Skrei with chicken skin crumb and onion purée

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Simon Hulstone takes a meaty fillet of Skrei and really ups the umami ante, pairing it with a rich chicken broth and crispy chicken skin crumb. He balances things out with a beautiful sweet onion purée and garnishes with button onion petals – roasted in their skins – and seasonal greens – in this case, blanched kalette leaves.

First published in 2019





Chicken reduction

  • 1l brown chicken stock, (use the best quality you can find, preferably make it at home)

Chicken skin and lemon thyme crumb

Onion purée

Onion petals


To begin, pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and set over a medium-high heat. Allow to reduce at a steady simmer by three quarters, skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface – this should take 30–45 minutes
  • 1l brown chicken stock, (use the best quality you can find, preferably make it at home)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To prepare the crispy chicken skins for the crumb, lay the skins on a chopping board (skin-side down) and use a short paring knife to carefully scrape away any excess fat and flesh. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the skins on top, stretched out so they are completely flat. Sprinkle with sea salt and place another sheet of greaseproof on top, followed by another baking tray (this will keep the skins nice and flat. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp (it’s worth checking regularly so that they don’t burn)
Meanwhile, slice the large sweet onions as finely as you can and sweat down in a pan with a good glug of oil until thoroughly cooked and lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and a sprig of thyme, continue to cook until the garlic is tender and the onions are even more caramelised, then add the cream and butter
Bring to the boil and reduce until the mixture has thickened considerably, but not split
Once the chicken skins are golden, drain on kitchen paper. Chop into a crumb and mix with the lemon thyme, and a pinch of salt if needed. Set aside
When the cream and onion mixture has reached the desired consistency, place in a blender, blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve and season. Place in a squeezy bottle or piping bag and set aside
Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add the halved button onions, cut-side down. Cook slowly until deeply caramelised and the onions are tender but still holding their shape. Pop the onions out of their skins and separate into individual layers
To cook the Skrei, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a dash of oil. Season the fish with a little salt and add to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for approximately 6 minutes, until golden on the underside. Flip the fillets, add a knob of butter to the pan and spoon the foaming butter over the fish. When cooked through, remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes
To serve, place a portion of Skrei in the base of four deep serving dishes. Pipe the onion purée next to the Skrei, then pour the hot reduced stock into the dish, without disturbing the purée. Sprinkle the chicken skin crumb over the fish and arrange the onion petals around the dish. Serve immediately
First published in 2019

Simon Hulstone's aesthetically pleasing and rewarding cuisine can be found in Torquay at The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star.

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