Marmite Chicken may not seem particularly scientific. Indeed there is not an awful lot of science involved in much of Food Science Day’s initial ideas. Nevertheless the principle of science -to test a hypothesis to breaking point is the point of our science, and part of that is merely to satisfy whimsy. And so the screen goes wobbly and we flashback to a drunken night in a converted barn in France five years ago.

Marmite Chicken BeforeI am cooking a meal for twelve, coq au vin I believe. So I need a big pot. Emma (I believe) pulls out a very big pot and says you can use this Marmite. I give a double take. Yes yes, to you it might be obvious that a Marmite is a big French cooking vessel, but remember I had never seen an avocado until I was eighteen. Flabbergasted by this it was mere seconds before the idea of putting a chicken in a marmite became the idea for Marmite Chicken. Or to be more precise, Marmite basted Chicken. Much salivating followed plus the writing of this idea on a Jaffa Cake box.

AIM: To make Marmite Chicken.

APPARATUS: Marmite, a Chicken, an Oven, a very clean roasting pan.

METHOD: The chicken was slathered in marmite, as seen in the photo. On advice the chicken was then covered in foil, and a touch of water was added to the base of the pan to stop the chicken drying out. It was then popped in the oven at 175 degrees for one hour. Then an extra ten minutes uncovered and then removed to admire and eat.

Marmite Chicken AfterRESULTS: Despite fears that the marmite, lacking any fat, would just burn – the actual results was rather pleasing. Much of the smeared on marmite seemed to have either dissolved, boiled off or plain vanished – though further investigation suggests that it has slid off in the steam. Nevertheless the chicken was pretty well roasted and carved normally. When tasted it was predominantly chicken flavoured with just a slight, but very pleasant, hint of marmite.

However the real revelation was in the pan. Where there was water left, the marmite, juices and water combined to make a very tasty gravy. Where the water had vanished there was a crisp bumpy dried husk which tasted identical to Twiglets. Therefore the side effect to Marmite Chicken was also the invention of Twiglets.

CONCLUSION: Marmite Chicken is not quite the taste sensation as dreamed of in a barn in France, but it still worked remarkably well and would make an interesting set piece if you were doing some sort of spread based meal. Mark wants to make Sandwich Spread Chicken next year. It would be particularly good if you also sprinkled the roasting pan with All Bran to make some home made Twiglets!