Tag Archives: onions

Paprika Chicken with Peas and Lardons

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Here is a nice, tasty and easy way to jazz up the classic trinity of chicken, peas and potatoes. A real crowd-pleaser, this dish is ideal for a relaxed meal with friends.

You will need (for 4 people):
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
4 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp rapeseed oil (or other cooking oil)
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp paprika
800 g potatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato purée
A splash brandy (optional)
500 ml chicken stock

For the peas:
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped
200 g peas, fresh or frozen
80 g lardons
1 bay leaf
400 ml vegetable stock

Method:

Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized chunks. Peel the onions and cut into wedges. Peel the potatoes and cut in 2 or 3 depending on size.

In a large, heavy based pan or casserole, heat up half of the oil. Flour the chicken, then fry in batches until nicely coloured on all sides. Reserve on a plate covered with kitchen paper.

Warm up the rest of the oil in the same pan, add the onion wedges and the peeled garlic cloves and cook gently for about 2 min. Add the paprika, then the potatoes and stir well. Add the tomato purée, leave to cook for a minute, then add the vinegar and brandy.

Put the chicken back in, add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover, and leave to simmer for about 15 min, then take the lid off and simmer for a few more minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. Check the seasoning, and adjust if necessary.

Meanwhile, make the peas:

In a saucepan, heat up the oil, and gently fry the lardons and onions. When the onions have softened a bit, add the peas and stir.

Add the vegetable stock, bay leaf, and a bit of black pepper. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 min. Using a fine sieve, drain any remaining stock out, and transfer to a warm serving dish.

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Filed under Mains, Meat dishes

The Tart, the Party, and the Christmas Tree Dress (Caramelised Onions, Peppers and Chorizo Tart)

 Last weekend, I had a work Christmas party to go to. I know a lot of people would rather gouge their own eyes out rather than attend the work party, but this is not the case here. I am lucky enough to be working with great people who are really, really fun to be around. We all decided a few weeks ago that we would go out and make the most of the happy hour, then head back to our manager’s place for food and a lot more drinks. We also decided that we would be wearing Christmas-themed costumes… it sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

Well, in any case it explains how I ended up going out in Newcastle on a Saturday night wearing a Christmas tree dress. Yes, that’s right, a Christmas tree dress. In my defence, it actually looks a lot better than it sounds. And after a few drinks I thought it was hilarious that I seemed to be leaving a trail of tinsel behind me everywhere I went… 

But anyway, the point of this post is the food, not my sparkly sartorial adventures. I needed to come up with the perfect recipe to bring along to the party. It had to be freezer-friendly, as I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it on the day; I wanted it to appeal to a wide audience, and be easy to transport. A savoury tart seemed like a good option, and after much deliberation I finally settled on a caramelised onions and peppers filling, and added chorizo for some extra flavour.

This tart went down a treat and it was eaten in no time at all. In fact I wish I had made two! Unfortunately, when the tart was served I was a bit tipsy busy, and didn’t get to take a picture. Sorry…

Don’t be put off by the anchovies in the ingredients list if you don’t like them; they are only there to balance out the sweetness of the peppers and onions, and you won’t be able to taste them (Mr Greedy Frog hates anchovies, so I didn’t tell him they featured in this recipe, and he happily ate up the produce of my test runs without noticing a thing…)

You will need (for 6-8 people):

For the pastry:

300 g plain flour
150 g butter
Pinch salt
cold water

For the filling:

4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 anchovy fillets in olive oil
4 red onions
8 bell peppers (a mix of red and yellow looks best but green is fine too)
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150g chorizo
salt, pepper

Method:

Make the pastry. In a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and the butter to the flour. Work the flour into the butter between your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to bind, knead briefly then form into a ball (you can of course use a food processor instead if you prefer). Wrap in cling film then chill for 20 min.

Preheat the oven to 200C/ fan 180C/ gas 6.

Roll out the pastry to line a 28 cm, loose-bottom, fluted tart tin (re-form any leftover pastry into a ball and freeze for another time). Chill again for 10 min, then line with foil, add baking beans, and bake blind for 15 min. Remove the foil and beans, and return to the oven for 5 min. Reserve.

Make the filling. De-seed and slice the peppers, slice the onions, peel and crush the garlic.
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In a large frying pan with a lid, heat up the olive oil. Finely chop the anchovies, and fry for a minute or two until they start breaking down. Add the tomato puree, cool for 1 minute more.
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Add the onions, peppers and garlic, toss to coat, and fry gently for 2 to 3 min. After this time, add the balsamic vinegar and oregano, cover and turn the heat down to low. Cook gently, stirring every once in a while, until soft (about 10-15 min depending on the size of your pan). If you end up with cooking juices, cook uncovered for a further 2 min to dry out. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Meanwhile, cut the chorizo into small pieces (about the size of chickpeas), and dry-fry in a non-stick frying pan until cooked (about 10 min). Set aside.

Assemble the tart: If serving straight away, scatter the pieces of chorizo evenly over the pastry case, and top with the onion and pepper filling. Bake for 15 min until piping hot. If you want to freeze it for later, cool all the elements separately then assemble when cold. Wrap in foil and cling film and freeze for up to a month. Bake from frozen at  200C/ fan 180C/ gas 6 for 30 min or until piping hot in the middle.

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Filed under Bakes, Buffet, Christmas, Mains, Savoury Tarts, Starters