One of the South West’s most talented chefs, Martin Blunos was born and brought up near Bath, his parents having come to England from Latvia just after the Second World War. He has held two Michelin stars for more than 15 years and appears regularly on television and radio with regular slots as guest chef on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen with James Martin, BBC Market Kitchen, ITV Daily Cooks and ITV’s Saturday Cooks.
As running around the countryside to catch our tea is longer necessary, Martin Blunos cooks us up a perfect alternative…
I was asked recently and not for the first time, “What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever cooked and eaten?” My reply of swan and peacock may not have been the expected reply. After all we don’t kill and eat those birds nowadays, and I for one know why – they taste awful!
It’s form over function with swans and peacocks, as they look so much better than they taste. I think the reason why, back in the Middle Ages, these birds were eaten is down to their distinct lack of camouflage – white and multicoloured does not lend itself to blending in with the countryside.
But in the days of hunting and gathering, with a trusty bow and arrow as your weapon of choice in search of quarry to feed the family, a swan set against a background of shrubbery would have stood out like a full moon in the night sky. Your arrows would have flown and two hours later it would have been Big Bird for tea.
Times have moved on. Our choice of food is unhindered and our method of getting the food just requires a quick trip down to the shops. So, as we don’t eat swans and peacocks anymore, and believe me you’re not missing anything, here is a colourful chicken recipe I’ve created for you to try.
Chicken thighs – coconut crisped
Great with a simple salad, boiled rice or just with a dollop of sweet mango chutney
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 limes with zest and juice plus extra wedges to serve
2 tsp medium curry powder
1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes
1⁄4 tsp black onion seeds
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
- Heat oven to 190°C. Put the chicken in a large bowl with the lime zest and juice, curry powder, chilli flakes, onion seeds and a pinch of salt.
- Mix well then roll through the coconut.
- Place chicken on a rack in a roasting tin and dribble with the oil. Bake for 25 minutes until cooked through and tender.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little salt to retain crispy finish. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.