I know many of the womenfolk out there will sympathise greatly when I say I was struggling for inspiration as to what to give Brenda for dinner yesterday – it’s not so much that she’s got a refined palette (she doesn’t), nor has the memory of an elephant such that she would remember if a dish I did in 1979 was presented to her again (she doesn’t) – even if other elements of her could be considered elephantine. Not that I’m saying that she or any aspect of her (hips) is of course, but some may think so. And they would be right.
No, it was more the case of not allowing Brenda to find any reason for complaint, in turn meaning I can continue being in a position in being untouchable during our many disagreements…
As always, this little creation came partly from what I know tastes good and doesn’t take forever – and partly from what I had available in the fridge. Do feel free to leave out the peppers if you don’t have them – and substitute aubergine, onion, asparagus etc, whatever you have.
You could also toss in a small handful of chopped capers with the parsley towards the end of the cooking time.
Likewise if you didn’t have chives, normal mash is just fine – for this version I simply changed my usual butter and cream for some olive oil and finely chopped chives
4 chicken thighs (on the bone makes for a tastier sauce)
200ml dry white wine
250g mushrooms – sliced
1 red pepper – sliced
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
juice of a lemon
small bunch of flatleaf parsley – roughly chopped
fresh cracked black pepper
1) Set a spacious casserole on high heat, allow to get hot, add a splash of olive oil and fry the chicken pieces for 10 mins, allowing to brown all over
2) Add the sliced mushrooms which will create water and ensure you gently start to scrape any brown gooey bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Arrange the sprigs of thyme around the dish.
3) After a further 5 or so mins, add the white wine and lemon juice and make sure your chicken pieces are at least half submerged. Turn the heat right down, put the lid on and leave to bubble gently for 15 mins.
4) Check to ensure the liquid level is still OK and add the peppers – these will also bring water to the dish as they cook down.
5) After another half hour of gently simmering, the chicken should be tender and falling off the bone – at this point add half the chopped parsley and contiunue to cook on the lowest possible heat for five more mins while you ready the mash and any other veg you’re serving with this – in my case today, just some olive oil fried courgette slices with fresh green chilli and dried red chilli.