The 35-year-old’s latest, Everyday Cook, is no different. Skehan and his wife, Sofie Larsson, have two boys under three (Noah and Oliver) and have moved three times in 18 months, on top of a pandemic – and so this, his 10th book, is a “real celebration of family life” and the doable recipes “we come back to; the ones that get us through.”
Donal Skehan’s Korean fried chicken bowls
For the chicken:
250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
8 free-range chicken thighs (bone in and skin on), cut into bite-sized pieces
100g (3½oz) cornflakes
85g (3oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2tsp chilli powder
2tsp garlic powder
Sunflower oil spray
For the sauce:
8 cloves of garlic, finely grated
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
6tbsp light soy sauce
70g (2 ½oz) gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
4tbsp rice wine vinegar
1tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp dark brown sugar
For the bowls:
250g (9oz) sticky rice, cooked
½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
6 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
Handful of radishes, finely sliced
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds
A good handful of coriander leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/400˚F/Gas 6.
2. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk with a generous season of sea salt and ground black pepper. Add the chicken to the bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside.
3. Pour the cornflakes in a large freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin to a coarse powder. Add the flour, chilli and garlic powders to the bag along with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake the mix until combined.
4. Pour the dry mix into a large wide shallow bowl. One by one using tongs, dip each marinated chicken piece (shaking off any excess) in the dry mix until coated on all sides.
5. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spritz with sunflower oil spray. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and crispy, turning halfway through to make sure they’re golden on all sides.
6. While the chicken cooks, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan whisk together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar.
7. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a low simmer, cooking until the sugar is just dissolved – about three minutes. Set aside.
8. Once the chicken has cooked, brush with the sauce.
9. Assemble serving bowls with the sticky rice, cabbage, spring onions, radishes, chicken pieces, sesame seeds and plenty of coriander. Drizzle with more of the spicy sauce as needed.
Donal Skehan’s charred lamb kebabs with pickled onions and saffron yoghurt
800g (1lb 12oz) lamb leg, diced into chunks
5 garlic cloves, grated
1tbsp (heaped) ras el hanout
2tbsp olive oil
4 large pitta breads
200g (7oz) hummus
Handful of flat-leaf parsley or coriander (cilantro) leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the lemon and saffron yoghurt:
Small pinch of saffron strands
2tbsp boiling water
200g (7oz) Greek yoghurt
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
Zest of ½ lemon
For the pickled onions:
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1tbsp coriander seeds
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sugar
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Put the lamb into a large bowl with the garlic, ras el hanout and the olive oil. Season with sea salt and toss to combine completely. Leave the lamb to sit, covered with cling film, in the fridge for at least one hour. Alternatively make this ahead of time and leave to marinate overnight.
2. While the lamb marinates, prepare the yoghurt sauce: infuse the saffron strands in the hot water in a small bowl and leave to stand for five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Season to taste and set aside.
3. To make the pickled onions toss the red onions and coriander seeds with the lemon juice and sugar and season generously with sea salt. Set aside to let the onions soften and pickle.
4. Once the spices have permeated the meat, thread the lamb pieces onto eight metal skewers and arrange on a large baking sheet. Place the lamb skewers to cook over a hot barbecue or a scorching hot griddle pan for three minutes on each side, or until medium rare. Turn as needed until you have a lightly charred exterior and a blushing pink interior. While the lamb cooks, toast the pitta breads on the barbecue or just in a toaster.
5. Spread each pitta with hummus, slide the lamb off the skewers and place on top of the pitta with the pickled onion and herbs. Drizzle with the yoghurt sauce before tucking in.
Donal Skehan’s perfect fudgy dark and white ripple brownies with raspberries
(Makes 16 squares)
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g (3½oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
200g (7oz) caster (superfine) sugar
75g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1tsp vanilla bean paste
150g (5oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
150g (5oz) raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4 and grease and line a 20cm (8in) square cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water. Set aside to cool a little bit. Do the same with the white chocolate in a separate bowl.
3. With a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs together in a small jug then gradually pour them into the butter and sugar mixture, whisking the whole time until you have a fluffy smooth mix. Beat in the vanilla bean paste and then the flour. Divide the mixture in half.
4. Gently fold the melted dark chocolate into one half of the mixture and the white chocolate into the other half.
5. Roughly dollop the mixture like a checkerboard into the prepared tin and push the raspberries into the mixture. Us the end of a teaspoon to swirl the two colours together.
6. Bake the brownies for 35–40 minutes so that a skewer comes out almost clean but still a little bit sticky. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares. These taste even better the next day so try not to eat them all straight away!
Recipes taken from Everyday Cook by Donal Skehan, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Available now.