If you've ever wanted to eat like a royal, here's your chance: a former royal chef's newest cookbook reveals all.
Picture it: you're a Savoy Hotel-trained chef who's climbed his way from a chef-de-partie saucier to a chef inside Buckingham Palace, and an 8-year-old boy is telling you how to make bacon properly. Oh, and that boy is none other than Prince Harry.
That's exactly the situation Darren McGrady found himself in some two decades ago.
"It was after [the royal family] came back from Walt Disney World, and I had cooked bacon for breakfast," McGrady tells Food & Wine. "We serve the same bacon you can get in the states, and I broil it just the same. But Prince Harry said to me, 'We had it in America at Disney World, and it's so crispy you can snap it. You have to broil it first, and then you have to put it in some paper towels and place it in the microwave for a minute.' And I thought, yeah, OK, thank you, you little brat, teaching me how to cook. But as soon as he was gone, I tried it, and I got this amazingly crispy bacon."
It turns out bacon-cooking advice wasn't the only thing Prince Harry gave McGrady, who says he was inspired by Prince Harry's favorite foods when he developed the recipes in his newest cookbook, The Royal Chef at Home: Easy Seasonal Entertaining.
Once McGrady learned the "correct" way to make bacon, he says he never deviated from Prince Harry's recipe, whether he cooked the crisps alongside eggs and toast or used them to top peanut butter and jelly muffins that Prince Harry and his older brother, Prince William, adored. Now, you also know the right way to cook bacon—thank you, Prince Harry!—and you can make those muffins with this recipe too.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup strawberry jam
1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and mix well.
2. In a second bowl, mix the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla paste. Add the dry ingredients to the milk/butter mixture and stir together. Divide the batter between the muffin tins and add a tablespoon of peanut butter followed by a tablespoon of jelly to each muffin.
3. Bake in the center of the oven until muffins are golden brown.
As you may have heard, Prince Harry likes his comfort foods. Though Prince Harry recently claimed he doesn't eat pizza anymore, McGrady says he remembers a boy who loved pizza, and who was also "a super fan of curries." So McGrady combined those two distinct dishes into a chicken tikka masala pizza, "and I dedicated it [the recipe] to Prince Harry because of his love of those two things," McGrady says.
If this sounds like a combination you have to try, here is McGrady's special recipe.
Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 3 tablespoons toasted ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 store-bought pieces of naan bread
1. Mix together the cumin, paprika, coriander seed, turmeric, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, lime juice, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the chicken breasts and massage the rub into the chicken, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and place onto a baking sheet. Keep the marinade and set aside. Bake the chicken for eight to 10 minutes, or until just tender.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook on a low heat until the onions begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and heavy cream, then add the marinade, chicken and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Once you have a consistency of a thick sauce, remove from the stove and allow to cool.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and stir into the sauce. Divide the chicken and the sauce between the four naan pieces and bake for eight to 10 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro on top of each pizza just before serving.