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Jerusalem Artichoke & Crispy Chicken Skin

Is there a better dressed vegetable dish than this one?

Jerusalem artichoke and crispy chicken skinA mushy vegetable that is the real star of a dish. If it was on its own, it would be dead boring. The moment you add a little bit of texture (crispiness from the chicken), a depth of flavour (brown butter and Parmesan) and the deliciousness of slightly fat meat jus it is not naked any more. With the help of a few accessories it shines and takes on another dimension.

Difficulty level: Hard. Calories 288. Preparation time: 1 hour.

Serves 4

  • 100g chicken skin (your butcher will usually give it away for free)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 320g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 70g grated Parmesan
  • 100ml chicken jus

On a clean surface, flatten the chicken skins and season them with salt and pepper. In a very hot non-stick pan, fry each piece until it turns crisp. It takes usually 4 minutes frying on each side of the skin to turns crisp. Rest on a grill. When cold and hard, cut into triangle shapes.

Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and make sure that you don’t leave any skin on. Put in cold water until you cook them to retain their bright white colour.

In a large pan pour a bit of olive oil and drain the artichokes properly before putting them in the hot pan. Add half of the butter to the pan and wait until it turns brown. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and roast them slowly on a low heat, then add salt and put a lid on. Check very often. The artichokes should release enough water during the cooking process that transforms into steam so they won’t burn.

Check the Jerusalem artichokes often because there is a point after 4 minutes when they are cooked and are still in their original shape. At this moment, bring the heat very high to evaporate any water left in the pan.

Add the remaining butter and make it turn brown. Shake the pan, making sure not to smash the artichokes.

When it has browned, sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and remove from the heat.

Serve on 4 small plates and place the triangles of chicken skin over the artichokes.

Reheat a little chicken jus in a pan and pour onto each plate.

Alexis Gauthier is author of Vegetronic, a recipe book published by Preface priced £30