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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
José Pizarro

Artichoke rice, spiced chicken and sherry figs: José Pizarro’s late summer feast – recipes

José Pizarro's artichoke rice
José Pizarro’s artichoke rice. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Hanna Miller. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food styling assistant: Verity Walcott.

I’ve chosen today’s meal because I love sherry, and all three dishes go brilliantly with it. Artichoke is arguably as difficult as asparagus to pair with wine, but it’s great with a glass of fino or manzanilla. The chicken dish goes perfectly with oloroso, not least because that handles spices very well. And the figs are crying out for a glass of pedro ximénez, and are a great example of one of my kitchen mantras: always cook with a wine that’s as good as the one in your glass. Come to think of it, I’d love nothing more right now than to sit down and enjoy this meal with friends, especially over a glass or three of sherry.

Artichoke rice (pictured top)

Lemon and artichoke is a fantastic flavour combination: the fragrant zest balances the rich, sweet earthiness of the artichoke so well. I’ve used jarred artichoke hearts here, but if you are a lover of the globe artichoke, you could also use them freshly cooked. Simply boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on size, then pick off all the outer leaves and serve those as a snack with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt for dipping the nubbins in. Cut away the feathery chokes to reveal the hearts, then slice the hearts and add to the rice as below.

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 6 as a starter

2 tbsp olive oil
2 banana shallots
, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 fresh bay leaf
The pared zest of 1 lemon, plus a good squeeze of juice
275g bomba rice
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
1 x 285g jar artichoke hearts in olive oil
, drained
1 big handful flat-leaf parsley, picked and finely chopped
60g manchego, shaved
Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish

Put the olive oil in a saute pan or shallow casserole dish on a medium-low heat, then gently fry the shallots, stirring often, for five minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, bay leaf and lemon zest, fry, stirring, for two to three minutes more, then add the rice and toss and stir to coat.

Pour in 500ml of the stock, season generously, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 12 minutes, until the rice is just tender and has soaked up most of the stock.

Add the artichoke hearts and the rest of the stock, cover again and leave to cook and warm through for a minute or two longer , until the extra stock has also been absorbed.

Take the pan off the heat, stir in the parsley and a good squeeze of lemon, then serve with shavings of manchego, a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

Spiced spatchcocked chicken with courgettes

Jose Pizarro’s spiced spatchcocked chicken.
Jose Pizarro’s spiced spatchcocked chicken with courgettes. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Hanna Miller. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food styling assistant: Verity Walcot

Spatchcocked chicken cooks very evenly and quickly. Here, I’ve roasted it, but if the weather holds, you must try it on the barbecue – trust me, the smoky flavour that adds to the chicken and courgettes is well worth lighting the coals for. The white wine in the marinade, meanwhile, helps tenderise the meat and keeps it lovely and moist; it also forms the basis of a delicious gravy. Courgette season is coming to an end soon, so this might be your last chance to celebrate them and let them shine.

Prep 20 min
Marinate 1 hr+
Cook 1 hr
Serves 6

200ml dry white wine
1 whole garlic bulb
, cloves separated and bashed, but left unpeeled
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2kg chicken
, free-range for preference, spatchcocked (ask the butcher to do this for you, if need be)
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

For the courgettes
600g small courgettes, a mix of yellow and green, ideally, sliced (if you’re cooking them on a barbecue, cut them lengthways, so they’re less likely to slip between the bars)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
, peeled and finely sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
2 x 400g tins white beans (alubias blancas, cannellini or haricot, say), drained
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, picked and chopped

In a large dish, mix the white wine, garlic, lemon zest and paprika. In a dry frying pan, lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds, until fragrant, then roughly crush in a mortar and add to the dish . Put the chicken in the dish, turn it over a few times to coat well on both sides, then cover and marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 (or light a barbecue). Transfer the chicken and all its marinade to a roasting tin, season generously and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 50 minutes, until golden and just cooked, then turn off the oven and leave the bird inside to finish cooking and rest in the residual heat.

Meanwhile, make the courgettes. Put a large, heavy-based pan on a medium-high heat. Toss the courgettes in the olive oil, then add to the pan and fry, turning often, for five to six minutes, until they start to turn golden. Add the garlic and thyme, fry, stirring, for two to three minutes more, then stir in the beans, season very well and cook until warmed through. Take off the heat, and add the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and parsley.

Carve the chicken, spoon the pan juices all over the top, and serve with the courgettes and beans.

Roast figs with rosemary, PX and no-churn ice-cream

José Pizarro’s roast figs and no-churn ice-cream.
José Pizarro’s PX roast figs with no-churn ice-cream. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Hanna Miller. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food styling assistant: Verity Walcot

Late summer is the best time for figs, when they’ve had a chance to ripen on the tree in the warm sun. My dad loved figs, and used to eat them straight off the tree while making sounds of sheer ecstasy. Choose figs that are plump, dark all over and firm but not hard. Dad would have loved them cooked like this. The no-churn vanilla ice-cream is a real gamechanger, especially for when all you want is a sweet treat with almost no effort. If you want extra-green pistachios, put them in a bowl, pour over some boiling water and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Drain,rub dry in a tea towel and the skins will slough off to reveal the bright green nut underneath.

Prep 15 min
Freeze Overnight
Cook 45 min
Serves 6

6 ripe figs
2 tbsp
pedro ximénez (PX) sherry
1 sprig rosemary
, needles stripped
2 tsp caster sugar
50g shelled pistachios
, chopped

For the no-churn ice-cream
600ml double cream
150ml thick, Greek-style yoghurt
200g tinned condensed milk
(ie, about ½ standard tin)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp pedro ximénez sherry

First, make the ice-cream. Whip the double cream until it holds its shape well, then fold in all the other ice-cream ingredients, decant into a suitable tub, cover and freeze overnight.

Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. Cut a cross in the top of each fig, then arrange them cut side up in a small roasting tin. Pour over the PX, scatter with the rosemary, then sprinkle the tops with the sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, then baste with the tin juices and scatter the pistachios over the top. Bake for another five minutes, then serve with scoops of the ice-cream – to make it easier to scoop, take it out of the freezer about half an hour before serving.

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