Confit of artichokes with fried sweetbreads

In Jacob Kenedy's recipe, the creamy textures of the artichokes are mimicked by the smooth veal sweetbreads for a rich and delicious starter
Confit of artichokes with fried sweetbreads
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 30 minutes to 1 hour cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 lemons
  • 4 young artichokes
  • 2 litres sunflower oil
  • 250 g veal sweetbreads
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
  • 1 litres olive oil
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp semolina, optional


1. Add the juice of lemon to a bowl of cold water.

2. Clean the artichokes one at a time, removing the tough outer parts to expose the tender leaves and hearts within (these will have a yellow or pink hue). Break off the stems and trim off the tips of the remaining leaves, leaving about 3cm. Soak each artichoke in the bowl of the lemon water as you work.

3. Drain the artichokes, pat dry with kitchen paper and season with salt.

4. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep, heavy-based pan or deep-fat fryer to 130-140C/265-285F. Lower the artichokes into the oil and slowly fry for 15 minutes, or until tender but still keeping their shape. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Reserve the oil.

5. Season the sweetbreads with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place into a pan along with the thyme and garlic. Cover with the olive oil and simmer over a very low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the sweetbreads are cooked but still slightly pink in the middle. Leave to cool in the oil, then remove from the pan and peel off the thick membranes with your fingers.

6. Place the sweetbreads in between two plates, and weigh down with a heavy object. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour, until firm.

6. Mix together the flour, cornflour and semolina (if using; it will result in a crisper coating) in a bowl. Slice the pressed sweetbreads into 1cm thick strips, then dust the sweetbreads in the flour mixture. Set aside.

7. Reheat the oil used to cook the artichokes to 190C/375F.

8. Open the cooled artichokes out into flowers by inserting thumb into the middles, and gently working the leaves out flat like an open flower.

9. Fry the artichokes upside-down in the oil for 1-2 minutes, or until starting to turn golden. Add the sweetbreads to the oil after one minute and fry for a further minutes, or until the sweetbreads are golden and the artichokes crisp and golden-brown. Remove both with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

10. Season the sweetbreads and artichokes with oil and serve with lemon wedges.

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