Tag Archives: The Wiltshire Chilli Kitchen

Winner, Winner.

Fiery friends, it’s time for another gorgeous main course.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a big fan of fried chicken. I’ve also always been a fan of Tex-Mex food, pickled things and fire, so I suppose, if we cut to the chase, this recipe makes a ton of sense for me. It’s no secret that my big passion in food is American cuisine, especially the cooking of the deep south. I’ve made it my business, over the years, to constantly readdress my fried chicken recipe and make sure that I’m happy with it and that it’s where it needs to be.

I was under the illusion that I had fried chicken cornered exactly where I needed it, when the genius Sean Brock ruined that for me, by publishing his book ‘Heritage’ in 2014. Sean is the owner and Chef at Husk and McCrady’s, two wonderful restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, which celebrate the cooking of the deep south, with a level of enthusiasm that is infectious.

Sean brines his chicken overnight in a salt and sugar solution, with various aromatics. The tenderising effect this seems to have on the meat, as well as the flavour it imparts, it astounding. Of course I wasn’t going to just copy one of my food heroes, so you see a slightly different approach here, marinating the chicken in milk, with aromatics.

Let’s cook!

Stu’s Fried Chicken Tacos (serves 2-4)

For the chicken:

  • Milk to cover (I needed around a litre)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon WCF Chipotle Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500g boneless chicken thigh, cut into generous chunks

Simply combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl, cover with cling film and marinade in the fridge overnight.

For the pickles:

  • 2 carrots, julienned (that’s super thing strips)
  • 1/4 of a small white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/4 of a small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon WCF Golden Bonnet
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

Again, a simple one – place the vegetables in a large bowl and all of the other ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and cling film them. Let them stew at room temperature for an hour, then let them chill in the fridge overnight.

slawpickling-liquor

For the chicken coating:

  • 250g plain flour
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • teaspoon ground, dried thyme leaves
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons WCF Chipotle Salt, ground fine in a pestle and mortar

This will be the first stage of your cooking method – pre-heat your deep fryer to 170C and get ready to make some chicken! Remove the chicken from it’s marinade (reserving the marinade and pat it dry. Have your coating in a large bowl and add in all the chicken on top of it. Rumble the chicken in the coating till fully covered, then transfer it back out into the milk. Now back again into the coating for a second coat and then dust off the excess and onto a plate ready to deep fry.

Chicken-in-flour

A couple of extra things to have on hand:

  • 8 5″ plain flour tortillas (I like to toast mine, just before serving, in a dry pan)
  • a bottle of WCF Chipotle sauce
  • a pot of sour cream
  • optional coriander (but I hate the stuff!)

Right then, now that all the explaining is out of the way, lets get to cooking the chicken and assembling our tacos.

Firstly you’ll want to get all that wonderful chicken deep fried. It usually takes 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pieces. You’ll want to drain them on kitchen towel and give them a little sea salt over the top.

plate-of-chix

Once all the chicken is cooked, toast the tortillas and then fill them to your heart’s content, with pickles, sour cream, chipotle sauce and, of course, our lovely fried chicken.

I’ve called on this one before, but this is another meal that deserves an ice cold bottle of Hitachino Nest with it. Those citrus and coriander seed (which I do like!) tones will be amazing with our salty chicken dinner.

taco-beauty

Enjoy!

Stu

Have your Cake and Heat it!

Hello chilli lovers!

I’ve decided I want to bring you a sweet treat this week. I’ve been really enjoying dessert cookery again recently, but this being a chilli blog, I worry sometimes about how I can bring you sweets that will work for all palates. I was working at the local café last week, when I decided to run up one of my old classics for the cake display. I got about half way through the prep work and realised that a sweet treat for the Chilli Kitchen had been staring me in the face all along.

From way back in my early days in Bath Ales, I picked up a glorious chocolate cake recipe from the incredibly talented Craig Read, now head chef of the popular and exquisite Burger and Lobster, in Bath. This cake is cut with strong, dark stout and served with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. It’s a truly gorgeous recipe, which I’ve kept in my repertoire ever since.

I didn’t want to pollute the wonderful flavour combination too much, so I decided just to put a slant on things, which would let the chilli play an interesting role, but could also be optionally omitted if your palate didn’t agree with it. For me, it’s gorgeous, hopefully you’ll agree!

Stu’s Chocolate Stout Cake, with Bonnet Caramel

For the caramel:

  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Golden Bonnet

Simply combine all of these ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil, take off the heat, stir and chill. Simple!

Sauce-edited

For the cake:

  • 250ml of stout or dark ruby beer
  • 250g butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 140g sour cream
  • 3tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt

First, preheat your oven to 140C (fan) 160C (conventional)

Heat the beer, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla in a pan, whisking them together till incorporated. Remove from the heat as soon as they boil. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, bicarb and cocoa and slowly pour in the beer mixture, whisking as you go. Next, add the sour cream and whisk briskly to remove any lumps. Set the batter aside to rest a moment and line a 12 inch cake tin (with a removable base) with greaseproof paper. Line the sides of the tin with a strip of greaseproof, fixed to the tin with a little butter.

