Its been ages since I last posted and I’m finally back! I’ve had a lot of emails and messages asking me where I’ve been and why I haven’t been posting. It’s been a fairly hectic year. We’ve moved house, I’ve changed jobs and my health has not been as good as it could have been. Probably the stress of moving house and changing jobs! But I’m back now and I can’t wait to get posting and baking/cooking like I used to.
A couple of Saturdays ago we went to Farmer’s Market at the Bothwell Scarecrow Festival and got ourselves a nice juicy St Brides Chicken 🙂 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better quality chicken in Scotland. It’s a slow growing variety of chicken that they keep and its completely free range! Their farm is in strathaven which is not far from where I live and as always, the quality is second to none.
I know some people only get a whole chicken when they are making a roast and feel like they won’t get as much use out of buying a whole chicken. I find it to be the opposite. A whole chicken goes a long way. Sometimes I make a roast but often I cut the chicken up, slather my marinade of choice, bag what I’m not using and freeze it for nex week. And because it’s already marinated, it makes mid week meals much easier and quicker.
That’s exactly what I did with this chicken! For this recipe, I used only the legs. Its a recipe of sorts. As most of you know, I cook by instinct. Using up what’s in the fridge and making the recipe up as I go along. There are some people who don’t actually taste what their making until after it’s been plated. I don’t understand that. I’m constantly tasting the food, adjusting for spice and salt etc if it needs it.
My inspiration from this comes from Theo, the lovely Aussie chef who made a cumin & paprika chicken at last year’s Clyde Valley Orchard Fruit Day at Overton Farm. It was fantastic. Such a simple recipe, with just two main spices but the result was mind blowing roast chicken! I wanted those two flavours- paprika and cumin. I also wanted to cook everything in one pot and to use up that little bit of chorizo I had left. So I decided to braise my chicken.
- 2 chicken legs
- 1 banana shallot diced
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin (powder)
- ½ tsp crushed dried chillies/chilli flakes
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 100ml chicken/veg stock
- 8 baby button mushrooms, quartered
- 10 tomatoes, finely diced
- ½ red pepper, roughly diced
- ½ carrot, roughly diced
- ½ tsp mixed dried herbs
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbp oil
- Heat oil in a pan. (make sure your pan in large enough to hold all the ingredients and has a lid)
- Add the shallots and cook in a low heat till shallots are soft. This should take about 7 mins. Use this time to chop up your other veg and wash up some dishes.
- Add everything except the chicken, stock and water. Season and Sautè on medium heat for about 3 mins.
- Put your chicken on top of the veg, pour the stock over and add enough water to cover 3/4 of the chicken.
- Leave to cook on medium heat with the lid partially on(allow the steam to escape a little) until the chicken is tender and the liquid has reduced. This varies depending on how large your chicken is and how strong your flame is. It took me 30 mins.
- Check the seasoning and serve!
As you can see I’m hardly an expert at cutting up a chicken but practice makes perfect!
Unfortunately my pictures aren’t that great. A combination of impatience and lack of practice – I’m working on it!