There will be a trend here for the next couple of weeks. As I have 2 other chicken dishes to post including this one so it shall be declared that chicken shall be the theme!
Chicken is the easiest poultry and game meat to cook and prepare. When we were doing the the Poultry and Game module at TAFE, working with chicken was my least favourite. Because no matter how many times we have prepped a whole chicken in class, I still can't get my chicken portoins right when at home. When in class, I amaze myself. When at home, it seems like a struggle. I guess the pressure that there is a chef/teacher breathin down my neck helps in the process of making it right the first time. While at home, who cares how the portions look?! Hahaha!
Ah memories of Kitchen 10, 8 and Kitchen 1. And since that's all history now, time to move and get planning. I've learned so much all those times in the TAFE kitchen but somehow in the process, lost my creativity. When prior to cooking school I would experiment in the kitchen, during the course I was inclined to be more technical. You know, following recipes to the very detail and focused more on the technical processes and result rather than having a fun time and just letting ingredients flow. Thankfully, I've regained it all back - being creative in the kitchen when cooking and baking afterall, is the fun part of it all.
So what to do after a 2.5 years in a culinary school? Initially, the goal was just to supplement my knowledge of food and cooking at home, and in blogging. But then, it has pointed me to a different path and so hopefully a food-related business to materialise soon.
In the meantime and in order to get the ball rolling, I have started lunch box delivery to co-workers and hubby's office. Not a regular market, but a few tubs of lunch a week gets me busy researching and experimenting on what's best to serve my clientele. I'm focusing more on Asian cuisine, but once in while serve them familiar dishes and classic favourites. And this one was raved about most. Served with slices of sour dough bread, it was such a hit they have been asking for the recipe.
And what luck that I found this on Pinterest! A Nigel Slater recipe posted on Alida Ryder's blog which will make your family and friends happy to lick their plates clean. Seriously.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
4-5 pieces rasher bacon, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
8-9 pieces chicken thighs, on the bone
250 grams button mushrooms, sliced
300 ml Verdelho (or any white wine)
300 ml thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, coursely chopped
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and set aside.
Using a large skillet or pan (I used a 30cm large cast iron pan with handles), heat the olive oil.
When oil is hot, brown the chicken pieces in batches. This will create some caramelisation in the pan.
Once all chicken pieces are browned, set aside on a plate.
Add the onions and bacon to the pan and cook to render fat from the bacon and until the onions are soft.
Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove the onion-garlic-bacon mixture from the pan and set aside.
Pour the wine and using a wooden spoon, release some of the caramelisation on the pan. Let this come to a boil.
Add the chicken pieces into the pan making sure they are spaced out evenly.
Add the onion-garlic-bacon mixture and the mushrooms.
Let this come to a boil, then turn down heat, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add the cream and mix it around the pan using your wooden spoon to evenly distribute the cream into the sauce. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced a little.
Add a handful of chopped parsley and stir to combine the greens into the sauce.
Serve portions topped with more chopped parsley, with rice or slices of sour dough bread.
Tips and tricks:
* I omitted the butter from the original recipe as a personal choice. Also because I was going to keep the tubs in the fridge for the next day's lunch box, I wanted to avoid the buttery residue on the plastic tubs while the dish is cold.
* I used Lucy's Run Verdelho from my sister's trip to the Hunter Valley a week before and was the white wine I had at home at the time. Nigel recommends any kind of dry white wine.
* You can use any kind of mushroom. I actually added more as we love mushrooms at home.
Now when I said people will lick their plates clean with this one, I'm not kidding. So if you make this, make sure you have enough sour dough bread or rice (or even mash) to help them clean their plates. It's really that good!