Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The first Autumn storm - Something warming needed

After a Summer that felt like it would never end it was only fitting that as November approaches, an Autumn storm crashed the party. After a week of warnings about the remnants of hurricane Gonzalo hitting the UK with high winds and rain it turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in the South East of England. Nevertheless, the temperature fell from its balmy 20C to a much more Autumnal level and thoughts turned to a warming supper.

A trawl through the fridge revealed some chorizo that would  soon reach its best before date. This triggered an idea so I popped up to the shops for some chicken thighs. On my return I put a large cast iron casserole pot on the stove and put the heat up high. I added a little oil and then browned off  the thighs having cut some deep cuts into each to help them soak up the flavours of the dish. Once these were browned I removed them from the pan and finished them with a blowlamp to give them a little char grilled flavour to bring to the party.

I turned the heat down on the pan and added around 400 g of diced chorizo to brown. I then grabbed a bag of shallots from the vegetable rack. The smaller variety as these are
 what I happened to have.

I peeled and very coarsely chopped  8 of these and added them to the pan

Next I added two sticks of chopped cellery, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 5 medium thickly cut carrots,  and 150 g of sliced mushrooms. I then added 350 ml of red wine and a litre of chicken stock along with a bouquet garni. Once this had come to the boil I popped it into the oven for 2.5 hours at 150C. The result was a warm, rich casserole that went perfectly with some butter beans in a light cream sauce. Eager to sample this comforting dish I clean forgot to take a photograph but trust me, it was a perfect meal for a blustery day. Bring on the winter.

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