Wild Garlic & Chicken Bake

Castlemine Farm’s Brendan Allen has got me thinking about Eating Only Irish – happening 9th – 15th May (www.eatonlyirish.com) based on a brilliant idea by Brendan.  He will not let any food or drink pass his lips that does not come from this Island of ours.  His rules are:

“Rule 1 Food that is bred, planted, grown, reared, caught, foraged, slaughtered, harvested and processed entirely on Irish soil, or caught within Irish territorial waters.

Rule 2 If the label says “Produced in Ireland” all ingredients must conform to Rule One”

I’m in thinking mode about how nutritionally adequate this diet will be – there’ll be lots of vegetables but any ideas about fruit this time of year?  I came across Irish cooking apples (bramleys) the other day and of course there’s rhubarb but both of these need added sweetener for palatability.  We’ll probably have strawberries in the tunnel by then so that’s another one but they may not be widely available.

Oh and because Brendan comes from a bountiful farm it puts him at an unfair advantage so he will not be relying on any of his own produce in order to achieve the aim.

Here’s an almost Irish dish based on free-range chicken and foraged wild garlic (I cracked and used sea salt & black pepper….it’s so hard!).  I wanted to case the chicken (I’m using legs only here) completely in wild garlic leaves and bake it altogether.  It was incredibly tasty with a lovely hint of garlic that mellowed completely during cooking.  The chicken leg meat was so moist and the skin crisped up deliciously under the garlic and took on a beautiful flavour.  I want to try this with a breast also to confirm that it would have the same effect.

It was the simplest thing.  I pass Mote Park on the way home from work so I gathered some wild garlic fresh.  I placed a layer of the garlic on a roasting dish.

Wild Garlic Base

I seasoned the chicken legs well with sea salt & black pepper (cheating) and started wrapping and covering them with the garlic.

I poured and patted some Donegal rapeseed oil over the top and put into the oven at 190C for 40 minutes.  After 15 minutes I threw in some sliced Irish potatoes and enjoyed a pretty decent meal at the end of it.  The garlic jacket became crispy and stuck to the chicken but it was very edible too.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by aoifemc on April 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Sarah!

    I’m definitely going to be taking part in Eat Only Irish week, it’s a great idea. And a brilliant opportunity to find out about more lovely Irish produce. Yum!


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