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…
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.)
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
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.
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….