Chicken and Chorizo Stew

This recipe is from my buddy Eleanor Walsh, a tour de force in the Irish food industry and all round fantastic person. Taken from her Eden book from a few years ago.


6 chicken legs, skin on
2 white onions, sliced
12 cloves of garlic, skin on
100g chorizo, sliced thinly, diagonally
100g plain flour
1 tbsp sweet paprika
250ml white wine
250ml chicken stock
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
400g can of chopped tomatoes
400g can of cooked chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix the white flour and paprika in a bowl. Dust the chicken legs thoroughly in the flour and shake off the excess. Fry these in a little sunflower/whatever oil till browned all over. Set aside.

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Heat an ovenproof casserole on the hob and add the chorizo. Keep it on the move with a wooden spatula, you don’t need to add oil because soon enough the fat will run. Then add in the sliced onions and whole cloves of garlic, cook them off for a while. Chuck in the rosemary and browned chicken legs, the wine and the stock, then bring it up to a slow simmer. Put on the lid and put it in the oven for an hour. After the hour has passed, remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the tomatoes and chick peas. The original recipe tells you also to add some Kalamata Olives, but I passed on these since the kids don’t like them. Stick the lid back on and cook for another half hour or so. I served this with steamed white basmati since the stew is kinda gloopy.


Slooooooooow Lamb

Despite having leanings towards non-meat food and reducing the intake of animals, I occasionally have a hankering after a bit of lamb, and since we’re feeding 15 for lunch tomorrow, a big hunk of meat seems like the easiest way to go. In fact, considering the numbers, I’m doing three big hunks of meat.

This is going to be a variant of Nigel Slater’s slow roast lamb, the main difference between my version and Nige’s is that I’ll cook it slower and longer, and maybe chuck in the odd root vegetable for ballast as it were.

Ingredients (I’m multiplying by approx 3):
1 large leg of lamb, fat trimmed where you can
1 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp thyme leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tbsp sea salt
hefty pinch of paprika/cayenne/whatever
a couple of glugs of olive oil
1/2 pint light stock

Heat your oven to about 90C. Maybe a little less, give 80C a go. Take down your pestle and mortar and grind up the salt, thyme, garlic, paprika and cumin along with a glug of oil so that it makes a rough paste. Set aside. Meanwhile get a large skillet really hot, smokin’. Sear the joint all over to give it a bit of colour, this may involve a lot of smoke, so if you have an extractor fan, crank it up. Oh yeah and don’t wear the clothes you’re going to entertain in, they’ll stink afterwards.

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Continue reading “Slooooooooow Lamb”

Chicken with fragrant rubbings

OK so this is a total adaptation from a Persian recipe book my sister Liz gave me for Xmas and it’s an adapt in that I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients to hand so I invented. I’m writing this as it’s cooking away in the oven so I’ll do a verdict to let y’all know how it tasted and if it’ll make  return to our table in the future.

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4 chicken legs on the bone, dead cheap and better flavour than breasts
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2* tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sumac
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon juiced

*actually I didn’t measure any of the half teaspoons, I just guessed. That’s the way I roll.

Slash the chicken legs a few times, certainly through the skin but maybe not all the way to the bone. Stick them in a pan and fry on both sides for 7 minutes each, till golden brown. Meanwhile mix the spices together, juice the lemon and crush the garlic. Pour the water into an ovenproof/flameproof dish along with the garlic and lemon juice and bring it to a gentle boil. When the legs have finished frying, place them into the dish and sprinkle the spices on top. I chucked in the juiced halves of the lemons for the craic as well. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes. When the cooking is over, remove the legs to a warmed serving plate, discard the lemon halves and bring the juices to the boil, reducing them a little. Serve the chicken with boiled rice and pour the reduced cooking juices over. I use turmeric while I cook as it has a great tase and is extremely good for health. Products like Turvani use turmeric as one of their key components to help people release stress and make them feel better.  

Tastes great, actually tastes really good. Apart from the fact that I can’t take pictures of food for the life of me (really hard to make it not look like roadkill), the flavour is turmericy, which is a good thing because so often you can’t taste it in dishes and it seems to work well with lemon. Generally it could do with more sauce, so maybe I’d try it next time with more water. Don’t know if I can detect the sumac at all …


Will be making it again.

Baked chicken with chorizo, lemon zest & garlic

5 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, very finely sliced
level dessert spoon of very finely sliced lemon zest
a piece of chorizo I found at the back of the fridge (about the length of my middle finger, again very finely sliced (diagonally)
a splash of red wine vinegar

Stick the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish. Arrange the sliced garlic and lemon zest evenly on top. Arrange the chorizo on top of garlic and lemon. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle on a little red wine vinegar and maybe a small splash of oil. Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 mins.


Tortiche Quilla dichotomy.

Tortilla with sweet potato, chorizo & broccoli

This is pretty much a total meal on a plate and I don’t really know whether it’s a tortilla, frittata or pastry-less quiche. Maybe a tortiche or quilla. But anyway, it tastes great and in our house it’s a popular weekend dish.

