It was a Saturday. Something strange had happened. I fancied something other than curry for tea! Not sure Kit was so impressed with this idea!
However not all was lost…
I still wanted that hit of spice!
We were going to be having curry. We had bought 3 chickens especially. To be honest I think the thought of taking the meat off 3 birds was not appealing to me on this particular day. I think a bout of ‘Can’t be arsed’ had come over me!
As well as three chickens I had also put a load of chickpeas into soak the night before so I had to incorporate those in some way.
I had been making some seasonings a couple days previously and knew that I had some surplus ‘Ome Made Portuguese Rub-a-Dub-Rub. And that was all the inspiration I needed! “One Pot Portuguese Chicken”.
One Pot Portuguese Chicken
This really is a simple recipe and whilst it’s cooking you can go about and enjoy your day rather than slaving over a hot stove.
You don’t have to use three chickens! The recipe below is for one. You can also use whatever vegetables you fancy.
You will need;
- One Large Chicken
- 165g dried chick peas (soaked overnight, boiled for 10 minutes and drained)
- 4 large potatoes quartered
- 4 large carrots cut into chunks
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 bulbs garlic chopped
- roughly 120g mushrooms sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ‘Ome Made Portuguese Rub-a-Dub-Rub (or Piri-Piri seasoning or mix up a little paprika, cumin and chilli) mixed with a little oil to make a paste.
- Roughly 1 1/2 litres chicken Stock (you could use a little less and add a glass of red wine or as we did a splash of Port!)
- 4 tomatoes chopped
- Big handful of fresh coriander chopped
- Seasoning to taste
Take a large roasting pan or anything oven proof that all your ingredients will fit in. Put all the ingredients except the chicken, spice mix, stock, tomatoes and coriander in your roasting pan. pour over the stock so that it almost but not quite covers your vegetables.
Rub the spice mixture all over your chicken and place it on top of your vegetables. Cover the whole pan with a couple layers of tin foil and place in a preheated oven at 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Take out of the oven. Turn the oven up to 220°C/200°C Fan/ Gas Mark 7. Remove the tin foil and stir in the tomato and fresh coriander. Check for seasoning. Place the pan back in the oven for approximately 30 minutes for the chicken skin to crisp and colour a little.
Remove from the oven and let sit for twenty minutes. The chicken will just fall off the bone. Try serving with some steamed rice and some good crusty bread.
Happy Happy Holidays!
We love school holidays in our house.
It’s even better when the weather is good, because after a wet winter with 4 bundles of energy bombing around in the house & climbing the walls, we were getting a wee bit fractious temperament wise.
For the first winter in a long time we couldn’t go sledging with our Kids or have snowball fights due to zero snowflakes falling. I have to say board games have been our saviour (although the 3hours of trying to teach our Kids how to play Monopoly was maybe not too good on the old blood pressure!).
So the Easter holidays. A time to kick back, relax & catch up on the little jobs around the house.
The toilet seat that broke in January has finally been fixed by ‘Ome….& then broke again on Easter Sunday due to the amount of traffic using it.
Windows have been cleaned so they’re like, erm, glass.
Courgette & borage plants have been planted out….& then promptly scoffed by slugs! Grrrrr…
The lawn has FINALLY had its first cut of the year. The grass was that long it had lost the will to be in a vertical position.
Cycle rides & walks have been enjoyed by all.
A new (well, second-hand) garden set has been purchased & painted after the last set ended up more leg-less than Oliver Reed (Bless him).
School books have been read.
A project on India is underway.
The schools’ pet snails seemed to have settled into our mad house & are being fed & watered everyday (thanks Dj for asking your teacher if we could have them over the hols!).
The ‘How Much Chocolate Can Small Children Eat In One Day’ experiment was carried out on Easter Sunday. I think CurlyE won that one. Dj was the first to fall & announce ‘I feel a bit sick….do I have to eat all this egg?’. MissT & Lil’MrM drew a very well battled second place.
It won’t be long until we’re back into the same old routine of school & homework & packed lunches & work & stress.
But then if we didn’t have that I don’t think we’d ever fully appreciate the times when our Kids are wired, bringing home P.E kits to be washed & emptying their school bags of all the crap they’ve accumulated over the school terms because
‘IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!’
Mike, our butcher, had got a couple of Ox Cheeks in. I’ve never had them before but I thought I’d give them a go.
I’d read about them and understood that they needed a nice slow cook. Apparently they make an absolutely wicked chilli, or should that be cheeky chilli!
I think the bit of Irish in me had attuned to the fact that St Patricks day was approaching so I decided to cook these cheeky chappies in Guinness (other stouts are available…)with a few flat mushrooms, carrots and onions and serve them with a good dollop of Champ, that comforting dish of mashed potato with spring onions and lots of butter!
I have to say that I was not disappointed with the results. After quite a few hours of cooking I had a gorgeous dark gravy and the cheeks were moist and succulent and had a lovely beefy flavour that reminded me of a cross between beef shin and Ox tail.
The Cheeks went a long way too. They are quite rich due to the gelatinous nature of them so a little seems to go a long way. You shouldn’t pay a lot for them either which makes them a real bargain.
With the leftover meat, champ and gravy I made some potato cakes with the meat in the middle, baked them in the oven and served them with some peas and the leftover gravy… I’ll tell you something, leftovers don’t get much better!
