African Groundnut Stew

When the weather changes and the nights draw in there’s nothing better than a spicy, warm sumptuous stew and this is nutty, zesty, spicy offering is my current favourite. Which is just as well because I made enough to feed a small army, this recipe serves 6-8 hungry people, it’s great to make loads and freeze but if you’re not catering for a banquet – feel free to halve the recipe.

Ingredients…

  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin off – organic or at least free range please
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • Large knob of ginger (say 3 inches) peeled and grated
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 5 medium sweet potatoes peeled chopped
  • 1 can of tomatoes or 400g fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 250g of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • Bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 How to…

I made this in a huge soup pan on the stove top, if you wanted you could halve the recipe and put it in a stew pot in the oven on 160 for about an hour.

Brown the chicken thighs in batches and set aside. Sauté the onion on a medium heat until softened then add the ginger and garlic for a minute or so. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the chicken, stir well and and bring to the boil. Finally add the chicken, stir again and turn the heat down low to a very gentle blip. Stir regularly until the chicken falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender which will take about an hour. Serve over rice with a wedge of lime, chopped peanuts and fresh coriander.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooked Rabbit and Chorizo Stew

This stew is perfect for Autumn, rich warming and smoky. The combination of chorizo, paprika, sweet tomatoes and sherry is one of my favourites. For those of you who object to eating rabbits on the grounds of cuteness then you can use chicken thighs for this but in my opinion chickens are also cute, and funnier than rabbits.

Serves 4. You can also make this in the oven – cook at 160°C for about 2 hours.

Ingredients

  • 1 wild rabbit cut up into portions or 500g of diced rabbit
  • 1 chorizo – I love Bath Pigs garlic and herb chorizo.
  • Flour to coat rabbit
  • 2 largeish onions
  • 3 peppers – mix of red and yellow
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • Fresh sweet tomatoes (I used about 12 ripe vine tomatoes)
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • Hand full of olives – destoned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary)
  • Good slug of sweet sherry / red wine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

How to…

Turn on slow cooker to high. Chop chorizo into rounds and coat rabbit in four. Oil a frying pan and tip in the chorizo and then after a minute or two tip in the rabbit until brown on all sides (you may need to do this in batches).Put the rabbit and chorizo in the slow cooker.

Chop onions, pepper, garlic and celery, fry in the pan on a low/medium heat until softened. Add slug of sherry to the pan. Chop fresh tomatoes and add them to the pan with chopped tomatoes, sweet paprika and sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce. Meanwhile chop and add the fresh herbs. Once the sauce has thickened taste for salt and pepper.

Tip into the slow cooker and stir to combine sauce with the meat. Leave on high for about 4 hours or medium for about 6. Test for seasoning, if it needs a little zing, squeeze in some lemon juice to liven it up. Serve with herby sauté potatoes, polenta or pasta.

Enjoy!

Something in the air…

There is something about Autumn flicks a switch in my brain and engages full domestic goddess mode. I don’t get it at any other time of year but something about the nights drawing in, the chill in the air and the leaves turning amber that makes me reach for the recipe books and my pinnie.

It’s not been unusual in the past fortnight to find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm, 2 or 3 dishes on the go at once or coming home from the gym at 8 and thinking I’ll just make some soup before bed. Speaking of soup, why am I suddenly so fascinated by soup? I printed 10 recipes off the internet last week and intend to work my way through every one of them over the coming weeks.

I love cooking at the best of times but Autumn sets off some kind of soup kitchen, feeding an army, stocks for the winter pre hibernation frenzy, leaving no pan un-used, no surface bare and the slow cooker working overtime.

The results of my latest cook-a-thon to follow…