Friday, 22 January 2010

Cold weather chicken, rice and vegetables

This is something I make a lot in winter when I've bought some cheap chicken portions and have leftover odds and sods of vegetables in the fridge, so it's normally never the same twice. However, the setup and cooking always go the same way and it typically comes out about the same. It sticks to the ribs, you can make as much as you like, and it's quite fridge-friendly so if you want to save some for lunches in the week, go for it. Poorly? Fed up? Hard day? It will love you back :)

Chicken thighs
Good fatty streaky bacon
All the vegetables at the bottom of the fridge!! Typically a combination of:
grated carrot
small carton of crushed tomatoes or passata
chicken stock
butter (sorry)

You need a good big heavy bottomed pot for this really.

Start by browning the chicken thighs in the pot. Obviously bone-in are going to give you more flavour overall but it doesn't really matter either way as long as they get that good initial browning going on. If you REALLY want it to taste nice, brown them in a bit of butter. But I never said that.

When the chicken's looking good and brown and smelling delicious, take it out and put it to one side. Then, it's business as usual - get the bacon in, chopped up small, and let it render down. Then add the vegetables - onion first, then celery, then all the others and the garlic, put the lid on, medium heat, while you make a cup of tea (and possibly drink about half of it).

When everything's looking good and soft, add the passata and whatever herbs you fancy. I think I put thyme in last time, but you know, anything you like. Then add rice and chicken stock, give it a good stir and some seasoning and either leave it to simmer on the hob top with the lid on til the water is sucked up or stick it all in the oven (lid on) for about 30-40 minutes on GM4 (180 degrees) to start with. Do check in on it though.

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