I would recommend anyone to give Ox cheeks a go. They are a very forgiving meat to cook as long as they are cooked for plenty of time, they are cheap and extremely tasty. Don’t be put off by the look of them or the part of the animal they are from. They really are delicious which is probably why all the celebrity chefs are coming out with recipes for them… lets hope they don’t succeed in pushing up the price of these cheeky little morsels!
Recipe (to serve 8 adults)
2 Ox Cheeks (about 900g – 1 Kilo
1 large or two medium onions chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
4 large carrots cubed/sliced
8 – 12 flat mushrooms sliced
Plain flour (some)
About 400ml beef stock
2 x 500ml bottles of Guinness
1 or two star anise
1 Tablespoon muscavado sugar or other dark sugar
Pinch of thyme
Good pinch of salt to taste and a really good grind of black pepper
For the Champ
2 kilo peeled potatoes
2 bunch spring onions (12-16)
50 gram butter
When we had this we prepared it the day before we were going to have it so that it could be put straight in the oven to be ready for teatime. It’s a good idea to do if you have a busy day.
First off dice your onions and finely chop your garlic and fry gently in a large oven proof pan. Add the carrot, thickly sliced and continue to gently fry.
Prepare your Ox Cheek by taking off the outer thick bits of fat and any thick bits of membrane. Don’t worry too much about the state of your cheeks being perfect, after a long slow cook they’ll be fine.
Once the onion has softened and the carrot is stating too take on a bit of colour add your cheeks to brown.
Heat your stock ready to go in the pan.
Once your cheeks are nice and brown sprinkle over some flour to roughly coat everything in the pan. Continue to cook gently for a couple more minutes.
Add your stock a little at a time while giving everything a bit of a stir. You should end up with a thick paste. If it’s a little lumpy don’t worry as after a long cook it should cook out.
Now pour in your two bottles of Guinness. Remember to do a quality control taste on each bottle before adding!
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Once the liquid has come to the simmer you can either take off the heat, cool and refrigerate to cook the next day or it can be put in the oven to finish off.
The Stew can be cooked,covered, on 165°C for three hours or 150°C for about six hours. We put our stew straight in the oven from the fridge. We put it in a cold oven set to 150°c where it stayed for three hours and then we turned it up to 160°c for another three hours, after which it was cooked perfectly. The cheeks were lifted out of the gravy to rest while the gravy was put in the oven uncovered to reduce slightly.
As for the champ, well thats dead easy. Peel and cut your potatoes into approximately 1 1/2’’ chunks. Plonk into a pan and just cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and put on a very low heat until the steam almost stops (meaning all the excess water has evaporated and you’ll have nice fluffy potatoes).
While your potatoes are finishing, put the onions, milk, butter and seasoning in a pan and warm gently allowing all the flavours to infuse.
When your potatoes are ready give them a good mashing and then fold the milk, butter and onion mixture into the potatoes.
Once your ready to plate up the Ox cheeks can be sliced or pulled apart with a fork. Simply put a dollop of Champ into a dish, place some Ox cheek on top then ladle some gravy over the top. We finished our dish off with a little purple sprouting broccoli.
A nice cheap meal that really tasted like something you should be paying a lot of money for in a trendy ‘Gastro’ pub.
Happy St Patricks Day everybody… enjoy your Guinness, in moderation… of course!
So Kit has to go to the emergency eye clinic, turns out she has got viral conjunctivitis, not nice.
Hmmm, was going to be chicken & mushroom lasagne for tea, made with some ‘Ome smoked chicken (done at the same time as the lamb for Easter).Thinking about it though seems as our house is ‘house of the lurg’ at the moment maybe a nice warming smoked chicken & sweetcorn chowder might be in order. There is nothing like a soup made with real chicken stock to kick those pesky virus and bacteria into touch!
Chicken & Sweetcorn Chowder (Serves 4-6)
You will need:
Leftover roast chicken (approximately 300g or two good handfuls, it doesn’t have to be smoked!)
Chicken stock (Boil up the bones from the roast chicken if you’ve had time. You want about a pint)
Milk or cream
sweetcorn (frozen or tinned)
Cooked potato (either leftover new potatoes or dice up a large baker and boil for 20 minutes)
Melt some butter, about 125g, in a pan. Add some chopped garlic (1 or 2 cloves) and some onion (1 medium sized). Fry gently for a couple minutes.
Add a tablespoon of flour to the pan and stir for a minute to help cook the flour out.
Add some stock (if it’s hot it will blend with the flour better and you will void lumps), a bit at a time and keep stirring to make a smooth paste. Once you’re at this stage you should be able to add the rest of the stock with no problems. Keep stirring until the sauce comes to a simmer (if it does go lumpy you can always get the hand blender in there or put in a liquidizer).
Add your chicken and potato and let that heat through for 10 minutes. You can then add the sweet corn and either a couple tablespoons of cream or about 1/4 pint of milk. The soup should be a nice thick consistency, if it’s too thick thin with a bit more stock or milk.
Season with pepper (ground white works best) and salt to taste. I also add a generous pinch of paprika (you could use smoked).
You can add some finely chopped fresh parsley or chervil if you have any.
After ten minutes the Chowder will be ready.
Serve with some nice crusty bread for a lovely comforting meal.