The house is quiet. Jonathan, Lyndsey & Freddie are living with me temporarily in between house moves. But they’ve gone off to Cornwall for a holiday and so I’m cooking for one again. I took a supreme of chicken from the freezer this morning (a chicken from the farmers’ market, jointed by Jonathan). He’s been using a green harissa – Verbena Harissa by Belazu – a lot. It’s made from lemon verbena, fresh coriander and spices. It’s delicious, so I decided to use it as a glaze for my chicken. I mixed it with a little olive oil to thin it and then smeared it generously over the chicken.
I decided to cover the chicken in foil for most of the cooking so the harissa wouldn’t burn. It was quite a large portion of chicken so I cooked it for about 45 minutes in a 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6 oven, took off the foil and then left it for about another 10 minutes to brown a bit.
While the chicken was roasting, I prepared the chicory.
I cut two chicory heads in half lengthways. Then I heated a little olive oil in a frying pan and put the chicory halves in cut-side down to brown and caramelise a bit.
I love the taste of chicory and often add it to salads, but I liked the idea of the caramelisation to sweeten it a bit when cooked. Once it was nicely browned, I transferred the pieces to an ovenproof dish. Then I added a little chicken stock to the juices in the frying pan and let it bubble up. I squeezed in a little lemon juice, added a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
Once it had reduced a bit, I poured it over the chicory.
I covered the dish quite tightly with foil as I wanted the chicory to braise, not roast. Like the chicken, I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes (after half an hour).
I decided to serve some peas with it all. It needed a bit of colour and I’ve always felt some colour is healthy! Anyway, I love peas.
It was a lovely supper. I sat in the still warm garden. The chicken was subtly flavoured by the lemon verbena and coriander – which I thought nicely summery flavours – and had a perfect touch of heat from the spices running through it. The slightly bitter chicory was a great accompaniment, the slight sweetness of the edges contrasting with the natural bitterness and it all retaining a nice amount of crunch in the middle.