Friday 23 August 2019

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Baked Indian-spiced chicken with cardamom and coriander bulgur wheat
Baked Indian-spiced chicken with cardamom and coriander bulgur wheat
Gluten-free chocolate celebration cake

Donal Skehan offers some tempting options

Baked Indian-spiced chicken with cardamom and coriander bulgur wheat

This is a great way to jazz up a traditional roast - here a whole chicken is marinated in yoghurt and spices, making it meltingly tender. The fantastic flavours really penetrate the flesh of the chicken. Try to buy a free-range or organic chicken, as the flavour is always so much better.

Serves 4

You will need

1 x 1.5kg whole chicken

2 large onions, thickly sliced

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 lemon, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade:

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp hot paprika

1 tbsp ground turmeric

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

250ml natural yoghurt

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bulgur wheat:

3 cardamom pods

200g bulgur wheat

2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

100g toasted flaked almonds


1. Place all the marinade ingredients into a large non-metallic bowl and mix until well combined.

2. Slash the legs of the chicken several times with a sharp knife - this will give you lovely crispy skin once cooked. Add the chicken to the bowl and rub the marinade all over the chicken, inside and out. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours (and up to 24 hours if you have time). Alternatively you can put the chicken and marinade into a large resealable food bag before putting it into the fridge.

3. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to put it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 230°C (210°C fan).

4. Arrange the sliced onions over the base of a large oval casserole dish, drizzle with the rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Sit the chicken on top of the onions, which will act as a 'trivet'. Put the lemon halves inside the cavity of the chicken, cover with the lid and place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 200°C (180°C fan) and roast for 40 minutes.

5. Remove the lid and roast for another 20 minutes, basting the chicken after 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the bulgur wheat. Bash the cardamom pods with the back of a knife and place them in a bowl with the bulgur wheat. Add the vegetable bouillon powder and pour over boiling water to just cover. Cover with cling film and leave until all the water has been soaked up and the bulgur wheat is nice and plump, about 8 minutes.

Use a fork to fluff up the bulgur wheat and then fold in the coriander and almonds.

7. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the bulgur wheat.

Gluten-free chocolate celebration cake

This cake is good enough to serve at any number of occasions and keeps well in the fridge for several days, as the liquid from the ricotta seeps into the sponge and keeps it lovely and moist. You can make this cake in advance - when it has cooked and cooled, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge. Then, when you're ready to serve it, allow the cake to come to room temperature before splitting and filling.

Serves 8

You will need

4 large free-range eggs, separated

200g golden caster sugar

4 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder, sifted

300g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted

100ml almond milk

For the filling:

500g ricotta cheese

4 tbsp set honey

50g dark chocolate, finely grated (70% cocoa solids)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and line a 23cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.

2. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat until pale and fluffy. Fold in the cocoa, almonds and bicarbonate of soda. Loosen with the milk until you have a smooth batter.

3. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, a third at a time, being careful not to knock out too much air. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and smooth down the surface with a palette knife.

4. Bake the cake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge has begun to shrink away from the sides and a thin metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and run a round-bladed knife around the edge of the cake. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

5. For the filling, place the ricotta and honey in a food processor and blend until smooth. Fold through half the grated chocolate.

6. Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the parchment paper. Use a serrated bread knife to carefully cut in half horizontally. Spread half of the ricotta and honey mixture over one half and sandwich back together with the other half. Carefully spread the rest of the ricotta and honey mixture on top and scatter over the remaining grated chocolate.

Set aside in a cool place until needed.

Irish Independent

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