In How to Cook Like Heston ep 4, Heston challenges the way we cook chicken, the most popular meat in the world, but an old bird well in need of a makeover. First up, Heston attempts to revolutionise the way we roast a chicken by sharing his low and slow cooking technique. Then he gets to grips with the chickens many delicious parts in a chicken autopsy.
At his village hall Heston challenges the local hockey team to a blind stock tasting match before introducing his own super flavour-boosting stock – the secret of which is a sprinkling of milk powder to increase the levels of protein and sugar. With the basics under our belts, Heston reveals his guarded recipe for his dreamy chicken and ham pie, and demonstrates a shortcut to make a Michelin-star worthy chicken consommé.
For a final bit of theatre, Heston teaches us how we can use hot water, dry ice and essential lemon oils to flood our kitchens with chicken enhancing aromas.
How to Cook Like Heston ep 4 recipes:
Chicken and ham pie
A great technique for thickening sauces and pie fillings is to use a tablespoon of agar agar flakes instead of starch. Agar agar is a setting agent derived from seaweed and it ensures a really smooth finish without masking flavour as starch does. Agar agar is also a good vegetarian replacement for gelatine in recipes, and it is a lot more heat resistant.
Heston Blumenthal’s roast chicken
This recipe is a firm family favourite. The roast chicken is made extra juicy by brining the chicken before roasting it, then cooking it for a long time at a gentle temperature. Brining is a fantastic technique for keeping moisture in food and it is incredibly simple to do. It involves a little forethought but minimum effort and it will guarantee a juicy and succulent bird every time.
Brown chicken stock
Stock is the hidden hero in hundreds of recipes, so it’s vital that it’s packed with flavour. One way to boost the deep meaty flavours is to add milk powder to the chicken wings before cooking them. The resulting stock tastes like the essence of pure roast chicken and you’ll never look at a stock cube again!
Consommé is a beautifully clear rich soup but it can be a real hassle to make. However, I’ve found a way to make it at home that’s as good as you’d find in any Michelin-starred restaurant. The technique used in this recipe of freezing and defrosting the natural gelatine is great for clarifying any stock. You can then serve it on its own or use it as a base for different flavours such as soy, ginger, garlic, chilli, spring onions, noodles and pak choi.