Chicken Potatoes & Rosemary

Chicken Pot Roast

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: Prep: 20 mins Cooking: 50 mins to 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Pot Roast for 2

A dreich weekend, a head cold to boot and looking after our nephews called for a simple bang in the oven treat. Chicken was the staple of my youth, but there was not a herb in site let alone garlic, just bisto! 

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep: You’ll need a large bowl for tossing the ingredients together and a lidded roasting dish.  The recipe will scale easily, so chose an appropriate roasting dish. This is perfect for 2 in a small le Creuset

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 3 medium roasting potatoes cut into chunks
  • 100g Bacon Pieces/diced streaky
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 Onion Quartered and then chopped again
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary, or few sprigs of thyme
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Crème Fraiche

The recipe card recommends serving with a green salad, or braised cabbage like I did.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c
  2. In a large bowl, mix/turn over the potatoes with
    • Chopped onions
    • Diced bacon
    • Finely sliced garlic
    • Finely chopped rosemary or thyme
    • Good glug of olive oil
  3. Once everything coated with the oil tip into the casserole dish
  4. Place the chicken pieces on top, brush with a little oil if you want the skin to colour
  5. Place in the oven with the lid on for 40 mins
  6. After this make a judgement call,
    1. I took the lid off and placed back in the oven to colour the skin
    2. Could have taken the chicken out and roasted separately if the veg was well on its way.
  7. Take the chicken out and place on a plate
  8. Add the lemon juice and the crème fraiche to the potatoes and turn over

 

Beef Curry – Granny’s Way

Beef Curry Granny Style

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: Prep: Less than 20 mins Cooking: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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Slow cook Beef curry, with apple and raisins

Sunday and a blue sky chilly day, a chance to walk with the sun in our faces.  We made it over the top of Blackford Hill and along the Hermitage to the Lodge for a cheeky scone.  At the back of my mind the desire to try Granny’s curry which would definitely fit the bill of a warming wintry slow cook allowing us to get on with watching a Boys film from the recorded Christmas TV.  

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep:  Large casserole dish hob and oven friendly

Oven: 180°c or 350°f

Ingredients

      • 650g Stewing Beef diced
      • Rapeseed/Olive Oil
      • 2 large onions diced
      • 1 cooking apple, peeled and chopped
      • 1 tbsp curry powder
      • 25g plain flour
      • 1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes
      • 500ml Water
      • 1 tbsp chutney
      • 50g sultanas or raisins
      • Juice of a lemon

Directions

      1. Heat a glug of olive oil in the casserole dish on a high heat
      2. Sear 1/2 or 1/3 of the beef until brown on each side
      3. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in bowl to add back in later
      4. Add another glug of oil if needed and repeat until all the beef is seared
      5. Once all the beef is seared, add another glug and soften the onion and apple
      6. Add the curry powder, stir through and cook for a minute or so
      7. Add the flour and again stir through and cook for a minute or so
      8. Add in the tomatoes and stir through
      9. Add the dried fruit, the beef with it’s juices, the lemon juice and the water, stirring through
      10. Then place in the centre of the oven for 2 hours

Post-Recipe Notes: Granny loved to add raisins to everything.  This a glossy, sweet and sour curry the apple disappears and there is a hidden back note to the dish.  Curry powder feels cheatsy, quick and easy to rustle this up before banging in the oven. 

Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup

#sweetpotatoes for the soup

A post shared by The Cook (@edinburghcook) on

We recently came back from a weeks camping and on the route home we popped into the supermarket in order to pick up some staples for the working week a head.  Armed with zero recipes and preparation on my behalf the sweet potatoes called out to me.

This makes a nice hearty soup with left overs for the freezer for those mid week school nights.

Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup

  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Large Onion
  • 250g red lentils
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g tin size)
  • 2 tbsp bouillon
  • 1.2l boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled crushed/chopped
  • Glug of oil

Directions:

  1. Wash the lentils and then soak in 300 ml of water
  2. Dice the onion, and add to the oil in a pan, soften
  3. Add the garlic and stir in
  4. Stir in the Bouillon
  5. Pour in the boiling water, and then pour in the lentils with its soaked water
  6. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into rough bite sized pieces, add to the pan
  7. Add the tomatoes
  8. Bring to a simmer for 20 mins or so
  9. Choice here to make smooth or rustic, I used a Potatoe masher for rustic or you can use the hand blender for smooth.  The choice is yours!

Easy Like Sunday Morning Scones

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We decided to stay in and create our own coffee environment for Mother’s Day, a few options were presented from going to Dobbie’s Garden Centre with the masses or a walk to Morningside, instead we decided we would have a better time without the need for the hunt for that perfect scone coffee combo.

