Somerset Chicken with Braised Leeks

This is a really simple family meal that always goes down a treat! It’s got the tastiest sauce – the kids lick their plates!

I call it Somerset Chicken, due to its killer ingredient, which gives it a very moreish sweet flavour – Apple Cider!

Here’s the instructions:

  1. Gently stir fry some chopped chicken, plus one small onion in some olive oil. (I used Chicken Thigh fillets, as they tend to be very flavoursome and succulent, plus some leftover Roast Chicken I needed to use up). Season generously.

2. Add some flour (approx 1 heaped tbsp) to act as a thickener for the sauce, which is made from cider and stock.

3. Add half a pint of Dry Cider and half pint of chicken stock, plus some dried Rosemary or Thyme. Stir well. Season again.

That’s the prep done – couldn’t be simpler!

Optional Variation

Sometimes I jazz things up by adding some bacon lardons at stage 1 – this works really well as the salty bacon offsets the sweet cider beautifully – just use less seasoning, to avoid things getting too salty!

4. Cook for 1 1/2 hours in a crock pot or lidded casserole dish at 180 degrees. Check half way through to ensure sauce has not reduced too much. Add a little more water if needed.

Braised Leeks

My mum taught me how to prepare these leeks – they’re brilliant! Really tasty, and a great accompaniment to so many dishes, particularly chicken dishes, or Sausage n Mash!

  1. Gently saute 2 chopped leeks in 1 tbsp butter. Season.
  2. When leeks are soft and glossy, add approx 30ml boiling water, just enough to shallowly cover bottom of pan.
  1. Add a few handfuls of Frozen Peas. If you like, add a little Rosemary or Tarragon. Bring to boil, then turn down low and simmer in a lidded frying pan for 5-6 minutes with lid partly ajar to allow excess liquid to reduce.

Serve both dishes with some creamy, mashed potato.

Super satisfying, especially with a glass of leftover cider!

Bangin’ Salmon!

This Salmon dish was one of those really fortunate experiments that turned out right first time! It’s seriously tasty, and an absolute doddle to make. It’s become a fast favourite of mine for occasions when I’m entertaining, as it can be prepared in advance, and it’s soooo easy to make, that it frees you up to concentrate on catching up with your friends! Also, it’s pretty healthy, so you don’t need to feel too guilty about having dessert!

I’ve named it ‘Bangin’ Salmon’ – as this seems to be my three teenage kids’ new word for anything that’s ‘cool’, ‘fab’ or in any way ‘good!’ (And because ‘Serendipitous Salmon’ just doesn’t have quite the same ring…)

Anyway, here’s how I made it:

Step 1:

Place some Salmon Fillets in a foil lined tray. Season generously and add some finely chopped red onions, red peppers and Vine/Cherry Tomatoes.

Step 2 – Glaze

My glaze consisted of:

  • a chunk of finely chopped fresh ginger,
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon or so of freshly squeezed lime juice

I made this up really quickly in a dish.

Step 3

Pour the glaze all over the Salmon, and pocket the salmon loosely in foil, adding some fresh coriander, if you like it.

Looks pretty, too!

Cook for about 25-30 mins on a moderate heat (I cooked mine in a fan oven at 180 degrees). You’ll know everything’s ready when the fish turns pale and flakes easily, and the tomatoes are close to bursting. And the smell of all that yummy glaze will make your mouth water.

Serve with new potatoes, broccoli, or a crisp green salad, and of course a glass of Pinot Grigio! And be sure to spoon over some of that glaze – delicious!