Black rice, grilled baby gem, roast onions and crispy chicken skin
This warming winter salad is perfect for a working from home lunch, dinner party starter or as a light main. The Black rice has a lovely nutty, al dente bite. Salty crispy chicken skin contrasts well with the sweet soft red onions, making this dish a real crowd pleaser.
150g Black Venus Rice
500g vegetable stock, or water
4 tbsp Pepe extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
¼ tsp fine salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 red onions, halved
100g chicken skin
2 heads baby gem lettuces, halved, rinsed and left to dry on kitchen paper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
20ml Moscatel Vinegar
30g Smoked Almonds, roughly chopped
- Place a small pan on a medium heat and add 2tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and table salt and cook for 10 minutes, turning the heat down a little as the onion cooks and stirring occasionally. Now add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, taking care that the garlic does not burn. Add the rice and stock/water, turn the heat up and bring to the boil . Cover and reduce to a simmer. Check after 30 minutes and if necessary, add some more liquid. The rice should have a little bit of bite to it but not be touch. Season with salt to taste and then put to one side. Its ok if there is liquid remaining as the rice will continue to soak it up.
- Heat an oven to 200C. Put a small frying pan on a medium to high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and once hot, place the onions in the pan, skin side down and allow to cook slowly, building up some caramelisation and blackening, which should take 10 minutes, before transferring to oven and roasting for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and when cool, peel the skin from the onion, cut each half into 2 and then separate the layers. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Turn the oven down to 160C. Lay a piece of baking paper on large baking sheet and lay the spread the chicken skinout so it is stretched across the try. Trim any particularly fatty parts from skin and discard and then season the skin with salt. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden and crisp all over. Remove from the oven, being careful of the hot fat that will have rendered and using tongs or a fork (or fingers if you are brave/stupid) place the skin on kitchen paper.
- Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Allow to get very hot, as if you were going to cook a piece of steak. Lightly oil the cut side of the lettuce with 1tbsp olive oil and season with salt and then lay onto the pan. Cook for around 2 minutes, until the lettuce is well charred and slightly wilted. Remove from the pan and then each half into 2. Add to the bowl with the onions and then add the vinegar, the warmed rice and mix well. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the Early Harvest and mix well and then divide between plates. Break the chicken skin over the top and then finish by scattering the smoked almonds.