This succulent chicken recipe is packed full of flavours, as the goats cheese, pancetta and Sun dried tomatoes really complement each other. Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy with a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden colour, and finishing in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.
Polenta is a really easy-to-use, versatile ingredient. In this video our cook, Alex Mackay, shows how to make different types of Polenta, and he uses them to cook up 3 yummy meals - Fluffy Polenta Mash with Sausages and Onion Gravy, Polenta Fritters with Tomato Sauce and Basil and Salmon with Polenta Chps and Mushy Peas.
The dried cranberries add a special touch to my traditional chestnut stuffing and the gravy made with Marsala adds incredible richness and flavour. This recipe gives you lots of gravy; turkey tends to soak it up so I always make enough for a second or third round.
I love lamb with Moroccan flavours and this is a chance to set the succulent meat off with warm scents and hot colours. The salad is fresh and sweet, a perfect foil for the lamb and couscous. For variation, I would happily swap the lamb for pan-fried mackerel, roast chicken legs, baked aubergines or grilled Haloumi.
Alex Mackay's Beluga lentil, smoked mackerel, watercress and beetroot salad with horseradish yoghurt
You can just feel this salad doing you good as you eat it, a classic combination that gets scintillated by a surprise ingredient. The smoky mackerel, peppery cress and sweet beetroot all enjoy the company of the aromatic spiced black rice vinegar that both compliments and contrasts. The horseradish yoghurt is a light and little bit fierce finishing touch.
This is a warming and stylish stew with a nod to Morocco. The spice mixture “ raz-el-hanout” is literally translated as “head or top of the shop” As the story goes, this can be a mixture of up to 2 dozen spices brought to the “shop” by nomad warriors who would collect them from the different countries they traveled through. The mixture is warming rather than hot and tends to be based on cinnamon, cloves, rose petals, black pepper and cardamom. In this recipe I jazz it up with fresh ginger and lime. Pork fillet is a very lean cut so you need to be careful not to overcook it.
Harrisa couscous with golden chicken supremes & roast beetroot A chicken supreme is a chicken breast, with its skin on and its small winglet still attached. The way that I cook it here gives you a thin and golden skin and succulent flesh. This combination could easily be adapted to whatever suits your fancy for your lightly spicy, sweet and sour dinner. Lamb or pork chops would work well in place of the chicken, as would mackerel, salmon, grilled Haloumi or roast aubergine. Pre-cooked beetroot is an excellent standby vegetable that I roast to intensify the flavour and sweeten the edges a little.
Alex Mackay's Pan-fried mackerel with sauteed courgettes, sun-dried tomato & basil lentils and Mediterranean dressing
The way the mackerel is pan-fried in this recipe makes the best of it’s beautiful skin; this delicious fish is gutsy enough to stand up to the intense taste of the lentils and sun dried tomatoes, the courgettes are a fresh touch and the dressing gives you the vital spark that joins everything together.
Pollock is a sustainable alternative to cod, it has plenty of taste and is very good value, please try it! For this recipe I’ve cooked the wheatberries as you would a risotto, so all of their taste is kept in their cooking liquor. To go with the pollock and sauce, I’ve added a few peas for sweetness and chilli for spice, from this start, it seems to me that the options for a wheatberry “risotto” are almost endless. I can’t wait to experiment more…
This is a glorious recipe, the spinach puree makes the quinoa creamy like a risotto but without any cream, cheese or butter. This means that you get all of the enjoyment with none of the punishment. The toasted seeds on top echo the nutty taste of the quinoa and the combination of vegetables is an exciting new Combination for me. The delicate sweetness of their ensemble enhances the savoury togetherness of the spinach and quinoa.