Welcome to the Kitchen

In food across the globe, chillies form a pillar ingredient in both the local and national food-identity of many signature dishes. From curry, through kofte and all the way to tagine, the vast and beautiful array of spicy, peppery fruits has found it’s way into the hearts (and stomachs) of many of the world’s population.

As a career chef, I am often inspired by the inventiveness and cleverness of modern cuisine, but my heart always yearns for what I call “The Good Stuff.” I started to use this term somewhere around 8 or 9 years ago, to refer to grass-roots, non-restauranty, simple, honest home cooking. Soul Food. Its because of this love of The Good Stuff, that I have teamed up with the Wiltshire Chilli Farm, to bring you this collection of thoughts and recipes, all centred around the glory of chilli.

In looking for a place to start, I needed to dig deep and think about what really inspired me. One always seeks to make a good first impression, and for me that weighs heavily on honesty. In it’s truest form, the food I love draws it’s inspiration from India, Japan, the Caribbean and China. The one staple that ties all of those cultures together, is rice.

There was my eureka moment, a rice dish…but it had to be special.

After pondering for some time, my mind went to my good friend Bond (coincidentally, of the Wiltshire Chilli Farm) and memories of us frothing, at great length about Japanese food and the things we love about it. One of my favourite Japanese dishes just so happens to be the classic donburi, or rice bowl.  Things were starting to come together and I was very close to having a good idea for my first feature recipe in the Wiltshire Chilli Kitchen, I just needed to finalise a dish design that would blow you away, whilst remaining simple and achievable.

Chilli (and this may come as a surprise to some of you) is actually not featured hugely in classical Japanese cuisine. Indeed the love of spice is a much more modern thing, on Japanese shores. I couldn’t very well make my first entry with a half-baked, spiceless and basic Japanese dish, but inspiration for the rest of the recipe didn’t take long to come. Once I opened my care package from the Wiltshire Chilli Farm, I was greeted by an array of incredible sauces, jams and spice grinders.

A quick look through and I spotted the Golden Bonnet and Caribbean sauces. The final pieces fell into place almost immediately.

Growing up in North London, I had a fairly deep exposure to Caribbean food and developed a love of the staple classics, like rice and peas, jerk and brown stew, from a very early age. Rice and peas, in particular, was always a favourite and married perfectly with my donburi idea. Having these delicious and fiery Scotch Bonnet based sauces at hand made designing this recipe a doddle. What I wasn’t prepared for however, was just how dumbfounded I would be at the flavour.

Strap in folks, because this one is a beaut.

Dutty Rice Donburi, with Golden Bonnet Chicken


Ingredients (serves 2)

For the chicken:

  • 450g boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 3 tablespoons Golden Bonnet sauce
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground all-spice berries
  • big pinch of salt and pepper

For the rice:

  • 300g (end weight) of cooked, chilled, white rice
  • 1/2 a can of aduki beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g mange tout or sugarsnap peas, sliced finely
  • 2 medium eggs, scrambled with a little salt
  • the white parts only, from a bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Maggi seasoning sauce (available in all major supermarkets)
  • small handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, re-hydrated in hot water (save the liquor)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 100ml groundnut, vegetable or canola oil

To garnish:

  • The green parts from your bunch of spring onions, chopped finely
  • 2 crispy fried eggs
  • 10 strands of chives, chopped rough
  • 4 tablespoons of Wiltshire Chilli Farm Caribbean Sauce

Before Cooking (this bit is important)

Firstly, its very important to note that we will be wok frying, using the classic Chinese method. Everything needs to be prepared in advance and the wok needs to be heated to the point of the oil smoking, before you start to cook in it. I have included all of the preparation needed for each ingredient, so that you can do it all before you start.

Secondly, the chicken needs to be marinated in all of the other ingredients that are listed with it, preferably overnight, but for at least 4 hours. The rice is also much better after a night in the fridge, so doing some advance preparation on this one really pays off.

Cooking Method

First, heat a griddle pan, or heavy frying pan with a little oil and pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan) or 180C (electric), gas mark 6. Fry the chicken on both sides, till a nice golden, caramelised colour is achieved, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to cook through.

While the chicken is in the oven, the wok cooking begins – this is the exciting part, where you will need to work fast and keep the wok moving, to avoid burning anything.

As soon as the oil is smoking, throw in the spring onion bottoms, mushrooms and mange tout (or sugarsnap peas), along with the garlic paste. Toss in the oil for a minute or two, until the spring onion starts to caramelise and everything lets off a sweet aroma. Next it’s straight in with the rice. At this point, it’s okay to allow it to sit for a few seconds, to form a few pockets of crispy rice – these, to me, are an essential part of the donburi experience. Don’t go too far though! There’s a fine line between crispy and incinerated and you will learn it very quickly, with rice.

After a couple of minutes of frying the rice, add the egg and mix through thoroughly, then throw in the Maggi seasoning, giving everything another toss. Next comes the aduki beans and the reserved liquor, from the mushrooms. At this point, give everything one last, good toss, to mix it, then put a lid on the wok, or cover it with a baking tray.

Now comes your window to fry your eggs! I did say this recipe would be frantic.

After a 2 or 3 minute steam, the liquid should have all evaporated again from the wok and you can now turn the heat off and grab your bowls from the rack and your chicken from the oven. Divide the rice between each bowl and portion the chicken equally, too, sitting it on top of the rice, off to the side. Add your spring onion tops as a garnish next, and then drape your crispy-fried egg over the remaining space on the plate.

Finally, douse the bowl in the Wiltshire Chilli Farm Caribbean sauce and sprinkle with chives. I recommend serving this with a mango and passion fruit smoothie, or a nice rum-based cocktail. Hearty Japanese-inspired food, cooked the Chinese way and flavoured straight from the Caribbean. This is definitely The Good Stuff.

Tweet the farm (@wiltshirechilli) or me direct (@mrshy85) and let us know what you think of our dutty rice donburi recipe. I’d love to see your photos and hear your stories about your adventures cooking with chilli.

Thanks for reading,






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