Merry Christmas from Smoke & Thyme

Merry Christmas

It’s been a hell of a year.

We’ve survived carnivals, fires, floods, deaths, evictions, broken ovens, broken dishwashers, last minute open heart kitchen transplants and that was all before we even got started on the Autumn Run.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help. whether you came to try our fabulous food and wine, covered a shift at the Supper Club, or shared and liked our pretty pictures on Instagram.

We couldn’t have done it without your love and support.

Have a very Merry Christmas
and we’ll see you all in the New Year!

Jack & Claire

Tandoori Fried Chicken

“…I bet you could fry this”

That’s what I said to myself late one Saturday evening in November after a supper club, looking at a batch of Tandoori marinated boneless chicken thighs that I had not-entirely-accidentally made too much of.

The fryer was still on. I tossed the chicken in a little gram flour and Indian spices. The red-brown yogurty marinade soaked up the flour. I picked it up by a corner and lowered just the tip of the battered bird into the boiling fat- watching bubbles accumulate around it before letting go and allowing it to slip beneath the roiling surface of the oil.

Continue reading “Tandoori Fried Chicken”

New Year, New Recipes

Between my three months in New Orleans and the Autumn Run, it’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to  experiment with anything new, and therefore a long time since I’ve done any pay-what-you-want dates. But they’ll be back very soon – new dates for the new year, and I have over six months of ideas to try out.
In the upcoming supper clubs, you might see: muffaletta babka, charcoal-infused olive oil, honey and miso cured salmon, soy sauce creme brulee, bacon pannacotta, lacquered chicken ramen, smoked brisket, lemon-pepper bagels, Roquefort saucisson and more…
These dates will be on a pay-what-you-want model (cash or card), based on how much you think the evening is worth and you are encouraged to bring your own beverages. There is an £8 corkage charge per bottle.

Dates on Feb 7th, 8th, 22nd, 23rd and March 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th have been announced and are open for booking – stay tuned for more dates coming soon.

Tom Waits Ice Cream

The piano has been drinking
My necktie is asleep 
And the combo went back to New York
The jukebox has to take a leak



“Can you design a custom ice cream flavour for my friend?”
“Sure – what does he like?”
“Scotch whisky, black coffee, bitter chocolate, Dunhill cigarettes and the music of Tom Waits.”


Tom Waits’ voice, which do I love, even though it sounds like a sack full of rusty cats being dragged up a gravel driveway, was the inspiration for this ice cream. Evocative in its smoky rasp, its boozy complexity, its caffeinated bitterness, it should be served with a walnut biscuit, a pounding hangover and a lit cigarette.

Continue reading “Tom Waits Ice Cream”

Jack’s Original Fried Chicken Recipe

My idea of “taking it easy” in the run up to Christmas is doing fried chicken for 72 people. I you’d like to be one of them, go here to book your seat at the table.


This is my master fried chicken recipe, and because it requires no lengthy marinading process, no exotic ingredients and only one step of cooking. As I’m lucky enough to have a deep fryer at home, I can throw it together if I happen to decide I want fried chicken because it’s Wednesday/I’m bored/need a quick breakfast.




Jack’s Original Fried Chicken Recipe

Feeds 4



6-8 chicken thighs, boneless with skin on
1-2L sunflower oil for fryer


1 thumb sized piece of ginger
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
Juice of 1 lime
30ml sunflower oil


Seasoned gram flour coating
250g Gram flour
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
Generous pinch of black pepper
Generous pinch of salt




Cut the thighs into 2 or 3 pieces (depending on size).


In a food processor or pestle and mortar, blitz the garlic, ginger, paprika, salt into a paste. Add lime juice and oil and stir well to combine. Pour over the chicken and leave for 5 mins to overnight.


Preheat the oil in fryer to 190C.


Sieve the gram flour, spices and salt together into a mixing bowl or tupperware container with a lid. With a pair of tongs, lift out 3 or 4 pieces of chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Toss chicken pieces liberally in the seasoned gram flour.


