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Butterflied chicken legs w/ seedy Romesco, pickled grapes, summer chard & pea shoots

Showing at this year's Great Yorkshire Show. We use chicken legs in this recipe as they are often a wasted byproduct, with the majority of households preferring to cook with chicken breast. By butterflying the leg we reduce the cooking time and increase the surface area to get lovely crispy skin. Even though we mainly pan-fry these chicken legs, it’s good to have the oven ready to finish them off while you get on with sorting the rest of the garnishes.


Butterflied chicken leg with romesco and pickled grapes
Butterflied chicken leg with romesco and pickled grapes

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken legs, we use Herb Feb

300g summer chard

1 lemon

A small bag of pea shoots

Salt & pepper

Olive oil / rapeseed oil


ROMESCO

A 400g jar of roasted red peppers

2 garlic cloves, smashed

50g pumpkin seeds, toasted

2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Salt & pepper to taste


PICKLED GRAPES

150g seeded white grapes

150ml white wine vinegar

50ml dry vermouth

75g caster sugar

2 star anise

5 pink or black peppercorns

A good pinch of salt


METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 180C fan oven. Slice your chicken legs open along the length of the inside of the leg, down to the bone, open the sides up so that the skin side is flat.


Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Season your chicken legs with salt & pepper and place in the pan skin side down. We do this process quite slowly to ensure the fat renders out of the skin before we turn our focus to crisping them up.


While the chicken is cooking, start on the garnishes.


Grapes. Heat the sugar, star anise, peppercorns, vinegar and vermouth in a pan until the sugar has dissolved then take off the heat. Halve the grapes to allow them to pickle faster then pop them in the warm pickle and place to on side.


Romesco. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a pesto like consistency. This sauce can also be made up to 3 days in advance.


Summer Chard. Slice the leafy section of the chard away from the stalk. Cut the stalk into 1cm slices, keep the leaf section whole, or if very big, slice in half lengthways.


Going back to our chicken – once the skin is crisp and golden, turn the chicken legs over and seal on the cut side. Transfer to the a baking tray, skin side up, and place in the oven to finish cooking – this will take approx. 25 minutes.


In your frying pan with the residual chicken juices and fat, sauté the chard stalks. When they are soft add the leaves and a splash of lemon juice. Turn the leaves until they wilt and season with a little salt & pepper.


Dress your peashoots with a dash of lemon juice just before plating and take the grapes out of the pickle.


To plate the dish, place a couple of tablespoons of romesco sauce on each plate. Top with some chard stalks and lay out some chard leaves. Now add the chicken leg and scatter some grapes around each plate. Decorate the top with dressed peashoots.


ENJOY! x

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