Pour in the cake batter and then place the cake in the preheated oven. Bake for around 45 minutes to an hour or until a skewer, poked into the centre, comes out clean.

Once ready, allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the tin and allow to cool for another 10, before portioning into 12 (or a greedy 8).

cake-beauty

To serve our gorgeous cake, we just need a nice blob of vanilla ice cream, a big glug of our sexy, spicy sauce and a wedge of the cake itself. Optionally, I like to sprinkle a dash of Chipotle Salt over the plate too. To drink, obviously we’re having stout. I’m going to recommend Echigo stout, a Japanese import stout, that if you can track it down, is well worth the effort.

beauty-shot

Enjoy the sweet, sweet things!

Stu

 

A Rare Bit of Controversy

The title probably sets a good theme for this week’s installment of the Chilli Kitchen blog. Not only is it a little bit controversial to give you wintery recipes, whilst the weather has still been reasonable (there was all that awful rain, but it is England), but also it is wildly controversial to mess with something like Welsh Rarebit. Obviously, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, because society can place no boundaries between me and delivering my obsession with chilli, to you, through my cooking.

It’s a pretty obvious thing, to take the food I love from Asia, the Caribbean and North America, which already lends itself well to spice, and adapt those recipes. It’s much less obvious to look at stuff closer to home, which doesn’t always marry so well, and come up with an exciting, fiery plate of loveliness for you.

This all started when I was in the Co-op the other day and spotted a loaf of cheddar and Jalapeno bread. Now say what you will about supermarket bakeries, Co-op does a lovely loaf and I’m no snob. I immediately thought to myself “Ooh, that would be bloody lovely as a rarebit.” I bought it, of course. I also got a nice piece of Black Bomber, a Welsh, wax-wrapped cheddar, from a local cheesemonger. I was planning to supper well.

By the time I made my way home, the idea had come upon me that this would be perfect for the Wiltshire Chilli Kitchen blog. Jamie’s Fruity sauce has always been a winner – with similar flavour profiles to brown sauce, it’s a killer accompaniment to cheese. The idea was formed, the ingredients owned.

Lets cook!

Fruity Cheese on Toast-ish

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 120g good cheddar, grated
  • 3 tablespoons WCF Fruity sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • up to 150ml full fat milk
  • salt and pepper
  • Some slices of bread, toasted lightly on one side and fully on the other

Okay, so if you’ve ever made a roux before, you can probably see how this one is going to go. It’s very simple, really.

Firstly get the butter and flour into a saucepan, on a medium heat. This is the most important stage – you must cook the roux out fully, so that it doesn’t taste raw. When it’s done, it’ll start to smell biscuity. Stir the whole time it cooks and keep cooking it out till it bubbles.

Cooking-out-rue

Next you need to slowly start adding your milk, whisking/stirring the whole time. As the milk goes in, it’ll turn quite rubbery and thick – this is fine. You actually want this thicker than you would if you were using it to make white sauce. Something like this:

Rue-after-milk

Once all of the milk is in, add the Worcestershire sauce and mix through, thoroughly, then remove the mixture from the heat briefly. Stir in the Fruity sauce, the cheese and add the salt and pepper, then return to a low heat. Stir the mixture to get the cheddar evenly mixed through and melted, but be careful not to burn it.

Lastly, it’s off the heat again and crack the egg in, this time mixing rapidly. You have to move that egg fast or it’ll scramble in there and put horrible lumps in your otherwise velvety mixture. If you’ve done it all correct, it’ll look a bit like this:

Finished-Rue

Gorgeous, right? Give it a taste….go on!

Now spread this mixture liberally on to the lightly toasted sides of your toasts. Did I say liberal? I mean really take the biscuit.

20160730_215358

Now rack the little rarebits up onto a grill pan and grill on a high heat until blackening starts to happen. No, really, burn them. I’m serious! The charred cheese mixture tastes incredible and really brings out the smokey chilli notes. When they look like this, you’re ready to eat:

Beauty-Shot

I know it’s become tradition now to suggest a drink and once again I’m probably going to stir a little controversy here… Coor’s Light. Seriously… a mild, American lager is exactly what you want with all this rich cheese, butter and egg. The acidity will help cut back the fattiness and the slight sugaryness will really compliment the salty topping.

I can’t wait to hear some stories about how you found this twist on a classic. Get in touch with us and tell us all about it!

Happy munching!

Stu

Any ‘wich Way You Cut It.

It’s still summer! I’m still hungry, but good Lord is it hard work, cooking in this heat. Doing it all day, means I have very little energy left to do it in the evening, but what I do have is a very quick, super simple, mega tasty little recipe. I keep a mental shortlist of stuff like sandwich fillings, quick egg dishes and snacky foods in my repertoire for just such times, so I thought it would be nice to celebrate the sun, by giving you something that involves almost zero work. A sandwich.

Yes, you read right. A sandwich. Why a sandwich? Because sandwiches are delicious and if you do a bit of pre-prep are something you can whip up in no time, when you’re exhausted from the sun…or work.

Here it is then: My Can’t Be Arsed, Chicken, Bacon and Avocado. Known as the CBACBA.

