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By Well Seasoned, Mar 27 2018 09:41AM

Crisp, buttery pastry, tender chicken and a wonderfully pungent, garlicky sauce mean this is a dish of bold flavours. Simple greens as an accompaniment make a good foil and both cavolo nero and purple sprouting broccoli should be plentiful at this time of year. It is hard to decide whether the chicken, the pastry or the wild garlic is the star of the show but the garlic is such a seasonal treat. The same quantity in a fish pie is really good too.


Chicken, leek and wild garlic pie

serves 4 as main course


For the flaky pastry


200g plain flour

1 tsp Maldon sea salt, finely ground

150g salted butter, chilled

1 large free-range egg yolk

100ml cold water


For the filling


2 tbsp olive oil

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large dice

4 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces

500g leek, trimmed, sliced and washed

100ml dry white wine

300ml chicken stock

1 tsp Dijon mustard

75g crème fraiche

cornflour to thicken

50g wild garlic, stalks removed

1 large free-range egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp of water to glaze the pastry

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C.


2. For the pastry, sift the flour and salt onto the bench, grate the butter over the flour using a coarse grater. Stop every now and again to toss the butter through the flour with your fingertips and to dust the grater with flour.

3. Make a well in the centre, then beat the yolk into the water and pour into the well. Gradually bring in the flour with your fingertips to create a dough. Knead briefly and then wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.


4. To make the filling, season the chicken breast and fry in the olive oil in a very hot pan. This is just to colour the chicken, not to cook it through. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the bacon to the pan. When the fat is starting to render, add the leeks and cook until just beginning to soften. Add the leek mix to the chicken.


5. Pour the wine into the pan. Reduce the wine to a syrup and add the chicken stock. Reduce this by around two-thirds then whisk in the Dijon mustard and creme fraiche. Mix 1 tsp of cornflour with a little cold water and use this to thicken the sauce – a thick double cream consistency is what you are looking for.


6. Add the chicken mix to the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Finely chop the wild garlic and stir it in.


7. Divide the pastry into two pieces; one-third and two-thirds. Roll out the larger piece to line the base of a 22cm x 16cm pie tin. Add the filling to the tin and then roll out the remaining pastry for the lid. Egg-wash around the rim of the pie

base and lay the lid over. Crimp the lid onto the base, sealing well, and trim off excess pastry. Egg wash the lid.


8. Bake the pie for around 40 minutes until the pastry is a dark golden colour and there are signs of the filling bubbling.


9. Serve immediately with your chosen veg. Any leftover pie is delicious cold!


By Well Seasoned, Feb 27 2018 02:14PM

Exciting times as we get close to the publication date for Well Seasoned!


With just over a week to go, we’re making plans for the launch party and have been chatting with various magazines and websites who are keen to publish extracts from the book. First out of the blocks is the March/April addition of the excellent Just About Dorset. Russ already has a regular column in the magazine so we’re really lucky to have not one but two pieces of coverage this month.


The first is our Wild Boar Ragout Pappardelle recipe - a hearty and warming dish from from Well Seasoned's February’s chapter and the second - Artist Profile - looks in more detail at Russell’s photography for the book.


Grab a hard copy if you can but you can also read both articles in the online edition:


Wild Boar Ragu Parpadelle

Artist Profile: Russell Brown


Pre-orders are coming thick and fast now, and if you want to take advantage of our special offer to be in with a chance of winning the Ultimate Well Seasoned Evening, you’ve got just 9 days left. Good luck!



By Well Seasoned, Jan 12 2018 03:05PM

Well, after nearly two years of work, Well Seasoned has finally gone to press!


It’s been quite an experience writing our first book and there's been a huge amount of effort from all concerned – starting with us as writers but then designers, editors and proof readers have all been busily involved. We’re really pleased with the end result and, even if we might be a little biased, we’re confident it’s going to be a stunning book.


Right now though, while the presses are rolling, we can afford a short break and what could be better than a cup of tea and slice of toast? The short season for Seville oranges is upon us so, of course, it’s time to make marmalade. Here’s the recipe from our January chapter:


Seville orange marmalade


Crisp toast slathered in salty butter with a good dollop of marmalade makes for a pretty special start to the day. As an alternative, try mixing a tablespoon of marmalade into a small pot of fat-free Greek yoghurt along with a spoonful of oats that have been toasted with a little muscovado sugar. Let the mix sit overnight and enjoy in the morning.


makes around 6 large jars


1.1kg Seville oranges, well washed

2 lemons, well washed

2kg preserving sugar

10g unsalted butter


1. Start by halving and juicing all the fruit, retaining all the pips. Use a teaspoon to scrape the membranes out from the juiced fruit.


2. Cut the skins in half again and slice off some of the white pith if it is really thick. Next, slice the skins into strips of your choice of thickness, depending on whether you want a fine shred or a coarser one. The shreds will swell as they cook to an extent. (I add the lemon skins to the mix, although many recipes call for just the juice and I would have to accept that maybe it isn’t a true Seville orange marmalade.)


3. Measure the juice from the fruit and make up the quantity to 2l with water. Put the juice and shredded peel into a large saucepan. Tie the pips and around a quarter of the membranes in muslin and add this to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer very gently until the peel is tender, around 1–1½ hours.


4. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the juice out into the pan – if you have a potato ricer it is brilliant for doing this!


5. Warm the sugar in a roasting tin in the oven set to 100˚C for 10 minutes. (This is recommended in many recipes to aid dissolving. I use the oven to sterilize the jars, too.)


6. Add the warm sugar to the pan and stir constantly until it has dissolved, then increase the heat and boil the marmalade rapidly for 5 minutes before starting to check for a set. If using a thermometer it should register 104–105˚C. Or pour a spoonful onto a chilled saucer; when the edge of the pool of marmalade is pushed, the skin should wrinkle.


7. Once a set is achieved, pour the marmalade into the sterilized jars and seal.



By Well Seasoned, Jan 2 2018 09:49AM

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas


2018 is, obviously, an exciting year for us and we're now on the three month countdown to publication day for the book. We've probably got one more final proof read to do before everything is set in stone and the book goes to print.


Until then, assuming you've had enough turkey and sprouts to last a lifetime (or until next Christmas anyway), how about a new recipe from Russell to launch your January? Walter Rose are a traditional butchers in Wiltshire and Russ has long used them to supply top-notch meat and game, both for his restaurant and for our Well Seasoned recipe testing. On their blog this month is a picanha rump cap recipe. Paprika and pickled jalepenos add a bit of welcome warmth to some classic winter ingredients - parsley root, cabbage and apples.


You can find the recipe HERE.


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