Two fire-tinged spring recipes from Barangaroo House chef Tom Haynes

Tom Hayne's marinated baby chicken with buffalo curd, peas and nasturtium.
Tom Hayne's marinated baby chicken with buffalo curd, peas and nasturtium. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Six months after Sydney shut down during the pandemic, executive chef Tom Haynes says he's excited to be back on the pans at newly reopened Barangaroo House. The break has given him time to rethink the menus for the waterfront venue's three levels (ground floor House Bar, restaurant BEA and rooftop bar Smoke), making them more focused than ever on bringing people together. Off-duty, he enjoyed slow-cooking meat on the home barbecue, and it's inspired him to make greater use of the wood oven at Barangaroo House. Here are two of his spring dishes that will encourage you to fire up.

Marinated baby chicken with buffalo curd, peas and nasturtium

This dish is a real crowd-pleaser. Cooking on the bone and marinating overnight with zesty lemon and black pepper helps keep the meat succulent. Nasturtium, which you can often find growing wild in spring, adds a final peppery bite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 baby chickens, butterflied
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the salad

  • 500g fresh peas in pods (about 150g frozen peas if you can't get them fresh)
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 150g buffalo curd
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • nasturtium leaves and flowers to garnish

METHOD

  1. Marinate the chickens the day before you want to eat by whisking together the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, black pepper and salt in a non-reactive bowl. Coat the chickens all over with the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the barbecue to a medium-high and cook the chickens skin side down for 15-20 minutes. You want to cook the chicken most of the way on the skin to develop a deep crust. Carefully turn the birds over and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Shell the peas and cook in boiled salted water for 5 minutes until very tender, drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Mix the chopped chervil and chives with the buffalo curd and season with a little pepper.
  5. To serve, cut the chickens in half and place on a plate, skin side up. Spoon on the buffalo curd. Dress the peas with the lemon juice and olive oil then spoon the peas around the chicken. Scatter over the nasturtium leaves and flowers and serve.

Serves: 2

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Good Food.  Asparagus Salad served at Bea in Barangaroo, Sydney on September 3, 2020. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Perfect warm or cold as a light lunch. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Grilled asparagus, guanciale, capers and chervil

Australian asparagus is in season from now until just after New Year. As the season progresses, you'll see different varieties, including purple and white, and all are equally as good with this versatile recipe, which is great served either as a side dish or warm or cold as a light lunch.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • ½ tbsp salted capers, rinsed to remove salt
  • 1 slice of stale bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches of fat new-season Australian asparagus
  • 6 thin slices guanciale
  • ¼ bunch chervil (about 15g), leaves picked

METHOD

  1. Start by making the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey and garlic, and season with salt and pepper then slowly add the grapeseed oil, whisking to emulsify. Peel the egg, cut in half, and separate the yolk and white. Chop the egg white and add to the dressing, along with the capers. (The cook can eat the yolk with a bit of the dressing!)
  2. To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional). Tear the bread into small pieces and toss in the olive oil in a small bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper then place on a baking tray and bake, turning every few minutes until golden brown and crunchy, about 10-12 minutes. Drain the croutons on a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Heat a barbecue or grill pan on a medium to high heat. To prepare the asparagus, snap off the woody base off each spear and lightly peel the bottom two centimetres of the stem with a vegetable peeler. Coat the asparagus in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place on the grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender.
  4. Remove from the grill and place on a serving plate. Immediately place the slices of the guanciale on top – the heat from the asparagus will start to melt and lightly cook the guanciale. Spoon over the caper and egg dressing, scatter over the croutons and top with chervil.

Serves: 2 as an entree or 4 as a side