I've spoken before about the giant Sweet Chestnut that arcs above my fellow Commuters and I as we wait for the train each morning. A light scattering of Chestnuts nestle among the briefcases and steaming coffees on platform one; I have just enough time to hunt around in the leaves and gather the best that have fallen the previous day before hopping on the train to Metropolis. By the time Friday arrives, I have a bulging pocketful, ready to fashion into something tasty at the weekend.
A coat pocketful of Sweet Chestnuts, roasted and shelled
2 Garlic cloves
About 8 Sage leaves
A pinch of dried Oregano
A thick slice of stale white bread (crust if you've got it)
Salt and pepper
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz; the wetness of the chestnuts and onion helps bind the stuffing together without the need of egg. Roast in the cavity of your Sunday Chicken, or roll into Crab apple-sized balls, place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 3o minutes (200C/fan 180C/gas 6) until golden.
This feels about as Autumnal as things get. For the last few weeks I've been busy stocking the freezer with Pigeon, Pheasant and Wild duck; this recipe makes for a perfect Sunday lunch after a crisp, country walk. Serve with celeriac chips or mash.
1 Wild Duck (One Mallard
will serve two, Teal and Widgeon are smaller so you’d need one each)
Salt and pepper
A large knob of soft
12 shallots, ends trimmed
A handful of dried sour
A large wine glassful of
sherry (not too dry)
A few thyme sprigs
1 Heat the oven to
180C/350F/Gas 4. Rub the butter into the duck skin, season well then sit on a
metal roasting dish. Toss the shallots in a little olive oil then arrange
around the bird. Roast for 35 minutes, basting the duck and turning the
2 Remove the duck from the
dish, cover with foil and leave in a warm place to rest. Drain off any fatty juice into
a bowl and put the metal dish onto the hob. Pour in the sherry, thyme, honey
and cherries, then simmer with the shallots on a medium heat for 10 – 15
minutes, until the sherry has reduced and the cherries have swollen.