Monday, February 19, 2007

MY COMFORT FOOD



This may be of particular interest to Liz, as it is the chicken with olives and capers dish for which I gave the recipe in the comments section before Christmas, though James won't like it because of the olives. Anyway, I used to make it in the UK and I make it here, for, served with a green salad and a potato baked with oil and herbs, it is my idea of comfort food. I get withdrawal symptoms if I go for more than a couple of weeks without making it and last night the weather turned cold, so I decided it was time... It is also a dish which will stand a fair bit of abuse, such as leaving it in too long, and you can use streaky bacon or even prosciutto instead of the pancetta if you prefer. It freezes well, too. The first photo shows the dish ready to go into the oven and the second one the finished dish. Here is the recipe again:
CHICKEN WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS [serves 4].
2 - 3 skinless chicken breats, cut into bite-sized pieces [In Britain I used to use part-boned breasts with the skin on but have adapted to what is available here.]
2 tablesp.olive oil
small packet of pancetta cubetti
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
14 oz can chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, as I have used here
a good dollop of 'strattu [tomato paste, not purée - a small can of the Greek kind sold in British delis is about the right amount.]
a few chopped mushrooms or a small packet of button mushrooms
a handful of stoned black olives, sliced if you prefer [if these are canned in brine or oil, rinse and drain them; since I've been here I don't bother stoning them.]
a handful of capers, salted ones preferably, rinsed and drained
5 fl. oz red wine [maybe just a tad more]
seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Put the chicken pieces into a deep casserole dish with a lid.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the pancetta. Add the onion and garlic and fry till transparent. Add the tomatoes and 'strattu and stir it all around a bit. Then add the olives, capers and mushrooms. Give it all a good stir and add the wine and seasoning. Mix well and when it bubbles chuck the sauce over the chicken.
Put the lid on the casserole dish and put it in the oven for about 1 hour.
Buon appetito.

17 comments:

tom a said...

sounds delicious! now whether i would actually get round to cooking it is another matter........

Ellee said...

I guess James could leave the olives out, but I would double the quantity, I am very partial to them. Another scrummy dish from Sicily, many thanks. I would occasionally like to be pampered and find it cooked for me.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

That sounds delicious. Will try it out on my family when they come to stay. Always on the look out for new chicken dishes.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Glad you all like the sound of it!

Liz said...

You did indeed give me the recipe, Welshcakes, although I ended up making a shpherds pie on that particular occasion!

Now you have reminded me of it I must give it a go. I have become very boring and sameish about cooking. I often see recipes I like the look of but then don't have the ingredient or forget to check what they are before I shop, so I end up with the same old things every time. But those ingedients look fairly simple so I must do it! perhaps when Wales play Italy ...

MuseinMeltdown said...

What amazing food. I find being able to cook is something which totally escapes me - I think it is the absence of time and organisation. I can literally taste the food in your pictures though and am so impressed.

Hugs my friend - Shani

Lee said...

You've done it again, Welsh!

My body is screaming out for a thick, juicy steak at the moment and I think I'm going to have to make a dash to the butcher shop later to satisfy its craving!

Gracchi said...

Why do you have to make me feel hungry every time I visit this site- its a kind of internet purgatory seeing great food and its not here.

Thanks for yet another delicious recipy you should keep these coming- this is one of my favourite internet sites- this is one being a fan of chicken and olives I'm definitely going to make!

james higham said...

Yes, Ellee and WCL, I don't hate the olives and if they fitted into your recipe and if you cooked it, you'd get no complaints from me.

Imagine a dinner prepared by these two ladies. They could name their own price.

Shirl said...

Looks fabulous - bet it tastes even better.

Ellee said...

I am just tucking into a jacket potato, would love to pile on your chicken and olives on top of it. Do they eat jacket spuds in Sicily?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Gosh, you do all seem to like this one! Liz, shepherd's pie - that's the ultimate comfort food! Can't get minced lamb here but I'm managing to make it with beef. Thanks, Shani - you are very kind. Lee, hope you enjoyed the steak! Thank you, Gracchi: let me know when you make it! James, you can come over to dinner any time!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Shirl, Ellee, I have not forgotten you! Shirl, well, I do think it's rather nice! Even Sicilians who have travelled in Britain can't get around potatoes with the skin on, Ellee! This is difficult for me as I never, ever, peel potatoes - scrub them, yes, peel, no! But I have learnt to peel them for the Sicilian friends!

james higham said...

What a wonderful set of photos. Bet it tasted s good as well.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, James!

Unpremeditated said...

That looks absolutely fabulous. I'll start jotting down the recipe just as soon as I get over this uncontrollable slavering.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, unpremeditated! Enjoy when you make it!

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