Recipe: Chicken & Ribs

So today we are moving on to something a bit more elaborate.  It also takes a few hours to bake the ribs, so set you can leave them to let them do their thing.  So, first and foremost, you need the following:

[Note: This recipe takes most of the day.  Either do the prep work before you leave for work, or do I the night before]

  • One full rack of ribs.
  • Two chicken breasts.
  • Two large baking potatoes.
  • Two tomatoes.
  • Two large Portobello mushrooms.
  • Stilton
  • Onion chutney.
  • Flour, one egg and breadcrumbs with seasonings.
  • Lemon juice

For the dry rub you will need:

Two tablespoons of brown sugar, one teaspoon of chilli flakes, one teaspoon of paprika, one of oregano, one of salt, one of pepper and one of garlic powder.

For the marinade, on this occasion, I am using Paul Newman's sticky barbecue sauce, because I am a huge advocate of his products. You can make your own, but I don't want this recipe to take any longer - you will be starving!

Start by washing your hands, and then take a damp cloth and place it on the work top.  Place a red meat chopping board over that.

The morning before dinner, you need to take the ribs  out of their packaging.  Give them a good rinse under the cold tap and place them on the red board.  Take a sharp knife and cut off any excess skin and sinew off the bottom.  Place your ribs in a baking tin or on to a plate.  Start by pouring the juice of a lemon over the ribs.  Now take all the dry rub ingredients and mix them well in a dish.  Sprinkle them carefully and evenly over the ribs and rub them in with your fingers.  Make sure you spread it out well over the ridges in the ribs. 

Cover it with cling film and leave it in the fridge for a minimum of four hours and nd get on with your day.

About two hours before dinner, take out the ribs.  Remove the cling film and replace with metal foil.  Set your oven to 160 C and place the ribs on the middle shelf.  Now leave them there to cook for a minimum of two hours.

Take two baking potatoes, prick them carefully with a knife, and wrap them individually in metal foil.  Place them in the oven on the shelf above the ribs.  Now you have a couple of hours to fill.

About two hours later, switch on your deep fat fryer and your grill.  Take your red chopping board and place in on the worktop, over a damp cloth.  Take your chicken breasts and split them through the side, to butterfly them, like we have before.  Just cut far enough to leave the two halves attached. Place the chicken under the grill and leave until it is cooked on both sides.  It should be all white, with no traces of pink when your cut into it. 

Take three bowls.  Into the first, place two tea cups of flour.  Into the second, break an egg and whisk it up with a little water.  Into the third, add a fifty-fifty mix of bread crumbs and southern fried chicken seasoning.  Mix them up well.  

Using tongs, place your butterfly chicken into the flour first.  Pack it around well, and then dip it into the egg mix, again, making sure it is well coated. Finally, dip it into the breadcrumbs and seasoning.  Make sure it is well covered.  Now place the chicken in the fryer for a minute until the coating turns a nice golden brown.  Take the chicken out of the oil and drain off the fat and leave them somewhere warm until the ribs are ready.

Next, the mushrooms and tomatoes.  For this you need a thick, flat oven pan.  Boil a kettle and place the boiling water into a deep dish or container.  Using  a small knife, cut an X shape into the top of each tomato.  Place them in the boiling water, carefully and leave them for a minute.  Remove them with tongs.  Notice how the skin has stretched back from the cut you made?  So, now you just peel the skin straight off.  Place it in the oven pan.  

Take your large mushrooms and give them a quick rinse under the tap.  Pull out the core of the mushroom.  It will pop out fairly easily.  Place one teaspoon of onion chutney in the middle of each mushroom, and cover it with some crumbled stilton.  Place the mushrooms into the oven pan with the tomatoes and place in the oven.  They take about fifteen minutes to cook at most.

Now, you need large plates for all of this, so warm a couple.  We're nearly there.

Take out the ribs, and coat them in the marinade.  God bless Paul Newman.

Place them back in the oven for a further two minutes, under the foil.  Finally remove the ribs and cut the rack into two halves.  For each person, you get one half rack or ribs, one piece of southern fried chicken, one nice big jacket potato, one tomato and one mushroom.

Trust me, you won't need dessert.

Enjoy! 

Words & photos by chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.

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