Shake off any excess flour and fry the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy all over and no longer pink in the middle (6-10 mins depending on batch size and thickness of chicken pieces).


Serve immediately with your favourite sides and sauces.


Smoke and Thyme Fried Chicken and Beer Tasting Night

Well, that’s it! All dates in November are now sold out, before the month has even begun. We’re so grateful to everyone who’s helped spread the word and made our Autumn pop-up a resounding success. We still might have some cancellations, so anyone who wants a chance to try the November menu, please email us and we’ll add you to the wait list and let you know if any spots become available.
Worry not, though, fair foodies! For we have a little Xmas surprise for you.
We know you can be overwhelmed by the endless parade of seasonal delights and festivities at Christmas. Just as I do, you crave the simple, hearty decadence of a mountain of crispy skin and succulent meat, with just a few impeccably crafted beverages to quaff it down.
This festive season, come join us at Smoke & Thyme’s Alternative Xmas Party, a fried chicken and beer tasting night! Sample three of Chef Jack’s award-deserving fried chicken recipes, meet like-minded poultry aficionados around our communal river table, and try a selection of fine nectars direct from the ale architects at Tap Social Movement.
Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.
£25 gets you 3 types of fried chicken to sample, plus 3 beers from Tap Social and unlimited sides.

November Menu – Sneak Peek 2

Another sneak peek at the November menu with three more dishes to lure you in.
The spaces for November are four-fifths gone – if you wait til after Halloween to book, you’re setting yourself up for a frightful disappointment. (Book now)

Fish Tasting Plate: Beetroot Cured Salmon


I never believed in love at first sight until I first made my beetroot-cured salmon. Call me shallow if you like, but I fell for the colours in this fish even before I had my first bite.

Of course, the colour is much more than just skin deep. I’m not only talking about how the beetroot cure seeping slowly into the flesh of the salmon leaves every opalescent slice with a crimson aura that fades into the salmon pink like a sunset over the sea. No – almost every ingredient in that we add to this salmon is marked by its relationship to a colour. The beetroot, infamous for its vibrant stain, is matched with zest of an orange – the fruit that takes such bold pride in its hue that they named the shade after it. The cure -BROWN sugar, BLACK peppercorns. (The dill, fresh and bright and grass-green though it may be, may be the exception that proves the rule). Continue reading “November Menu – Sneak Peek 2”

November Menu: Sneak Peek

As I write this, we’re only at the half-way point of the Autumn Pop-Up run, but it seems like its already time to think about endings. I spent a lot time selecting the dishes I wanted to wrap up this run with – hoarding a few of my most delectable, delightful and delicious for Autumn’s last bite.

Pork belly with celeriac puree and Rainbow coleslaw


In almost all cultures, the darkest part of winter is marked by some sort of festival that revolves around a meat-laden feast. A big practical reason for this is that, historically, surplus livestock needed to be slaughtered while they were still fat from the autumn harvest in order to save having to feed them with the dwindling winter stores. And when you’ve got a whole pig or a whole cow that needs eating, might as well invite the neighbours round to give you a hand and make a party out of it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that shortly after all the good food is eaten and gone comes the date for making resolutions to eat less. Continue reading “November Menu: Sneak Peek”

One month down!

Well we’ve survived a month and still have our heads screwed on and a smile on our faces. We’ve loved sharing our September menu with so many lovely people and we’re even more excited to let you try what we have in store for this month.


We know we enjoy it, but it’s been amazing to hear how much you love what we do. Here are some lovely things you guys had to say about Smoke and Thyme.

‘Thank you for a wonderful meal. Every single course was lovely but I was particularly surprised/amazed by the gorgonzola cheesecake. I chose it as I was feeling a bit adventurous, but I was absolutely impressed. It was amazing!’ – Ruby Continue reading “One month down!”