Chicken Cacciatore


One of my most favourite cookbooks is “Polpo – A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts)”. There are some amazing recipes in it and not too hard to make either. This recipe, chicken cacciatore is very easy and is actually my adaptation as the original is is for rabbit (which I have made and is just as good). I can make this recipe without the book and with all the herbs I have in the garden it really makes this dish one of my favourites.



– 500g Chicken

– 3 Carrots, Finely Chopped

– 3 Celery Sticks, Finely Chopped

– 1 Large Onion, Finley Chopped

– 2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped

– 2 Rosemary Sprigs, Leaves Roughly Chopped

– 4 Thyme Sprigs, Leaves Only

– Flakey Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

– A Glass of White Wine

– 2 x 400g Tins of Tomatoes

– 1 Handful of Black Olives, Stoned

– 1 Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley Leaves, Chopped

– I added lemon thyme and sage also



Put the chicken into a plastic bag with enough seasoned flour to coat. Give it a good shake, place into a large pot with 150ml of olive oil and cook until they are nice and browned on all sides. Cook in batches, remove and place to one side. Next add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, turn down the heat and soften for 5 minutes or so.


When the vegetables start to stick, add the glass of wine and while it sizzle and bubbles away scrape up all the flavour bits that are on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, a cup of water and the black olives then bring to the boil. Add the meat and bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2hrs.

IMG_7443 IMG_7444 IMG_7445

Taste the sauce and season if necessary. Serve in a large bowel and top with parsley. This dish can be served with Molecular Mash or just with a nice crusty bread. Enjoy.


Cuttlefish with Meatballs and Peas


Over the weekend it was a bit chilly so cooking a big hearty stew was in order to help warm us up. We decided to look to one of our favourite chefs, Rick Stein, for inspiration. In the week leading up to our cookup for this weeks blog we were sending ideas back and forth of different recipes in our Rick Stein books (and combined I think we are one book shy of the collection) before we came across an amazing sounding dish: cuttlefish with meatballs and peas. This is an excellent spanish dish and best served with a big crusty loaf of bread, which went down an absolute treat.


– 6 tbsp Olive oil
– 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 Medium onion, finely chopped
– 90 ml (3.2fl oz) Dry white wine
– 1 Large vine tomato (about 200g), halved
– 2 tsp Tomato pur
– 15 g Slice crustless white bread
– 1.5 tbsp Milk
– 2 tbsp Chopped flat-leaf parsley
– 225g Minced chicken
– 225 g Minced pork
– 1 Pinch, freshly grated nutmeg
– 6 Large shell-on raw prawns
– 375g Cleaned cuttlefish, cut into 2cm strips
– 150ml Chicken stock
– 100g Shelled peas, fresh or frozen
– 1 Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Picada
– 2 tbsp Olive oil
– 2 Fat garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
– 10g Slice crustless white bread
– 10g Toasted blanched almonds
– 1 Small vine-ripened or beef tomato, halved
– 1 tsp Flat-leaf parsley leaves



First you want to grate the halved tomatoes for the sauce and the picada. Discard the skin. Right for the picada, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic, the slice of bread and fry. Turning over now and then until golden brown all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl of a mini food processor with the almonds, tomato, parsley and a tablespoon of cold water. Blend to a paste and set aside.


Next place 2 tablespoons of the oil, half the garlic and the onion into a large saucepan and fry for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Add the wine, grated tomato and tomato purée and reduce to a simmer (stirring occasionally) for 6-7 minutes or until reduced and thickened. For the meatballs first you want to tear the bread into a small bowl, sprinkle with the milk and leave until soft.  Next break apart with your fingers and add the remaining chopped garlic, parsley, minced chicken and pork, nutmeg and a good pinch each of salt and black pepper. Mix together well and shape roughly into 3cm balls.


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add the meatballs and fry for 3 minutes. Shake the pan every now and cook until golden brown. Set aside on a plate and add the prawns. Fry for 1 minute on each side until just cooked through and set aside on another plate. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then the cuttlefish and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until it is nicely caramelized and just cooked through. Set aside with the prawns.


Next we combine the tomato sauce and picada to a large pan then bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the stock and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Add the peas, meatballs and cuttlefish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lastly scatter the prawns in and simmer for 5 minutes until any remaining liquid has reduced, the cuttlefish has cooked through and throw some parsley on to garnish. Serve with crusty fresh loaf of bread.