Posts Tagged ‘Main Course’

Chicken Forestiere

Our first autumnal dish of the season. We can suffer the colder weather when it means mushrooms, pumpkin, squash, game birds, mussels… we could go on!

Wine Suggestion: Rich, creamy and earthy … we picked a German Pinot Noir, the Salwey Reserve “RS”Spätburgunder 2012 which balanced perfectly with the chicken, complimented the mushrooms and had enough freshness and earthy spice for the creamy madeira sauce. We’ve become converts to German wines over the past decade and think that the best, like Salwey from Baden, provide a great alternative to Burgundian Pinot and would recommend giving them a try.

Chicken Forestière – serves 4

  • 20g dried wild mushrooms
  • 8 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, halved and sliced
  • 75ml Madeira (or dry sherry)
  • 215g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 1tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 50ml of boiling water, leave to soak for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs and heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken thighs well on both sides (don’t be tempted to turn them early or the skin will tear). When the chicken is well-browned remove it from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1tbsp of the chicken fat from the pan into a bowl but don’t throw it away.

Heat the fat left in the pan and sauté the onions until soft and golden. Deglaze the pan with the Madeira.

Add the carrots and the stock, plus the wild mushroom and their soaking liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices, and keep it skin-side up. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir in the cream, return to a simmer again and cook for an additional 10 minutes with the lid off.

In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of the reserved chicken fat and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown and the liquid has evaporated. Season the mushrooms and stir into the chicken. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon at this point.

Scatter over the parsley and serve with potatoes and green veg.

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

Read Full Post »

In case you hadn’t gathered by now the first Friday in every month is the Irish Food Bloggers Association’s cookalong.

We’ve participated in the last three and it’s great craic  – even more so ’cause we invite a few friends over to cookalong with us… or at least sit there and chitter to us while we cook.

Each month has a theme and this one was either leftovers or recessionary budget style cooking. So a budget dinner party it had to be.

Our first thought was something like an Irish stew but we’ve done that many times and it’s always nice to try something new so we reckoned cheap cuts and seasonal veg was the way to go. After scouring our recipe books we came across this sausage and Jerusalem artichoke casserole (from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol 1).

For the dessert: we both love Christmas pudding but every year we manage a tiny morsel on Christmas day and the rest lurks in the fridge making us feel guilty for not eating it. Or at least it did until we discovered this Christmas pudding sauce which we serve up at to everyone who visits after Christmas ’til the pudding is done. I think I actually prefer it to traditionally served Christmas pudding at this stage.

The recipes below will serve 4 people (generously) for a rather nice dinner party and will cost  €6.17 per head (provided you have some leftover Christmas pudding). The most expensive ingredient was the icecream, at €6.95 a tub, but we reckon that’s something not worth scrimping on. One of our guests also brought lots of fabulous cheese which he had leftover from the holidays. It would have been totally bargain bucket if we hadn’t drank an obscene amount of wine but howandever (it was a party… albeit a little one).

Sausage and Artichoke Casserole to feed 4

  • 8 fabulous pork sausages (budget or not you have to buy good ones)
  • olive oil
  • 4 onions
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 500g Jerusalem artichokes
  • a lemon
  • a tsp of fennel seeds
  • 500ml light stock
  • a small bunch of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • something tasty and green to serve – we had some buttered savoy cabbage

Brown the sausages really well in a little bit of olive oil in a big casserole. Set them aside.

Cut the onions into quarters, then add to empty sausage pan, add a bit more oil if you need it. Soften the onions over a medium heat until they are quite mushy – about 15-20 minutes.

Peel and finely slice the garlic and add it to the onions, cut the mushrooms in half and add them too.

Peel or just scrub (we just scrubbed) the artichokes, then cut them in half. Add them to the pan and let them colour a bit (push your onions over to the side). Now tip the sausage back in. Cut the lemon into big chunks and tuck it in along with the fennel seeds and plenty of salt and pepper.

Pour over enough stock to cover everything and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are nice and tender. If you have too much liquid turn up the heat and reduce it a bit. Stir in the parsley and check the seasoning.

Serve with your greens.

Christmas Pudding Sauce to serve 4 (with ice cream)

  • 175g Christmas pudding
  • 30g butter
  • 30g brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • vanilla ice cream

Crumble the pudding into a shallow pan. Put it on a low heat and add the butter and sugar.

Mix in orange juice and brandy with a wooden spoon and bring slowly to the bubble.

Turn the heat down and simmer gently while you put the ice cream in 4 bowls. Spoon over the sauce and serve quickly before your ice cream melts.

Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Puddings.

I’m a bit embarrassed that our chums now know we only spent 6 quid each on them ….Hahaha!


Read Full Post »

To be honest we thought this would be a little bland (mostly as the look is a little light in the magazine photo – bland colours = bland flavour). We were wrong and we felt even more virtuous as it is a total diet dish; the flavours burst in every morsel.

To serve 4 (easily halved):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 skinless halibut fillets, about 175g each (or cod)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 large carrots grated
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • a handful of frozen peas

The rice and fish cooks at the same time so get everything ready first.

Heat the grill to high, then line with double thick foil and curl up at the edges so you don’t lose all the juice. Brush lightly with oil and put the fish on top. Sprinkle over the coriander, lemon zest and juice and drizzle with a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper, then grill for about 10 minutes or until the fish flakes (keep an eye on it as it might cook quicker than this depending on how thick your fish is).

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a pan, add onion and cumin and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the carrots and then the rice until glistening. Add stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes, then add the peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve the fish on top of the rice. Enjoy.

Original recipe is on BBC Good Food.

Read Full Post »

Over the last few years we’ve celebrated New Years by staying in and cooking something really nice and drinking a special bottle of wine; just the two of us! We then go out on New Year’s day to have a big lunch with friends. This year we cooked a rib of beef on the bone: in reality this is a roast beef for 2 people. Perfect with the quality of the beef really shining (we bought some well hung, organic beef from our butcher Tom) because the cooking is so simple.

Jamie’s Ultimate rib of beef with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes – to serve 2

For the potatoes:

  • 600g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • olive oil, or duck or goose fat
  • 5 cloves of garlic, skin on and smashed

For the beef:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • zest and juice of  1 lemon
  • a small bunch of rosemary tied together to make a little brush
  • olive oil
  • 1 x 1.2kg rib of beef

Put the garlic, lemon zest and tip of rosemary brush in a pestle and mortar, add a glug of olive oil and bash together. Use the brush to rub half of this marinade over your steak and leave for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Put potatoes cubes in a big pot of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Drain immediately in a colander and return to dry pot to dry out.

Crush rosemary leaves and add to a roasting tray with the potatoes, crushed garlic cloves and some oil. Season and toss together until well coated. Put in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crispy – give them a shake every now and again.

Heat ovenproof griddle pan on the hob until white hot. Season the steak really well and fry it in the pan without moving for a couple of minutes. Turn it over, baste it with the leftover marinade and put it in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the steak over every 5 minutes and continue to baste with the marinade. This should cook it to medium. When cooked squeeze over some lemon juice and rest for 5 minutes.

Carve and serve with the roasties – delicious!

Wine Suggestion: treat yourself to a really good Bordeaux.

Read Full Post »