Prep time:

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 4

For the cauliflower:

1 cauliflower

100ml white wine vinegar

60g caster sugar

400ml milk


For the chicken skin:

chicken skins (it doesn’t matter which part of the chicken it’s from – you can ask your butcher for them)

rapeseed oil & seasoning

For the chicken and tarragon jus – makes about 100ml:

1ltr fresh chicken stock

250ml white wine

1tbsp olive oil

250g chicken wings, knuckles or bones

2 large shallots, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced

1 stick of celery, sliced

1 the green ends of a small leek, sliced

1 bay leaf

4 peppercorns

1tsp tomato puree

1tbsp fresh chopped

For the tarragon oil:

12g tarragon leaves

12g flat-leaf parsley leaves

180ml extra virgin olive oil

fine grain sea salt

For the pan roasted scallops:

scallops (you’ll need 3 per person)


lemon juice

1 Granny Smith apple, fine julienned

fresh chervil (to serve)

For the cauliflower:  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. 2. Slice 2 large florets thinly on a mandolin and place in a separate container. Add 100ml white wine vinegar over the sliced florets and 60g caster sugar. Carefully stir, ensuring not to break the florets, and set aside. 3. For the roast cauliflower, set aside … Continue reading "Pan Seared Scallops, Cauliflower & Crispy Chicken Skin"

For the cauliflower: 

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets.

2. Slice 2 large florets thinly on a mandolin and place in a separate container. Add 100ml white wine vinegar over the sliced florets and 60g caster sugar. Carefully stir, ensuring not to break the florets, and set aside.

3. For the roast cauliflower, set aside a few of the smaller florets for pan roasting with the scallops later.

For the purée:

1. Cut all the remaining florets, including the root of the cauliflower, and place into a large thick-bottomed saucepan, cover with the milk and some water if needed. Season with salt and bring up to a gentle simmer. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, a little over cooked. 

2. Once cooked, carefully take the cauliflower out of the cooking liquor with a slotted spoon and place into a jug blender. Blitz until silky smooth. Add some of the cooking liquid until you reach the consistency you want. Season and set aside.

For the chicken skin:

Lay the skin on a flat tray lined with parchment paper and lightly drizzle with some rapeseed oil. Season with sea salt. Lay on top a second piece of parchment paper and another flat tray to sandwich the skin between. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180˚C for around 20 minutes or until crispy. Set aside till needed. 

For the chicken and tarragon jus – makes about 100ml: 

1. Place a large saucepan on a medium to high heat, melt the butter in the pan, then add the vegetables and fry for about 8 minutes until soft and brown.

2. Now add the chicken wings, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and tomato purée and fry for another 2 minutes. 

3. Add the white wine, turn the heat up high and bring to the boil.
Simmer on a high heat until the wine is almost all gone. Then add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, simmer on a medium heat until the stock has reduced by half, this should take about 20 minutes.

4. After the stock has reduced, strain the sauce into a clean pan removing the vegetables and wings. Skim off any fat from the top of the sauce.
Place the sauce back on a high heat to boil, once boiling reduce the sauce until it thickens. This should take about 20 minutes again.

5. Once the sauce has thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper and add the fresh chopped tarragon. 

Chef’s Tip:. 

This sauce works well with all types of poultry including chicken, turkey, guinea fowl or pheasant. Also try adding a drop of cream for extra richness or some button mushrooms for a different flavour. 

For the tarragon oil: 

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Salt well, as you would pasta water, and blanch the tarragon and parsley leaves briefly, until bright green – just 10 seconds or so. Work quickly to drain, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain once more, and pat with a clean cloth to remove as much residual water as possible. 

2. Use a food processor or blender to purée the leaves and olive oil until smooth – at least a minute or so. Strain through the finest sieve you have, alternately, you can use triple-lined cheese cloth. I use a tea strainer. 

3. Discard the solids and transfer the oil to a sterilised jar. It keeps refrigerated for a couple of weeks, but bring to room temperature to use.

For the pan roasted scallops: 

1. Preheat a pan over a high heat and add a tbsp of oil. Pat dry scallops with kitchen paper and season well. 

2. Add the scallops to the pan flat side down and cook until golden brown, this will take 2-3 minutes. Don’t move the scallops around in the pan as this will prevent them from cooking. 

3. Add a ‘chef’s knob’ of butter and baste with foamy butter, add a good squeeze of lemon and baste a couple more times. Drain on fresh kitchen paper and serve. 

I presented the dish by arranging a little cauliflower purée on a plate, topping with the scallops and a few florets of roasted cauliflower, before drizzling over a little of the jus and tarragon oil then adding fresh apple, crispy chicken skin and some fresh chervil.

Professional Chef James Palmer Rosser has worked across the South East for a number of prestigious and Michelin starred eateries. He now heads up Kent Cookery School, where he shares his creative approach to food with cookery courses taught in a relaxed, informal setting where people of all abilities can come and learn, eat and make some great memories. Find out more about his popular courses, and what’s coming up, by visiting

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