Friday, 24 June 2011

summer stew

it is summer isn't it?

whilst it's not particularly cold out there it's hardly what i'd call a scorcher... I guess all us Brits need to finally come to the realisation that summer has moved to April and May and that from June onwards we can expect drizzle... fairly warm drizzle... like the tropics... only not tropical!

it's the kind of confusing weather where you're unsure what to cook... salads in the evenings just don't cut the mustard, yet a full on, dark and fatty stew just seems wrong... so a lovely, light stew, packed with flavour and slowly roasted is, i feel, a perfect fit.

Slow Roasted Chicken Stew with Brown Rice and Lentils

I had these frozen chicken breasts left over from my Sainsbury's delivery a few weeks back but you know me, I'm not mad keen on this tasteless, dry meat, but I hate waste and actually I think they're perfect in here for this... i've also thrown some fennel seeds in for an extra aniseed hit, which is lovely but still light and summery.

I think this is a great dish for a lazy, rainy weekend when all you want to do is turn the oven on and let it do all the work...

4 chicken breasts - cut into large pieces
2 carrots - cut into chunks
1 medium onion - cut into wedges
1 small red onion - cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic - left whole with skin on
a handful of green beans
a handful of cabbage - sliced into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 a cup of green lentils
1/4 a cup of organic brown rice
1 pint of stock
1 glass of white wine
fresh herbs of your choice - I used fresh tarragon and thyme

- in a large roasting dish, or casserole dish roast the veg and herbs and fennel seeds, with a glug of olive oil and half the glass of wine, do this stage gently on 160c for about an hour, until they're tender and just beginning to turn golden.

- reduce the heat to 100c, then add the chicken, a fresh batch of torn herbs, lentils, rice, stock and the rest of the wine, cover with either a lid or foil and let it gently roast for a further 2 hours until it's completely tender and the rice and lentils have soaked up plenty of chickeny juice.

eat and of course, enjoy!



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