Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food of Love Part 2: Mind, Body and Soul

Candlelight sets the scene.

The woody scent of rosemary wafts from the oven, over-powering the citrus aroma that clings to the chopping board.

Love is in the air.

The crunch from the chicken skin echoes as the juices run clear. A hit from chilli, rosemary and lemon engrained in flesh, awakens the senses.

Tonight there are no boundaries.

The creaminess of the butterbean mash, suggestive of things to come…

In ancient times, rosemary was thought to strengthen the memory and thus became the emblem of fidelity for lovers. The lemon symbolizes the human heart in Judaism and chilli increases heart rate, helps to release endorphins and ultimately creates a hot and steamy environment. With this heady trio, the night is guaranteed to get off to a pulsating start.

Crispy Chicken with Butterbean Puree and Poached Carrots

(Serves 2 as a Main)


Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
A Few Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
1 Teaspoons Dried Chilli
Olive Oil
2 Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs – Skin Still On

1 – 2 Tins Butterbeans
Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Chicken Stock
Dollop Dairy or Soya Cream

Chicken Stock
1 – 2 Teaspoons Good Quality Whiskey
Corn Starch to Thicken
Dollop Dairy or Soya Cream
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Squeeze Lemon Juice (Optional)

1 Punnet Baby Carrots
Chicken Stock


Heat oven to 180 degrees
Dry roast lemon zest until crispy
In a pestle and mortar crush the lemon zest, rosemary and dried chilli with sea salt
Add a glug of olive oil and mix to form a marinade
Rub all over the chicken pieces – and under the skin
Place each chicken piece on a stick of rosemary
Roast in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes
Grill for the last few minutes to crisp the skin – add some salt onto the skin
Allow the chicken to rest
Fry the drained butterbeans, add lemon juice, paprika, some stock and salt and pepper to taste
Mash with a potato masher or blend until smooth
Adjust seasoning if necessary
Poach the baby carrots in the chicken stock until al dente
For the gravy – add some of the chicken stock to the roasting pan with the chicken juices, removing any burnt bits from the pan
Simmer on the stove
Add the whiskey and allow to cook out
Thicken the sauce with a bit of corn starch dissolved in cold water
Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice if desired
Finish off with the dairy or soya cream

Wax drips seductively down the candle stem, herby aromas a fainting memory, music plays in the background and wine bubbles forth as two lovers intertwine... mind, body and soul.

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