IN SEASON: Just right for summer entertaining. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography
Chicken, Chickpea, Olive, Preserved Lemon and Tomato
Summer-time BBQ-ing and these excellent local pasture-raised birds from Little Hill Farm. For great flavour, use a wood or charcoal-fuelled BBQ.
THE CHEFS: Troy Rhoades-Brown and Mitch Beswick of Muse Restaurant, Pokolbin. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography
1 x 1.8kg Little Hill Farm chicken; 1 red onion, diced; 6 garlic cloves, sliced; 100g dried chickpeas, soaked in 500ml of cold water overnight; 40g preserved lemon skin, diced; 400g crushed tinned tomatoes; 50g tomato paste; 600ml water; 1 lemon, cut in half; 150g pitted Kalamata olives; 50ml vegetable oil; 1 bunch parsley, chopped; lettuce leaves to garnish. Spice rub: 50g smoked paprika; 50g sweet paprika; 15g garlic powder; 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (adjust to your taste); 30g fried eschallots or onion flakes; 30g fresh picked thyme; 50g caster sugar; 60g table salt.
1. Blitz all spice rub ingredients in a blender until well combined. Set aside in an airtight container. Pre-heat a BBQ to 200⁰C.
2. Cut down either side of the chicken’s spine with kitchen scissors. Place the chicken breast side up on the chopping board and firmly press down on the breast to flatten. Dry with a paper towel, rub with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
3. In a large pot heat 50ml of the vegetable oil, sauté onion and garlic until it starts to colour. Add chickpeas and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook out for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, water and stir. Bring pot to a gentle simmer. Simmer for approx. 1 hour or until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas are cooked to your liking. Add onions and preserved lemon.
4. While the chickpeas are simmering put the chicken on the hot BBQ chargrill, breast side down. Seal both sides of the chicken for approximately 2 minutes, turning every minute. Char the lemon halves.
5. Turn down the BBQ to 180⁰C. Pull the chicken off the chargrill, place on a tray and allow to cool enough to handle, then rub the spice rub all over the bird (be generous). Place the chicken breast side up back on the BBQ for indirect heat. Close the BBQ lid for 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
6. Reheat chickpeas, adding the parsley. With a chef’s knife cut the chicken in half lengthways, cut off the legs, wings, breast and thighs. Cut breasts and thighs in half. To finish, serve on a board with charred lemon halves. Serve with fresh lettuce leaves.
Muse Restaurant is located at the Hungerford Hill winery in Pokolbin, NSW. It is family owned and run by Megan and Troy Rhoades-Brown. Instagram: troymuse. Website: musedining.com.au. The Muse Restaurant recipe series was created by Rhoades-Brown and head chef Mitch Beswick.