Grilled chicken with honey-glazed figs, Phil Vickery

Around 8 years ago, I followed a strict gluten-free diet for a few months and felt great. I’ve been meaning to follow this type of eating plan again but keep being tempted by gluten-laden treats. I bought Phil Vickery’s ‘Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking’ book a couple of years ago but have never cooked anything from it. Until now.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I often overlook recipes which don’t feature an image of the final dish. It must be a psychological thing. This recipe didn’t have an image attached so I was about to put all my trust in some words on a page (oh, and I couldn’t find this recipe online).

First off, I had to marinate the chicken in a concoction which included Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and lemon juice. It says to leave it overnight if possible but this was our supper and we were hungry. I then had to marinade the figs in honey and sherry vinegar for 20 mins. Easy enough.

Once marinated, you cook the chicken first, then the figs. Both under the grill.

I quite liked the taste of the chicken, but I think the figs would have benefited from being marinated in a more intense balsamic vinegar rather than sherry vinegar.

This is great with salad but keep it as a green salad, as the acidity of the tomatoes we used interfered with the subtlety of the figs.

Pot roast chicken with sweet baby onions, Phil Vickery, Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking

There is nothing like the smell of a whole chicken roasting in the oven and there are no bigger fans of this than me, my husband and our dog. With Phil Vickery’s pot roast chicken, all three of us were going to benefit…

I don’t know why I don’t do a roast more often – so easy to prepare, forget about it whilst it’s in the oven and it can give you at least two meals (and a tasty carcass for a dog with a healthy appetite).

I don’t have a roasting dish with a lid (something else to add to the list!), so I had to improvise with my mam’s jam making pan and some foil! I threw in some shallots (and 1/4 pieces of a red onion to make up for a shortage of shallots!), some thyme leaves, butter, white wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar et voilà!

I don’t know if I calculated the time wrong (numbers aren’t my strong point!) but it wasn’t ready when I thought it would be, nor was it ready after an extra 30mins. It needed an extra hour and by that point we were so tired of waiting, we decided to eat it come what may!! I served it with the gravy that you make with the juices and even added some port (this isn’t in the recipe but the gravy was separating a bit and the port helped bind everything together), and pea and broccoli puree made with natural yoghurt.

It was so late by the time we ate, that I wasn’t even hungry, but the chicken was tasty nonetheless. The leftovers were used for roast chicken sandwiches the next day and our dog chewed his way through the carcass in 5mins! We were recently told that there’s nothing wrong with giving dogs these bones, having always been advised to avoid small, brittle bones. No waste. Job done!