Example recipe

The first stage of the competition is to create a recipe with a given set of ingredients, which are revealed each autumn when entries open. The first round of judging sees the recipes judged blindly, so your recipe really needs to stand out to get noticed. It should be formatted clearly on a Word document (or other word processing file) with the costs included in a table at the bottom, and then uploaded as part of our entry form before the 31st January deadline.

To demonstrate how best to write your recipe, we have included a dish that was created by our team according to the ingredients listed for the 2015 challenge: two whole guinea fowl, with or without giblets, weighing anywhere between 1.2kg – 1.6 kg plus 200g chicken livers, trimmed; served together, plated and accompanied by two garnishes. One garnish had to include spinach leaves and the other to was a garnish of the entrant’s choice. A sauce had to accompany the dish.

Please lay out your recipe like the example below, with each component listed separately with its ingredients and method, with assembly instructions for the whole dish at the end. You must also include your costs, as shown in the example at the bottom of the recipe.

Your own recipe may not need as much description or as many components as this example; however, you should remember that the judges only have your written entry before them to help understand your intentions. Remember, too, the judges are top chefs themselves so you don’t need to explain how to do certain techniques as they would understand the terminology.

Poached Breast of Guinea Fowl

Roasted Chicken & Bacon Crumb, Liver Parfait, Pancetta Creamed Spinach & Caramelized Onion

Method & Recipe

For the sauce:

2 large white onions

bones of two 1.2kg – 1.6kg guinea fowl, including wings and thighs

1kg chicken wings

1kg minced chicken

300g chestnut mushrooms

7g thyme

4 cloves of garlic

300ml Madeira wine

2 ltrs water

200ml vegetable oil

Remove wings, leg, neck and wishbone from the crown of the guinea fowl, chop these into small pieces. Remove both breasts from the crown and set aside. Also chop the chicken wings into small pieces. In a large pressure cooker pan seal off all bones until dark brown. Remove from the pan, set aside and drain all fat.

Using the fat from stage one, in the same pan brown off the chicken mince, set aside and drain fat.

Using the same fat again return to the same pan. Sweat off 2 peeled: washed and sliced onions with the thyme and garlic. Once cooked add the sliced mushrooms.

De glaze with Madeira wine and reduce.

Return all browned bones and mince back into the pressure cooker pan. Cover with 2 ltrs of water and pressure cook for one hour.

Strain the stock through a fine chinois. Discard the bones and vegetables and reserve the stock. In a tall pan reduce the stock until correct consistency skimming throughout the reducing process to remove all the fat.

For the Caramelised Onion Puree:

6 large white onions

250g unsalted butter

5g thyme

2 cloves of garlic

500ml whole milk

5tbsp sherry vinegar

Peel, wash and finely slice the onions.

Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan, add the thyme and garlic.

Add the finely sliced onions and cook on a medium to low heat until the onions have reached a deep brown colour.

Add the milk to the pan and boil

Remove from the heat and blitz in a Thermomix.

Pass through a fine chinois, season with sherry vinegar and salt to taste.

For the chicken fat

1.5kg chicken skin

In a large pan, place all the chicken skin and cover in tin foil. Cook on a high heat for 20 minutes. Remove foil and boil for another ten minutes to get rid of any water. Strain and set the fat aside to cool. Discard the skin.

For the breast of guinea fowl

Four breasts of guinea fowl from two 1.2kg – 1.6kg birds

10g thyme

4 cloves of garlic

Remove skin from the guinea fowl and trim off any sinew using a sharp knife. Put the two breasts together top to tail and opposite ends. Place in a vacuum pack bag with the thyme, garlic and 3tbsp of the cooled chicken fat and seal.

Keep the rest of the chicken fat aside for later.

The breasts will then be cooked at 60 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

For the crispy chicken crumb

300g corn fed chicken

Skin salt

100g smoked pancetta

5g thyme

Scrape the fat from the chicken skin and lay on parchment lined trays, season with salt. Bake at 170 degrees for 20 minutes, cool the crispy skin on paper. Chop finely.

Slice the pancetta finely and lay on to parchment lined trays, bake at 170 degrees for ten minutes. Cool on paper and chop finely.

Pick the leaves away from the thyme stalks. Chop finely.

Add all the elements together and mix. Season to taste, set aside until assembly.

For the confit heritage potatoes

750g Baby Heritage potatoes

1 bay leaf

4 cloves of garlic

250g chicken fat

Wash and scrub the potatoes. Place into a vacuum pack bag along with the aromats. Using the chicken fat place into the vacuum pack bag, season with salt and seal.

Cook these in a large pan of simmering water until the potatoes are soft.

For the smoked pancetta creamed spinach

500g baby spinach

600ml double cream

5g thyme

100g smoked pancetta

Pick through the spinach removing all broken leaves and stalks and wash in ice cold water.

In a large pan of salted rapidly boiling water blanch the spinach leaves for 10 seconds, when blanched plunge into ice cold water to stop the cooking process immediately.

Drain the spinach and squeeze removing all excess moisture.

Roughly chop through the spinach.

