Chicken with burnt miso butterscotch and walnut salsa
Running the pop up restaurant has me looking through a lot of recipes. This is something that I love to do but with the world wide web, the possibilities are endless.
I knew I wanted to do chicken. Ever since I coked one chicken six ways I can’t stop thinking about the different ways of cooking the different parts of a chicken. Six ways would be too much but I thought perhaps three ways would be nice. It would make for, hopefully, an interesting menu.
The first thing I did was research. I read endless chicken recipes, from the cookbooks on the shelf at home, online and I have even raided friends and neighbours in my quest. I wanted something with tons of flavour that will wow the dinner guests and make them come back. I am sure that isn’t a unique thought but it is somehow easier said than done.
I came across this quail recipe from Ottolenghi, Quail with burnt miso butterscotch and pomegranate and walnut salsa. I think I didn’t get further than the headline before I just knew that this would be a good one and most likely what I was after. I love miso and could almost taste the explosion of flavours.
For starter I will make twice friend chicken wings with a spicy maple glaze, I have never served them to anyone who doesn’t like them and being twice fried they stay crunchy for a long time, deep fried soggy chicken is simply a sin!
I had run out of Chinese five spice and did a batch for the chicken wings. The smell of the roasting spices is enticing and they make my kitchen smell wonderful.
Roasting spices for a Chinese fine spice mix.
Twice fried chicken wings
I love living by the Kent coast but I really miss the variety of ingredients in nearby shops. Don’t get me wrong I can buy the most amazing fish, meat, sausages, the best eggs and vegetables around but gyoza, good soy sauce, fish sauce and things alike are almost impossible to find. This is why I buy in bulk when I have the opportunity. As a result of this I have a lot of miso in my cupboards, perfect for this dish.
This recipe is based on Ottolenghi’s with some modifications but please go here for the original.
I decided to use the breast of chicken and in order to lock in the moisture I placed the chicken in brine over night.
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes (12-15 hours in the fridge)
- 6 chicken breasts, trimmed
- 6 dl water
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup salt
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup brown sugar
- sliced ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Place all ingredients but the chicken in the water and heat just enough for the sugar and salt to dissolve. Let stand to cool and add the chicken. Keep in the fridge over night, if possible.
Chicken in brine
When I lived in London one of my favourite breakfasts was a Lebanese cafe where they served poached eggs, labneh, black olives, cucumber and Lebanese bread. It is much lighter than a full English breakfast and I loved the salty notes from the olives and the cucumber with the silky labneh. It wasn’t until I read one of the brilliant blogger Elaine’s blogs where she makes labneh. Her blog is full of vibrant recipes and I always get inspired!
Purists might call for a natural labneh but I couldn’t resist adding some flavour, but then I might be more of an experimentalist than a purist.
I did this at the same time as the brine so it was very little extra work.
Garlic and lemon labneh
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes but it needs to sit in the fridge for at least 15 hours
- 1 litre or 5 cups of full fat, natural yogurt
- 2 tsp salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Place a colander in a bowl line it with a cheese cloth. Add the yogurt, close the cloth and place a plate on top. Leave it in the fridge over night or longer if you can.
I loved the hint of garlic and lemon and think it just added to the flavour of the labneh.
Walnut and pomegranate salsa
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes
- 100 gr or 3 1/2 oz walnuts
- pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 2 tsp cane molasses
- 2 tbsp strawberry vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small handful of chopped parsley
Toast the walnuts and let them cool. Give them a rough chop. Mix the pomegranate seeds with the molasses, strawberry vinegar and olive oil. Add the chopped walnuts and just before serving stir in the parsley.
Burnt miso butterscotch chicken
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 15-20 minutes
oven 140C or 284F + highest grill
- 1 trimmed, brined breast of chicken/pp
- oil for frying
Burnt miso butterscotch
- 1 1/5 dl or 3/4 cup white miso
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tsp fruit vinegar, I used strawberry vinegar
- 50 gr salted butter, at room temperature
Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Heat a mix of oil and butter in a pan and pan fry the chicken breast until just cooked through. Set it aside to rest.
Spread the miso paste on parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes, just until the ends are starting to burn.
Tear off any burnt bits, I tasted my way around and found that it wasn’t as burnt as it looked and it tasted very nice.
In the blender add the remaining butterscotch ingredients and last add the broken up “miso sheet”. Blend until fairly smooth.
Turn grill on in the oven.
The pan fried chicken breast.
Place in an oven proof tray on parchment paper. Smother with burnt miso butterscotch.
Place under the grill, just for a few minutes, watch it carefully not to burn.
I pickled butternut squash with chilli and garlic for additional flavour and texture.
Each element was bursting with flavour, the labneh, the salsa, the burnt miso butterscotch and I was a bit worried if they would go together but they did. I had two friends for dinner to try it out and it was a unanimous yes vote.
I am bringing a big late of this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday because there is nothing better than to share good food with friends! Speaking of friends this time she has two fabulous co hosts, Julie, Hostess at Heart and Linda, Fabulous Fare Sisters, thank you for co hosting and thank you to Angie who throws us this amazing party every week! Happy foodie weekend everyone!