mediterranean chicken for the season

This recipe is so simple and can be made ahead of time. The chicken pieces can marinade for no less than 30 minutes or overnight and after that it is really just about combining everything together in one tray and baking it for about an hour.
The end result is fragrant, tender meat with a crispy skin and delicious, colourful vegetables, that remind me of the Mediterranean.
I served couscous alongside and homemade chilli paste.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
8 chicken thighs
2t crushed garlic
2 lemons, juice of 1 and the other one quartered
3 rosemary stalks
3T olive oil + more for vegetables
good grind of black pepper
1t dried oregano
1 whole garlic bulb, halved
2 red onions, quartered
8 baby potatoes, quartered
200g pitted green olives
bunch fresh thyme
2-3 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/2C dry white wine
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1/2C water
salt to taste

In a large resealable bag, combine the crushed garlic, lemon juice and quarters, rosemary, olive oil, oregano & black pepper and shake to combine. Add the chicken pieces, squish it around in the bag, seal the bag and place into the fridge to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 190C.
Combine the whole garlic, red onion, potatoes, thyme & tomatoes in a large ovenproof dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, toss and season with salt & black pepper. Add the crumbled stock cube, white wine and water.
Arrange the chicken pieces on top along with the remaining ingredients in the plastic bag.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the dish, add the olives and bake for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the skin is crispy and browned.

Serve with your choice of couscous, rice, crispy bread or salad.


creamy one pan marsala chicken

Marsala, a fortified wine that is either dry or sweet, is frequently used in cooking. One of the most popular Marsala recipes is chicken marsala, in which chicken breasts are pounded, floured and braised in a mixture of marsala, olive oil, butter, mushrooms and herbs.
Of course there are many delicious chicken marsala recipes one can try and by no means am I saying mine is the best.
I do, however, think my chicken marsala is delicious and worth giving a go if you are looking for an easy meal with a lot of flavour that doesn’t take much time to prepare.

ingredients | serves 4-6 – easy
8 chicken thighs
1t onion powder
1t garlic powder
1/2t fine salt
good grind of black pepper
olive oil
knob of butter
3/4C marsala wine
1 1/2C chicken broth / stock
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
a good bunch of fresh thyme, half of which the leaves are picked, the other half left whole
1C cream
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1T dijon mustard
bunch fresh parsley, chopped
chives, chopped (garnish)

Preheat the oven to 185C. Lightly oil the chicken thighs with olive oil and rub the onion & garlic powder into the skin. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, ovenproof skillet. Place the thighs skin side down in the pan and brown on a moderate heat until the skin is nicely coloured and crispy. About 6 minutes.
Turn and lightly brown the other side. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat about 2 more tablespoons olive oil and a knob of butter. Sauté the onion until fragrant and glossy. About 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
Add the mushrooms, mustard & the thyme leaves and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are just cooked.
Pour the marsala into the pan, deglaze and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce.
Pour the broth into the pan and simmer on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Add the cream, gently stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt & pepper if needed.
Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, skin side up.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the thighs are cooked.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with the parsley and chives.

Serve with rice, couscous or fettuccini.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


pressure cooker lamb shank

Some foods, like shank, can take hours to cook and, frankly, I just don’t always have hours to wait for a good, healthy meal.
These beautiful, meaty shanks are from my local butcher and have been in my freezer for about three weeks. Three weeks too long!!
It took me about 20 minutes to prepare this dish and a further 40 minutes of cooking time, for tender, flavourful shanks that I served on creamy, garlicky mashed potato.
In my mind, a meal fit for kings and queens!!

ingredients | easy
2-4 large lamb shanks
5T flour
Olive oil
1T butter
1 large white onion, chopped
2T tomato paste
4 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 stalks rosemary
1/2t ground coriander
1t turmeric
1/2t ground cinnamon
2t cumin seeds, lightly crushed
2t paprika (not smoked)
2 bay leaves
1C chicken stock
1C red wine
2 leeks, sliced diagonally
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
3 celery ribs, sliced
2T brown sugar
bunch fresh parsley, garnish
zest of 1 lemon, garnish
mint leaves, garnish
1t fine salt
good grind of black pepper
2T corn flour
2T water

