If I need to take something to a barbecue I like to do all the hard work beforehand. Making a jar of this pickle a few days ahead turns the nectarines a vivid mauve-red. The dukkah can be made ahead and if you’ve cut and marinated the chicken the day before, then you only have to barbecue the chicken and fennel on the day (or alternatively use chicken thighs or drums instead, which you’d need to cook for a longer time). I’ve used nectarines for the pickle, but substitute with other stone fruit such as plums or peaches if needs be.
Recipe Category: Ginny Grant Issue 197
I have pretty much given up on cooking a whole bird, unless there is a huge crowd for Christmas – a boned-out breast is pretty easy and fuss free. For the stuffing I use tart dried apricots from Bridge Hill in Central Otago, but you could change the fruit as you prefer. Currants, cranberries, prunes or other dried fruit would be lovely here. The accompanying salad and dressing are inspired by one that LA-based chef Nancy Silverton served at her VWOAP dinner in August.
A classic terrine is perfect for eating on hot days. Paired with a salad and a good chutney it is simplicity itself. I prefer pancetta over streaky bacon, as it’s thinner, less chunky and ultimately easier to cut. A good coarse sausage meat is perfect to use here as it has a decent amount of fat to keep the terrine moist.
Food that can be served either cold or warm is always a good thing in my opinion. This salad can do either – the duck is lusciously rich when served warm, while the smokiness comes to the fore when cold. This is a brilliant one for a party and while duck is expensive, a little goes a long way here. It’s a good dish to do ahead.
The advantage of a small bird is that there’s no argument of who is having the drum or breast, just plenty of meat and finger-licking goodness without much of a fuss. The pancetta and mascarpone provide richness and also help provide a sauce for the birds.