Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– T. S. Eliot
In my last post I set about to see if you could guess my mystery dish. Thank you so much for all the responses. I had a great time reading how some Spanish people knew what it was but didn’t want to spoil the mystery, there were fun guesses, nearly guesses, and MaameJ got it right! What most of us agreed on was that the mystery dish looked pretty scary.
Unveiling the mystery, they were (drumroll please):.. sea barnacles.
Sea barnacles are a seafood that are related to crabs and lobsters, though they live in tidal waters, sticking themselves onto rocks. Gathering them is a very dangerous business as you can see in this article from BBC or this one from The Telegraph. They are also very expensive because of just how dangerous it is to get them.
With regards to the taste, I mentioned I’m not a big fan. It’s not because they taste awful, not at all. They are a delicacy in Spain. They taste like the sea, only that I think that they do not carry much taste. To eat them you sort of break them apart with your hands, which usually produces messy squirts of water all around the place. Then you eat the inside which just tastes like the sea.
A few weeks ago I made this roast chicken with thyme, walnut stuffing and dried figs. At that time, the weather was miserable and I was up for cooking sessions that lasted hours. Now that we are on our way into summer, I’m more into quick salads so that we can spend more time outdoors.
I have been posting recipes with thyme and don’t be surprised if you see more here, as I’m in the middle of a buying thyme craze and adding it to everything. This recipe had thyme scattered all over the chicken, all over the potatoes and also included in the stuffing.
The fact that I used butter instead of olive oil is very French indeed, but would have been very looked down upon by Spanish people. However, no Spanish friends were invited to this meal…
Ingredients for the chicken:
1 chicken, salt, black pepper, thyme, butter
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the salt, black pepper and thyme onto the chicken. Divide a few cubes of butter and place them onto the chicken.
Ingredients for the stuffing:
1 cup bread, 1/2 cup walnuts, thyme, 1 shallot, salt, black pepper, 1/3 cup milk
Grind the walnuts and thyme in a mortar. Cut the bread into pieces. Peel and cut the shallot. Add the walnuts, thyme, shallot, salt, black pepper and milk. Mix it all together. I also had the chicken liver so I added that too. Stuff it into the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes.
Ingredients for the potatoes and dried fig:
4 potatoes, 1/2 cup dried figs, 2 cloves garlic, salt, black pepper, butter
Wash and cut the potatoes into slices. Cut the dried figs into halves. Take the chicken out of the oven after the first 30 minutes. Arrange the potatoes, dried figs and garlic cloves around it. Sprinkle salt and black pepper. Cut some very tiny cubes of butter, and arrange them on some of the potato pieces.
Put it all back into the oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Thank you for reading!