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Chicken with Plums and Soy

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s latest book reinvents traditional meals without any complicated tricks.

He claims to have discovered the ‘magic formula’ to making a great dish using a simple rule of three (think fish and chips with mushy peas or scones with cream and strawberry jam). Here, a ‘meat and two veg’ dish is reworked using fruit. Sweet and tangy, crispy and tender – it’s perfect for those mourning the end of barbecue season.

Kcal: 281 per serving

saturated fat: 1.7g per serving

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on, free-range chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-4 red, mild-to-medium hot, fleshy chillies (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, coarsely grated or thinly sliced (optional)
  • 8 plums, halved and stoned
  • 3 tbsps soy sauce
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped (optional)

Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Put the chicken thighs in a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once or twice.

Step 2: Halve and de-seed the chillies, then cut into 1cm strips. After 30 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and add the chillies, garlic and ginger to the tray. Turn the chicken to make sure the aromatics are evenly distributed. Return to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Step 3: Tuck the plum halves around the chicken pieces and spoon over the soy sauce. If there isn’t much liquid in the tray, add a few tablespoons of water. Return to the oven again to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the plums are soft.

Step 4: Baste the chicken and plums with the pan juices, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes. Scatter some chopped coriander over the dish and serve with noodles or plain rice.

Hugh’s Three Good Things On A Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is out now (£25, Bloomsbury)

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