Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Thyme & lemon chicken supreme, rhubarb reduction and roasted asparagus

My partner mentioned recently that I did not have a plate full of this popular trio of meat/fish, potatoes/or other starch and veg for a long time on my blog. I have to say this is not something that we eat on everyday basis; however this seems to be very popular in many, many homes (both British and Polish!). 

Therefore when next opportunity came I took some photographs of our dinner of meat, potatoes and veg. It was very nice but I thing the pièce de résistance was the rhubarb reduction. 

I love this veg and I am very fortunate to live in Yorkshire known from its delicious rhubarb. There is even something called the Rhubarb Triangle is a 9-square-mile (23 km2) triangle in West Yorkshire, located between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell famous for producing rhubarb. They use to produce 90% of the world's winter forced rhubarb! Isn’t this impressive? Wakefield is know for its Rhubarb Festival and this is something that I like Brits for – they know how to celebrate small things and don’t need a huge, important reason to party.

We also had Yorkshire asparagus and some British new potatoes. If only the weather was better, I would believe we have the spring in full bloom!

Rhubarb & balsamico reduction

about 150ml 

1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped  
walnut size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1cm pieces  
1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar  
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used cheap supermarket vinegar)
freshly ground black pepper

Place the oil and the butter in little pan and fry the shallot over a low heat until soft. Add ginger and fry for another minute. Next add the rhubarb, sugar, vinegar and bring it to boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and turn the heat down. Add some salt and pepper and simmer until it is reduced slightly, about 25 minutes. Be careful – it can catch at the bottom of the pan, so stir it regularly. It can also spit quite a lot. Next sieve it using very fine sieve and return to the pan. You can simmer this for little bit longer, so the flavour and colour will be more concentrated. Serve warm.

We had some leftover reduction with cheese (instead of chutney) next day and it went together really well.

Chicken supreme with lemon and thyme  

Serves 2 

2 chicken supreme breasts  
2 tbsp sunflower oil  
2 springs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 tsp lemon juice  
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 180 C (fan) and line the baking tray with some kitchen foil. Gently lift the sin off the chicken flesh and rub some lemon juice in it followed by some salt and pepper and thyme leaves. Pres the skin back and season with some salt and pepper.

Place the oil into a frying pan and heat. When hot place the chicken breasts skin side down and fry for few minutes until crispy and browned and turn on the other side. Fry for further 3 minutes.

Place the pan fried chicken breasts onto baking tray and loosely cover with kitchen foil. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, uncover the foil to allow the skin to brown more. After removing from the oven leave the meat to rest for about 5-8 minutes. This is the moment when you should place your asparagus in the oven. 

Roast asparagus with olive and smoked salt 

Serves 2 

8-10 green asparagus spears, wooden parts removed
1 tbsp olive oil
smoked salt flakes

Line a baking tray with some kitchen foil. Place the asparagus onto the tray and cover the tips only with a piece of foil – they are too gentle for the fierce heat of oven. Drizzle with olive oil and wait until the chicken is ready to be taken out from the oven, or place the asparagus about 3-4 minutes before removing the chicken. It depends how long you want to leave the meat for resting. I think 5 minutes is fine, I cover it with piece of foil to prevent from getting cold and in my opinion asparagus doesn’t need more that 5-8 minutes in the oven.  

In the meantime boil the potatoes – however you like them. I boiled mine in skins and peeled just before the serving also I brushed them with some good quality EV olive oil.

Now! How to put everything together:

Slice the chicken into few slices and arrange on the plate. Add some rhubarb reduction (or smear it like some chefs do), potatoes and asparagus. Sprinkle with little smoked salt just to finish off. Serve immediately.

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