Saturday 17 March 2018

Forkful's Speedy Suppers

Words: Aoife McElwain Photos: Mark Duggan

Chicken Drumsticks with Burnt Lemon and Honey
Chicken Drumsticks with Burnt Lemon and Honey
Pork Pittas with Grilled Apricots

It's the middle of July and we're feeling optimistic. This week, we've been dreaming up suppers for eating outdoors. I've drawn from the flavours of North African and Persian cooking to spice up my BBQ game.

The pork meatballs are fragrantly spiced with Ras El Hanout and turmeric while the burnt lemon drumsticks are speckled with the jewels of pomegranate seeds. Though these recipes are to be cooked on a regular oven and hob, the recipes would translate well to being cooked on a BBQ grill if you want to take your speedy supper all the way outside.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Lemons: I always have about 6 lemons in my kitchen table fruit bowl at any given time. Whether it's to stuff into roast chicken, zest into a cake or squeeze into a cool glass of lemonade, a handful of lemons are an endlessly useful kitchen sidekick to have.

Chicken Drumsticks with Burnt Lemon and Honey

Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes


8 chicken drumsticks

4 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 sprig of rosemary

Juice of half a lemon

1 whole lemon

2 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt

1 bulb of garlic, sliced in half

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint


1. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan / Gas Mark 6. Put the chicken in a baking tray. Cover with the honey, cumin, rosemary, juice of half a lemon and the sliced bulb of garlic. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, slice the whole lemon into round slices of about 2cm thick. Heat a little oil in your griddle pan and fry the slices of lemon for about 5 minutes on each side, until the griddle lines appear on the lemon. Set aside.

3. Put the natural yoghurt in a bowl and finely grate in the garlic. Mix well and set aside.

4. Once the chicken drumsticks are cooked through, arrange the drumsticks and the slices of burnt lemon on a large serving platter. Scatter with pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped mint and serve the garlic yoghurt sauce on the side.

Pork Pittas with Grilled Apricots

Serves 2 to 4

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins


600g pork mince

2 tablespoon of Ras el Hanout

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint

1 egg

Pinch of salt and pepper

3 apricots

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

1 clove of garlic

4 pittas


1. In a large bowl, mix together the pork, Ras el Hanout, turmeric and fresh mint. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Crack in the egg and use your hands to mix everything together really well. Shape the meat into small meatballs (you should get around 8 out of this mix).

2. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Fry the meatballs for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through and browned on the outside. You may have to cook the meatballs in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.

3. Heat a little olive oil on your griddle pan. Slice your apricots in half and remove the stone. Slice each half again so that you have four slices out of one apricot. Add the sprigs of rosemary to the griddle pan and grill the apricots for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, place the natural yoghurt in a bowl and grate in the garlic clove.

5. Toast your pittas before slicing open and stuffing with pork meatballs, a few slices of grilled apricots, a dollop of garlic yogurt and a handful of fresh mint or even some rocket.

Irish Independent

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