This is amazing and creates the most delicious tender, moist chicken inside a taste-bud bursting crispy skin. Want to find out more? The secret is to slow cook your chicken slathered in this Alabama sauce, then finish off under the grill or over the BBQ. First make your sauce:
- 100ml mayonnaise
- 100ml buttermilk or yoghurt
- 3 tbs cider vinegar
- 2 tbs horseradish sauce
- 1 tbs English mustard
- 1 stp garlic granules
- small bunch of chopped dill.
Mix. Divide equally into two bowls. That’s the first bit done. Now take your chicken and slow cook it:
- 1 spatchcocked chicken, any size but if really large check it is cooked properly with a meat thermometer
- A rub mix made up of
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
Rub the rub all over your chicken. Lay it out in a tin, and cover tightly with foil. Cook in the over at 140C (Fan) for 1 hour 30 minutes or until cooked. At this point you can take it out and leave it to cool before finishing off under the grill. When ready to finish:
Fire up the BBQ or switch on the grill. Smother the chicken both sides with one of the bowls of sauce. You may need to skewer it to hold it together for handling, as it may otherwise fall apart. It will still taste as good but won’t look pretty! Grill/BBQ each side for 3-4 minutes. Brush with more sauce or juices and repeat until the skin is charred and crispy enough. If you had left it to cool you may need a few more turns but if transferred directly from the oven, a couple of cycles will probably be enough. Leave to rest and firm up for 10 minutes, then serve with the other bowl of sauce for dipping/more smothering.
This makes a spectacular vegetarian pie to serve cold at a buffet or picnic. It might look a bit fiddly but it is worth it. This pie serves at least 8 portions, more if cut smaller for a buffet. Measures are approximate, you could make the pie bigger or smaller. You may need to adjust cooking times slightly if you are changing the size.
First of all, assemble or make all the ingredients:
- 2-3 tbs breadcrumbs
- 2 fresh beetroot, cooked and sliced (20 minutes in an Instant Pot)
- 1 small butternut squash, roasted (40 minutes, 180C)
- 1 onion sliced, cooked slowly to caramalise
- Jar of roast red peppers
- half to one pack feta cheese, crumbled
- 5 new potatoes, boiled and sliced
- Handful of frozen peas
- Bunch of fresh mint and parsley, chopped.
Find a pie dish capable of taking most of a sheet of ready rolled pastry, say 200mm x 300mm. Rectangular is better but not essential. Line it with baking parchment leaving the edges sticking up so you have something to hold to get the pie out later.
Line the dish with the pastry. Sprinkle the base with breadcrumbs. Later the sliced vegetables as follows, seasoning between each layer: beetroot, squash, onion, peppers, feta, potatoes, peas, herbs. That should fill the pie nicely.
Beat the eggs. Pour the eggs into the pie to fill the gaps. Keep about half an egg back for the egg wash.
Lay the puff pastry over the top, tucking and rolling the edge to seal with the shortcrust pastry below.
- Beaten egg
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
Paint the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in an oven at 160C for 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool completely, then chill. Remove from the dish and cut into little squares to serve.
This is a delicious curry made quickly in the Instant Pot. This serves 6.
- 3/4 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1.5tsp black peppercorns
- 3/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seds
- 3 cloves
- 2 – 3 dried peppers
Dry-fry until they release their fragrance (i.e. start to smell). Then pound to dust in a pestle and mortar or wizz in a flash in a spice mill. I use a cheap coffee mill just for spices.
- 1.5 onions chopped
- dash of oil
Saute in your Instant Pot until translucent
- 1.5 tbs grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
Add to the pot and cook for another minute
Add to the pot and turn around until coloured. Add the dry spice mix and cook for another minute. Add:
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 100 ml passata
- 200ml yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
Stir and cook on Meat setting for 40 minutes. Allow to depressurise for 15 minutes. If it is to runny, put 2tsp cornflour in a tablespoon or two of water, and stir in briskly. We ate this with saffron rice and Josh’s Dhal
This was unexpectedly delicious! Quantities make four portions. It is basically layers of wilted spinach, salmon, creamy lemony sauce topped with sliced potato and baked.
- 600g waxy potatoes, such as Desirée, not peeled
If the potatoes are large you can cut them in half or quarters. Boil 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slip the skins off. Set aside.
Place in a collander, pour over boiling water until wilted. You may have to do this in two batches. Set aside to drain.
- 60g butter
- 50g flour
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk
Make a white sauce. When thickened, add
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 10-15g fresh dill, chopped
- 0.5 tsp salt
- pinch of ground white pepper
Now assemble your pie in a suitable oven-proof dish. Squeeze all the remaining water out of the spinach and lay it out in the bottom of the dish. Add
- 700g skinless salmon fillets (about 4) cut into bite-size chunks
Pour over the white sauce. Slice the potatoes and layer over the top, overlapping.
