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Posts Tagged ‘A bird in the hand’

A Diana Henry recipe inspired by but not quite the same as the Dominican dish. This is perfect for a weeknight despite the long list of ingredients. Most will be in your cupboard and it’s really easy to put together. Lovely bright colours and flavours. This works on it’s own or with some crusty bread or rice.

Wine Suggestion: despite the inclination to go for a richer white, we felt in the mood for a red instead so chose Domaine Gayda’s Cepage Grenache. A brambly, dark red fruited wine with a juicy core and gentle, ripe tannins. We served it slightly cool to great effect and it made a delightful counterpoint to the chipotles (ours were very hot!).

Guisado de Pollo – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 75g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 400g waxy potatoes, cut into 1cm chunks – you can peel them if you like, we didn’t bother
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • a small tin of pineapple in natural juice, drained and cut into small chunks
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tinned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or 3 tbsp chipotle paste (reduce if your chipotles are very hot)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, halved lengthways and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped, to serve

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole and fry the chicken in batches until browned on both sides. It doesn’t need to be cooked through at this stage. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the chopped pumpkin and potato to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until starting to colour. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion and pepper to the pan and cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic cand cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the pineapple, tomatoes, sugar, chipotles, thyme, chicken stock. Season and bring slowly to a simmer.

Cut the chicken into thick strips, then add to the casserole along with any juices from the plate. Add the potatoes, pumpkin and the jalapeño. Stir gently then leave to simmer for 25 minutes without a lid. Give it a stir now and again. It’s ready when the vegetables are soft and the sauce thickened.

Add the capers and lime juice and season to taste. Stir in the coriander and serve.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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We loved these little meatballs by Diana Henry. Super tasty and very popular with our 7 year old. We served them with spaghetti and some home-made tomato sauce but we also like Diana’s suggestion of stuffing them into a wrap with some lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Will definitely be trying this suggestion next time.

Wine Suggestion: We think that Sangiovese plays a wonderful balance of power without weight, especially when it avoids too much extraction or oak. A new find, courtesy of an old friend is the Tenuta di Carleone Chianti Classico. Quite new, in the scheme of things but an old property and vineyard, this is biodynamic and delicious.

Chicken, spinach and cheese polpette – serves 6

  • 500g minced chicken
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 20g grated Parmesan
  • 60g grated Gruyère
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, or a small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 200g spinach (discard any thick stems)
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
  • a generous grating of nutmeg
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Put the chicken mince into a large bowl with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying and sauté the onion gently until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Put the spinach into a large pan with couple of tbsp of water and cover with a lid. Put over a low heat until wilted, about 4 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

Add the cooled onion to the chicken with the thyme, nutmeg, lemon zest and lots of seasoning.

Squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove the water, then finely chop. Add this to the bowl with everything else and mix well with your hands.

Wet your hands, form the mixture into little meatballs and place on a baking tray. Diana suggests the size of a walnut in its shell which should give about 50 meatballs. I think we only got to about 36 so ours must of been a bit bigger – no matter.

Cover the tray and put the meatballs into the fridge for half an hour or so to allow them to firm up.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the polpette in batches over a medium heat, until they have turned crusty brown all over. Return them all to the pan, lower the heat, and continue to cook for about 7 minute or until cooked through. You can cut into one to check there’s no pink.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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Lemon & Pistachio Chicken

Diana Henry is one of our favourite food writers and we can’t recommend her book of chicken recipes, A Bird in the Hand, highly enough. This lemon & pistachio chicken from that book is nothing short of delicious. She cooks this every year, and we think we may too.

Wine Suggestion: There’s a richness to this dish that demands an equal wine like Zind Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Calcaire from Alsace that had an excellent balance of depth, fruit, freshness and texture.

Lemon & Pistachio Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 120g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 40g white breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • good pinch of caster sugar
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 large skin-on boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml chicken stock

Put the shallots, garlic & half the thyme into a pan with 50g of the butter and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then tip into a large bowl.

Chop the pistachio nuts or blend in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and nuts to the shallot mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, oil, sugar and parsley. Season well and stir to make a stiff, coarse paste. If the mixture is too dry add a little more oil and it too wet a few extra breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the point of a sharp knife into the thicker end of each chicken breast and cut a cavity that runs along the length. Season the chicken inside the pocket, then use a teaspoon to fill the hole with the stuffing. Squeeze the sides together to close the incision as much as possible. Season the chicken on the outside, drizzle with a little olive oil and put into a roasting tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the tin and skim off the fat from the juices. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and splash in the white balsamic vinegar and stock. Bring to a rolling boil and reduced until slightly thickened. Add the rest of the butter and thyme and serve poured over the chicken.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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