Spring Chicken One Pot

Seeing as we are seeing glimmers of Spring in the air I thought I would post a recipe I tried out at the weekend from the trusty BBC Good Food website. My parents were returning from a month in Australia (alright for some!) so I made a heap of this Saturday evening so there was plenty left over for them to munch whenever they felt hungry with their messed up body clocks!

It’s an easy to make and healthy dish that I would recommend as something that is comforting whilst being good for you, enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium white onions, chopped
  • 750g bonesless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 500g small new potatoes (cut any big ones in half)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (using a fair bit more than the recipe here as it boils down quite a lot, and I like it juicy!)
  • 1 large broccoli head, cut into small florets
  • 550g spring greens, shredded
  • 300g petit pois
  • Large bunch of spring onions, sliced lengthways
  • 6-8 tsp green pesto (depends on how pesto-y you like it!)
Lots of healthy greens!

Lots of healthy greens!

Method:

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and heat until hot, then add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened, add the chicken and fry for another few minutes until lightly coloured on all sides.

After this, add the potatoes, stock and lots of freshly ground black pepper and salt. Bring to the boil and then put the lid on the saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when a fork is inserted and the chicken is cooked through and breaks apart easily.

Spring Chicken One Pot

 (If you wish you can freeze off portions at this point).

Add the broccoli, spring greens, petit pois and spring onions, stir well and then return to the boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the broccoli and spring green stalks are tender. Stir in the pesto and leave to bubble for another minute or so, then remove from the heat, serve and enjoy!

Spring Chicken One Pot.3

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Pesto Chicken Stew with Cheesy Dumplings

This is one of my favourite recipes from BBC Good Food which I have made multiple times, and it never fails to warm you up on a cold day – it’s the ultimate Autumnal comfort food.

What’s also great is that you make it all in one big pot and any leftovers can be frozen for another night (I have been known to cook this recipe for 8 people for just myself and freeze the rest!)

Due to the fact I have made this recipe various times, I have tried different additions along the way, the most successful of which I will include below! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Ingredients (serves 8):

Dumplings:

  • 140g butter
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 100g parmesan, grated
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 150ml cold water
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (my addition)

Stew:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12-15 chicken thighs (with bone but no skin)
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons (I also like to use pancetta cubes as an alternative)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml white wine (I find a light wine such as a sauvignon blanc works best)
  • 1 litre good quality chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 140g sundried tomatoes
  • 140g fresh pesto (green pesto)
  • Small bunch of basil, chopped

Method:

I like to start by making the dumplings first, as then they can chill in the fridge until needed. Place the flour in a large bowl, and chop the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Then as if you were making a crumble topping, rub the flour and butter between your fingertips to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Mix in the grated cheese and chopped basil and approximately 150ml of cold water, adding bit by bit whilst you mix with a cutlery knife until it all comes together to form a light dough, which is slightly sticky to the touch. Break off walnut sized pieces and roll into small balls and (after placing the pine nuts on a plate) roll in the pine nuts so they stick to the outside. Put all the dumplings on a cling filmed plate in the fridge.

Next, it’s time for the stew! Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and brown the chicken so all sides are golden. Due to the amount of the chicken I would advise doing this in a couple of batches, and setting aside in a separate bowl once browned. Once all the chicken is browned, leave to the side.

Next, add the bacon lardons (or pancetta cubes) to the casserole dish to crisp up, then add the onion, celery and leeks. Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the flour and season with salt and pepper, cooking for another couple of minutes.

Stir in the wine and allow to reduce slightly, then stir in the stock. Return the chicken thighs to the pan along with the bay leaves; cover the casserole dish with a lid. Reduce the heat so that the stew is gently simmering, and then leave to simmer for about 1.5 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

(Remove the dumplings from the fridge during the last 30 minutes of the stew’s cooking time, to allow them to come back up to room temperature.)

Heat the oven to 200 / 180 degrees celsius if fan oven. Add the peas, sundried tomatoes, pesto and basil to the stew, stirring everything in. Place the dumplings on top of the stew and scatter a few more pine nuts on top if you wish. Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes until the dumplings are golden and cooked through.

pesto chick stew

I like to serve this dish with home made crusty bread to mop up the lovely juices!

As mentioned above, any leftovers can be portioned off and frozen for another day. Enjoy! 😀

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Rack of Lamb with Pesto, Parmesan and Breadcrumb Crust

Spring has sprung! (sort of) And one of my favourite spring time meats is Lamb, even though they do look cute skipping around a field, they taste better in my belly! (sorry to any vegetarians/vegans…)

So here’s my recipe for a scrummy rack of lamb, along with  minty new potatoes and a side of shelled broad beans, peas, spring onions and pancetta, as well as a red wine jus for serving. Be warned, this is quite time consuming, especially when allowing 6-8 for the lamb to get all juicy and tasty in the marinade, but totally worth it!

(2 racks of lamb; 7-8 cutlets each -serves about 4, or 2 hungry adults :P)

Ingredients:

Pesto Crust:

  • 4 small bunches of fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 100g parmesan (grated)
  • about 100ml extra virgin olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 30/40g breadcrumbs

Side:

  • 500g shelled broad beans
  • 500g peas
  • 12 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 500g spring onions, chopped

Red Wine Jus:

  • salt and pepper
  • dry red wine, good glug
  • 1 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Marinade:

  • 125ml light olive oil
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped

Method:

  • First of all you need to marinade your lamb. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and put over the racks of lamb, which should be places in a deep roasting dish. Leave in the fridge for 6-8 hours, stir occasionally, and bring to room temperature one hour before cooking.
  • Second, make your pesto sauce – start by whizzing together the basil and garlic in a food processor  add the pine nuts and grated parmesan and whizz again, then have it running whilst you slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste and then spoon into a jar adding a splash on olive oil on the top, refrigerate.
  • After this, combine the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons more of parmesan, and leave in a bowl for later.
  • Prepare your broad beans, blanch for 2 minutes and then run under cold water, this should allow you to easily slip their skins off.
  • Put a 500g-750g bag of baby new potatoes on to boil for about 20 minutes until tender, drain and sprinkle of chopped mint and butter, shake and leave somewhere to keep warm.
  • When it comes to cooking, seal the fatty sides of the racks of lamb in a little of the marinade juices. Once sealed and golden brown place in a roasting tin, fatty side up. Add your pesto sauce to the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick paste consistency, then spoon this onto the fatty sealed sides of each rack of lamb, pressing down to make sure it sticks. Finish with an extra sprinkling of breadcrumbs and parmesan on top for extra crunch.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes at 190 degrees, and then rest on a wooden board for 5 minutes.
  • Whilst the lamb is cooking, brown off the chopped spring onions and pancetta in a large non stick frying pan, added a good grinding of pepper, once browned, add the peas (after cooking for 2 minutes) and the shelled broad peas and warm through.
  • For the red wine jus, add the red currant jelly, red wine, and cornflour (after mixed with a little cold water) to a saucepan and heat through. Once the lamb is cooked, add the juices from the roasting tray to this to add more flavour, season with salt and pepper, once slightly thicken and to your liking, sieve the jus into a warm jug.
rack-of-lamb-with-pesto-parmesan-an

Ready to cut and serve!

Phew! Hope you enjoy if you try, Abi x