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Posts Tagged ‘simon hopkinson’

We don’t often cook classic French dishes at home, preferring to sit in a bistro in blissful ignorance (or denial) of the copious amounts of butter we’re consuming … there’s a reason why those dishes are so tasty. However we’ve been revisiting “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” by Simon Hopkinson and decided to give this simple dish a go. Yes, lots of butter, but so very worth it for the tender chicken and delicious sauce. Serve with potatoes and some green beans.

Wine Suggestion: This particular dish works really well with red Burgundy or Beaujolais.

Poulet sauté au vinaigre – serves 4

  • 8 chicken pieces (we used thighs but you could also joint a whole chicken)
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (cut a little cross in the bottom of each and cover with boiling water, leave for 1 minute, then drain and the skins will peel off easily)
  • 250ml top-quality red wine vinegar
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped parsley

Season the chicken pieces well with salt and black pepper.

Heat 4 tbsp of the butter and the olive oil in a shallow casserole or deep frying pan until just turning brown.

Add the chicken pieces and fry gently, turning, until golden brown all over.

Add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomato has lost its moisture and turned dark red and sticky. This will take a while so don’t be tempted to rush it.

Add the vinegar and simmer until almost evaporated, then add the stock and simmer again to reduce by half.

Remove the chicken pieces to a warm serving dish and keep warm. Whisk the rest of the butter into the sauce to make it nice and glossy. Add half the parsley, then pour over the chicken and sprinkle with the rest of the parsley.

(Original recipe from Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson, Ebury Press, 1994.)

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It just wouldn’t be spring without asparagus soup would it? Though the weather is far from spring-like in Dublin. This is from Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson, though I suspect Simon may not approve of our half-whizzed texture. You can of course whizz until smooth and pass through a fine sieve if you’re equally fussy.

Asparagus soup – serves 4

  • 100g butter
  • 4 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed and chopped
  • 750ml water
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 450g fresh asparagus, snap off the woody ends and peel the thicker ends a little
  • 250ml double cream

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then sweat the leeks until soft.

Add the water and potato, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 15 minutes.

Chop the asparagus and add to the soup, then boil rapidly for 5 minutes.

Whizz the soup in a blender or food processor, then pass through a fine sieve (or if you’re lazy like us you can just roughly whizz with a stick blender).

(Original recipe from Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson, Ebury Press, 1994.)

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Who would have thought that something so delicious could be made from chard? The stalky bits, that you might have been tempted to throw away, are the stars of the show!

Chard leaves with wild garlic & olive oil – to serve 2

  • leaves cut from a 500g bunch of chard (save the stalks for the recipe below)
  • 150g wild garlic, remove any thick stalks (if it’s not wild garlic time you can substitute a clove of garlic instead)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Slice the chard and wild garlic into wide ribbons. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the leaves and seasoning. Gently fry until beginning to wilt and then stew for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Serve hot.

Chard gratin – to serve 2 

  • 30g butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • 225ml milk
  • 30g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • salt, freshly ground white pepper and nutmeg
  • chard stalks from a 500g bunch

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

Make a mornay sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan and stirring in the flour. Cook gently for a few minutes, then pour in the milk and whisk. Put the pan over a low heat and stir continuously until the sauce starts to thicken (don’t worry if goes lumpy just keep stirring and the lumps will eventually dissolve).

Add the Gruyère, 25g of the Parmesan and the seasonings. Simmer very gently, stirring now and then, for about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the chard stalks with a veg peeler and cut into 8-10cm lengths. Steam or boil for about 20 minutes, or until tender, then remove and lay on a clean tea towel to dry.

Lightly butter a gratin dish and lay the chard stalks in it. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes , or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with the chard leaves.

(Original recipe from Simon Hopkinson’s The Vegetarian Option, Quadrille, 2009.)

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