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This is one of our hearty dinners from the 5:2 diet we are on and it was very welcome this evening after getting in from the rain and cold. Full of flavour and filling despite the low calories!

Chicken, Red Onion and Mushroom Stew with Sherry and Butterbeans, serves 4

  • 6 Chicken thighs, skinned and boned then quartered
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 red onions, cut into thick wedges
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 100ml dry sherry
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • small bunch parsley, chopped

Heat a little olive oil to a medium-high heat in a pan and add the chicken, browning until golden on all sides.

Add the paprika, garlic onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions and mushrooms have softened. This should take about 5 minutes.

Add the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan for a second to deglaze, then add the chicken stock, tomatoes and butterbeans.

Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with the parsley sprinkled over the top and some crusty bread if you like.

Wine suggestion: If you feel like a glass with this we’d suggest trying a red from Navarra, an under-rated region in Spain. The balance of juiciness and structure would work with the simple, smokey and rustic flavours of the dish.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A really big thanks to our neighbour Nigel for giving us these lovely steaks; we hope the BBQ smells were good for you too!

So the other bits we did were cheesy mushrooms from Jamie’s 30 minute meals and some home-made oven chips which are way better than the ones you buy in a bag.

Jamie’s Cheesy Mushrooms – for 4

  • 4 large flat Portobello mushrooms (about 250g in total)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 a red chilli
  • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 70g mature Cheddar cheese

Trim the mushroom stalks and put them in a small earthenware dish so they fit pretty snug.

Crush 1/2 a garlic clove over each mushroom.

Finely chop the chilli and parsley and divide between the mushrooms.

Grate over the zest of half a lemon and drizzle well with olive oil and season.

Cut the cheese into 4 chunks and put 1 on each mushroom.

Grill on the top shelf for 9-10 minutes or until golden.

N.B. We couldn’t find Portobello mushrooms today so we used field mushrooms instead. They were nowhere near cooked in this time so we stuck them on the BBQ for 5 minutes to finish them off. If you can only find field mushrooms it might be best to cook the bottoms of them on the BBQ or griddle pan or even a frying pan first before finishing with the other ingredients under the grill.

Oven chips

Heat your oven to as hot as it goes.

Cut your potatoes into 1 cm thick slices and then cut the slices into chips about 1cm thick.

Cook the chips in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain really well.

Spread the chips out on a baking tray and drizzle with vegetable or groundnut oil and season.  Make sure all the chips are coated with oil but you don’t need to use very much.

Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Wine Suggestion: We had an Argentinian Malbec – perfect with steak!

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