Most people think of British food as boring and heavy. That is probably because they have never dined at Chef Jason Hicks’ Upper East Side restaurant Jones Wood Foundry. His dishes are most definitely British, and while they are comforting, they are elegant and certainly delicious. Hicks gew up on a farm in England’s scenic Cotswold countryside where he developed an enduring respect for nature and the bounty of each season. He gardened with his grandfather, and gained the appreciation for the beauty of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Hicks told us “I like to create a dish using just a few ingredients and focus on extracting as much flavor as possible. For me, simplicity is the key to consistency and quality.”
Hicks started his culinary career at the tender age of 15 when he enrolled in Solihull College of Technology. After earning his culinary degree, he trained at some of Britain’s more prestigious restaurants, including those at The Gleneagles Hotel and The Whitehall Hotel and the one Michelin star-rated Calcot Manor. He then worked in Europe and Australia, and was finally led to United States.
In 2011, he opened Jones Wood Foundry, where Hicks’s food is earthy, honest and nostalgia inducing. Hicks describes the food at Jones Wood Foundry as “simple, inspired by the best of British culinary traditions that we’re reinvigorated to address contemporary palates.”
Yield: 6 portions, but can be doubled for 12
- 1 lb Chicken thighs (boned and skinned)
- ½ Medium onion, diced
- 1½ Cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup White wine
- ½ t Tomato paste
- ½ t Cumin seeds
- 3 ½ T Madras curry powder
- ½ lb Yoghurt
- 1 Kitchen spoon crÃ¨me fraiche
- ¼ cup Apricots, diced
- ¼ cup Golden Raisins
- 2 Apples, diced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Start by marinating chicken thighs see above. Ideally marinate overnight, but at minimum of two hours
- Once marinated, sear chicken quickly on a very hot grill or grill pan, just enough to cause grill marks. Then set aside.
- Meanwhile place a small amount of cooking oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and saute until colored, then add the diced onion and garlic and sweat to translucency.
- Add tomato paste, remaining curry powder and white wine. Reduce by half.
- Transfer reduced liquid to a baking and add the seared chicken. Cover with foil and cook in a 300 degree oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until juice from thighs runs clear when pricked tip of a knife.
- Once chicken is cooked, separate from the sauce and allow sauce to cool. Once cool, add remaining yoghurt and crÃ¨me fraiche. Then add the apricots, raisins and apples.
- Adjust seasoning. If you would like a little more heat, add a little Tabasco sauce, then mix in the braised chicken thigh. Transfer to a sealed plastic container and refrigerate over night.
- Serve on lettuce or as a sandwich.
- Take 1 kitchen spoon of yoghurt and 1 T + 2 t of the Madras curry powder.
- Mix in a bowl and then add chicken thighs, ensuring each piece is coated in yoghurt. Cover in plastic and marinate overnight.