This is a lighter, more seasonally-relevant take on my all-time favourite Sunday winter dinner accompaniment – the oh-so British, old-fashioned bread sauce. People generally hate it or love it and I LOVE IT. The ‘de-Christmassed’ version I’ve served with tray-baked chicken thighs is flavoured with sweet buttery shallots, bay, plenty of lemon thyme and just a little Dijon, garlic and nutmeg. It competes with my classic clove-studded version that I make every winter.
Smushed (technical term) underneath some crispy roast sweet potato, beetroot and juicy chicken this was incredibly comforting and surprisingly light – the hint of lemon really comes through and works deliciously with chicken. This version even won over Scott who normally feels a bit ‘meh’ about bread sauce. He scraped his plate clean!
For the bread sauce:
5 finely diced Shallots
1 tbspn + 1/2 tbspn Butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
6-8 sprigs lemon thyme
4 Bay leaves
1/2 tspn black pepper
100g fresh white bread, cubed
A little pinch of fresh grated Nutmeg
1/2 tspn Dijon mustard (optional)
Salt to taste
1 – Make the bread sauce by heating 1 tbspn butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper and lemon thyme and cook gently until the shallots are softened.
2 – Stir in the bread and mix well. Cook for a further minute or two before adding the milk. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the bread breaks down into a more homogenous mush.
3 – Remove the bay leaves and blend the sauce. Stir in the mustard, nutmeg and salt to taste. Reheat gently before serving.