Friday, 28 September 2012

chicken thighs with roasted beetroot, apples and black peppercorns

.... oh it's been an age since i've made my beloved chicken thighs and I know one or two of you have been keen for me to get on and show you some thigh love...

... the beetroot - or plain old 'beet' as my american cousins will say is a bit of an enigma I find... it's such an earthy, ugly little thing and i'm sure that most of us have horrid memories of those nasty slabs of crinkle-cut pickled beetroot stuck to the sides of limp salads... but in fact, with a more mature palette and a refined development in culinary skills I have learnt over the years to appreciate it's wonderfully deep and profound taste, incredible diversity and stunning hand-staining, toilet-bowl-shocking pigment! ...oh come on... I KNOW you know what i'm talking about...

... I wrote this post last week about my scary but lovely neighbours coming round with armfuls of vegetables and the funny thing is that whilst writing that post we were visited with a huge bag-full of beetroot... they tend not to do things by halves up here and so you should be expecting one or two more beetroot recipes over the next few days...

chicken thighs with roasted beetroot, apples and black peppercorns 
as with all my chicken thigh recipes, this is a one pot dish... there's a lot of throwing vegetables into pots going on here but it adds to the final rustic style... I was thinking about adding something else to sit alongside the earthy quality of the beetroots and it being apple season I think these crisp cox's work wonders alongside the peppercorns and a few fennel seeds which compliment the whole beautifully... I think you'll like...

1 packet of free-range chicken thighs - roughly 8
1 large onion - roughly chopped
2 medium carrots - roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery - roughly chopped
5 medium beetroots - quartered
1 glass of white wine
a handfull of pepper corns
fresh herbs of your choice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 large cox's apple - cut into 8ths

- place all the veg and apples out on an oven proof dish, sprinkle with your herbs, some olive oil, salt and pepper

- lay the thighs (skin down) onto the veg, drizzle on the balsamic vinegar and roast the whole lot for 2 hours on about 170C, turning the thighs skin up half way though, until golden and divinely succulent

... the juices in this dish are the most glorious pinky red colour and would look amazing on mashed potatoes or rice.

eat and of course, enjoy!

... oh and two little notes before I go... firstly id like to thank you all for your kind words of encouragement the other day, it truly cheered me up... and secondly, thank you for voting for me in the Ainsley Harriot Soup Search... sadly I came in second place so am not jetting off to Argentina but it was a valiant effort and i'm chuffed I was in the lead for so long...



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