Rolled baby chicken, confit aubergine, cauliflower, onion

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Preparation info

  • Serves 8

    main course portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Rust en Vrede

It’s the perfect way to cook the whole bird. Keeps it moist and you can add plenty of flavour … Also easy to present.


Baby chicken

  • 8 whole baby chickens – for 1.28 kg meat
  • onion ash powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ice bath – to chill

Confit baby aubergines

  • 8 baby aubergines – halved
  • coarse salt
  • 100 ml olive/canola blend oil
  • 100 ml fresh lime juice
  • 2 limes – the zest


  • 1 small cauliflower8 florets with stems
  • boiling salted water
  • ice water – to chill
  • salt and pepper


Crack through the backbone and open to butterfly. Carefully remove the backbone and breastbone cartilage. Then carefully remove the thigh, drumstick and wing bones without tearing the skin. Open the chicken skin side down. Sprinkle liberally with onion ash powder and season with salt and pepper. Roll into a long cylinder and secure the shape in cling film. Place the cylinder in a vacuum bag and seal. Sous vide or cook in simmering water at 65°C for 1 hour. Once cooked, chill in an ice bath. Reheat as needed in the bag. For serving, remove from the bag and finish on the grill to give colour and flavour, and slice 160 g portions into 3 slices per plate.

Score the inside of each halved baby aubergine without piercing the skin. Lay face down on a tray of coarse salt and leave for 1 hour in a warm place. Rinse thoroughly and place face down in a clean tray.

To make the confit liquid, mix the oil, lime juice and zest together. Cover the aubergines entirely in the liquid and leave above the oven or in a very warm area until soft and the flesh has changed to a light pink colour. Refrigerate until needed, and reheat slowly in a pot before serving.

Trim the cauliflower to separate individual stems, and blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Remove from the pot and slice in half lengthways. Chill in ice water and reserve until needed. When ready to serve, grill over hot coals to colour, or in a pan with a touch of oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, place 3 slices (160 g) of the chicken on each hot plate. Arrange 2 cauliflower floret halves and 2 warm aubergine halves around the chicken, and finish with 15 ml beef jus, 3 pieces burnt onion skins and a sprinkling of lemon zest.