Salty samphire from the marshes: Lawrence Murphy

Warm chicken, fennel and samphire salad.
Warm chicken, fennel and samphire salad.
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The fabulous English asparagus season is coming to an end and the start of the sea asparagus season, marsh samphire, is just beginning. 

It looks a bit like baby asparagus but has a much saltier taste. It can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, or boiled and works really well with fish. It pairs well with lamb and even chicken. I have seen this succulent around Emsworth Harbour, Prinsted and Thorney Island nestled between bushes of sea purslane. If you don’t have time to forage for it, try the local fishmongers or supermarkets choosing bright green firm spears.

Ingredients – serves 2

1 crown of chicken

1 bulb fennel sliced

Tspn chopped rosemary

1 clove garlic finely chopped

50g samphire washed and picked

15ml white wine

30ml olive oil

Method

1. Rub the crown of chicken in olive oil, season and roast in a pre-heated oven 200C gas 8 for 35 to 40 mins. Rest the crown while you prepare the fennel and samphire salad.

2. Heat a large pan and add a little olive oil.

3. Add the fennel and cook for 5 mins. Allow to soften and colour slightly.

4. Add the garlic and rosemary to the pan and stir – cook for 2 mins.

5. Now add the wine and the samphire. After 30 seconds add the rest of the olive oil and take off the heat.

6. Spoon the fennel and samphire onto plates, carve the chicken and place on top of the warm salad.​​​​​​​