Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toasted sandwich on a grill pan

You don't have to use a sandwich maker to produce a toasted sandwich. A ridged grill pan will do.

I think packet white bread is good in this context. The sandwich above consists simply of buttered bread with slices of cheese in the middle. I buttered the bread on the inside; but I might also try buttering it on the outside, as I have to do when I use the sandwich maker. I set the flame under the pan to low/medium.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chicken with red onions, white wine and tomatoes

Various ways of cooking chicken stews have been almost as strong an obsession on this blog as has cooking rice. Here's another, enabled by the ability of my shallow oven dish to sit above a flame on the hob as well as in the oven. Serves 3.

2 red onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Oil for frying (I used sunflower)
1 bay leaf
1/2 chicken stock cube (optional - but it does add savouriness, in my opinion)
1 glass white wine
3 chicken thighs, 3 drumsticks
2 plump tomatoes, skinned and chopped


Over a gentle flame, soften the onions and garlic in a tbsp or two of oil (enough to stop them catching). Five to 10 minutes.

Pour in the wine, with the bay leaf and stock cube (if using), and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken pieces in the sauce - you don't need to brown them first, because they will brown in the oven. Put the dish in the oven at gas mark 6/200C, for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until much of the wine has evaporated. Turn down the heat if the liquid is bubbling too fast, or if the chicken is browning too quickly.

To skin the tomatoes, bring a pan of water to the boil. Turn off the heat, and drop in the tomatoes. Drain them after about 20 seconds. The skin should slip off easily. (If you need to skin them right away, cool them under the cold water tap.) Chop them up, and add them to the stew. Put the dish back into the oven for another 45 minutes, taking it out for occasional stirring.

If the sauce is too runny, strain it into a saucepan - returning the chicken to the oven meanwhile - and boil it until it arrives at the consistency you like.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chicken, harissa, potatoes, fennel, and preserved lemon

A very simple, one-pot meal for one. But, as you can see, I was a little careless in allowing the coating on the chicken to char.

The foil - without which the potatoes would stick to my pan - is Bacofoil non-stick, which works well.

2 chicken thighs
Olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced, rinsed, and patted dry
Unpeeled garlic cloves (as many as you like)
1 fennel bulb, tough and discoloured outer layers removed, sliced
1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped

Coat the chicken in a little oil (with your hands), then spread the harissa all over (with a spoon or knife). Put the pieces in a non-stick roasting tin, or in an ordinary tin lined with non-stick foil. Put in the potatoes and garlic too, and toss them in oil. Season everything, and bake at gas mark 6/200C.

After about 40 minutes, toss the fennel slices with the potatoes and garlic. Cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the potatoes and fennel are tender. About 10 minutes from the end, toss the preserved lemon pieces with the potato, garlic and fennel mixture.