves 4 and needs to marinate overnight)
8 boned chicken thighs – with skin.
200ml Greek yoghurt.
1 clove of garlic – crushed.
1/2 tsp salt.
1/4 tsp black pepper.
1 heaped tsp paprika.
35g honey.
2 tsps of coarse sea salt.

Yoghurt Dressing:
120ml Greek yoghurt.
Pinch of salt.
Pinch of white pepper.
2 tsps of runny honey.
Paprika for sprinkling/dusting.

12 Vine tomatoes.
3 sticks of celery – cut into 6cm lengths.
2 tsps Paprika.
Salt and black pepper for seasoning.
Drizzle of olive oil.
1 tabls chopped parsely.
4-8 curls of butter.
4 cooked corn on the cob – cut in half.

Peanut Bread:
200g strong bread flour. Extra for kneading.
100g salted peanuts – ground.
5g easy bake yeast.
50g unsalted butter.
135ml warm water.
Olive oil.
Sea salt to sprinkle on top of loaf just before baking.
Caraway seeds to sprinkle on loaf just before baking.
Note: Don’t add salt to the dough mix as the salted peanuts contain salt.


Peanut Bread:
Set oven to gas 8 or 230°C / 450°F
Rub the butter into the flour.
Add the yeast and ground salted peanuts.
Add the warm water and combine to a dough. Add a touch more flour if to wet.
Knead the dough for 5 mins’.
Place dough in a floured bowl, cover with a damp cloth or clingfilm. Rest the dough in a warm place to proof until doubled in size.
Once the dough has double in size, knead again for 3 mins’. You shouldn’t need to flour the surface for the second knead – due to the butter in the dough. But if it does stick, add a little flour as possible to stop it sticking.
Place the kneaded dough in a greased and floured baking tin.
Sprinkle with caraway seeds, sea salt and olive oil. Press into the top of the dough with your finger tips – six or seven good, heavy handed, prods – to incorporate the oil. (see image)
Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and proof again until doubled in size. Bake for 25-30 mins’ until golden brown. Once baked, turn out onto a baking rack. Set aside.
Tip: If the loaf isn’t crisp on the bottom after baking. Remove from the baking tin and pop back in the oven for 5 mins’

Mix the yoghurt, seasoning, spices, garlic and honey set aside.
Remove skin from the chicken thighs and trim the skin into oblong pieces. (see image)
Set the skin aside and store in a refrigerator until ready to cook.
In a bowl coat your chicken thighs with the yoghurt mix. Chill overnight.
Once your chicken thighs have marinated you are ready to proceed.
Set oven to gas 6 or 200°C / 400°F.
Place your trimmed chicken skin pieces on a deep baking tray, lined with silicon paper. (see previous image) Season the chicken skins with sea salt and roast until crisp – about 30 mins’.
Note: The baking tray must have high enough sides to retain the oils/fat dripping from the chicken skins.
Once the skins are crisp (they will shrink to yummy bite size morsels) remove from the oven and set aside. Also, save the oils/fat produced from cooking the skins – it’s full of flavour and will be used when serving later.
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C / 425°F. Ready for the chicken thighs.
For the thighs, heat a griddle pan to a medium heat. Seal and char the marinaded thighs on both sides. Note: Because of the honey, it is easy to over char the chicken so don’t have your griddle pan smoking hot.
Once you have sealed and charred your chicken, place in the oven for 20 mins’ to cook through.

Set oven to gas 6 or 200°C / 400°F.
Place your celery and vine tomatoes on a roasting tray.
Drizzle with olive oil, season and sprinkle generously with paprika.
Place your cooked sweet corn on the tray with your tomatoes and celery to re-heat.
Roast for 30-40 mins’ or until tomatoes are soft and the skins begin to split. The celery will retain a crunch and the sweet corn will be hot. Set aside your garnish and keep warm.
Tip: Cook the garnish at the same time as the chicken skin – save time and energy.

Mix the yoghurt, seasoning and honey. Set aside.

Serving:  (Can be served as a sharing dish or plated for each diner.)
To serve plated: Dress each plate with several good teaspoons of the yoghurt dressing – random blobs, splodges or cheffy smears. (Drizzle extra honey, over the yoghurt, if you like the sweetness) Sprinkle over the yoghurt with paprika – be generous.
Next, add two pieces of cooked chicken thigh to the centre of each plate – brush with the fat/oil saved from cooking the skins. Top with several pieces of crispy chicken skin.
Add 3 roasted tomatoes and three pieces of roasted celery to each plate.
Finally, sprinkle each plate with chopped parsley.
Serve with hot corn on the cob and warm wedges of the crusty peanut and caraway bread. Don’t forget your butter curls.


cooking, desserts, food blogging, food photography, ice cream, recipes, restaurant food, sponge pudding, sweets,

Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream

Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge Pudding
Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream.

Who doesn’t love a warm steamy pudding?  Not sure about you, but there are no hands up in our house. I do like a thick English custard with my steamed pudding, but ice cream seems more befitting for the time of year.

Ingredients: (Makes 6 – 8cm x 5cm puddings)

175g softened butter.
175g caster sugar.
175g self raising flour – sieved.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda – sieved.
3 large eggs – room temperature.

6 individual pudding moulds – 8cm x 5cm.
Butter for greasing.
8 fresh ripe apricots.
50g stem ginger – chopped. (See recipe below or buy ready made)
12 heaped tsps golden syrup.