how to
Season the shanks with salt & pepper and dust with the flour.
Turn the pressure cooker to saute mode. Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil and brown the shanks all over until beautifully caramelised. Set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the uncleaned bowl of the pressure cooker and a knob of butter. Sauté the onion until translucent. About 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste & sugar, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin & paprika, stir and cook until fragrant. About a minute.
Pour the wine into the pot to deglaze and reduce by half. Add the carrots, celery & leeks, stir to combine and cook for about 3 minutes on a gentle simmer.
Nestle the shanks in the vegetable mixture and top with the quartered tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves.
Add the salt, black pepper and bay leaves and pour the stock around the shanks into the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Switch saute mode off.
Place the lid on the cooker, seal the vent and turn the pressure cooking time to 40 minutes, on normal mode.
Cook for the set time with a natural pressure release.
Carefully remove the lid.
To thicken the sauce, mix the corn flour with the water to a paste. Switch to sauté mode.
Pour the corn flour mixture into the pot, stir and gently simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Garnish with chopped parsley, mint leaves and lemon zest.





haddock curry

This recipe is a simple one, with a delicious masala and coconut flavour. At first I was a little apprehensive of using lightly smoked haddock but I can honestly say that the mild smokey flavour only enhanced this dish. And I loved it!
If you like curry as much as I do and are looking for a delicious, healthy and easy mid-week meal, then this recipe is for you!
Contrary to the norm, I cook, eat and enjoy curry all year round. This one was particularly well suited to a warm, summers evening.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
300g lightly smoked & uncooked haddock, cut into chunks
1 white onion, finely chopped
3t crushed garlic
2T tomato paste
2T masala curry powder
2C cherry tomatoes, whole
1T ginger, grated
1t ground cumin
1/2t mustard seeds
1/2t fennel seeds
1/2t red chilli flakes, optional
1T turmeric
1T brown sugar
1 1/2C fish stock
200g green beans, sliced diagonally
1 lime, juice only
2T olive oil
1T butter
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper
fresh coriander, to serve
basmati rice, to serve
natural yogurt, to serve (optional)
toasted almonds, to serve (optional)

method
Heat olive oil & butter in a pot and sauté the onion & garlic until translucent. Add the tomato paste & brown sugar, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the ginger, masala powder, chilli, cumin, mustard & fennel seeds and turmeric, stir to combine and cook until fragrant. About 2 minutes. Pour the fish stock into the pot, stir and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and leave to simmer on a medium heat until slightly reduced and thickened. About 10 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes and green beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Lastly, add the haddock and simmer until cooked through. Squeeze the lime juice into the pot and stir.
Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Serve with basmati rice, fresh coriander and yogurt.



“Boontjie bredie” – lamb & green bean stew

Cooler weather called for a warm, aromatic stew and since I had green beans in my fridge it was the perfect excuse to cook a meal that hold so many wonderful childhood memories.

This dish, a winter favourite consisting of lamb, green beans & potatoes, is just one of the many dishes customary to my South-African heritage. Traditionally cooked for a few hours in an aromatic broth of clove and nutmeg and served with fluffy white rice, it is cooked differently in every household after being passed down many generations.
It is certainly not the most attractive of dishes but it boasts beautiful aromatic flavour and will, undoubtedly, become one of your winter go-to recipes. An easy, delicious and comforting one pot wonder that will be enjoyed by everyone sitting around your dining table.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1.2kg lamb stewing meat or lamb knuckle
3T flour
500g green beans, sliced
3 large potatoes, cubed
1/2C dry white wine
2C chicken stock
5 whole cloves
1t ground nutmeg
5 thyme sprigs, leaves only
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper (don’t be shy)
2T olive oil + extra for browning meat
1T butter
white rice to serve

how to
Dredge the meat with the flour. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot and brown the meat, in batches, using a little more oil for each batch.
Set the meat aside.
Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and the butter and sauté the onion until glossy. About 2 minutes.
Add the white wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce to half.
Add the garlic, cloves, nutmeg & thyme and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring.
Pour the stock into the pot followed by the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes & green beans, stir to combine and season with salt & pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for 1 hour. Move the lid only a little to the side allowing steam to escape (this will thicken the sauce a little, if necessary) and cook for a further 30 minutes until the lamb is tender and the potatoes are well cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the lemon juice and gently stir.

Serve with fluffy white rice or mashed potato.