Tag Archives: parsnips

A Little Aside: Parsnips in Creamy Juniper Sauce

This is a truly delicious way to serve parsnips and makes a great, slightly luxurious, change from the various roasted versions that we frequent. For some reason, the natural flavour of the parsnips is accentuated – not sure why but they are gorgeous. We’ve indulged in them with the ‘venison with red wine and chocolate sauce’ recipe: the combination was fabulous. They would also go down really well with a nice bit of steak I reckon. Whatever: enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side dish

What you need…

250ml hot water from the kettle

1 chicken stock pot (I use Knorr)

Splash of rapeseed oil

4 shallots, peeled and halved

3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into wine cork-sized chunks

4 garlic cloves, chopped

8 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

15 juniper berries, lightly crushed

Sea salt and black pepper

125ml double cream

What to do…

Make some chicken stock by dissolving the chicken stock pot into the hot water, using a balloon whisk to help things along.

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚f / gas 4.

Warm the oil over a moderate heat in a casserole for which you have a snugly fitting lid. Chuck in the shallots, parsnips and garlic and sauté until lightly golden. Pour in the stock and stir, ensuring that any deliciousness stuck to the bottom of the pan is reincorporated.

Tip in the thyme and the juniper berries and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whop up the heat and bring the sauce to the boil. Cover with the lid and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place your casserole back on the hob on a high heat and reduce the liquid by half. Stir in the cream, check the seasoning and make sure it’s thoroughly hot before serving – quite simply delicious – I have been tempted to eat just a bowl of these rather than making them merely a little aside!

Inspired by…

The sauce was originally part of a pot-roasted partridge recipe, courtesy of Nigel Slater. I adapted that one, swapping finicky partridge for plump chicken thighs and then thought we’d let the parsnips have an exclusive moment wallowing in the delicious sauce – good call if I do say so myself!

How easy…

Very easy: hob, oven and then a bit of last minute hob that needs little attention!

Pot-Roast Chicken Thighs with Parsnips

This dish may not look that great but boy, it’s packed with flavour! The meat is succulent, the parsnips somehow enhance in taste and the sauce is delicious and creamy. An absolutely perfect supper dish for a winter’s evening.

Serves 4

What you need…

Splash of rapeseed oil

6 shallots, sliced in half

4 parsnips, peeled and chunked

8 garlic cloves, chopped

12-16 chicken thighs, filleted (quantity depends on your appetite!)

Black pepper and sea salt

500ml hot water from the kettle

1 chicken stock pot (I use Knorr)

12 sprigs thyme

20 juniper berries, lightly crushed

200ml double cream

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚f / gas 4.

Use a balloon whisk to beat the stockpots into the hot water to create your chicken stock.

Over a moderate heat, warm the rapeseed oil in a casserole dish for which you have a lid. Toss in the shallots, parsnips and garlic and cook until lightly brown. Remove ingredients from pan with a slotted spoon.

Season the chicken with black pepper and then brown lightly in the oil. Remove, again using the slotted spoon.

Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in any delicious leftover morsels.

Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan, tuck in the thyme sprigs and season with a little salt and chuck in the juniper berries. When everything returns to the boil, pop on the lid and put the casserole into your oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces and wrap in foil to keep warm.

Turn the hob heat up high and reduce the liquid by half – it won’t thicken but will give you sweet, creamy juices. Stir in the cream and check the seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan and cook for a couple minutes more to make sure everything is thoroughly hot.

Serve in shallow bowls, maybe with some fresh doorsteps of bread on the side to dunk.

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater, although he used partridges rather than chicken thighs. I tried it with parsnips but found the wee birds a pain to pick the meat off. Filleted chicken thighs mean you can just tuck straight in.

How easy…

Very easy but it does take a little faffing about – well worth it though!