Gary from Exploits of a Food Nut recently asked me, via twitter, what would be the first thing I cook in my new ranger cooker?... and the answer's not as simple as you may think... you see, if i'm perfectly truthful, it would be a cup of tea...! we have a lovely whistling kettle that was designated to the back of the garage shelf for three months whilst we set up the temporary kitchen and it was the first thing to come out and heat up on the new ceramic hob... but I guess that's not really what he meant...
... one of the things that The Viking and I both really missed was breakfast... we're both big egg eaters and there's only so much microwave scrambled egg two men can eat... so the first proper thing to be cooked on the new range was indeed a full english; eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages... but perhaps not a full meal eh...? well of course i've been using it for a couple of weeks, a loaf here, a banana bread there but my first proper meal was (drum-roll please)... chicken thighs... of course!
black is the new black
I have been running around like a loon for the past couple of days and one of the things I love about cooking chicken thigh dishes is that you can quite literally throw stuff into a dish and bung it in the oven and an hour or so later you have a delicious hot meal, with no slaving or bother... plus the chicken thigh has the perfect amount of fat and tender flesh to build the foundations of a really tasty dish...and that's why the humble chicken thigh still get's my vote... i've paired it here with a fennel, which is the most glorious of vegetables and sucks up all those lovely chicken juices whilst infusing the whole pot with a subtle aniseed flavour...
Roast Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Peas
6 on the bone, chicken thighs - skin on
1 large fennel
1 medium carrot
1 large stick of celery
a handful of garden peas
half a glass of white wine
- roughly chop all the veg, sprinkle them with the herbs of your choice and throw them into a large oven-proof roasting dish.
- lay the chicken thighs on top, skin up, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and pour in the wine.
- bung it in a hot oven (190 - 200) and leave it for 30 minutes, at which point you turn the thighs over for a further 30 minutes.
- after this time, turn the oven down to 150, throw the peas in, a little water if needed and turn the chicken thighs back over to go golden and crispy.
totally heavenly eaten by itself or with some creamy mash...
...eat and of course, enjoy!