Ice Cream:
150ml semi skimmed milk.
320ml double cream.
50g sugar.
50ml Irish Cream Liqueur.
Tip: If you want a stronger alcohol taste add more liqueur and reduce the milk by the same amount – ie: extra 20ml liqueur reduce milk by 20ml.

Stem Ginger recipe and stock syrup:
260g peeled fresh ginger – sliced.
400ml water.

Stock Syrup:
500ml water.
200g sugar.
1 slice of orange.
1 slice of lemon.
1 bay leaf.
3 cardamon pods.
3 cloves.
5cm cinnamon stick.


Ice Cream:
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer – leave to cool.
Once cooled add the mixture to ice cream maker to churn.
After approx’ 50 minutes it will form a soft ice cream.
Transfer soft ice cream to a plastic container – with lid – and pop in the freezer for several hours.
Note: Ice cream made with ice cream makers still need to be popped into a freezer – don’t expect the ice cream maker to give you a finished product. Once the ice cream reaches an almost frozen state the mixing paddle will stop turning, but not all the mixture is frozen. Add this extra freezing time to your timings. Ice cream makers with integrated compressor are best.

Stem Ginger:
In a pan, with a lid, simmer the sliced ginger in the 400ml of water until soft – 40-60 mins’. Be careful that the pan doesn’t boil dry.
While the ginger simmers make the stock syrup.
Put all the stock syrup ingredients into a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
When the ginger is soft add the stock syrup and simmer until liquid is reduced by half and syrup thickens.
Store in sterilised jam jars.

Firstly prepare the pudding moulds.
Grease each mould with butter.
Pop a small amount of chopped stem ginger into the bottom of each mould.
Add a 2 heaped teaspoon of golden syrup to the bottom of each mould.
Slice 6 apricots and line each mould. (See image)

Once the moulds are lined, prepare the sponge mix.
Crack the eggs into a dish and beat with a fork until well mixed. Set aside.
Seive the flour and bicarb’ of soda together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric whisk – or use a wooden spoon if you feel that you need a work out.
Once the butter and sugar are well creamed add the beaten egg a little at a time.
Once all the egg has been incorporated fold in the sieved flour and bicarb’ of soda.
Divide sponge mixture between the 6 moulds. (see iamge)
Note: Chilled eggs will cause the mixture to split, so use eggs that have been stored at room temperature. If the mixture splits before all the egg has been added, mix in a dessert spoon or two of the sieved flour – this should fix it.
Cover each pudding with parchment paper and then a piece of tin foil. Secure with elastic bands. (see images)
Note the fold in the parchment paper – this is to allow the sponges to rise during steaming.

Steam the sponges for 30-35 mins.
To steam the sponges, line the base of a large pan with baking beans or a wire trivet.
Just cover the beans or trivet with water and bring to a simmer.
Add the sealed puddings to the simmering water and top up with boiling water so the level reaches half way up the pudding moulds. (see image)
Put a lid on the pan and steam the puddings for 35-40 minutes on a low flame.
Once cooked, remove parchment paper and foil. Turn out onto plates and serve with the ice cream, fresh apricot slices and fresh cream.

cooking, food blogging, food photography, pork, stir-fry,

Pork Fillet and Scallops

Pork and scallops are a classic combination. Served with a sweet and spicy sauce this dish is one of my favourites.

Pork Fillet
Pork Fillet with a sweet and spicy sauce. Served with rice noodles, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and griddled spring onions.

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 pork fillet trimmed.

6g grated ginger.
6 dessert spoons of honey.
6 dessert spoons of red wine vinegar.
6 dessert spoons of light soy sauce.
2 dessert spoons of dark soy sauce.
4 dessert spoons of olive oil or veg’ oil
1 red chilli sliced including seeds. Use 2 chillies if you like it hot.
Juice of 1 lemon.
1 tsp five spice.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper.
100ml fresh apple juice.

4 fresh scallops with roe. Removed from shells and cleaned.
6 spring onions – trimmed.
10-14 Shiitake mushrooms.
Drizzle of olive oil for cooking.
100g Dried rice noodles.

Stir-fry Vegetables: Anything you like but I use:
4 florets of cauliflower sliced.
12 sugar-snap peas.
2 spring onions sliced.
1/2 chilli sliced.
1/4 of Chinese lettuce sliced/chiffonade.
2 dessert spoons olive oil or veg’ oil.
1 dessert spoon of light Soy sauce.


Marinating the pork:
Firstly, place all marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
Cut the pork fillet in half and add to the marinade.
Leave the pork to marinate for two hours or over night.

Cooking the pork:
Once the pork fillet has marinated remove from the marinade. Keep the marinade to one side for the sauce.
Drizzle the pork with olive oil, or veg’ oil, and seal in a hot frying pan.
Place the sealed pork in a preheated oven for 20 minutes – gas 7 or 220°C/425°F
When cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Cooking Garnish:
On a griddle pan lightly brown the spring onions in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm
Lightly fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm.
Fry the scallops and roe in olive oil for two minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
Cover your rice noodles with boiling water and leave for 10-12 minutes until softened. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cooking Stir-fry:
In a wok heat up the oil.
Add cauliflower, spring onion and chilli and fry for 1 minute.
Add half a cup of water and continue to cook for a further minute.
Add the sugar-snap peas and cook for 1 minute.
Add the Chinese lettuce and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.

Put your saved marinade into a frying pan and heat on a medium heat until reduced by half. This will create a sweet and spicy sauce.
Re-heat your noodles and serve with slices of your cooked pork, your cooked garnish and stir-fry vegetables.