I enjoy creating dishes that people recognise, but are presented in a unique way. At Station Road, the set five-course menu has allowed me to really focus on each dish. I love the seasonality of menus and foraging for ingredients. I admire chefs such as Ryan Clift, but it’s feedback from guests that inspires me to keep developing my style.
DUCK LIVER, BEETROOT AND MUESLI PARFAIT
The presentation of this dish is deceptive as the parfait is hidden, which brings a little fun to the table. The beetroot jelly adds a sweet, sour and earthy flavour and the muesli supplies a lovely texture. If you’re short on time, this dish can be made with duck pâté instead of the parfait.
• 200g duck livers
• 50ml Madeira
• 30ml port
• 1 shallot, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
• 3 free range eggs
• 200g butter, melted
• 100g red wine vinegar
• 1 star anise
• 100ml beetroot juice
• 50g caster sugar
• 3 leaves of gelatine, softened in cold water
• 100g muesli, toasted (any variety will do, though versions with some dried fruit in them work best)
• salt and pepper, to taste
Boil the Madeira and port with the shallot and garlic until reduced by half, then cool. Blitz the duck livers in a food processor with the eggs and the reduction, then slowly add the melted butter. Season.
Cook in a bain-marie at 130C/Gas Mark 1 for approximately 40 minutes or until the middle of the parfait has reached 68C. Allow to go cold, then shape into spheres by putting the mixture into two silicone half sphere moulds (or egg cups lined with clingfilm, though this will be messier), then put the two halves together and freeze.
To make the jelly, add the red wine vinegar, star anise, beetroot juice and caster sugar to a pan and bring to the boil. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the boiled mixture. Strain and leave to cool.
Once frozen, dip the parfait spheres in the jelly, then leave on a layer of cling film in the fridge to defrost. Place the parfait in the middle of a plate with the toasted muesli scattered around it in a circle.
CHICKEN AND LEEK PIE
Everyone loves a pie and this one raises the bar by using chicken breast for the filling, and, as I like to use as much of the chicken as possible, it’s served with a drumstick too. You could keep the rest of the chicken to make stock or soup. There is quite a lot of work involved, but this dish is worth the effort.
• 1 chicken breast, diced
• 2 chicken drumsticks
• 200g shortcrust pastry (make your own or shop bought)
• 1 shallot, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped
• 30g unsalted butter
• 50ml white wine
• 150ml cream
• 1 tsp tarragon, chopped
• beaten egg
• chicken stock (enough to cover the drumsticks)
To make the pie, roll the pastry to fit into two 50mm x 70mm rings, then bake blind according to packet instructions.
Pan fry the chicken breast until lightly coloured, then cool. Soften the shallots and leek in butter, then add the white wine and reduce before adding the cream and tarragon. Reduce to a sauce consistency, then cool and stir in the chicken breast and juices.
Put the mix into the baked pastry case and place an unbaked lid of pastry on top before brushing with beaten egg. Cook for 15 minutes at 185C/Gas Mark 4.
Pan fry the chicken drumsticks then braise them in the chicken stock for approximately 35 minutes. Remove the drumstick and reduce the chicken stock to sauce consistency. To serve, pour the sauce over the drumstick and add the mini pie to the plate.
CHEESE ON TOAST
This dish is very simple, but again, a little deceiving. It’s actually a disassembled lemon cheesecake (and who doesn’t love a cheesecake?) served with toast ice cream.
• 80g caster sugar
• 100ml lemon juice
• 15g gelatine powder
• 300g lemon curd
• 440g cream cheese
• 250ml double cream, whipped
• 2 slices of brown bread
• 50g brown sugar
• vanilla ice cream
To make the cheesecake, dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice. Add the gelatine powder and warm gently on the stove.
Beat the lemon curd into the cream cheese, then add the lemon mix before folding in the cream. Spread thinly on acetate or cling film to a height of about 4mm. Stick this in the freezer. Remove when frozen, then cut into a shape that resembles Edam cheese, complete with holes.
To make the toast ice-cream, blitz the brown bread into breadcrumbs, mix with the brown sugar and then toast the mixture in the oven. Mix with some vanilla ice cream.