Worcestershire Sauce Day
Rachel told me of her unsatisfactory attempts to create a Worcestershire sauce-based chicken dish
something along the lines of an ersatz gumbo I believe.
Apparently it turned out little different from a Dolmio pasta sauce,
so I thought I'd have a go myself.
I decided that rather than try a stew type approach I'd take my cue from Michael Smith's recipe for
Nell Gwynn's Breasts
and stuff chicken fillets with something Worcestershire saucy,
then have a cheesy, but Worcestershire, dressing to go with them.
And a nice bean salad with a Worcestershire dressing.
(Well, OK, I didn't have a Worcestershire pudding. I think that might just have made everyone sick!)
I went for a mushroom Duxelles
flavoured with the Worcestershire, which was delicious even by itself.
It gave the breasts
a fine dark centre like the skin of a dusky maiden, say
(OK, my first choice would have been Halle Berry too, but I've got a theme going on here dammit), and tasted pretty fine too.
In keeping with my plans to marry monkfish with all the blue cheeses
of the world I took the opportunity to fry up some monkfish along with my dusky breasts for moral support.
Gorgeous pink-capped mounds of firm alabaster flesh, I wanted to call them Rachel's Breasts
but she wouldn't let me.
So Eskimo Nell's
The juices from the chicken roasting dish have a nice Worcestershire flavour,
which makes a good dressing for the otherwise slightly dry crispy fried noodles
and a pickled cherry salad
works hard at cutting through some of the salty richness of the rest of the meal.
Just a word of warning - though today may be Worcestershire, tomorrow will
This meal even got a full five star rating from Georgina, thumbs up and everything -
though that might have something to do with the fact that she had special chicken
with a special sauce, and a special salad. And carrots.
So not this meal at all then.
Breasts with a rich, dark centre.
Plump white morsels.
A little something to soak up the juices.
A tangy salad to relieve the richness of all that breast meat.
For something a little different.
Green Bean Salad
- 200g fine beans, trimmed
- peas, podded, about the same amount
- 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- olive oil
- a few drops white wine vinegar
- 1 50g tin anchovies, crushed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons capers, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ground mixed peppercorns
- olive oil
Trim the beans and slice them into 1" pieces. Pod the peas.
Blanch the vegetables:
Bring a pot of water to the boil, and throw in the beans, when it boils up again,
add the peas, reboil and simmer for about 20 seconds, drain and rinse the vegetables quickly in cold water.
Drain and dry thoroughly, then add the garlic slices, coat in olive oil and drizzle with white wine vinegar.
Set aside to marinate in the fridge for an hour before serving.
Grind the anchovies, then garlic cloves and then capers together in a mortar.
Since you won't want to add any extra salt, use peppercorns to provide a little grit for the grinding process.
Add enough liquid to get a good paste, then the rest of the lime juice and Worcestershire sauce.
Shake up with about the same quantity of olive oil in a jam jar.
Pickled Cherry Salad
salad raw veg vegan
- dozen cherries, halved, stoned
- half dozen button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
- rocket, lamb's lettuce and watercress salad leaves
- white wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
- walnut oil
- salt and ground mixed peppercorns
Halve the cherries, remove the stones and leave to marinate overnight in a covering of white wine vinegar and a drizzle of balsamic.
Next day, quarter the button mushrooms (or so - depending on their size) and mix them up with the cherries and a generous dollop of walnut oil.
Season, add a finely sliced red onion and set aside to mature for an hour or so.
When you're ready to serve, combine the cherry mixture with your salad leaves in a large bowl.
Nell Carter's Breasts with Blue Cheese Sauce
- 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
- 300g smoked bacon slices
- 200g shallots, minced
- 200g mini portabella mushrooms, minced
- generous knob butter
- glass white wine
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or so)
- 200g Roquefort (or other tasty blue cheese)
- 4 Tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablspoon tomato purée
- ½ teaspoon tsp paprika
- good pinch of ground cayenne
- Freshly ground pepper
Sweat the finely minced shallots in the butter until softened,
then add the finely minced mushrooms and sweat until they lose their moisture and begin to hold together with the oil separating off.
Add the glass of wine, reduce the mixture back down, then add the Worcestershire sauce and reduce again.
Add sauce to your taste - the vinegary edge softens as the mixture cooks.
Lay each chicken fillet on a chopping board, cover with a sheet of cling film and use a rolling pin to hammer them thin and flat.
Coat each flattened fillet with the duxelles mixture, then roll up and then wrap bacon slices around the breasts in a spiral.
If you pull on the slices a little as you go they should stick to the chicken well enough without resorting to cocktail sticks or string.
Though you can if you need to. It helps if the bacon slices are nice and wide, not cut too thickly and are reasonably stretchy.
Chilling the chicken rolls before you cook them will help them to stay together, but once the bacon crisps up it should stay put alright.
Quickly brown the wrapped chicken breasts in a generous knob of butter in a heavy frying pan, carefully turning to cover all sides.
Then bake in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes or so until cooked through (200°C really is too hot for a fan-assisted oven),
but keep an eye on them in case they start to burn.
Meanwhile, make the blue cheese sauce by heating all the ingredients gently in a pan whilst stirring them with a wooden spoon.
Eskimo Nell's Breasts
They're deliciously pink-skinned firm white pillows - I call them Eskimo Nell's Breasts.
I was going to call them Rachel's Breasts, but she wouldn't let me.
- A nice monkfish fillet
- 200g smoked bacon slices
- garlic cloves
- lime juice
- Worcestershire sauce
Make the filling by grinding up the anchovies with a couple of garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar.
Moisten the mixture with Worcestershire sauce and a squeeze of lime.
Cut the monkfish fillets into reasonably sized chunks.
The plan is to get some filling into them before wrapping them up in bacon as for Halle Berry's Breasts,
and the best way to do that is to cut the monkfish into quarter fillets then join them back together with paste in between.
You could try lightly flattening them so they'll roll up, but that will probably just make them fall apart.
Once you've got them wrapped in the bacon, fry them in the pan after the chicken and put them uncovered lower down the same oven.
Serve with the same blue cheese sauce.
Little Nell's Breasts
For those not up to the challenge of the full-strength mounds above.
Serves 1 sensitive philistine
- 1 skinless chicken breast fillet
- 3 unsmoked bacon slices
- double gloucester, sliced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 level tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 scant cup milk
- double gloucester, grated
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
Flatten the chicken breast, cover with thin slices of the double gloucester, roll it up and wrap it in bacon.
Fry and bake with the other magnificent breasts above.
Make a regular cheese sauce - fry the flour in butter until it starts to colour.
You can use any spare butter left over from frying the chicken breasts here too.
Add the tomato purée fry briefly then gradually whisk in a little milk at a time until you've got a nice sauce consistency
add your grated orange cheese and Worcestershire sauce so it tastes nice. But not too scary.
Serve Little Nell's breasts with the cheesy custard and bask in the approbation.
Crispy Fried Noodles
side staple veg
- pack fresh egg noodles
- 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
- groundnut oil
- sesame oil, to finish
Mix up the noodles with spring onions diagonally sliced about ⅛" thick.
Get a wok nice and hot, add a layer of peanut oil, then add the noodles, shake them to warm through,
then turn the heat down low and leave the noodles to cook until they crisp nicely on the lower side.
Turn the noodle cake by sliding it off onto a plate, inverting the wok over the plate then turning the wok around again.
Brown the other side until crispy.
Finish off the noodles with a ladleful of stock if they're looking a bit dry and a drizzle of sesame oil.
You can tip them into a warmed serving dish to keep warm until needed.
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