… we’re back at the cottage after two long weeks and it’s quite incredible how much the garden has changed. I always find that this time of year nature is at its most powerful. The Viking spends most of the daylight hours amongst the new growth, endlessly shifting plants and cursing the rabbits and slugs whilst I wave wistfully at him from the comfort of the kitchen window like a plaintive wartime housewife, a perpetual smile on my face whilst I beat eggs is a fugue of flour… but having not been here for just two weeks I can see why he’s so keen to tame it – and he’s designed a ‘country cottage’ style garden anyway so there’s an element of wildness in its nature but this is quite something. The wild campions are in full bloom, their pink hue shouting brightly amongst a sea of green… the darker aster creating and underscore of cerise whilst in the hedges the clematis produces a pale pink and muddy green backdrop to the whole picture. It is utterly divine and I feel honoured that The Viking has worked so tirelessly to create this masterpiece.
chorizo and broad bean chicken thighs
a classic Belleau Kitchen dish which hasn’t been made it quite a while… the chorizo compliments the richness of the chicken thighs so well and it also flavours the whole dish so piquantly that you really have to add very little else to make an outstanding dish. To be honest, if there are two of you eating tonight you could have this into the oven in under 10 minutes and served in just over an hour and a half with very little hassle which I think is quite something seeing how incredibly complex it tastes.
4 chicken thighs – bone in and skin on
roughly 4 inches of chorizo – thickly sliced
150g broad beans – I used freshly frozen
1/2 a large onion – cut into wedges
1 large stick of celery – roughly chopped
4 large chestnut mushrooms – quartered
a sprig of lemon thyme and a sprig of oregano
salt and pepper
1 large glass of white wine
pre-heat the oven to 180C
place all the veg into the bottom of a small casserole dish, scatter the cut chorizo on top. Next, tear the herbs over the veg and lay the chicken thighs on top, skin side up. Season well with salt and pepper and pour over the white wine
place the lid on and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the lid and turn the chicken thighs over and bake for a further 20 minutes, then turn the chicken thighs back to skin side up and bake for a final 10 minutes until they are crispy and golden. Take the dish out of the oven and pop the lid back on for 5 mins until you serve
eat and of course enjoy!