Through the summer, we have been busy as usual running the Gold Duke of Edinburgh residential courses. So far, they have been great as a way for the students to learn valuable skills for their future, build their confidence in the kitchen, and have an opportunity to meet like-minded peers. This was also visible when the students got a chance to go clay pigeon shooting, where it was great to see them bonding as a group and enjoying its competitiveness. As a result, these past DofE residentials have had a great atmosphere, and undoubtedly a great selection of meals cooked.
Recipe of the Week:
Many delicious dishes have been produced by the students on the Duke of Edinburgh Gold residentials, however my personal favorite has to be the Baked Chicken Curry recipe. This flavorsome dish gave the students many opportunities to learn new skills and expand the diversity of dishes they can cook, opening doorways into oriental cooking, while simultaneously being a straightforward recipe that they could all have fun cooking.
Making your own curry paste goes a long way, with fresh, toasted spices creating fragrant aromas that really help in bringing the curry to life. As a result, making everything from scratch also helps any of the students with specific dietary requirements to cook with confidence, knowing they are able to cater to their own needs.
Baked Chicken Curry Recipe: Serves 4
2 tsp cumin seeds 4 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp coriander seeds 4 chicken legs, jointed
1 tsp fennel seeds 400g tin of tomatoes
2 tsp ground turmeric 400g tin of coconut milk
2 tsp ground fenugreek salt and pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 green chilli, roughly chopped
Knob of root ginger, roughly chopped
If you’ve got the time, toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for a minute or two, until fragrant. Grind the whole spices (toasted or otherwise) to a rough powder in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar, then mix with the turmeric and fenugreek.
Put the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a food processor. Blitz to a course paste, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, season well and brown them all over, making sure you get the skin a good colour. Transfer them to a roasting dish, skin side up.
Reduce the heat under the frying pan, add the spice mix and fry for a minute or two, then add the onion paste. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until the paste is soft, fragrant and reduced in volume. (Add a little more oil if it seems to be sticking.)
Tip the tomatoes and coconut milk into the food processor and blitz to combine. Pour into the frying pan and bring to the simmer, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper, and then pour the sauce over the chicken pieces. Make sure they are all coated in the sauce, and then push most of the sauce off the top of the chicken. (If there’s too much sauce sitting on them the skin won’t brown in the oven.)
Place in an oven preheated to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned on top, turning and basting it a couple of times. Serve with rice to soak up the sauce.