The eldest snuck out for the Sunday paper whilst I got the scones on the go.  We are in the process of trying to eat down  the various flours we’ve had on the go over a while so this was a perfect excuse to dabble if a bit risky to deviate from the prescribed recipe!

Essentially you need 500g of plain flour to make this a success, so feel free to just go plain!  Likewise with the liquid (you need 300ml of milk), I was trying to use some left over cream as well.

I was also given a few pointers before I was let loose

  • Be brief with the rubbing of the ingredients
  • Don’t over knead the dough
  • Be surgical with the cutter…..no wiggling!
  • Scones liked to be baked close together as if it makes them fight for the heat

Ingredients:

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 200g 00 Flour
  • 100g Wholemeal Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 50g Butter, cold and cubed
  • 30g Trex, cold
  • 250ml milk
  • 50 ml single cream
  • Egg beaten for the egg wash

6-7cm crinkle cutter is needed along with a baking tray, we’ve taken to lining a roasting tin.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C, and prepare your chosen tray.

  1. In a large bowl sift the flours, bi-carb, cream of tartar together (if using wholemeal, just throw the husk back in).   The point of this is to get lots of air around the flour with the hope of getting fluffy scones!1-2016-03-06 10.19.59
  2. Add the salt and mix in, Add the cubed fat
  3. Rub the fat and the dry ingredients together to form bread crumbs.  If you have warm fingers a food processor is a saviour for this method and sticks to one of the guidance notes!  Really easy to pulse the fat and the flour together.
  4. If using the pulse method, pour the sand like mix back into the bowl
  5. Make a well and add the liquid all at once
  6. At this point, you can either get your hands stuck or use a spatula to get it under control.  Work quickly/briefly
  7. Turn out onto a floured surface, with a brief knead to form a dough.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll out to about 3cm
  9. Stamp out the scones, you’ll get anything between 11 and 15 scones depending on how thin/thick you rolled the dough, with a gather of the off cuts and a re-roll for the last few2-2016-03-06 10.26.03
  10. With a pastry brush, use the beaten egg to brush over the tops
  11. Put in the oven for 10-12 mins until golden3-2016-03-06 10.34.25 4-2016-03-06 10.51.01
  12. For that Mother’s Day twist, arrange in a nice bowl with a tea towel on top to keep warm….and don’t forget the coffee

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Butternut and Bacon Risotto

Autumn is a lovely time for cooking and a great excuse to bring-on the heart warming comfort food that make the shorter nights bearable. I’d planned on making a risotto for Sunday night tea, but purely bacon and mushroom. The squash was an after thought after I didn’t manage to use it in a soup, but what a discovery…..roasted and stirred into the risotto at the end creates the most amazing tasting sauce that’s thick and unctuous and just what you need to chase the cold nights away. Risotto is so versatile, once you have a basic recipe you can mould it to your needs.

Serves 2 hungry boys, and 2 adults

Ingredients
1 leek, chopped into small pieces
1 clove of garlic
6 rashers, good quality smoked bacon
Knob of butter
1 tblspn olive oil
300g Arborio(Risotto) Rice
1 Glass of wine or sherry
200g Chestnut Mushrooms, quartered
Optional – Butternut Squash, roasted see below
Optional – Butter Beans (Which I had left over from cooking too many – use tinned for ease)
75-100g Gruyere or Parmesan grated
1l of stock (I used Bouillon). Hot.

You need a good sized pan that will take a litre of stock, mushrooms and rice and allows a good stir….I chose a pot that was too small! I managed though!

1, Chop up the bacon into bite size pieces and fry the bacon in the olive oil until it starts to colour, decant the bacon onto a plate. Try to keep the juices in the pot.
2, Add the butter and melt, stir in the leek and soften, crush the garlic and add to the leek.
3, Add the rice and coat, in the leek, butter and garlic. The idea is to the heat the rice right through so that’s ready to start absorbing all the liquid we are going to throw at it
4, Pour in the wine, and stir…this will be quickly absorbed
5, Add a ladle of the stock, and stir until absorbed….repeat this until you have a little of the stock left……I find this process quite satisfying, and if you like a glass of wine whilst you cook….this is the perfect time!
6, Add the mushrooms
7, Stir in the butternut squash
8, Stir in the butter beans if using
9, Add the extra stock if you need it
9, Add you bacon back in
11, Stir in the cheese and serve

Roasted Squash
1, Chop the squash in half and scoop out the seeds
2, Rub a little olive oil on the flesh of each half
3, Place on a roasting tray and into a hot oven (180c) for 40 mins
4, Allow to cool and then you can scoop out the soft flesh

I had quite a large squash so only used half for the above recipe and used the other half for soup.