These chicken spring rolls by Gareth Smith are an indulgent play on a takeaway classic.
"We use a breed called Black Leg chicken in our spring rolls, but a good, free-range or organic leg is definitely worth paying that bit extra for. The thicker, crispy skin is priceless compared to a cheap chicken"- Gareth Smith
Yield: Serves 4
- 2 chicken legs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 50g heavily reduced chicken stock, so it’s jelly-like when cold
- 5-6 fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- 100g Grade A foie gras
- 4 sheets spring roll pastry
- 1 beaten egg white and a bit of cornflour, for dipping
- 1 Discovery apple
- Béarnaise sauce, to serve
- Slow roast the chicken legs, bay leaf and thyme in a good dollop of oil or duck fat and couple of pinches of salt, in a covered casserole dish over a low heat of 140ºC/ gas mark 1 for four to five hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone. Remove the skin and put the skin back into a very hot oven of 220ºC/ gas mark 7. The skin should be salted quite heavily and left in for around 15 minutes until completely crunchy.
- Shred the crispy skin with a sharp knife and flake the chicken meat off the legs. Pour the reduced chicken stock and tarragon over the mix, check the seasoning and adjust if required. Chill the mix. A warm mix will make the spring roll fall apart as you roll it – a disaster!
- The spring rolls need to be rolled just before serving to give you feather light spring rolls, so have a deep fat fryer or pan of oil preheated to 180ºC.
- Crumble your foie gras through your chilled chicken mix in ½ cm pieces – it will melt as it cooks, creating a lovely foie gras sauce inside the spring roll.
- Lay out your spring roll pastry and brush with the eggs white. Put a quarter of the mix into a cylinder shape on the pastry and roll up very tightly – don’t be scared to be a bit rough with the pastry, it’s tougher than it looks. Make sure there are no holes and seal with one light brush of egg white over any folds. Do this with the four rolls, serving one large roll per person.
- Roll into the cornflour, shake off any excess flour and pop into the oil for 4-5 minutes until they float, are golden and crispy. Dredge on kitchen paper and serve immediately with the apple cut into thin matchsticks. Serve with a bowl of Béarnaise sauce.
TIP: Keep the pastry moist and chilled, as it will dry and crack very quickly. As you roll one, keep the rest of the pastry under a damp towel