Car Crash Chicken with Onions (a recipe)

January’s Car Crash started with a real time demonstration of Tony’s New Year Resolution that being bang on time for every appointment was so last year! Which is to say that when we went ‘live’ at 6.30pm, nobody but Chloe was aware that the camera was now rolling –Tony having nipped downstairs in the meantime, to find his ‘stage presence’ and ‘powder his nose’. The lucky viewers who tuned in on time were treated to random off screen chat, accompanied by a beautifully composed shot of prepped and ready ingredients in our aspirational, if empty seeming, front of house ‘Brunel’ kitchen.

Is Anyone at Home?

From there, things could only really go uphill (or is it easier to roll downhill?) – and we hope those of you present enjoyed our presentation of an (adapted) recipe from Sam and Sam Clark’s Moro ‘East’ cookbook – inspired, on their part, by the produce and community from an East End London allotment and, on ours, by Tony’s desire to feature ‘onions’, notably Roscoff onions,  as a superstar ingredient. For those of you not with us on the night, it’s not too late! – we’ve recorded it for posterity on our @day_true IG feed.

Roast chicken with sumac, onions, and pine nuts was on the menu, and we were testing out our new V-Zug display ovens to cook perfect rice and well-steamed broccoli to serve alongside, and giving our Bora teppan (another) in its string of starring roles. The formalities (recipe etc) are below, the fun stuff is dotted round and about in the form of some stills and some screenshots.


8 x chicken pieces (skin on)
4 x tablespoons olive oil
8 x small red or Roscoff onions (Note: Sam & Sam use ‘new season’ or ‘spring’)
2 x tablespoons sumac
50g pine nuts
Parsley (to garnish – optional)

Basmati rice
Purple sprouting broccoli (or other ‘steamable’ veg)


  1. Joint a chicken into eight pieces* (see video for how) or, take eight x chicken pieces.
  2. Leaving the skin on, trim and season the chicken pieces (not necessarily, but nearly always preferably, several hours in advance, or the previous day) – keep refrigerated until needed, remove from the fridge about an hour before cooking to bring them up to room temperature
  3. Pre-heat oven to a high heat (approx. 210ºC)
  4. Heat a frying pan – or a teppan if you happen to have one – for a teppan, coat the chicken pieces in (half) the oil and fry (skin side down first) until golden brown; in a frying pan, add the oil, then fry the chicken.
  5. While the chicken is browning, slice the onions (see CC video for the method we used)
  6. Remove the chicken from the pan/teppan and set to one side.
  7. Add the onions to the hot pan/teppan (no need to clean first) – sprinkle with half the sumac, the rest of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Allow the onions to ‘get going’ (Sam and Sam’s wording) and the seasoning and sumac to mingle with the oil and the ‘wilting’/softening onions (my words) (cooking time between 5-10 mins, when the onions are no longer ‘raw’ but before they start to take on colour).
  8. Transfer onions to an oven proof dish (a round gratin-style/earthenware dish would be perfect, but an appropriately sized frying or roasting pan will do).
  9. Top with the chicken pieces (skin side up) and sprinkle with the remaining sumac and the pine nuts
  10. Transfer the pan to the oven, roast for 15-20 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through)
  11. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish (if you’re not going to serve from the pan), you can add some water to the onions, over heat, to make a chunky sauce – pour the onion ‘sauce’ over the chicken to serve.
  12. Garnish with parsley (optional)
  13. serve with rice or bread and steamed veg (my serving suggestions)

*Note: *We jointed a whole chicken – to give enough pieces to offer everyone a leg and a piece of breast, and to reduce waste – the carcass gets used to make stock that we can freeze for another time (you can also freeze the carcass if you’re not ready to process it immediately)


  • measure out rice, add to gastro tray and cover with an equal volume of water, season with salt
  • put in the steam oven (100ºC at 100% steam)
  • Cook for 28 minutes
  • Fluff with a fork, and serve

Steamed Broccoli

  • 7 minutes before the rice is due to finish steaming, add a tray of prepped broccoli to the steam oven.
  • Finish in a pan on the hob with some good olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

We’ll be back next month for the next Car Crash Cooking – hope to see you there – watch this space in the meantime!

“Chicken roasted with sumac is Lebanese in origin. Sumac is a red powder ground from a berry and is lemony in flavour.”

Sam & Sam Clark


With our special thanks to all the Sam Clarks @restaurantmoro, and to the former community of the Manor Garden Allotments, Hackney, East London (1900–2007) for the inspiration for our menu.

The January Car Crash was hosted in the Day True Chelsea showroom and was otherwise supported by the following brands and items:

  • V Zug mirror finished  ovens
  • Bora hob with downdraft extraction
  • Broste Copenhagen tableware and cutlery
  • KN Industries cookware for serving and glassware

(all items available via ‘Day True‘, and/or its associated ‘Collected‘ e-store)

and by the following members of the Day True team:

  • Tony & Hayley Robson (Founders & Owners)
  • Sam Bruce & Chloe Innes (Marketing Team)
  • Bhavina Patel (Chelsea, designer)
  • Jamie Moakes (E-Commerce)
  • Erica Husain (Blog Post documentation)
  • Paul Bruckshaw (cooking along at home!)