In a saucepan place your thyme, roughly chopped pancetta and double cream. Reduce the cream until it becomes very thick. Strain and reserve.

Fold the spinach through the cream just before serving and warm through.

For the Chicken Liver Parfait

500g trimmed chicken liver

2 banana shallot

1 clove of garlic

3g thyme

1 bay leaf

125 ml ruby port

125 ml Madeira wine

1 egg

250g unsalted butter

10g pink salt

10g salt

Sort through the livers trimming any cartilage and discarding. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.

Peel and slice the shallots finely, sweat them down in a small pan along with the thyme, bay leaf and peeled and sliced garlic. When cooked through add both the port and Madeira, reduce to a syrup and cool. Vacuum pack this and place in the water bath at 40 degrees along with the livers.

In a Thermomix, place all the ingredients from the water bath into the blending jug. Add the two salts. Blitz on a high speed for two minutes. Add 1 egg.

Blitz for a further 12 minutes on a medium to high speed and the temperature set to 60 degrees.

Pass into a tall container and chill.

For the pickled shallot

1 banana shallot

50g white wine vinegar

25g water

10g sugar

Finely brunoise the shallot.

Bring the water and vinegar to the boil in a small pan, remove from heat when boiled and dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool. When cool add the shallot and allow to pickle.

The shallot and potato will be mixed together just before assembly.

For the morels

16 large morels

10g unsalted butter

2tbsp vegetable oil

Remove all grit and dirt from the morel mushrooms using a dry pastry brush.

Sauté the mushrooms in a hot frying pan, finish in foaming butter and salt.

Drain on to kitchen paper.

For the morel foam

100g dried morel mushrooms

10g thyme

100g chestnut mushrooms


20g unsalted butter

100ml whipping cream

1tsp lecithin

Slice the chestnut mushrooms finely.

In a tall saucepan, add the mushrooms, dried morels and thyme. Cover with water and slowly bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cover. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Strain off the mushroom stock through muslin cloth and transfer into a clean pan. Discard the mushrooms and thyme.

Bring the stock to the boil and whisk in the cream and butter. Hand blend in the lecithin. Leave in a warm place until serving.

For the Grelot onion

6 Grelot onions

30g unsalted butter


2tbsp sherry vinegar

Wash and remove any tough outer casing of the onion. Trim the top off the onion until they are approximately 5-6cm in length. Cut in half length ways.

Poach the onions in a butter emulsion with the addition of the vinegar for 10 minutes.

Drain on a kitchen cloth and chill until dish assembly.

Dish Assembly & Cooking

Heat the sauce. Warm the caramelised onion puree. Warm the pancetta cream and add spinach, season. Toss confit potatoes in a small frying pan to crisp the edges and add the pickled shallot.

Seal the grelot onions in a pan in vegetable oil until you get a deep golden colour on the flat side, finishing in foaming butter.

Remove breasts from water bath, quickly sear in a hot pan and season. Spread a thin layer of the caramelised onion puree over the breast. Cover with crispy chicken crumb. Slice breast into four pieces.

Place two pieces of the carved breast down the left-hand side of the plate. Two quenelles of the creamed spinach opposite each breast. Two teaspoons rocher of the parfait in between the spinach. The potatoes, morels and grelot onions will then form a line of garnish in and around the spinach and parfait.

Spoon the morel foam over half of the aligned garnish. Serve the poultry sauce on the side in a small jug.

Example cost sheet 

Quantity Item Cost per unit Total   
500g Chicken Liver £1.85/kg 0.92
1 white onion £1.25/kg 1.88
1kg Chicken wing £1.95 1.95
1kg Minced chicken thigh £6.99/kg 6.99
400g Chestnut mushroom £4.90/kg 1.96
50g Thyme £1.30/100g 0.65
15 Garlic cloves £4.50 per net 0.15
500ml Madeira Wine £17.54/bttl 11.69
500ml Vegetable oil £20.50/20 ltr 0.01
800g Unsalted butter £32/40x250g 2.56
500ml Whole milk 64p/ltr 0.32
250ml Sherry vinegar £5/750ml 1.66
2kg Chicken skin £1.49/kg 2.98
200g Smoked Pancetta £10/kg 2.00
750g Heritage Potatoes £3.84/1.5kg £1.92
2 Bay leaves N/a – from the garden
3 Banana shallots £1.20/kg 0.2
50g White wine vinegar £4 /5ltr 00.1
10g Sugar £2.61/2kg 00.1
500g Spinach £1.10/200g 2.75
Fuji spinach n/a – from the garden
600ml Double cream £4.45/2ltr 1.12
6 Grelot onions £2.25 2.25
125ml Port £14/bttl 2.30
1 Egg £6/30 0.20
100g Salt £3/3kg 0.10
10g Pink salt £10.50/500g 0.21
100g Dried Morel £38/100g 38.00
16 Morels £49/kg 9.80
3g Lecithin £19.99/kg 0.01
2×1.2-1.skg Guinea Fowl               £7/@ 14.00
Thyme n/a – from the garden
Total cost 4 portions £108.65
  1 portion £27.16


The Judges