My key ingredient: Wild thyme

Wael Abdo, head chef at Iris Yas Island in Abu Dhabi teaches us how to make French Thyme Chicken

French Thyme Chicken Courtesy of Iris Abu Dhabi
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Wael Abdo, head chef at Iris Yas Island in Abu Dhabi explains why wild thyme pairs perfectly with chicken and lemon juice in this classic dish: French Thyme Chicken. “Wild thyme is an ingredient found in most kitchens across France and, alongside garlic, is central to many traditional dishes and recipes from the home of gastronomy. Thyme and chicken is a classic pairing, particularly with the addition of fresh lemon juice, which we use together to marinate the chicken first, and then again in the sauce. Comforting, delicious and with a deep aroma, this dish is one of my favourites on the Iris menu.”

Ingredients for the chicken and marinade
300g corn-fed chicken breast  
10g French thyme
7.5g rosemary
50g lemon juice
5g garlic
50g mustard

Ingredients for the thyme sauce 
250g chicken stock
½ teaspoon black pepper 
1 teaspoon salt
60g lemon juice
18g garlic
7g French thyme

Ingredients for the sautéed vegetables
50g Kenyan green beans 
110g potatoes
75g semi-dry tomatoes
3g shallots
1g chives
Pinch of salt and pepper
10g olive oil

For the marinade, start by mixing French thyme, rosemary, mustard and lemon juice.
Chop five slices of garlic and add it to the thyme mixture.
Put the corn-fed chicken with the thyme mixture and marinate for three hours. 
In the meantime, prepare your sauce by boiling the chicken stock, adding pepper and salt. Bring it to boil, and then turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half.
Add lemon, garlic and thyme, and set to one side.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Grill the chicken for five minutes, and then place in the oven for 15 minutes.
Boil the Kenyan beans and potatoes. Take a pan and coat with olive oil; add beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chives and shallots. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for five minutes on medium heat until the shallots soften, and other vegetables start to take some colour. Place the chicken and vegetables on a plate, and top with thyme sauce.

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