Roast Chicken, Savoury Bread Pudding & Tarragon
1 organic free-range chicken (about 1.5kg/3lb50z)
1 lemon, halved
softened, unsalted butter
1 glass white wine
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
For the bread pudding:
450ml/16fl oz milk
1 small bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 whole cloves
grated zest ½ lemon
freshly grated nutmeg
150g/5oz white bread, crust removed and broken up
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 egg and 2 egg whites
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the bread pudding: put the milk, bay leaf,
thyme, garlic, cloves, lemon zest and a little nutmeg in a
saucepan and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile prepare the moulds. Brush all over the inside of
four chilled dariole moulds with a thin layer of melted butter,
then return to the fridge or freezer to chill until the butter
has set. Brush with another layer of melted butter and chill
3. Put the bread in a bowl, strain over the flavoured milk and
leave to soak for 20 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.
5. To prepare the chicken for roasting: set it in a small
roasting tin or dish. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half over
the bird and put the squeezed half inside the body cavity with
some thyme. Truss the bird by tying up the wingtips to the
knuckle joints on the legs. Spread softened butter all over the
bird, then sprinkle with more thyme (leaves and/or flowertips).
6. Put the chicken into the oven and roast for 1½-1¾ hours,
basting with the juices in the tin from time to time. To test if
the chicken is cooked pierce the meaty part of the thigh with
the tip of a sharp knife, the juices that run out should be
7. Meanwhile, finish the bread pudding. Melt a small knob of
butter in a pan and sweat the onion until very soft but not
coloured. Add to the soaked bread. Lightly beat the egg with the
egg whites and add to the bowl. Mix together thoroughly and
season. Spoon into the buttered dariole moulds. Set the moulds
on a layer of folded newspaper in a small roasting tin and pour
hot water into the tin to come half way up the sides of the
8. Put into the oven with the chicken to bake for 1 hour.
9. When the chicken has finished cooking, put it on a carving
board and set aside in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes. Skim
off some of the fat from the juices in the tin. Set the tin over
a moderate heat, add the wine and bring to the boil. Check the
seasoning, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and the tarragon.
10. Carve the chicken and divide among the hot plates. Turn out
the bread puddings and put one on each plate. Moisten the
chicken and puddings with the sauce and serve.
Fish and Chips
A hint about the chips. Some people cook the chips then keep
them warm until the fish is ready. This is OK but the chips can
very easily get ''soggy'' when kept warm. It is better keep the
fish warm and serve the chips as soon as they are cooked.
'Fresh' chips taste so much better.
suggestions: the secret is in the batter. For an unusual taste
consider adding about 2 tablespoons of a dark beer (not lager)
to the batter mixture - or add 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
sauce. Please, do not add garlic, chilli powder nor paprika
powder, that will not give 'English' fish and chips!
serve 4 (depending on how many portions of fish you use).
pieces of cod (or haddock)
1kg or 2½
fine white pepper to taste.
For the batter:
200g or 7 oz
of plain flour
1 large egg
150ml or 5
fl oz of water and milk mixed (making 5fl oz total)
1. Peel the
potatoes and cut them into chips. If you are not going to cook
them immediately then keep them covered in water to stop them
2. Start to
make the batter mixture by putting the flour into a large bowl.
3. Whisk the
egg and add (if you want) a maximum of 2 tablespoons of dark
beer or 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.
4. Now pour
the whisked egg into the flour adding the milk/water mixture and
beat until smooth. Leave this to stand for an hour.
5. Heat a
deep pan, filled with enough oil to cover the chips, until it is
hot. (If you drop in a tiny piece of potato and it immediately
starts to fizzle then the oil is hot enough).
6. Heat a
second pan of oil just deep enough to cover the fish.
Individually put each fish fillet into the batter. Slide the
fish back and forth to cover with batter and lift out and allow
to drip for a second or two then repeat. This makes sure the
fish is completely covered in batter.
