Lemon chicken thighs with leeks and breaded mushrooms


Boneless chicken thighs (4)
Salt and pepper
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
125ml extra virgin olive oil
10 salted anchovy filets
30g capers
5g chilli flakes
1 lemon
Bunch of chopped parsley
Crusty bread ( v. Important)
2 large leeks
1tbsp butter
4 flat forestiere mushrooms (largish flat ones will do)
Grated manchego or Parmesan
Panko breadcrumbs

Place an anchovy inside each chicken thigh and put them in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add two cloves of minced garlic, give them a swirl and marinate for an hour.

Start by preparing the mushrooms. Simply rinse them, remove the stalks and grate the cheese into the cup of the mushroom. Now generously sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and set aside on a baking tray.

With the leeks, trim the dark green leaves off, trim the root and cut them diagonally. Place them in a saucepan with a large tbsp of butter. Start on a low heat to get the butter to melt and then cover and gently simmer for 20mins. Give the pan a shake every now and then.

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, leave to come up to room temp
Fry the 2 chopped garlic cloves and the 6 anchovies in 2tbsp of oil until the garlic begins to just brown, this will take about 4 minutes. Don’t worry about cutting up the anchovies as they will dissolve into the oil.

Add the thighs, cook 6 minutes and brown off the thighs a little.

Turn them over Add a tbsp of the capers, a small bunch of the parsley and the chilli flakes. Put the pan in a 200C oven for 3 minutes with the rest of the olive oil.

Now place the prepped mushrooms in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes and when the thighs are cooked, take out of the oven, add the rest of the capers, add the juice of the lemon and rest of the parsley, scrape all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan and put on a plate.

Serve with the leeks
Rip up the bread and Dip the bread into the yummy sauce!

Venison wrapped in prosciutto with blackberry sauce


Preparation time: 1hr 30min

servings per dish: 2

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  1. 2 Venison Steaks
  2. 6 rashers of prosciutto
  3. 1 bunch Thyme
  4. Roast radishes
  5. Bunch of small radishes
  6. 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  7. Mashed Swede
  8. ½ Swede
  9. 1 tbsp. Butter
  10. ½ tsp salt
  11. Caramelised Onion
  12. 1 white onion
  13. 2 tbsp. butter
  14. 1/2 tbsp. demerara sugar
  15. 1 splash balsamic vinegar
  16. Yorkshire Puddings
  17. 75g Flour
  18. 160ml Milk
  19. 2 eggs
  20. 1 tbsp. horseradish
  21. 1 tbsp. butter
  22. Blackberry Sauce
  23. 1 clove garlic
  24. 1 small shallot
  25. 50g Blackberries
  26. 2 tbsp. blackcurrant jam
  27. 100 ml Beef stock
  28. 120ml Red wine



Yorkshire Puddings
To make the Yorkshire puddings put the two eggs, milk and horseradish sauce (I prefer to use Polish Chrzan) and whisk the mixture together. Now add the flour slowly through a sieve and whip it all into a smooth consistency. Set aside and heat the oven to about 220C. With the butter, coat the baking tray and when the oven is hot, put the tray in for about 4 mins. Now take out the tray and pour the mixture in and put back into the oven for about 20 mins. The butter should stop the puddings sticking to the tray.


Roasted Radishes

Wash and trim the radishes and just cut them in half. Add a tbsp. of Olive oil and coat all the radishes. Now place them face down on a baking tray and put them in the oven at 220c for about 10 mins
Blackberry Sauce

For the sauce , mince the garlic and add the jam and shallots and wine and place over a medium heat in a pan. Simmer this for about 15 minutes so that it reduces down to about half the quantity. At the same time, simmer the beef stock so that it too reduces down to about half. When both are done sieve the reduced currant sauce into the beef stock and add a teaspoon of butter and set aside.


Mashed Swede
For 2 people I generally use half a large swede chopped into cubes and put into a pan of boiling water with about half a tsp of salt. Bring this to the boil and then cover the pan and simmer for about 15 mins. Once soft add the tbsp. of butter and mash it and its ready to serve.


Caramelised Onions
Chop the onion and gently fry in the butter for about 40 mins on a low heat, just stir every 5 mins to stop them from burning. I make sure that they are covered as well and then when the onions have gone nice and brown add a ½ tbsp. of demerara sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar.


Lay the strips of prosciutto on some greaseproof paper so that they overlap and spread on the caramelised onion. Now with the Venison steaks sear them in a frying pan for 3 mins so that a nice colour is put on both sides. Strip a bunch of thyme and then drizzle the venison steaks with the Olive oil. Roll the Venison in the thyme and place on the prosciutto and wrap the steaks. Place into a preheated oven at 220c for about 6 mins. When done remove from the oven and let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


To serve, lay the wrapped venison on a bed of swede with the roasted radishes surrounding. Spoon on the Blackberry Jus and add a couple of fresh blackberries with a sprig of thyme to finish.


What I love about this dish is that it’s a firm favourite of ours after a walk on the Cornish coast when on holiday. It’s such a rich taste and the blackberries are of course picked whilst walking along the cliff tops from Polperro back to Looe.

Southend Paella with Chorizo



Preparation time: 1 hr

servings per dish: 4

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  1. 2tbsp Olive Oil
  2. 4 baby leeks
  3. 1 Plum tomato
  4. 75 g cooked peas
  5. 75g sugarsnap peas
  6. 6 small shallots
  7. 4 garlic cloves
  8. 50g Chorizo
  9. 50g Lardons
  10. 100g mussels
  11. 12 prawns
  12. 100g cockles
  13. 4 scallops
  14. 450ml Fish Stock
  15. 250g Bomba Paella rice
  16. Bunch flat leaf parsley
  17. 2 lemons
  18. ½ tsp. Pimenton
  19. Pinch of chili flakes
  20. Pinch of saffron




In a large deep skillet or paella dish if you have one heat up the Olive oil and add the lardons and chorizo. Fry these up till they are brown and crisp and place to one side and keep the oil in the pan. Add to this 2tbsp of Olive Oil and then gently brown the shallots for about 2-3 mins. Add the garlic, chopped baby leeks and fry for another 2 mins.  Then add ½ tsp of Pimenton, a pinch of chilli flakes and grate the plum tomato as well and discard the skin. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the Paella rice and stir so that all the rice is coated and then add all the fish stock, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and add a pinch of saffron and all the stalks from the parsley.

I don’t stir this anymore and just turn the pan every 2 mins so as to try and obtain a crust on the bottom of the paella. Cover and cook for 10 mins, then add the prawns, mussels, scallops and of course the cockles which makes this southend style paella. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes just turning the pan every 2 mins to keep the heat distributed evenly.  Then I reheat the lardons and chorizo and add these in along with the peas and sugarsnap peas. Then when it is ready to serve I sprinkle generously with the parsley and dish up with a slice of lemon for everyone.





This is a meal we often cook up after a day in southend with all the seafood sourced locally, the cockles are especially good straight from the cockle sheds at leigh on sea.