Monday, 4 April 2011

Ready Steady Chook

If there was ever a reason to grow a bay tree, this is it. There's something brilliantly self righteous about picking the leaves specifically for a dish you are about to cook,  rosemary is another plant everyone should have. Bay and rosemary are pretty much indestructable, unlike the fragrant but weedy floppy home-grown coriander, that bolts into pretty flowers, rendering it useless whenever you forget to water it. I love coriander so much, it just doesn't give me anything back. And parsley, don't get me started on parsley. So anyway, I like not having to buy bay leaves from the supermarket ok?

Spanish chicken with garlic and bay is one of those fail-proof recipes that require minimum ingredients, minimum effort, but goes all out on flavour. It doesn't sound life-changingly exciting, but it really is super delicious, easy and cheap. Score. You don't even have to chop anything. It's not lazy, it's authentic, I promise. Don't stress about quanities, this will feed four but is very easy to adapt for more or less. Just use common sense.

Chicken + garlic + bay + wine = this
Take a head of garlic and split up the cloves, no need to peel them (honest). Heat up some olive oil in a casserole dish, and cook on a medium heat until the cloves take on a little colour. Take the garlic out and set aside. Put your chicken in the pan, one leg each, or a couple of thighs, what ever you have, but bones in and skin on, (unless you are a 'gastronomic wimp' as good old Floyd used to say) and brown well, seasoning as you go, making sure the skin goes a bit lovely and golden. Throw the garlic back in, add about 5 bay leaves, pour a couple of glasses of white wine in and a good splash of water and give it a good stir. Cover, and let it bubble away for about 20 minutes until cooked. Serve with cous cous or rice (you need something to suck up all the gorgeous sauce) and don't scrimp on the garlic, squeeze the now sweet garlic puree out of it's skin and enjoy.

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