8. Lower a
battered fish into the hot oil skin side to the bottom of the
pan to stop the fillet curling as it heats. Now cook, one fillet
at a time. After 5 minutes turn the fish over and cook for
another 3 to 4 minutes.
with the second fillet, keeping the first cooked fillet warm in
10. Now put
the chips in the pan to cook. Take care as the oil might froth
as the wet chips go in. This is quite normal but be careful you
do not burn yourself.
11. Carry on
cooking the other two fillets and put them in the oven to keep
12. Lift out
the chips when they reach a nice golden brown colour and are
cooked. Use a mesh spoon or similar to lift the chips out,
letting the oil drip back into the pan.
plates (or newspapers) with the fish nestling on a bed of chips.
Vinegar, salt and tomato sauce (ketchup) should be available.
Steak and Guinness
1 pound eye round steak, cubed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
5 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups (300 ml) Guinness Stout
8 slices bacon, chopped
3 ounces lard fresh parsley, chopped
double crust pie pastry
1. Cut the steak into bite-size cubes and roll in
the salt and pepper seasoned flour. Brown the steak cubes in the
lard with the bacon over medium heat in a heavy skillet for 8 to
10 minutes until golden brown. Please the meat in a casserole
dish to cool. In the remaining bacon and lard drippings sauté
the onions until golden and add to the meat when browned.
2. In a mixing bowl combine raisins and brown
sugar with the Guinness. Let stand for 5 minutes for raisins to
3. Add the mixture to the casserole dish, cover
tightly and simmer over low heat on in a very moderate oven at
325 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a
little more Guinness or water if the rich brown gravy gets too
4. Meanwhile, line a deep pie dish with half the
prepared pie crust and pre-bake as directed. Add the Guinness
and beef mixture from the casserole to the baked pie crust.
Cover the meat mixture with the remaining pie crust layer and
bake until finished, approximately 10 minutes. Remove pie from
the over to cool, slice and serve with potatoes.
5. Variations: Substitute 3 tablespoons honey for
the brown sugar. Either ingredient takes the bitter bite out of
the Guinness. If you do not care to cook with lard, substitute
vegetable oil for browning the meats.
750g – 1kg lamb or hogget
2 Tbsp oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and diced
1 leek, trimmed, washed and finely diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp flour
1 cup beef stock
1 cup medium sweet sherry or use beef stock
½ cup raisins
2 Tbsp barley or brown rice
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
400g packet flaky puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, beaten (to glaze with)
Cut the lamb into 2-3cm sized pieces. Season well with salt and
pepper and brown quickly in hot oil. Set aside.
Add the vegetables to the pan and stir over a moderately high
heat until the vegetables begin to brown a little (you may need
to add a touch more oil). Stir in the garlic and flour and cook
for 1 minute. Do not overcook, as the garlic will burn.
Stir in the sherry or stock, raisins and barley or brown rice
and bring to a simmer. Transfer with the lamb to a casserole and
Cook at 160°C until the lamb is tender. Cool, then stir in the
mint and season with salt and pepper. Before covering with
pastry, cool thoroughly. (If the pastry is placed on a hot
filling it will have a soggy layer underneath.)
Transfer the cold mixture to a large pie dish, preferably one
with a lip. Place a pie funnel in the center if you have one, or
make one from foil. Brush the rim with water or egg glaze.
Roll out the pastry to 2cm larger than the pie dish. Cut a
1cm-wide strip and press this onto the pie dish rim. Then
carefully roll the larger piece of pastry over the pie, pressing
the top firmly onto the pastry-covered pie rim. Do not pinch the
edges together though. Trim the edges.
Brush with egg glaze, being careful to avoid any glaze going
over the cut edge of the puff pastry, as it will glue the layers
together and prevent them from rising.
Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to
200°C for a further 20 minutes until the puff pastry is well
risen and golden and the filling is hot.