When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
As we head deeper into September, the autumn chill has lead me to think about warming food. So, for lunch, I’ve replaced salads with a big bowl of steaming soup. I thought I’d try my hand at the Chinese restaurant classic of chicken and sweetcorn soup, being as the sweetcorn season is at its height and spring onions are coming to an end.
Forget the sweet gloopy version of this soup you may have tried in the past, which is usually laden with sugar and corn flour, this healthy simple recipe delivers an impact on flavour and is perfect for a cold day.
Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup Recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
2 chicken thighs (skinned)
2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
1 inch knob of ginger, sliced into thick rounds
5 spring onions
Small bunch of coriander
1.5 litre chicken stock (or water)
1 heaped tbsp cornflour
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp soy sauce
tsp ground white pepper
Sesame oil to garnish
Add your stock, chicken, ginger, garlic, coriander and soy sauce to a large pan. Take three of the spring onions, bash with the flat of a knife to loosen, roughly chop and add to the pan. Bring up to a boil, remove any scum that comes to the top using a ladle, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup base is simmering, pulse the sweetcorn in a processor until roughly chopped. Finely slice the two remaining spring onions. Mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of the simmering stock or water.
After 20 minutes, remove your chicken with a slotted spoon, set aside and leave to cool a little. Then, using two forks shred the meat from the chicken and discard the bones.
Strain off your stock, and discard the herbs and vegetables – they have imparted their flavour. Put the strained stock back in the pan on a gentle heat.
Add the sweetcorn to the pan and bring up to a boil. Remove any scum that comes to the surface with a ladle. Add your cornflour mix and stir. Stir in the shredded chicken and white pepper.
Slowly stream in the beaten egg, stirring continuously.
Serve garnished with the sliced spring onion and a few splashes of sesame oil.
This simple recipe, inspired by a street food dish I regularly ate in Thailand, really brings out the best in chicken livers, marrying their rich, iron meatiness with sweet, sour and savoury flavours. At around a £ a pound for fresh chicken livers, this dish is exceptionally frugal, yet provides full on, complex, balanced flavours.
The trick is, not to overcook the livers! They really just need searing and then a little steaming in the piquant ingredients added to this dish. Overcook the livers, and you may as well eat paper mache, albeit in a good tasting sauce. Though don’t fret, they are very easy and quick to cook, as is this dish – give it a go, you’ll be surprised at how good it tastes.
Spicy Chicken Livers Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
400g chicken livers
6 chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
3 spring onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and finely sliced
1 red pepper, sliced (I used a long romano pepper)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of a lime
1 teaspoon sugar
1 red birdseye chilli
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish.
First of all, deal with your livers. Give them a rinse under the cold tap and dry on kitchen paper. Remove the white connective sinew and cut the livers into large bite size pieces.
In a large wok or frying pan, heat the oil until it begins to gently smoke. Add the garlic until it just colours, then add the sliced onion and chilli, stir frying for a minute until the onions just start to colour.
Add the chicken livers and stir fry for a minute, until they lose their deep brown/purple colour and become lightly pink.
Now add all of the other ingredients – fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, sliced pepper, mushrooms and spring onions. Stir fry all of the ingredients for a minute or two until the pepper just loses its crunchy edge.
Serve with mixed peppery salad leaves, such as watercress, rocket and spinach, or boiled rice.
This is one of those classic recipes that evokes the ‘Ooh’ effect amongst family and guests – delicious moist chicken, sweet roasted garlic, and the dry zesty tang of a good glass of wine. The wonderful flavours and aromas of this dish give the impression of a host that has slaved away; yet, it takes minutes to put together with a minimal amount of fuss. Please don’t be put off by the amount of garlic used, as it really makes the dish a delight, and is not at all harsh or overpowering. Try it – you will love it!
Roast Chicken with 3 Bulbs of Garlic Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Author: Sarah Fay
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 35 mins
Serves: 4 to 6
Moist roasted chicken with sweet plump garlic, and a beautiful garlicy wine jus/gravy/sauce – so easy and SO good.
1 Free Range Chicken, approx 1.5 kilos/ 3 lbs
3 plump whole heads/bulbs of garlic
1 glass/275ml dry white wine (Riesling or Chenin Blanc is ideal)
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5
Break up your heads of garlic and separate the big cloves from the tiny ones (no need to peel, just remove the white papery outer skin.)
Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
When the butter starts to bubble, add your whole chicken to the pan, turning on all sides every minute of so until the chicken is golden and bronzed. (This will add extra flavour to the chicken, as well improve the texture and appearance of the skin.)
Transfer your chicken to a large baking dish, place the small garlic cloves in the main cavity, surround with the larger cloves of garlic, tip in your wine, throw in the thyme and season well with salt and pepper.
Cover the dish with a snug lid or tin foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the beautiful garlic and juices.
I like to serve this with mashed potato and green beans, squeezing out the garlic and mixing with buttery mash. It’s also great just with bread to mop up those wonderful juices.