Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken with champ recipe

Gordon Ramsay is one mean arse of a chef (Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen) but he sure can cook. He has earned 12 Michigan stars in culinary cooking and I think he's one of the best chefs around. He really cares about how the foods tastes as you can see from the episodes on how ferocious and savage-like he is as he drills the poor amateure chefs. This recipe requires only about 30 minutes cooking time and doesn't even need any marinating beforehand. The sauce is cooked with the chicken so that the chicken can absorb all the wonderful flavours and as it reduces the honey caramelizes and becomes sticky, perfectly coating the chicken. The lemon juice and vinegar adds a tinge of sourness to counteract the sweet honey and the lemon slices and thyme seasons the chicken together. I've noticed that lemon, thyme and garlic goes gorgeously well together just like peanut butter and jelly and any recipe that uses these 3 ingredients is sure to taste fabulous. The recipe actually calls for champ (mashed potatoes) but you can eat it with rice or even bread!

Sticky Lemon Chicken with champ recipe

Serves 4
Lemon Chicken
1 large chicken, jointed into 8–10 pieces
Sea salt and black pepper
3–4 tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
Few thyme sprigs
Splash of sherry vinegar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 lemon, finely sliced (ideally with a mandolin)
Bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1kg floury potatoes (e.g. King Edward), peeled
Sea salt and black pepper
30g butter
Bunch of spring onions (about 6–8), trimmed and chopped
100ml double cream
100ml whole milk, plus extra if needed

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.
2. Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.
3. Cut the potatoes into similar-sized chunks and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain well.
4. Mash the potatoes while still hot, using a potato ricer if you have one, then stir through the butter and spring onions.
5. Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and gradually pour on to the potatoes, mixing well. If the mash is too thick, add a little extra milk. Season generously.
6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley, serve with the champ and green beans.

Note: The recipe from actually differ A LOT from how Gordon makes it. I was doubtful at first since both the methods differed but I opted for the safer route and followed Gordon Ramsay. I've read other people's food blogs and they said that its wildly inacurrate and if you follow Ramsay's verbal instructions, though, the chicken turns out rich and tangy, with a golden stickiness, just as promised. Below, you'll find a more literal translation of the recipe. I hope Gordo ripped that intern a new one.

Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally (I'm not sure if I saw him actually put this in, but it's a good addition from the web recipe)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 lemon sliced thickly, plus juice from another half of lemon
"Little cup of water" or "about a ladle of water". Lord help us, Ramsay, could you be more unhelpful? It looks to me like maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup he splashes in, possibly less. Start small and add more if needed.
Bunch of fresh thyme, minced with scissors
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Cut up your chicken, or do that fancy thing Ramsay does to the drumsticks you already have and salt and pepper everything. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chicken, and brown thoroughly on both sides.

When the chicken is a nice goldeny-brown, add the soy sauce and the vinegar. Top with the lemon slices and squeeze the juice from half of that other lemon over everything. Add your little cup of water and, over medium-low heat, simmer, turning the pieces from time to time for about 6-7 minutes (or until most of the water has cooked away, whichever comes first).

Season with the fresh thyme and drizzle with honey. Add a good grind of pepper and cook for another five minutes or so. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with champ--that's Irish for mashed potatoes with green onions. There's a recipe that somewhat resembles the one Ramsay cooks in the video here. And those ml measurements? They're right on the back of your measuring cup.
Serves 4 hearty eaters.

Here's a video of Gordon Ramsay making the dish:

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