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Preparation time: (Overnight curing & marinating 25 mins)
Cooking time: 9.5 hours
Serving: 2


  • 1 sheet kombu
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 500ml vegetable oil
  • 300g Merchant Gourmet Orzo
  • 300ml bonito dashi
  • 1 Shallot, sliced
  • 15g Dried Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in white wine & boiling water
  • 10g grated parmesan cheese
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 2 rashers smoked bacon
  • Pea shoots, to serve


  1. Lay the chicken thighs skin side down on a baking tray and coat liberally with salt & pepper, adding a bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Break the kombu sheet into a few pieces and place in and between the chicken. Cover tightly with cling film and leave to marinate/cure overnight in the fridge.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge after marinating/curing and wipe off the salt, pepper herbs and kombu. Place the chicken in a deep pan or casserole dish and cover with the vegetable oil. Either gently heat on the hob or place into a low oven at 80 degrees C for at least 3 hours, but the longer the better – I let it heat for about 9 hours. The oil should gently heat the chicken without colouring.
  3. After a minimum of 3 hours (and up to 9) remove the pot from the heat and let cool until completely cold – this can take a couple of hours and can be left at room temperature overnight or until ready to serve.
  4. Prepare the mushrooms and gently fry with the sliced shallot and diced smoked bacon, before adding the orzo and bonito dashi stock (or your favourite stock) and cook for 7 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
  5. Prepare the chicken by removing from the cold oil, roughly taking the meat off the bone and gently frying in hot oil for 10 seconds.
  6. Finish the dish by combining the fried chicken to the orzo, stirring in the parmesan and adding a pinch of turmeric for colour.
  7. Serve with pea shoots on top.