Popcorn chicken stuffed with garlic purée

Jason Atherton jazzes up chicken kiev until its barely recognisable with the help of a foam gun and some crushed popcorn!
By Jason Atherton
Popcorn chicken stuffed with garlic purée
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: plus at least 2 hrs refrigeration
  • Effort: hard


For the garlic confit

  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 1 pinches sea salt

For the mayonnaise

  • 2 large eggs, yolks only
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 275 ml pomace oil, or light olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp warm water, optional

For the crisp chicken skins

  • 1 handfuls skins of chicken
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme
  • drizzle maple syrup
  • 1 dashes of olive oil, for greasing

For the popcorn chicken balls

  • 1 handfuls popcorn
  • 200 g minced chicken
  • 1 handfuls parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • pomace oil, or light olive oil, for deep frying

For the mashed potatoes

  • 750 g even-sized La Ratte potatoes, washed
  • 55 ml full-fat milk
  • 55 ml double cream
  • 250 g butter

To serve

  • 1 handfuls parsley
  • 1 splashes water

Tips and Suggestions

to make the parsley purée, blend together a handful of parsley with a splash of water


1. For the garlic confit: separate and peel the garlic cloves, put them in a small saucepan and pour over the olive oil to cover. Add the sea salt. Lay a piece of crumpled greaseproof paper over the surface and place the pan over a very low heat. Cook gently for 30-45 minutes, or until the garlic is very soft.

2. If you are not using the garlic confit immediately, store it in a clean jar, making sure that the garlic is submerged in the olive oil. Keep in a cool place and use within a week, draining off excess oil before using.

3. For the mayonnaise: put the egg yolks, mustard, sea salt and pepper, to taste, into a small food processor and blend until thick and smooth. With the motor running, gradually trickle in the pomace oil (or light olive oil). The mixture should be thick and creamy.

4. Add the wine vinegar, taste it and then add a little more salt or pepper if necessary. If you prefer a lighter consistency, thin the mayonnaise down by blending in 1-2 tbsp warm water. Transfer the mayonnaise to a bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate. Use within three days.

5. For the crisp chicken skins: spread the chicken skins out on a chopping board and scrape off any excess fat. Transfer them to a small saucepan with the thyme and sea salt, to taste, and pour on enough cold water to cover.

6. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, discard the thyme and pat dry with kitchen paper.

7. Drizzle the cooked chicken skins with a little maple syrup and rub well all over to coat. Lightly grease two baking trays with oil. Spread the skins out onto one of the trays and sandwich with the other oiled tray. Weigh down with one or two full tins from your storecupboard and chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

8. When you are ready to cook the skins again, preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Remove the tins and place the chicken skins, still sandwiched between the two baking sheets, in the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning them over half-way through cooking, so that they are evenly golden-brown and crisp. Remove and cool. Cut into small slices and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

9. For the popcorn chicken balls: bash the popcorn with a rolling pin until it resembles breadcrumbs (put the popcorn in a plastic food-grade bag first to prevent too much mess). In a mixing bowl, mix together the minced meat and parsley and, using your hands, make golf ball-sized balls of mince and skewer them onto the end of bamboo skewers. Brush the chicken balls with beaten egg and roll in the popcorn crumbs. Set aside while you get the potatoes on to boil.

10. For the mash: put the potatoes into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until they feel tender when pierced with a small knife. Drain well.

11. Wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands, quickly peel the skins of the potatoes while they are still hot, using a small knife. Mash the potatoes, using a potato ricer or potato masher; then push through a fine sieve to get a really smooth mash.

12. Warm the milk and cream in another saucepan. Meanwhile, put the potatoes back into the pan they were boiled in, over a medium-low heat. Add the butter and stir to melt. The mash will become quite greasy at this stage, but dont worry. Now stir in the hot milk and cream and youll find the mash will come together. Season well with salt and pepper, to taste, and take the pan off the heat. For a really silky smooth result, push the mash through a fine sieve once again. Just before serving, reheat the mash, stirring, over a low heat.

13. To fry the popcorn chicken balls:, heat the pomace oil in a frying pan (or deep fat fryer if you prefer) to 140C (using a thermometer to check). Put the chicken balls into the fat fryer or pan and fry for 5-8 minutes, or until cooked all the way through, but not significantly browned. Drain on kitchen paper and increase the temperature to 190C. Fry the balls again until golden-brown on the outside.

13. To serve, mix together the garlic confit and the parsley purée in a jug and pour into a professional smoke-filled foam gun (according to manufacturers instructions). Serve the popcorn balls with the chicken skin, mayonnaise and mashed potatoes and garnish with the garlic parsley foam from the gun. Serve straightaway.

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