Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tarragon poached chicken, butterflied leg of lamb and prawn, monkfish and squid kebabs - catering for a barbecue wedding near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

At last - a wedding where it didn't rain while we were loading & unloading - wahoo! 
The lake at Upper Court - makes a great backdrop to your wedding breakfast!
The previous week on Stow on the Wold cricket field we had been caked in mud, wet through and that was just in the first five minutes of arriving - pushing 2 vans (arriving and departing) through the mud was most.... er.... memorable. The next wedding the day after at Chavenage House we had fared slightly better because they had moved the siting of the marquee right next to the house. That was until it came to packing up in the evening and once again we were deluged. Always helps to have a good set of waterproofs and waterproof kitchen shoes. Good job we love it!
Tarragon poached chicken on the barbecue 
 This weekend just gone - perfect. The sun even came out as the guests arrived back from the church next door. Note the straw in the background though - soaking up the mud around the entrance - all the ground so waterlogged now - that'll be the great English summer.
Here is how the chicken started off the night before (below). We batted it out, filled it with chicken and tarragon mousse (chicken, egg white, cream, salt, pepper, tarragon), sprinkled on a bit more chopped tarragon for good luck and rolled it up,
Then skewered it to hold it in place and poached it in court bouillon with the tarragon stalks.
Once poached it was left to cool down, then one the day itself I just cut it into 3 and gave them a grilling on the barbecue.
The bride had said she wanted chicken, but it had to be moist - chicken can dry out easily on BBQ if you cook it too much. Poached like this you not only get a lot more flavour in there, but it also stays nice and moist.
Tiger prawn, monkfish and squid skewers marinaded in chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander, lemon, mint, turmeric and yogurt
What a revelation these were - maybe you can't see in pic above, but the turmeric gives them an amazing yellowy colour. A couple of minutes on each side with a dusting of flour to stop them sticking and they're cooked perfectly. And the monkfish is one of the best fish to barbecue because it is so meaty and doesn't fall apart like cod, and tiger prawns - well everyone loves those!






Butterflied leg of lamb marinaded in lemon, garlic and cumin yogurt (with a lone kebab tester)  
"Is there anything else we can do than lamb steaks?" asked the bride. We eventually rested on the idea of butterflied leg of lamb - which I then carved on the buffet as guests came along - the inside of the lamb perfectly pink (although there were a few well done bits for the guests who preferred it that way). Lamb as usual came from Home Farm - around 2 miles as the crow flies from the where we were serving it. 5 legs and every last bit went - very popular!

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