A feast of delicious flavours and textures that is sure to wow your friends.
For the crispy chicken thighs
- 60g/2¼oz sea salt
- 1 small dried red chilli
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 large chicken thighs, boneless, skin on
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the aioli
- 1 bulb garlic
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- few saffron strands
- 150ml/5fl oz rapeseed oil
- 150ml/5fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juice only
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the avocado
- 2 avocados, peeled, halved, stone removed and cut into 2cm/1in slices
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 50g/1¾oz panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
- flaked sea salt
For the chargrilled asparagus and chorizo
- 8 spears asparagus, trimmed, ends peeled
- 4 cooking chorizo sausages, skin removed
For the monk’s beard and dandelion salad
- 100g/3½oz monk’s beard, stalks removed.
- 1 head of dandelion salad, trimmed and washed
- splash sherry vinegar
For the chicken, place the salt, chilli and garlic in a large saucepan with 1 litre/1¾ pints of water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool then add the chicken thighs, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
For the aioli, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4, wrap the bulb of garlic in foil and roast for 30 minutes. When roasted, squeeze the garlic out of its skins and add into a small food processor along with the egg yolks, mustard and saffron and blend. Then slowly add the oils to make an emulsion and season with the lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the chicken skin-side down over a medium heat. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and place an empty saucepan on top as a weight for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for a further 5 minutes without the paper or weight. Turn and cook for a further 5 minutes until the skin is golden-brown and crisp. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear with no trace of pink when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.) Set aside.
Meanwhile, for the chargrilled asparagus and chorizo, roast the chorizo sausages in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then set aside, reserving the oil.
Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in cold water and drain.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and cook the asparagus and chorizo for 2–3 minutes, turning to make sure they char on all sides.
For the avocado, place the beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls and dip each slice first into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with the oil. Heat to 180C (a cube of bread should turn brown in one minute when dropped in.) CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended. Deep-fry the avocado for 1–2 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper and season with flaked sea salt.
For the salad, blanch the monk’s beard and dandelion in salted boiling water for 30 seconds then drain and place in a bowl. Add a splash of sherry vinegar and some of the reserved chorizo oil and mix to combine.
To serve, divide the monk’s beard and dandelion between four serving plates and top with the chicken, avocado, asparagus and chorizo, with the aioli on the side.