Oven roasted pomegranate molasses chicken

pomegranate chickenThis is another one of those tasty but quick and simple chicken dishes that makes a brilliant weekend lunch or anytime supper dish.  Serve it with roasted vegetables or a green salad and some cous-cous or cooked rice stirred through with a pinch of chilli flakes, fried onions and chickpeas. You can buy pomegranate molasses from most supermarkets these days; it’s great with pork, duck or lamb so you’ll be able to use it for lots of dishes if you buy a small bottle.

You will need…

  • 1 whole chicken, jointed into 8 pieces (ask your butcher to do it for you) or a pack of 8 skin-on chicken thighs (serves 4)
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste with 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • the finely grated zest of a lemon and 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

To make…

  • Mix together the oil, garlic paste, tomato paste, chilli, pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and juice in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken pieces.
  • Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Leave for an hour or so to allow the flavours to penetrate the flesh.
  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Lay out the chicken pieces in a roasting dish, scatter with the sesame seeds.
  • Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. The flesh should be cooked through and the skin is crispy and a little sticky.
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Pigeon Cottage Xmas Party Cold Table – all the recipes!

The first Saturday before Christmas is always Pigeon Cottage party time – a house packed with friends, family, neighbours, good food, lots of chatter and laughter, the odd glass of wine or three, the team quiz and, for the late night party animals, the infamous Kummel Club! I’m always being asked for the recipes so here are the ones already published on the site and I’ll add a few more in the coming weeks. Merry Xmas!
Xmas Cold Table



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Red rice with feta

Pork with red riceThis has to be one of my all time favourite rice dishes. It was published in 1993 by Delia Smith in her ‘Summer Collection’ cookery book and has totally stood the test of time. I have changed it slightly over the years and this is the one I serve today. It’s great with BBQ meats like chicken, chops, pork strips or sausages.

You will need…

  • 275ml red rice
  • 1 pint of boiling water
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Dressing: 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed; 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp grain mustard, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 10 turns of black pepper.

To make…

  • Cook the rice in a lidded frying pan in the boiling water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring it up to a simmer, put the lid on and cook for about half an hour. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to absorb all of the water so all the grains are plump and separate.
  • Make the dressing and when the rice is barely warm, mix in the dressing.
  • Put the rice into a serving dish and top with crumbled feta and chopped spring onions. If I have chopped fresh chives or fresh coriander available, I add that sometimes to ring the changes.
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Strictly aromatic pork with ginger, chilli and soy

Aromatic porkThis is a perfect Saturday night supper and definitely special enough to serve to friends and family. It’s our go-to favourite when we’re in watching ‘Strictly’ on a cold winter evening. The soft aromatic pork in its spicy asian-style sauce is perfect served with sticky jasmine rice or egg noodles. The layer of sautéed beansprouts adds crunch and texture, garnish with spring onion or fresh coriander for a delicious supper that you definitely can’t get at a takeaway!

You will need…

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 50g crushed garlic
  • 50g peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 1.25g pork shoulder cut into 3cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp sambal manis (a kind of thick chilli and shrimp paste – available in many supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp tamarind water (I use tamarind paste and make it up with water)
  • 20 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 300ml chicken stock – I use Knorr concentrated gel stock and make it up with water
  • To serve: egg noodles (I use Waitrose dried egg noodles 4nests per pack) and fresh beansprouts plus 4 spring onions thinly sliced to garnish or chopped fresh coriander.

To make…

  • Heat the oven to 160°C.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy based oven proof casserole (I use my large oval Le Creuset) over a medium heat.
  • Add the shallots and fry until soft and golden, then stir in the garlic, ginger and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • After a minute, add the pork cubes and fry until lightly coloured.
  • Add in the soy, stock, chilli, tamarind, sambal manis and bring up to a simmer. The stock should come to the level of the meat in the pot.
  • Cook in the oven for 2 hours until the pork is tender and the sauce has reduced.
  • Taste for seasoning 15 minutes before serving – this should be very spicy, add in more sambal manis or some chilli powder if it’s not hot enough for you.
  • To serve, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet (usually about 5 minutes) and stir fry the beansprouts with a touch of sesame oil. In warmed bowls, layer the noodles, then the beansprouts, spoon over the pork and sauce and top with chopped spring onion or fresh coriander.
  • Enjoy!


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Middle Eastern BBQ Pork

Pork with red rice PorkI normally use this BBQ marinade on chopped pieces of pork loin and make baby kebabs on skewers. However, my butcher, David Hubbard, had run out of pork loin so he cut me these long strips of pork butt instead. They were such lovely strips of meat I thought it would be a shame to chop them up so I marinaded them and BBQ’ed them as whole pieces instead. They will be a regular order from now on! I served this with the red rice salad in the picture. Soooooo delicious!

You will need…

  • Enough pork for 4 people. I used pork butt strips, this also works well with pork loin and pork steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed to a paste with a little sea salt

To make…

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together and coat the pork pieces in the mixture thoroughly. Leave for at least 3 hours to allow the flavours to penetrate the meat. If you use pork loin for kebabs, cut into 1 inch cubes, leave to marinade and then put the pieces onto skewers.
  • Cook the pork on the BBQ. For pork steaks and butt strips cook on a very hot grill for about 6 minutes on each side and then take off the heat, cover with foil and allow to rest for 8 minutes. This way it will stay moist on the inside. If cooking kebabs, turn every couple of minutes until well cooked on each side – cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
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