The temperatures have plummeted here this weekend. Down to minus one all night. A proper scrape the ice off the windows morning. There is something incredibly pretty about a bright frosty morning..the crisp grass, the frozen spider webs which suddenly seem to spring out from all over, the frozen water in the bird bath.
I love a cold crisp day when it is complimented with clear blue skies and sunshine. Those kind of days really are magical.
All this cold weather is only fuelling my excuse for more winter fare on our dinner table. It becomes absolutely necessary to have soul warming food that permeates your very bones. Something that leaves you whole heartedly satisfied. Especially after a busy week when you just want to stay at home and sink into the sofa by the fire and tuck into a big bowl of goodness while you watch catch up Homelands episodes on tv with a glass or two of vino. This is where my adored long slow cooking perks its head up again. Easy to prepare and once in the oven is happy to be left to its own devices for a few hours while you park your bottom and put your feet up. Perfect!
I am a big lover of chicken so today the pot is getting filled with thighs and drumsticks. The parts that a lot of people don’t usually want to have..the tastiest parts..the most succulent parts that when slow cooked just fall off the bone..the best parts! AND because everyone else would rather be buying the breast, they’re cheap!
What’s better than a meal that’s cheap and easy?? I know, a meal that’s cheap and easy and leaves you a half bottle of wine to drink whilst you’re enjoying eating it!
6 chicken thighs (skin on)
6 chicken drumsticks (skin on)
2 tbsp oil
200 ml Hardy’s Crest white wine (or other wine of your choice – you get to enjoy the remainder of the bottle with your meal after all!)
500 ml chicken stock
250g smoked streaky bacon (cut into strips)
150g button mushrooms (left whole)
150g shallots (peeled and left whole)
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, sprigs of parsley and thyme)
salt and pepper
Get a heavy based casserole dish, put onto a medium high heat and add the butter and oil. Once hot, add your chicken, skin side down and cook until the skin has browned. Once the skin is golden, remove the chicken and set aside. Add the bacon and mushrooms and cook until golden brown and then add the onions and sugar and cook a little longer until slightly caramelized.
Add the chicken back to the pot then add the flour and give it a good stir. Allow to cook for a minute, making sure to stir. Pour in your wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the bits that might be stuck to the bottom…all this will add extra flavour! Allow this to come to a slow simmer, as it does this the alcohol will get burnt off, then add the chicken stock, tomato purée, chopped tarragon and bouquet garni. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil and then put your dish, uncovered, into a slow oven, around 140-150 degrees Celsius and cook for around 2 1/2 hours.
Go put your feet up and work up an appetite as your oven wafts delicious mouth-watering smells through your home.
Best enjoyed served with mashed potato (to mop up all that yummy sauce) and French beans.. or another veg of your choice!
Go on, tuck in!
I’d love to see photos if you make this yourself! #wsdrecipes