In season: Recipes that make the most of November's best ingredients

As part of our collaboration with the BBC Good Food Show, The Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux Jr and The Garlic Farm share recipes using the pick of this season’s produce

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Roast woodcock with grapes and marc, by Michel Roux Jr

I find that woodcock needs no more than 1 week of hanging; after that the exquisite aroma is lost in the gaminess. The old-fashioned way to roast a woodcock is with the guts left in. I prefer to remove them and use them for a liver paste. The only part that is not edible is the gizzard, which is often full of sand; find it by pressing with your fingers. Discard the gizzard, eyes and tongue, which is believed to be bitter.

Serves 6

6 woodcock
2 chicken livers
60g duck foie gras
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1tbsp brandy
30 white seedless grapes
1tbsp marc (or grappa)
1tbsp caster sugar
4tbsp olive oil
100g butter
6 pieces of brioche bread, 5 cm square
500ml game stock
sherry vinegarSalt and pepper

For the game stock (makes about 3.5 litres)

2kg game bones (rabbit, mallard, venison – alternatively, buy a wild rabbit and an old cock pheasant)
1 calf’s foot, split
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
6 juniper berries, crushed

To the innards add the chicken liver, foie gras, two of the shallots and the thyme. Heat a frying pan with a drop of oil until smoking. Add the liver mixture and cook for 15 seconds, turning frequently. Season and then flambé with the brandy. Press through a coarse sieve while still hot. Mix well with a whisk to emulsify. Keep in the refrigerator. Blanch the grapes in boiling water for 10 seconds; refresh in cold water, then peel with a small knife. Marinate in the marc and sugar for at least 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 220C /425 F/gas 7. Put the birds in a roasting pan with a little oil and place over high heat until evenly coloured. Add most of the butter and place in the oven; cook for 3 minutes on each side and 4 minutes on their backs. Leave to rest on a rack in a warm place for 15 minutes.Toast the brioche on both sides, then spread the liver paste over them. Reheat in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.

Remove the fat from the roasting pan and add ½ tablespoon of butter with the remaining shallots. Cook for 2 minutes and then our in the grapes’ marinade and reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce to a light sauce consistency. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter, and reheat the grapes in the sauce at the last moment. A few drops of sherry vinegar will bring out the sweet-and-sour freshness of this sauce.

For the stock:

Roast the bones and calf’s foot in a hot oven (220C/425F/gas 7) with a little oil until well browned. Place in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Put the onion, carrot and celery into the roasting pan and roast until brown, then add to the saucepan with the bones. Put the roasting pan over high heat and add 1 litre of cold water; scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula to loosen the caramelised sugars. Bring to the boil, then pour into the saucepan with the bones; add the juniper berries.

Simmer for 2 hours, occasionally skimming off the fat and scum that come to the surface. Pass through a sieve and chill. This can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or frozen.

Roast Woodcock recipe by Michel Roux Jr, who will be demonstrating live at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, at Birmingham NEC until 27 November

 

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Chicken chasseur, by the Hairy Bikers

There’s a reason why dishes like this are classics – it’s because they’re so good. Easy to make, this is a really tasty treat and delicious served with some celeriac purée to soak up the flavoursome juices.

Serves 4. Prep: 25 minutes. Cooking time: about 1 hour

8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1tbsp flour
2tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
100ml white wine
1tbsp tomato purée
300ml chicken stock
200g fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or canned equivalent)
2tbsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
Flaked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the celeriac purée:
1 large or 2 small celeriac, peeled and cut into small chunks (you need about 1kg peeled weight)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1tbsp low-fat crème fraiche
Flaked sea salt


Before starting to cook, take each chicken thigh and place it bone-side-up on your work surface. Cut either side of the bone so you can flatten the thigh out slightly – this helps it cook evenly. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then dust them with flour.

Heat a teaspoon of the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken thighs. Cook them for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown, then remove them from the pan and set aside – you might need to do this in a couple of batches. Turn the heat down and add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and fry over a very gentle heat for several minutes, stirring regularly, until everything has softened without taking on much colour.

Pour in the white wine and let it bubble, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato purée, making sure it blends with the wine, then add the stock, tomatoes and tarragon. Put the chicken back in the pan. Simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and the sauce has reduced. If it looks as though the pan is becoming too dry, add a splash of water. Serve with celeriac purée and some green veg or salad.

Put the celeriac and garlic in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Season with a little salt. Bring up to simmering point, then cover and leave to cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Drain the celeriac and garlic in a colander, then tip everything back into the pan and mash well or purée with a stick blender. Stir in the crème fraiche, check the seasoning and serve. This can be frozen. Defrost thoroughly and reheat gently so you don’t break up the chicken too much.

Chicken Chasseur recipe by The Hairy Bikers, who will be demonstrating live at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, at Birmingham NEC until 27 November

 

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Cauliflower cheese with squash and smoked garlic, by The Garlic Farm restaraunt

A twist on an all-time classic. This cauliflower cheese recipe uses butternut squash and smoked garlic to turn it into a great vegetarian meal all in itself. This was from Charlie in our own restaurant and was a huge hit. 

Serves 6

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets 
1 large butternut squash peeled, deseeded cut into chunks 
1 pint single cream
English mustard 
100g dry Parmesan
300g mature cheddar, grated 
1 bulb smoked garlic, finely diced 

Roast the squash in the oven until golden and boil the cauliflower until just soft. In a heavy-based pan bring the single cream to the boil, adding a teaspoon of English mustard (or to taste), garlic and most of the Parmesan and cheddar, simmering gently.  Mix 1tbsp of cornflour with 4tbsp of cold water, add to sauce, and season to taste. Stir through the cauliflower and squash. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place under a hot grill until golden. Serve with rocket lettuce and Isle of Wight tomatoes.

Cauliflower cheese with squash and smoked garlic, recipe by The Garlic Farm who will be exhibiting at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, at Birmingham NEC until 27 November

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