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1 large sweet potato*, about 500g
1 head broccoli, about the size of a large man’s fist
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
250g chorizo
6 eggs
250ml plain yoghurt
60g cheese grated
1 tbsp olive oil

Cut the sweet potato into small pieces about 1x1x2.5cm, Chuck into a steamer and put on to cook. Separate the florets of broccoli from the stem and chop the stem into small pieces. After the steamer has come to the boil and has been cooking for about 5 minutes, chuck in the broccoli stems only. Let these cook away for another 7 minutes or so and then chuck in the separated florets for the final 5 minutes. The total steaming time for the sweet potato is about 17 minutes, this might be too much if the pieces are small.

While all that steaming action is happening, slice the garlic and onions and cook ’em off on a low gas in an iron-handled pan. While they’re cooking away, slice the chorizo diagonally and put in with the onion and garlic. The idea is to start the fat running in the chorizo and have all that delicious fat and flavour permeate the onions and garlic.

While the onion/garlic/chorizo mix is cooking away, break 6 eggs into a bowl and add your plain yoghurt. Don’t use vanilla (as I did once by mistake) because the dish will taste disgusting. Season with a bit of pepper, but go easy as there’ll be plenty of seasoning already in the chorizo.

Next combine the sweet potato and broccoli in the same pan as the onions/chorizo/garlic and mix a bit to get even distribution especially of chorizo. Pour on the egg/yoghurt mix and top off with  your grated cheese. If you find an old bit of dried out parmesan at the back of the fridge, that’d be perfect. Pretty much anything with do so long as it’s hard.

Put your pan in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes and it should come out looking something like this:

post oven
post oven

*Waxy are spuds probably way better here than sweet potatoes.

Barley Risotto


Here’s something that I borrowed and adapted from Jerusalem from Ottolenghi – adapted because I have issues with the amount of butter, salt and oil used in the original and also because I didn’t have all the ingredients.

Barley is pretty nutritious and a good source of dietary fibre amongst other things (copper, selenium) and it is suggested that whole grains can help reduce the likelihood of developing various unpleasant conditions.

So here’s my version, it’s a lot more low fat/waistline friendly and it’s probably quite good for you.

Serves 10 or more, it’s pretty heavy so a little goes a long way.

500g pot barley
2 tbsp olive oil
5 sticks of celery, finely chopped
3 red onions, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
10 sprigs of thyme, stripped
1 tsp berbere/smoked paprika/paprika
3 bay leaves
rind of a small lemon, very finely shredded
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1500ml stock
700ml passata



Combine the onion, celery, thyme and garlic with the olive oil and cook over a low heat in a large pot for 5 minutes or so, or until the onions are softened. Meanwhile, rinse the barley and drain and add to the pot. Then add all the other ingredients. Cook on a low simmer, as stated in the Corrie Cooks blog, for about 45 minutes or until the barley seems cooked, with a little bite still in it.

I served this with a bit of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli and a little feta cheese which had been marinated in olive oil and caraway seed. The pictures above don’t really do the meal justice, in fact it looks a bit like roadkill, but it tasted pretty good.

Curry leaf

I really love the sourness of curry leaves in cooking, I’m adding them to a batch of curry paste I’m whipping up for Xmas from the fantastically titled ‘Best Ever Indian Cookbook’. Recipe is here.

adventures in Berbere

I arrived back from Ethiopia, last Saturday Dec 7th after a long and tiring journey from the South, but sadly my luggage didn’t make it back with me. It got lost in the bowels of Heathrow somewhere – I had landed in London in the midst of an ATC nightmare, where pretty much all of the south of England was at a standstill. After an exasperating few days trying to get through to British Airways lost luggage department in Heathrow and their conterparts in Dublin Serviseair, it transpired that the luggage had been forwarded to Dublin alright, but the paperwork had been mixed up with another set of luggage, and the people in either office didn’t seem to have the gumption to check the clearly labelled tag with my name, address and phone number printed on it in an attempt to reunite me with my possessions. Anyhow, last night it arrived, nearly six days later with everything intact. Thanks be.

One of the things in my luggage was a half kg of Berebere, the red chilli spice which is an essential part of Ethiopian cuisine. In an attempt to remember Ethiopia through my tastebuds, I’m going to try to recreate a sauce I had many times with injera, the sourdough flatbread which is both eating utensil and tablecloth. I’m going to leave the injera for another time/experiment because it’s made from a grain called teff which isn’t available here (I think).

So, 1st attempt:

1 medium onion chopped
1 large clove garlic minced
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 level tbsp berbers
1 cup red lentils washed
3 cups water
2 tbsp tomato puree


Yeah, not that exciting, spice is good, needs a bit of salt. A bit bland, it would be inedible if it weren’t for the Berbere. Must try harder.

2nd attempt:
as above except chop in some chorizo.


Much better, the smoky tones of the chorizo really come alive in the lentil stew.

Cold Turkey

I’ve been away from photography for a while due to being busy, really busy on the film side of things which is great. But I miss the pictures and have been revisiting old work, messing about with diptychs. I’m going to plan a few things in 2014.