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Spring Chicken and Grapefruit

Preparation time
45 mins
Cooking time
24 hours

Grapes aren't the only fruit to be picked in the Yarra Valley, citrus orchards also abound and chef Mark Ebbels has featured local grapefruit and lime in his spring chicken dish. Tarrawarra's Farm Block Chardonnay pairs perfectly as the light bitterness of the grapefruit pith and vibrant acidity in the dried lime match the citrus profile of the wine. 


4 large skinless chicken breasts

4–5 limes, sliced finely

300g grapefruit pith

75ml maple syrup

30g grapefruit juice 

Pinch salt

300ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for rub

4 heads baby fennel, trimmed and cut in half, fronds reserved

2L cold water

160g table salt

Micro herbs, to garnish


1. Pre heat oven to lowest temperature. Place limes on lined trays. Bake for 24 hours or until dried. Place in a food processor and process to a fine powder.

2. Place pith in a large pot, cover well with water, bring to the boil, strain and repeat process 5 times. Combine pith with 150ml water, maple syrup, juice and salt in a saucepan, cover and simmer for 4 hours. Strain, reserving liquid. Puree pith with some of the cooking liquid to form a smooth, creamy consistency. With motor running slowly add 180ml olive oil.

3. Pre heat oven to 100°C. Place fennel in a baking dish, cover with oil. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until just soft.

4. For the confit of fennel: keep some fennel fronds for garnish. Combine remaining fronds with 120ml olive oil
in a mortar and pestle, pound well, stain and set aside.

5. For the brine: combine salt and water in a large container, whisk well to dissolve salt. Place in fridge to cool down below 4°C. Trim off chicken tenderloin and any fat. Submerge chicken in brine for 1 hour in the refrigerator, remove, rinse under cold water, pat dry.

6. Increase oven temperature to 120°C. Rub the chicken liberally with extra olive oil, bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and cover loosely with foil, rest for 5 minutes.

7. To serve: slice chicken breasts in half, place on plate, drizzle the fennel oil onto the plate, place a mound of pith puree, top with baked fennel, sprinkle with dried lime, garnish with micro herbs and fennel fronds.

Chef's note: You need to start this recipe a few days before serving.

Wine Match: Tarrawarra Yarra Valley Farm Block Chardonnay 2016

Preparation time
45 mins
Cooking time
24 hours


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