Flat Chicken with Broad Bean Crush

Another recipe from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s recipe book Saha  for this months The Cookbook Guru.

The idea of the broad bean crush was too enticing to pass up, especially considering broad beans are currently in season and plentiful here.

When we were kids (and there is 7 of us) Dad used to go to the fruit market out at Flemington on Saturday mornings and come back with boxes and bags of fresh fruit and vegetables. He would unload the car, leaving everything in the tiny alcove near the front door and we would go back and forth carrying boxes to the kitchen where my mum would start to organise things for storage.

As the box of broad beans was being carried into the house we would reach in as it went past and grab a pod or two and begin to pod and peel the beans as we continued to cart fruit and veg into the house. What a memory that is.

Well, I don’t buy boxes of broad beans but I did buy a bagful (some for the recipe, some for me to munch on while I tackled the recipe). Mmmm… so fresh…

I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this particular recipe though. It had wonderful ingredients, all the makings of a great dish but the flavour didn’t really do much to enhance the meal. In fact I found the broad bean crush to be a little bitter. It did look amazing though…

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I used a free range chicken, cut out the back bone, then with the breast side up I pressed down with my hand to flatten it.

Next I seasoned the chicken well with salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, sumac and some sweet paprika. I lay it on a couple of sliced potatoes and a sliced onion then popped it in a preheated 200oC oven for about 45 minutes. (The recipe calls for 2 x 500g chickens and is grilled instead of baked but the chicken I got was 1.5kg and was not going to fit under my grill, so I baked it on the top shelf in the oven.)

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For the broad bean crush:-

1 clove of garlic, crushed

pinch of salt

125g broad beans, podded and peeled

1 shallot, finely diced

1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

50ml extra virgin olive oil

pinch cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper

juice of 1 lemon

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Pound the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle until you have a smooth paste, then gradually add the rest of the ingredients while pounding them all together until you get a sludgy mix. (You can always put everything into a blender or food processor)

This is where I tasted the mix and found it wasn’t quite to my likings so I added in a teaspoon of brown sugar in the hope of masking the bitterness, and it did help.

Once the chicken is cooked, smear the broad bean mix over it then pop it back into the oven for about 5 minutes to cook the beans and garlic a little.

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I served the chicken pieces with the potato and onion from the baking dish and a fresh garden salad.

Sorry to say I don’t know that I would make the broad bean crush again but I won’t be stopped from eating fresh broad beans straight out of the pod or digging into a plate of broad beans and rice Riz ib Fool. Yum….

Riz ib Fool – Broad Beans with Rice.

So, Happy New Year to all. Hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and a quick recovery New Years Day.

Every year my husband and I sit on our balcony overlooking huge native fig trees with a mezza spread and a glass (or 6) of wine and beer.

This year we decided to try something different and flew to Adelaide for a few days and spent New Years Eve on a 10th floor balcony looking over Adelaide city.

We got to Adelaide, dropped off our bag and marched ourselves to Adelaide Central Markets.20140104-174036.jpg I absolutely love that place. It has everything you could possibly need from delicious local and overseas cheeses to perfectly ripe fresh fruit and veggies, amazing sour dough breads and all sorts of chocolates, cakes and pastries. It is heaven to me and a great shame you can’t find the same great variety of providores and produce under the same roof in Sydney. That’s not to say we don’t have amazing shops and produce in Sydney, it’s just that you have to visit several different shops to get the same variety. Probably dug myself in a big hole with that comment, but anyway…..ImageImageWe had a wonderful New Years Eve.

We also had dinner at Coopers Alehouse on our first night in Adelaide. What a great place. Lots of beers on tap, a good wine list and something on the menu to satisfy just about anyone.

20140104-180152.jpgAnd so now its time to ease off a little on the holiday food and give our systems a dose of light and healthy.

This dish was just what we needed.

In a small saucepan melt a little butter with a dash of olive oil. Add 100g of lean minced beef and squash with the back of a spoon while browning. Season well with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Next add 200g broad beans (frozen or fresh), stir then pour in 350ml water and stir again. Cover, bring to the boil, turn heat down and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

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Now throw in 1/2 cup of long grain rice, stir, cover and allow the rice to absorb the water (it takes about 20 minutes on a very low heat). Stir it once or twice.

Once the rice is cooked leave the saucepan covered for about 10 minutes then you’re ready to serve.

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Yes..it’s really simple but oh so delicious.

Leave out the mince and you have yourself a delicious vegetarian dish.

We serve this with a good dollop of natural yoghurt, sticks of cucumber, wedges of tomato and some marinated olives.

Enjoy…

and all the best for 2014.