Dinner at sweethearts: Jimmy Barnes’ family recipes | Australian food and drink

Champagne hen

We created this recipe once we got here dwelling one evening from touring and discovered we didn’t have any wine to make coq au vin. We did, nevertheless, have a bottle of bubbly and a bath of olives within the fridge. It was a type of fortuitous accidents that led to discovery and what, for us, has grow to be a much-loved common hen dinner.

A fast notice: brining isn’t a fully obligatory step while you’re cooking hen, however, in case you have the time to do it, it makes all of the distinction – it each tenderises and infuses flavour.

Serves 6

‘A fortuitous accident’: Jimmy Barnes’ champagne chicken
‘A fortuitous accident’: Jimmy Barnes’ champagne hen

For the brine
8 components water to 1 half desk salt, sufficient to fill your container
Dash of Maggi seasoning sauce
Dash of apple cider vinegar
Bay leaves
Fresh herbs,
to style

For the hen
1 hen
, minimize into 8 items, brined
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the roasting pan
80g butter, chopped
1 brown onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
4 glasses champagne (and one to drink, in case you like)
3 bay leaves
Small handful thyme sprigs
2 carrots,
thickly sliced
Small tub inexperienced Sicilian olives
Sea salt and freshly floor black pepper
, to serve


Make up the brine by stirring salt into the chilly water, in a big sufficient container to carry your meat in order that will probably be totally submerged. Choose a glass, ceramic or plastic container fairly than metallic.

Add your favorite flavourings. We typically use a touch of Maggi sauce, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic and contemporary herbs, however the one rule for what you add to the brine combine is that it’s to your style.

Add the meat, cowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or as much as 24 hours.

Once able to cook dinner, preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).


Remove the hen from the brine and use paper towel to pat fully dry.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a big heavy-based frying pan over medium-high warmth. Cook the hen in batches, pores and skin facet down, for 5 minutes or till golden brown. Turn over and cook dinner the opposite facet for 3 minutes. Set hen apart.

Reduce the warmth to medium. Add the onion and cook dinner for 5 minutes, till smooth. Add the garlic and cook dinner for an additional minute.

Add a glass of champagne to deglaze the underside of the pan, stirring and scraping to mix with the stuck-on bits and pan juices.


Drizzle a big baking dish with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Arrange the hen items within the dish, pores and skin facet up. Scatter with bay leaves and thyme, and season with pepper. Pour within the liquid from the frying pan and the remaining champagne, and scatter with the carrots and olives.

Bake for half-hour, till the hen is cooked by means of and the carrots are tender. Serve with salad.

Jimmy’s chargrilled vegetable stack

We typically do that with simply zucchinis and capsicums – you should utilize yellow zucchini or the sunshine inexperienced zucchini, in case you like. Using coriander will give this extra of a Middle Eastern tilt and parsley extra Mediterranean, so select which you favor. For a vegan model, change the fetta and labne with tahini (one tablespoon per layer).

Serves 4-6

A quick and easy veggie side with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired flavours.
A fast and simple veggie facet with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean impressed flavours.

2 massive eggplants, minimize lengthways into 5mm slices
80ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 zucchinis, minimize lengthways into 5mm slices
1 pink capsicum, deseeded, minimize into 1cm strips
1 inexperienced capsicum, deseeded, minimize into 1cm strips
200g labne
200g Persian feta
60g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Sea salt, to sprinkle
Chopped coriander or flat-leaf parsley, to sprinkle

For the lemon French dressing
120ml additional virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly floor black pepper

Prepare your charcoal grill or barbecue grill plate for cooking.

Lay the eggplant slices on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes, till you see bubbles of liquid showing on the flesh. Wipe off with paper towel and flip over. Repeat the salting on the second facet. This will draw out the water and give the eggplant a much less spongy consistency when cooked.

Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Brush over the greens and cook dinner (in batches if obligatory) till tender and calmly charred.

To make the French dressing, place the oil and lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to mix.

To assemble, layer the chargrilled greens on a platter with labne (or tahini) and a drizzle of French dressing between the layers. To end, crumble the feta over and drizzle with the remaining French dressing. Sprinkle with herbs, pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

Plum, blueberry and walnut tart

A chef good friend advised including walnuts to my plum tart. A layer of them scattered beneath the plums soaks up a few of the juices and provides a beautiful crunch.

Serves 8

Use your seasonal fruit in this plum, blueberry and walnut tart
Use your seasonal fruit on this plum, blueberry and walnut tart

40g walnuts, very finely chopped
8–12 combined plums, halved or quartered, seeds eliminated
190g blueberries
Icing sugar
, to mud
Runny custard, cream and/or ice-cream, to serve

For the pastry
180g unsalted butter
80g plain flour
Pinch of salt
50ml water
combined with a small squeeze of lemon juice

To make the pastry, take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften slightly, then minimize into 2cm cubes.

Place the butter right into a mixing bowl and add the flour and a pinch of salt. Use your fingertips to rub in, till evenly mixed.

Add the water combination slightly at a time and combine together with your fingers, bringing the floury flakes collectively right into a ball. You might not want all of the water, or it’s possible you’ll want a drop extra.

Press the ball right into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half-hour. Remove from the fridge and depart to melt for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced).

Jimmy Barnes' cookbook cover

Roll out the pastry on a calmly floured floor to suit a 23cm (base measurement) loose-bottom flan tin. Press into the tin and trim off any extra. Sprinkle the bottom evenly with the walnuts.

Arrange the plums over the pastry base, minimize facet up. Scatter the blueberries over and mud with icing sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes or till the pastry is golden. Serve heat or at room temperature, with runny custard, cream and/or ice-cream.

  • This is an edited extract from Where the River Bends by Jane and Jimmy Barnes, revealed by HarperCollins Australia (RRP$49.99)


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