The Dock Kitchen Chef On the Joys of Spring Cooking
From the violent red of crushed sumac to the sandy sheen of fresh turbot, the ingredients treasured at West London’s Dock Kitchen take center stage in Toby Glanville’s photographs. Captured over six months at the pop-up turned permanent eatery—housed in a Victorian Wharf building on the Grand Union Canal—the light-infused images pay homage to the worldly home cooking of chef Stevie Parle. A star graduate of River Café and Moro, Parle scours the globe to source spices direct from plantations, collecting cinnamon from Sri Lanka, wild oregano from South Italy, and saffron from Iran. “What I’m interested in are the stories and context around food,” explains Parle. “It’s great for me to see where things come from and get a better understanding of the ingredient.” As the first wild greens of the year start coming in to his pantry, Parle finds his eclectic store cupboard comes in handy. “It’s brilliant to use a spice likes sumac quite casually,” he says. “In spring I quite often chop raw asparagus, peas, broad beans and thinly sliced fennel, and just dress it with sumac, olive oil and salt.” Here the versatile chef shares an exclusive recipe from the forthcoming Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen Cookbook.
Chicken Roasted in Mastic and Pomegranate Molasses with Braised Broad Beans
1⁄2 tsp gum mastic
1⁄2 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp allspice berries
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 large handsome chicken, off the bone
1kg broad beans in the pod
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the chicken
3 garlic cloves, green sprouts removed, cut into little chips
freshly ground black pepper
4 ripe tomatoes
small bunch of coriander
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Grind the mastic with the cardamom and allspice to a fine powder. Rub the spices, pomegranate molasses and some salt into the chicken and lay him out on a large roasting tray.
2. Chop the bean pods into 3cm lengths, discarding the ends. Heat a heavy-based pan over a high heat. Pour in the olive oil, followed by the broad beans and the garlic, season well and add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and cover the pan with the lid, but leave it slightly ajar. Cook for about 30 minutes, until very soft.
3. Drizzle the chicken with a little olive oil and roast for 20–30 minutes, until the flesh is no longer translucent. Just have a look, it’s easy to tell as the bird is off the bone. Roughly chop the coriander and stir it through the broad beans, then serve with the chicken.