Brush the top with melted butter and bake 30-40 minutes at 180C. This is a meal in itself but goes well with some fresh bread and a green vegetable if you wish.
Not peas actually, but beans. Here’s a quick nearly authentic version to go with any Jamaican dish. Serves four as a side.
- Half a large onion, chopped
- Dash of vegetable oil
Saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
Saute a few minutes more. Add
- 225 gm long grain white rice
Stir until coated in oil. Add
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- Pinch of dried thyme or a teaspoon thyme leaves
Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add
- 1 tin of either red kidney beans, black beans or black-eyed beans
- Optional: 50g coconut cream
Heat for another five minutes. If the water hasn’t been absorbed, remove the lid and heat until it dries out. Add
- Chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper
Serve as a side dish for four people. You can make this a main course by stir frying 200g pork mince with the onion at the beginning, which would serve 2-3.
Serves four as a main course. One tricky part and the rest is very easy. Marinaded, seared then simmered. First make your marinade.
- 2 spring onions
- thyme – leaves from 3 sprigs
- 2tbs chopped coriander leaves
- 1tbs chopped parsley
- 1tsp chopped ginger root
- 2 garlic clives
- dash of vegetable oil
- half a lime, juiced
- dash of Angostrua bitters
- dash of hot chilli sauce
Blend all that with a stick blender to make a green sauce.
- 8 chicken thighs, skin on
Marinade the thighs in the sauce for at least four hours or overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Scrape off the marinade and keep it. Here’s the tricky part. Spread the sugar over the base of a cast iron casserole and heat until it turns brown and smokes. If you let this go slightly too far it will burn and you’ll have to start again. At the right moment, put your chicken thighs on the pan skin side down so it sears in the hot caramel. After five minutes turn them over to sear the other side for a few minutes more. They should look nicely brown. Add the marinade you kept, and a dash of water. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding more water if it is drying out and catching. When the chicken is cooked and you have a nice syrupy sauce, serve with rice ‘n’ peas.
OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.
Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.
- 70gm basmati rice
- 140ml vegetable stock
- 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
- 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
- 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot
Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:
- 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
- 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it
Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.
Thank you Aedy for bringing this one to Arford Books.
- 1kg chicken, jointed or pieces preferably bone-in
- 2.5tsp Sri Lancan roasted curry powder
- 1tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder
- 0.5tsp turmeric
- 2tsp salt
- 1tbs white wine venegar
Marinate for 30 minutes
Saute until translucent. Add
- 1tbs minced garlic
- 1tbs minced ginger
Saute for another two minutes. Add your marinated chicken plus
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 green chillies sliced
Stir and fry for two minutes. Add
- 1 large roma/beef tomato chopped
Let it cook down. Add
- 80ml tomato passata/sauce/puree OR 1tbs tomato paste with 2 tbs water
- 250ml water
Let it come to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve with rice, naan or roti.
If you have a rotisserie. If not use your grill and keep turning!
Make a rub mix by mixing:
- 1tsp paprika
- 1tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp onion powder
- 0.5tsp salt
- 0.5tsp ground black pepper.
This amount will just cover a medium chicken. If you like plenty of flavour or have a larger chicken, just double it but keep the ratios the same
- 1 medium chicken
- 2tbs oil
- Rub mix
Mount your chicken on the rotisserie skewer. Smear oil over your chicken then spinkle the rub all over. It will stick, if you actually rub the rub it will come off on your hands which is pointless.
Grill for 75 minutes, basting every 20 minutes, then test with a thermometer – it should be 75C in the centre of meat mass, so check breast and thigh. If it’s not, grill a bit longer. When done, let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the sides. Roast sweet potato mash, corn and green beans works well!
This is like a giant samosa. A bit fusion I guess, but very good. To make a pie for four people:
Boil until tender, about 15 minutes
Chop the onion and soften in a pan with a dash of oil. Add
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 0.5tbs black mustard seeds
- 0.5tbs cumin seed
- 1tbs grated ginger root
- 2 tbs curry paste (Korma, Masala)
Heat a bit longer to cook the spices. Add
- 2 large handfuls spinach or chard leaves, washed and still wet.
Cover the pan and wilt the leaves. Add the cooked potatoes plus
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Mix and mush the potatoes to break them up but not too much. This is your pie mix.
Now find a springform or loose bottom cake or flan tin about 25cm diameter.
- 6 sheets filo pastry (usually vegan – check)
- Melted butter (or vegan equivalent)
Brush the sheets with butter and also the inside and base of the tin. Lay 3-4 sheets across the bottom of the tin and up the sides, leaving plenty loose. Fill the pie with your pie mix. Fold the pastry sides over the top. Add the remaining sheets, scrunch them a bit and tuck around the sides so you have a wavy, untidy top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 35 minutes. Serve with a side of Josh’s Dhal and some spicy chutney.