Just had conversation with a new follower on Facebook. What to have for supper tonight?
Depends on how much time you have Norma. But I know you have chicken and I know you have mince. Have a look at the Lamb Kofta recipe on this site. You can make it with beef mince or lamb mince.
But tonight I’d do chicken simply because cold nights call for gravy! Don’t know if you have a whole chicken, pieces or fillets. This recipe works best if you have bone in the meat. If you have a whole chicken, first sharpen your cleaver…………………….. then chop off the legs and the wings. Carefully cleave down the backbone so you have two halves of chicken, then cut again into two or three pieces depending on the size of your chicken. Essentially you are looking to have fairly even sized pieces of chicken.
Now. Take a plastic carrier bag. Yes that’s right. Throw in a handful of flour or polenta, season well with salt, pepper, about a teaspoon of smoked paprika if you have it – if not cayenne or chilli powder. But not too much – we are looking for flavour and layers of flavours here, not a big hit of chilli heat. Throw in your chicken pieces and bounce then round a bit till they are coated in flour. Then take out of the bag and put on a plate.
This recipe is easiest if you do the next stage in the same pan you will be using for the rest of the cooking (just saves the washing up). So use a double handed wide shallow saute pan with a lid for preference. If not use all the pans you want but end up putting in a shallow-ish pan not a deep casserole.
Put a good glug of olive oil into the pan, slice 2 large onions and a bulb of fennel and fry gently till very soft. Only then put in two squashed cloves of garlic. Cook for one more minute. Remove onions et from the pan but dont wipe the pan. Add more oil then bit by bit add the chicken pieces you are aiming to brown them so don’t put in too many at once or you will simply steam/stew them. When all pieces are browned, put the onions and fennel back into the pan, turn the heat up high and pour in a glass of dry white wine, or a good sglug (my word – its a cross between a splash and a glug) of Noilly Prat. Let the alcohol evaporate by boiling madly for a couple of minutes, then add about 750ml chicken stock. Now comes the first secret ingredient. ~Throw in some good black olives (juicy ones, not the dried out apology for olives you get in tins). Cook gently with the lid on for about an hour. Then remove the lid and check the seasoning. You should have chicken pieces which are golden and scrummy spicy rich juice which is beginning to thicken. If it isn’t thickening, simply cook for another 10 minutes with the lid off. The stock will evaporate a bit and become more intense. Nearly finished!
If you have made my preserved lemons (see posting on this site), take out half a lemon, and wash under the tap. Dry, then remove the fleshy part. Then slice the rind thinly and add to the chicken, along with some chopped tarragon and flat leaf parsley. Incorporate it all into the juice and cook for five more minutes.
Serve this with rice, or with flatbread, little roast potatoes or mash. Your choice. Yummy.