I HAVE a couple of "crowd-pleaser" recipes for you this month.

The first is a soupy sort of stew, which is, I think, the best way to describe it. All the pieces of the chicken – breast, thigh, drumstick, livers – are served in a consommé-like broth, full of the beautiful, fresh, kitchen garden flavours – beans, baby carrots, fennel, bay leaves, etc, like a harvest festival in a pot. It certainly should make decent inroads into your "five-a-day".

My second recipe uses pasta, guinea fowl and vegetables and is one way of getting the kids to eat decent food. The guinea fowl (or your poultry of choice) combined with peas, broad beans, asparagus and a creamy sauce made with the mild Lowna Dairy goats cheese, all served with a side salad of mixed heritage tomatoes. If you need to hide the vegetables from the kids, you could even cool the sauce, blitz and reheat it.

Chicken "Hotch Potch" with Star Inn Kitchen Garden Vegetables (serves four)


1 large, whole free range chicken

500ml good chicken stock

1 glass Fino sherry

2 star anise

8 baby carrots

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 bulb of fennel

6 shallots, topped and tailed

2 bay leaves

5g flat parsley, chopped

25g broad beans


100g chilled butter, diced

A little oil for frying

To serve:

Crusty bread

Dressed green salad leaves


Split the chicken down into breasts, legs, thighs and liver, if you wish. Then, heat a little oil in a frying pan and seal all of the meat to a golden brown colour. Once cool, take a pad of kitchen towel and pat off all of the oil from the meat. Bring the chicken stock to the boil and add the sherry, bay leaves and star anise. Chop the fennel and carrots, then add to the stock, along with the chicken, shallots and garlic.

Simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. To finish, lift out the chicken and keep warm. Then rapidly reduce down the chicken stock by two thirds to form a broth-like "juice" and add a few cubes of chilled butter. Spoon the chicken and the vegetables into a bowl or plate with a decent rim. Add the broad beans and parsley to the "juices", simmer for two minutes, then check the seasoning and spoon over the meat and vegetables. Serve with crusty bread and a dressed green salad.

Tagliatelle of Corn-fed Guinea Fowl with Early Summer Vegetables, Lowna Dairy Goats’ Cheese and a Salad of Heritage Tomatoes (serves two)


For the tagliatelle:

2 breasts of corn-fed guinea fowl

200g fresh pasta tagliatelle, (homemade, if you have the time)

75g Lowna Dairy goats’ cheese

4 asparagus spears

50g garden peas

50g broad beans

100ml cream

100ml dry white wine

A little oil


For the salad:

4 Heritage tomatoes

50ml olive oil

1 Banana shallot, sliced

Fresh basil, roughly chopped at the last minute

Cracked black pepper

To garnish:

Garden herbs

Baby tomatoes, lightly-fried


Cut the guinea fowl breasts into strips and season. Heat up a frying pan, and fry the breast meat in a little oil, add the broad beans, peas and asparagus spears and cook for a further two minutes, then add the white wine and reduce by half. Finally, add the cream and goats cheese to make a light sauce.

Meanwhile, add a little oil and salt to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for two minutes, until al dente. Drain well and add to the sauce. Combine gently, then spoon into deep bowls. Garnish with garden herbs and some lightly-fried baby tomatoes.

Serve immediately with the salad of sliced tomatoes and shallots dressed with olive oil and seasoned with cracked black pepper and basil.