This is focaccia, but not just any focaccia
Kitchen Cabinet: This chicken-fat-and-brown-butter dough brings flavour to another level
‘The quality of the ingredients in Italian food makes the finished product very special.’ File photograph: Getty Images
One of my favourite food cultures is Italy’s. The quality of the ingredients in Italian food makes the finished product very special. For this focaccia I have substituted chicken fat and brown butter for the extra virgin olive oil, to bring the flavour to another level. The focus always remains on the quality of the produce; then the flavour will follow. My sous chef Andrea Rognoni is Italian, and the simplicity he shows in his cooking is true to the Italian way.
I love to have this at home with some pasta carbonara (no cream), or with a bowl of soup and salad.
Peter Byrne is head chef at Hugo’s in Dublin 2.
Chicken fat and brown butter focaccia
750g Ballymore Organics plain flour
15g caster sugar
3 tsp fine sea salt
15g dried yeast
525ml tepid water
100ml chicken fat (a light olive oil can be used instead of the chicken fat)
100ml brown butter (to make this melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan and let it sizzle until it browns and develops a nutty aroma)
Fresh thyme and rosemary
1. Combine all dry ingredients and mix in a bowl.
2. Slowly add the tepid water and combine to make a dough.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured bench for approximately 10 minutes.
4. Splash the dough with a little brown butter and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to prove until it is doubled in size.
5. Turn out onto a floured tray, being careful not to knock any air out. Gently stretch it the length of the tray.
6. Drizzle half of the chicken fat and some brown butter over the dough and let it prove again for 30 minutes.
7. Gently poke holes in the surface of the dough with your fingers and drizzle nearly all of the remaining fat and butter over the dough.
8. Sprinkle some thyme and rosemary over the top. Stud the dough with slices of garlic and sprinkle Maldon sea salt over it.
9. Cook at 240 degrees Celsius for approximately 15 minutes.
10. While the bread is still warm brush it with the rest of the fat and butter. Serve the focaccia warm with extra butter. Any bread that is left over you can use for sandwiches or warm up again and serve with soup or salad.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome