Georgina Campbell's Cookery Feature - Savouring Kilkenny

Edward Hayden’s Lemon & Broccoli CousCous

“Cooking, Cocktails and Comedy” is the promise at Savour Kilkenny 2016: in celebration of a decade of ‘delicious dining and demos’ this year’s Festival of Food takes place over the October bank holiday weekend (October 28th-31st), and it’s the biggest yet.

Highlights include Jason Byrne presenting ‘Comedy and Cocktails’; a packed children’s programme with special screenings of favourite food films at Kilkenny Castle; Global Kitchen – the best of world cuisine cooked in Kilkenny; and the very popular Craft Beer and Distillers Pavilion, a mini ‘Oktoberfest’, with DJ and artisan street food.

And this year Savour Kilkenny has come up with the brilliant idea of teaming up with Gill Books to feature demonstrations by some of their most popular authors, including Darina Allen (‘Cooking for Christmas’) and her brother Rory O’Connell, Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly (The Ketogenic Kitchen), plus Paula Mee and Kate O’Brien (‘Your Middle Years’). Susan Jane White, Rosanna Davison and Eileen Dunne Crescenzi will also be there, along with TV Chefs Edward Hayden and Stuart O’Keeffe.

Another excellent intitiative is a Pop-Up Café. And this is no ordinary café: introduced as part of the Gill Books partnership, it’s a place where people can have books by demonstrating authors signed, and the good things enjoyed - including Badger & Dodo coffee, local baked treats and desserts - will be served by young people who are currently unemployed and have been selected for training via Kilkenny LEADER.

Having been trained especially for the event by Anne Neary of Ryeland House Cookery School in Kilkenny, the hope is that this training and experience will lead to full-time employment in the hospitality sector. A great idea, and one that could be successfully applied elsewhere.

Most events are free, details from:


The popular Kilkenny chef Edward Hayden ( has been involved with Savour Kilkenny Food Festival since its beginnings ten years ago, and he is an avid supporter of local producers and good home cooking, saying that

“Tasty wholesome home cooking is a genre that continues to reinvent itself in the culinary world and this is one of the main themes to this year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. As chefs and home cooking enthusiasts we are spoiled in the Kilkenny area with the vast array of high end products being supplied by our local food producers, and show-casing such products and their producers is a large part of our festival weekend.”

To whet our appetites for savouring Kilkenny, Edward has compiled some recipes using some of those special local ingredients, including:

Mary Walsh’s Chicken (
Lavistown Sausages (
Anne Neary’s Eggs (
Breda McDonald Country Butter (
Mileeven Honey (
Kitty Colchester Oils (
Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup (

Edward Hayden’s Whole Roasted Chicken with Sausage Meat Stuffing, Glazed Winter Vegetables

Edward Hayden’s Whole Roasted Chicken with Sausage Meat Stuffing, Glazed Winter Vegetables

Serves 4

There has been a great return to wholesome home cooking of late and, for some, a roast dinner can be still one of the most demanding culinary challenges. Not so with this simple recipe which is sure to impress your family and friends. As a tasty alternative, use this stuffing in pork steaks or even chicken breasts wrapped in bacon.

1 large whole free range chicken (Mary Walsh Free Range Chicken Kilkenny)
4-5 sprigs of thyme
1oz/25g butter, melted

Sausage Meat Stuffing:

3oz/75g butter
1 medium sized onion, diced roughly
Approx 4-5 sprigs thyme, woody stems removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
7oz/200g Lavistown sausage meat
7oz/200g soft white breadcrumbs

First make the sausage meat stuffing. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and add to that the diced onion together with the thyme leaves and cook over a very low heat for 5-6 minutes until they have softened completely.

Mix in the freshly chopped parsley and also the soft white breadcrumbs. Season this mixture lightly. Allow to cool. When the mixture is completely cool combine, in a large bowl, with the sausage meat.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Line the cavity of the chicken with some parchment paper and then stuff the cavity with the cold stuffing and secure the flap with a cocktail stick. Place the chicken on a roasting tray. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and cracked black pepper over the skin. Add the thyme sprigs to the tray at this stage and brush the entire chicken with the melted butter.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. At this stage reduce the temperature of the oven (170C/325F/Gas Mark 3) and cook for a further hour or until the flesh (particularly on the leg and thigh) feels tender and the juices run clear when the chicken pierced at the deepest point. (Or test with a meat thermometer which, when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone, should reach 165F/75ºC.)

Glazed Vegetables:

4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 red onions, peeled & cut into wedges
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3

Place the chunks of carrots & parsnips into a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and then strain off the water. Place the blanched carrots and parsnips onto a flat baking tray with the wedges of red onion and then drizzle with the rapeseed oil and the honey and then season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until cooked through


Edward Hayden’s Lemon & Broccoli CousCous

Edward Hayden’s Lemon & Broccoli CousCous

Serves 8

A very refreshing salad.
1 head broccoli, broken into spears
7oz/200g couscous
14floz/400ml boiling water
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3oz/75g sun dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons Second Nature rapeseed oil
Flat leaf parsley to garnish.

Begin by bringing a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add in the broccoli spears and cook for 60-70 seconds until beginning to soften. Transfer into a large colander and run under cold running water, until completely cooled.
Dry well with kitchen paper.

Put the couscous into a large mixing bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then fluff it up with a fork.

Allow the couscous to cool down at this stage for approximately 20-30 minutes

Add the lemon zest and juice and refreshed broccoli. Season well. Mix in the sundried tomatoes and oil.

Mix the salad until it is thoroughly combined, and season to taste. Garnish with sliced lemon and flat leaf parsley.

Chill until required.


Edward Hayden’s Toffee Apple Cake

Edward Hayden’s Toffee Apple Cake

Serves 8

This is a great special occasion cake and is delicious to serve warm, without the icing, but with lashings and lashings of butterscotch sauce.

8oz/225g butter
8oz/225g Demerara sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon golden syrup
8oz/225g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 medium sized cooking apple, grated


3oz/75g softened butter
6oz/175g icing sugar


Melted chocolate
Chopped walnuts
Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup or honey

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Grease and line an 8-inch deep cake tin with some parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with the Demerara sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs and golden syrup. Sift the plain flour with the baking powder and slowly incorporate it into the butter and egg mixture. Gently mix in the grated apple and mix thoroughly.

Transfer the mixture into the previously prepared cake tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is cooked or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. I normally reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 after the first 20-25 minutes, but as ovens vary it is important to test with the skewer before taking it out.

Allow to cool in the tin and then invert onto a wire tray and allow to cool.

Meanwhile make the butter icing. Cream together the softened butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy and then spread on top of the cake.

To decorate drizzle the cake with some melted chocolate and some apple syrup or honey and garnish with some roughly chopped walnuts

Top Tip:

If you wish to make the butterscotch sauce to accompany this then, in a large saucepan, melt 3oz/75g butter with 3oz/75g brown sugar and 3 dessertspoons of golden syrup. Bring this mixture to the boil and add 9floz/250ml cream. Continue to stir and boil for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Use as required.


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