Bring out the best in local ingredients with this elegant classic from the similarly traditional but sophisticated Greyhound Corfe
If you were looking for the most quintessentially English location for a traditional country pub, you’d stop searching when you first clapped eyes on the Greyhound Corfe. It’s positioned in beautiful, quaint Corfe Castle, almost in the shadow of the historic castle and with a view of the Swanage steam railway from the fabulous garden.
This 16th century coaching inn’s traditional charms have been brought right up to date by owner Jacci Pestana over the past 15 years. Nowhere is that more evident than in the inn’s kitchen. Her head chef, Dumitru Fercal, offers up a menu which has a strong Dorset provenance. He’s committed to using locally sourced produce with a passion for food you might expect from a chef that trained in Sicily. He has also worked closely with the renowed Aldo Zilli in a chain of authentic Italian restaurants in London.
Perhaps surprisingly in such a dinky, model village, The Greyhound has the space for 85 people indoors and 200 people in the garden. The pub can cater for large garden parties, wedding picnics and receptions under heated marquees with live cooking stations.
This chicken ballotine uses great local ingredients – chef suggests New Forest wild mushrooms and Dorset Red cheese for the stuffing – and tasty accompaniments that elevate it to the sort of classically delicious dish that great gastro pubs are made of.
1 free range chicken breast
50g wild mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
Handful of fresh herbs
30g Dorset Red cheese
A deep pan with an inch depth of rapeseed oil
1 large parsnip
A pinch of salt
Half a clove freshly crushed garlic
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 shallot sliced thinly
100ml double cream
50ml white wine
Salt and pepper
Take a medium sized chicken breast sliced half way through, add a pinch of salt and black pepper and set it to one side. Put a little olive oil in a pan placed over a gentle heat, add mushrooms, half a clove of crushed fresh garlic, 2 sliced shallots, half a glass white wine and a handful of fresh herbs. Cook them gently until the wine has reduced down. Take the pan off the heat and add the cheese, allow this to soften. Take a tablespoon and transfer the contents of the pan into the middle of the chicken breast, then wrap the chicken breast tightly in cling film and poach for 20 minutes.
Take the washed parsnip and peel using a potato peeler from the top to the bottom of the parsnip giving you long shavings. Repeat this until you reach roughly the middle of the parsnip. Place in a deep pan with rapeseed oil and allow to get very hot. Cook until they are crisp. Set aside.
Cook the new potatoes in a pan of boiling water until soft, then add them to a pan over a medium heat with a tablespoon of butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow them to cook gently until crisp and golden. Take a pan and place over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil, add the shallot, and garlic, allow this to soften, then take off the heat and add the flour combining until a paste forms, then add the white wine and stir until a smooth liquid is achieved. Finally add the cream and tarragon and allow the sauce to gently simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, then take off the heat and season with the salt and pepper.
To serve the dish place a serving spoon portion of the sauté potatoes in the middle of the plate, cut the chicken breast in half and rest against the potatoes. Pour the tarragon sauce over the chicken and potatoes, and place a handful of the parsnip crisps on top.
The Greyhound Corfe
The Square, Corfe Castle,
Wareham, Dorset BH20 5EZ
01929 480 205