Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Chicken with lemon thyme and parsley, with chorizo beans and buttery English spinach and leek

2 Chorizo sausages
4 chicken Maryland’s
Half a block of butter
6 cloves of garlic
1 brown onion
Fresh lemon thyme
Lemon rind of one lemon
Flat leaf Italian parsley
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cans of butter beans

Method: chop the chorizo into small pieces and fry until crisp.

Slice the leeks into small rings and give a good rinse in a colander. After the garlic and onion are chopped into small pieces I think it always helps when all of the ingredients are in separate bowls on the bench (1. It makes everything look neater and 2. it excites you, because visually you can see what needs to be cooked next) It also allows ease when cooking numerous things at once.

Get your chicken and make a small incision on the large side of the meat, put your finger underneath the skin (in-between the chicken and the skin) move your finger around gently and slowly to make sure you do not tear the skin. Yes, it is a graphic process but putting butter and thyme inside the chicken makes it more delicious and juicy.

Once that is done cover in lemon rind, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper. Place in the oven at 180 fan forced. It will take in-between 1-1-45 depending on how large the chicken is.

Whilst the chicken is in the oven soften the brown onion in a pan with half the amount of grated or chopped garlic. Add the paprika and cook until the ingredients are fragrant and softened.

In a different pan soften the leeks in a good dollop of butter with the remaining garlic. Whilst the leeks are softening, blanch the spinach in a colander to remove some of the excess liquid. The leek and spinach mixture should be moist but not sloppy on the plate, the key is to have a mixture that can sit firmly upon the plate, as the chicken will rest upon it when cooked.

While the leeks and spinach are bubbling away in their buttery juices, put the two cans of washed beans into the garlic and paprika mixture that was softening earlier. Adding a small amount of boiling water helps the beans get coated evenly with the spices and flavours.

Once the two sides are cooked let them rest on the stove until the chicken is ready. Once the chicken is cooked let it rest for 5-10minutes to allow the juices to stay in. When serving give a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top of the chicken and spinach mixture.  

This was a recipe I came up with experimenting with different flavours of herbs and many classic roast meat recipes. I felt the spice of the chorizo cuts through the subtle and garlicky flavours of the spinach and meat.

It is a tasty, easy meal to make that looks impressive for a bit of roast chicken and beans. Try it out!

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