Henderson Kitchen has launched the latest dish for The CHEF range, giving a top family favourite a distinct taste of NI by collaborating with Alastair Bell’s Irish Black Butter.

The Roast Chicken and Ham Bake goes on sale in SPAR and EUROSPAR stores across Northern Ireland this week, and has been carefully constructed by Henderson Kitchen’s head chef, Carl Johannesson and Alastair Bell who launched his unique product in 2017.

Carl says of the dish; “I first tasted Irish Black Butter in 2017 and fell in love with its bold, sweet and rich flavour.

“There are two perfect ways to enjoy Irish Black Butter, in my opinion. Firstly, with a creamy Irish brie on a digestive biscuit and secondly, as a finishing glaze on a roast gammon. So with its ability to cut through and complement creamy goods, while also enriching the flavour of roast gammon, we have combined these elements in The CHEF’s Roast Chicken and Ham Bake, with a creamy white sauce.”

The collaboration marks Henderson’s continued passion for local ingredients, working with suppliers from across the island of Ireland to provide top quality products at value prices for their local shoppers.

To date, over 70 recipes for The CHEF range have been developed and launched from the Henderson Kitchen bespoke built facilities in County Antrim.

Jonny Agnew, General Manager at Henderson Kitchen added; “Irish Black Butter’s rounded, savoury yet sweet profile lends itself to so many uses in the kitchen and I’m really excited by what our chefs have created for the range.

“Chef Carl’s use of it in our Roast Chicken and Ham Bake adds a warming sweet note that cuts through the indulgent white sauce. This dish is a perfect example of how we are innovating alongside our incredible local suppliers to include a diverse array of ingredients to make a truly unique range for our shoppers.”

Carl continued; “The results of this dish are, in my opinion, fantastic. As the rest of our team tasted it, it became clear it was a firm favourite which we’re delighted to have put into production.”

Irish Black Butter is a Great Taste Award winning preserve and conserve made with Armagh Bramley Apples, Armagh Cider and spices combined with a smooth black butter preserve, produced in Portrush.

Alastair Bell who created the product, recently joined the SPAR team at Balmoral Show where visitors were lucky to get a first taste of the new dish. Alastair commented; “The feedback we received from those who visited our stand on the day was phenomenal. Local shoppers have a big appetite for something different, and when two local companies can collaborate and produce those products, something special always happens.

“Working with Henderson Group gives our product such a great presence on the shelves of SPAR and EUROSPAR stores across NI, and now they can taste how it can be incorporated into different meals, complementing those flavours thanks to this new The CHEF dish.

“I may be biased but of course Northern Ireland has some of the most innovative, creative and unique food producers in the world, and for a wholesaler like Hendersons to engage with us and not only give us a platform to showcase our goods, but to truly collaborate and champion us, is so important for the wider agri-food industry as a whole.”