Rustic Autumn Chicken Cassoulet

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Verging the end of the working week I found myself with a Friday off which is very rare working in hospitality. As the leaves are now beautiful oranges and reds and begin to fall I thought why not make a rustic autumn dish that is perfect for the winter months too.

This one is pretty easy brown everything off add to casserole dish with lid, whack it into the oven for hour and 20 minutes and she’s ready to be eaten. Served mine up with some rustic Southland swede and potato mash. Must say the partner loved it and i even added olives to the top for him. If you don’t like olives or the kids don’t you can leave them, out.

Rich tomato base with bursts of coriander, succulent chicken that falls apart, naturally sweet carrot and earthy notes from the mushrooms and chickpeas.

Rustic Autumn Chicken Cassoulet

Ingredients:

6 chicken drumsticks

1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp canola oil
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ovals *see the picture
1 cup mushrooms, chunky chop
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine* can be substituted with stock
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh coriander, rough chop
8-10 black olives, pitted
salt and pepper

Fresh coriander to serve

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. heat a heavy based frypan, add oil and brown onions, carrot and garlic add to the bottom of the cassoulet or baking dish. Sprinkle half the chickpeas.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, brown in the same fry pan, add to the top of the vegetables and chickpeas.
4. Pour red wine,tomatoes, brown sugar, bay leaf and coriander into the fry pan and deglaze, add to the top of the chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.
5. Place the lid on and bake for 1 hour remove the lid top with olives and bake for further 20 minutes.
6. Serve on mash or rice with a side of your favorite green vegetables.

Serves: 3-6

If you don’t have a casserole dish with a lid a deep oven dish with tin foils works just as good!

Slice Carrots on an angle to achieve the oval shape.

Slice Carrots on an angle to achieve the oval shape.

Brown onion, carrot and garlic, tip into bottom of the casserole dish.

Brown onion, carrot and garlic, tip into bottom of the casserole dish.

Top with browned chicken.

Top with browned chicken.

Add red wine, tomatoes, brown sugar, coriander and bayleaf to your frypan and deglaze.

Add red wine, tomatoes, brown sugar, coriander and bayleaf to your frypan and deglaze.

Top browned chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.

Top browned chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.

Top with the reduced tomatoes and wine. Cover and bake for 1 hour with lid on.

Top with the reduced tomatoes and wine. Cover and bake for 1 hour with lid on.

Remove lid top with olives and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Remove lid top with olives and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from oven top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Remove from oven top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Serve on generous mound of mashed Southland swede and potato.

Serve on generous mound of mashed Southland swede and potato.

Slow Cooker Friday

End result a glossy tender stew.

Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes.

AHHH FRIDAY

By the time Friday rolls in lets all be fair we’ve all really had enough of the weekend and the last thing we want to do once coming home from a long week at work is cook dinner. So I thought how perfect a tasty slow cooker meal you can chuck on in the morning before heading off to work and come home to a virtually completed dinner. You just have to bake your potatoes and thicken the stew when you get home.

Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes

Ingredients:
900 gm blade steak, fat removed and 3cm dice
4 rashers streaky bacon, sliced into large batons
3 carrots, peeled and 2 cm dice
1 red onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, dice
3 tbsp. Worcester sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp. cranberries
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh marjoram
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. cornflour, mixed with equal parts water

Method:

  1. Turn your slow cooker onto low.
  2. Brown onions, bacon and garlic in fry pan over a medium heat with half the oil, add to slow cooker.
  3. Pour in half the wine and deglaze the pan add this to the slow cooker.
  4. Season beef and heat renaming oil in pan, brown beef both sides add to slow cooker, deglaze with remaining wine add to slow cooker.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
  6. Place on lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low or 4 on high.
  7. Stir in cornflour mix and cook for 15minutes turn to keep warm until you choose to serve.
  8. Serve with a baked or mashed potato and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves: 4-5

Ready to be slow cooked.

Ready too be slow cooked.

End result a glossy tender stew.

End result a glossy tender stew.

Serve stew on baked or mashed potatoes topped with sour cream and chives.

Serve stew on baked or mashed potatoes topped with sour cream and chives.

 

 

Beef Sausage, Bean and Fennel Casserolette

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Beef Sausage, Bean and Fennel Casserolette

Perfect to a cold night this tasty meal with have them at the table in no time at all. Moist beef sausages cooked in flavorful sauce, with beans and fennel straight from the garden couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Sunday than catching up with my friends over a comforting warming dish. I served mine with a side of creamy mashed potato, blanched beach spinach and buttery carrots. Lets just say there’s no leftover for tomorrow it was that good!

 

Ingredients:

8-9 beef sausages
2 tbsp. oil
1 can four bean mix, rinse off brine
1 onion, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 medium size fennel bulb, core removed and sliced*
2 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp. worchester sauce
2 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Find a medium size casserole dish with a lid, if you don’t have a lid a deep oven proof dish with tin foil to cover will do the trick.
  3. Rinse four bean mix in a sieve with cold water to remove the bring they were in, place half the beans in the bottom of the casserole dish and reserve the other half for the top.
  4. Brown sausages over a medium heat with half the oil, once golden add to the casserole dish.
  5. In the pan which you cooked the sausages, heat 1 tbsp. oil add onion, garlic and fennel cook for around 3-4 minutes until starting to brown.
  6. add stock, mustard, sugar, Worcester sauce, salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes and add to the top of your casserole dish.
  7. Place the lid or tin foil over the casserole dish and bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Serve alongside some creamy mashed potatoes and your favourite greens.
Cut fennel bulb in half and remove the hard center.

Cut fennel bulb in half and remove the hard center.

 

Use half beans to cover the bottom of the casserole dish.

Use half beans to cover the bottom of the casserole dish.

Beef Sausage, Bean and Fennel Casserolette

 

Serves: 3-5

I got my beautiful fresh fennel bulb from the Tokoroa Community Garden, open Monday through Sunday 8.3am until 12 noon.

Whats for dinner in your house tomorrow night, this would be perfect!!

 

From the Land

 

Foraged straight from the lush green paddocks of home.

Foraged straight from the lush green paddocks of home.

 

Good to be back on the home farm in the South Waikato of New Zealand after such a long time away. With the damp wet weather comes a perfect time to head out into the lush green paddocks in search of field mushrooms. Just meters from the door step and only taking 10 minutes out of my day I filled a billy easily and headed back to the kitchen to create an easy mushroom dish.

Sautéed field mushrooms in a garlic & parsley sauce

Ingredients:

500g field mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. italian parsley, rough chop
1/2 lemon, zest
2 tbsp. butter
salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Heat heavy based frypan to a high heat, close to the point of smoking. (mushrooms contain a lot of moisture and if not cooked at a high heat will stew instead of frying.)
  2. Add oil followed by mushrooms, saute for 2-3 minutes until brown and fragrant.
  3. Add butter, parsley, lemon zest and good seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir until you have glossy coasted mushrooms.
  4. Perfect to have on toast, tossed through pasta or on a side of steak like ive used mine.

Serves: 2-3