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...

23 comments:

  1. I'm making this...yes we call them beets... ;)

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  2. What a lovely idea, cooking chicken with beets, I may have to try this, YUM

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  3. Oh! And such a pretty dish too! SB loves beets ... and I love SB ... therefore ... perhaps I'll show him a little thigh love too!

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  4. I loved pickled beets as a child and grew into orated as an an adult. Paired with the chicken they would be heaven on a plate.

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  5. What's worse, the fear of blood in your urine or the reminder that you've eaten asparagus? As it happens, I bought chicken thighs just yesterday. This recipe is very tempting. That is saying a lot coming from one who doesn't use other people's recipes very often. I'll ponder this until I go marketing later in the day. Perhaps I'll buy "beets."

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  6. Oh my this looks outstanding!! I will be making this one soon. I'll even include beets, though they're not my favorite. Like you, a little maturity in the taste buds and finesse in cooking has made a beetroot believer of out me, which is saying a LOT! A little funny story, a few years ago I saw a chef make crimson mashed potatoes. Beetroot cooked w the potatoes and all mashed together. It was beautiful. I became obsessed with making this dish, and grew my own beets just for this recipe, thinking that if I dislike store bought beets (which I do) then maybe I'll like homegrown. Turns out I didn't like the homegrown variety anymore than store bought and I never made those stinking potatoes. It's only been since then that I've come to appreciate what the beetroot can bring to the dinner plate. And yes, the day after toilet shock is, well, shocking! Great recipe, thanks for sharing it!

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  7. Oh my.....this looks amazing!! So sticky and sweet but earthy and robust at the same time! How I wish I could put my hand through my computer screen and grab the entire dish! Yay for the return of chicken thighs - you are the master!

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    1. Ha ha I might have to call you the "thigh master" from now on!! ; )

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  8. Lovely flavours here. I know lots of people who hate beetroot, but I love them. The colour is just part of life.

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  9. Actually I'm glad you posted a beetroot recipe (with more to come...?) because I still have lots of beetroot left in my garden which need using up before we get frosty weather.

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  10. Oh oh and ooh, what a lush if a bit unusual combination of ingredients! Adore beetroot in any form! looks delicious!

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  11. Oh I wish I had neighbours who grew lots of stuff - especially beetroots and roasted beets have such depth.
    Shame about the trip to Argentina but hey congratulations 2nd is not bad either you just need to campaign harder next time.

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  12. Ah, my delightful children only eat beetroot for the toilet bowl shocking pigment!

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  13. Your thighs are stunning! Seriously, this looks like a truly delicious Autumn dish!

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  14. Stunning, stunning, stunning! I think you may have converted to me to beetroot!

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  15. Thanks for mentioning this cause I thought I had bowl cancer the first time. I didn't tell anyone but now you've brought it up.... This looks like a wonderful chicken dish. Anything with beetroot is gorgeous

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  16. beautifully done chicken. I love the colour and it must taste great!

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  17. I love roasted beetroot. I wish someone would leave some on my doorstep! Possibly unlikely, living in a big city, but then again I do occasionally get courgettes from friends' gardens and allotments, and was given some great runner beans and late rhubarb this week. We also have figs in our tiny garden, and an apple tree opposite which we are welcome to pick from any time. Just waiting for them to appear this year! Also, I do sometimes leave cakes on my neighbours' doorsteps! Enjoy making the most of those lovely beetroot. Are you going to try something sweet perhaps?

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  18. Yum! This is like a chicken thigh version of my beetloaf, brilliant!

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  19. Great recipe. I am assuming the wine goes over the chicken, and is not just to accompany the cooking process? A little omission in the directions, perhaps? But an amusing one!

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    1. ah yes, well spotted... yes, throw the wine in at the start... and then have a glass for yourself too! x

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  20. Boy Dom, you get such great browning on all your thighs. I'm wondering if my oven temperature might be a little off. These look great.

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