Pre-Prep!

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp of WCF garlic chilli salt, ground
  • 3 tbsp of mayo
  • 3 tbsp of WCF chipotle sauce
  • 4 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon

Coat the chicken breast in the garlic chilli salt and roast with a little oil for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Easy.

chix

Mix the mayo and chipotle sauce and set aside.

chipmayo

Cook the bacon in the oven, until nice and crisp.

That’s literally all the pre-prep needed. Shall we go on to what to do when you want to devour this lovely sandwich? Yes, lets.

To Order, Please Chef

As well as the items you prepared in advance, you will also need:

  • half an avocado
  • a glug of WCF Mango Habanero sauce
  • 2 slices of nice bread, buttered (I like tiger loaf)
  • 3 or 4 leaves of crisp gem lettuce

I probably don’t need to explain the assembly of a sandwich to you, but I want to keep you waiting a bit longer for the beauty shot, so let’s cover it anyway. It is actually relevant, since correct sandwich assembly affects the texture in the mouth, so this won’t be wasted time.

Build the sandwich from bottom to top as:

Bread

Chipotle Mayo

Gem

Chicken

Bacon

Avocado

Mango Habanero Sauce

Bread

What you will finish up with, is something a bit like this:

sandwich-bs

I think we can all agree, that’s a beauty. I just finished mine with a nice cold Corona and it was everything I needed for a tasty summer lunch. Sometimes, less really is more.

Thanks for staying tuned!

Stu

Shots Fired! Drink Up!

Crikey it got warm quick, didn’t it?!

The barbecue weather has truly swept in now and as such I suspect our cooking is getting lighter and much less prep intensive. Those among the hardcore chilli fanatics (like me), though still find ourselves looking for ways to get our fix, as the heat climbs.

As a chilli lover, I often feel blessed for the food of India, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia being so automatically associated with the warm weather and giving me a whole list of yummy go-tos when it’s hot. Sometimes, though, just sometimes, it really does get so hot (even here) that I stop thinking about food so much (miracle), and start to wonder about other clever ways I can get that burn, which I long for, so much.

It’s no secret that Jamie, Bond and the team here at WCF make some delicious, amazing sauces, jams and salts. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that every recipe I ever make here, includes at least one of them, usually more. This said, I do sometimes like to use these and delve a little further down the rabbit hole. This week, I made some flavoured syrups, using WCF Golden Bonnet (mostly because it has such a distinct flavour and a low salt content, which won’t pollute the syrup flavour).

Firstly, lets give you a recipe for Golden Bonnet simple syrup, then I’ll tell you what I did with it!

Golden Bonnet Simple Syrup

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 3-4 Tbsp Golden Bonnet

No, really, that’s it.

Put these ingredients into a pan, bring them to a rolling boil for a minute or two and kill the heat. It’s called simple syrup for a reason!

Syrup-boiling

So now that we have this weapon of serious flavour… what exactly are we going to do with it, you ask?

Fiery Summer Sips!

Oh yes! Drinks! I know…we always talk about drink pairings, whenever we do food, yet I’ve never provided a recipe for a drink… sorry readers! Let’s fix that by rustling up two delicious drinks, both featuring our Golden Bonnet simple syrup.

Mayan Mocha Milkshake

First off, here’s a nice chocolatey, coffee treat, with a spike of spicy niceness! for this one you will need:

  • 6 Tbsp Golden Bonnet simple syrup
  • 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250ml good quality chocolate ice cream (I use Green & Black’s)
  • 100ml cold milk
  • 2-4 shots (depending how strong you like it) espresso

This couldn’t be easier – heat the syrup and cinnamon together in a pan, then set aside to cool. Once cooled, throw everything in a blender whizz on full until smooth and fully incorporated. Tip out into some nice, frosty glasses and enjoy!

Next delicious beverage, please!

Lush Lit-Up Lassi

This one is real close to my heart – I’m a big, big fan of a mango lassi and I was absolutely astounded by how nice this came out!

  • 6 Tbsp Golden Bonnet simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 250ml mango sorbet
  • 100ml thick, natural yogurt
  • a mint sprig to garnish

As with the milkshake, heat your syrup first and add the chopped the mint. Now, I will stress here, it’s really important that you chop that mint fine. Really fine. It will ruin the silky, smooth texture of the lassi, if you have lumpy bits of mint getting caught in your throat. Here’s mine, for a point of reference:

knife-and-mint

Once the mint has steeped into the syrup and it’s all cooled down, it is again, just a case of throwing everything in the jumble machine and pressing go! That’s the beauty of these kinds of drinks – if you prep the infused syrups in advance, you can literally whip one up when you fancy it.

Here’s a beauty shot of our two sexy sips together.

drinks-final

Now I know I always bang on about how much I hope you’ll try these recipes at home… but seriously, these are so simple and oh so delicious, please give them a go and let us know what you think. I’m absolutely in love with them and I have no doubt I’ll be spending some time with both of them over the coming weeks of hotness.

As a side note, neither of these drinks would be at all upset if you threw in a shot of rum 😉

Thanks for reading

Stu

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