Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Very Quick Sunday Supper

If you tried to avoid all the dodgy looking streets in Barcelona, you wouldn’t get anywhere. You just clutch at your bag a little tighter and hope for the best. Then much to your surprise as you step over your second pile of some indeterminable and foul smelling goo, past the hobo’s and graffiti, you might happen to pass by a small entrance leading into a dark but quite well crowded tapas bar. If you adjust your eyes to the gloom enough to peer in, you can tell by instinct, this is where the people of Barcelona go for Tapas. This is a good place. A cool, dark little gem, unknown to the tourist. So you make a mental note of the name of the bar and if you’re lucky, the street name and continue on your way home via many other dodgy and smelly little allies with the intention of returning and sampling what must be a great cocktail and selection of tapas,  like a smug and knowing local. If you don’t want to be ‘in the dark’ in Barcelona it would appear you have to seek out the darker corners of the streets.

Of course you never do. You will never find that place again. It is lost to the rabbit warren that is Barcelona. We’ve been here for a month now and I have barely scratched the surface of brilliant places to eat and drink. To be honest, I’ve done well and admittedly we’ve been doing a lot of eating in lately because we’d be broke and fat otherwise. Tonight is Sunday night and it is way too hot to cook a roast and quite frankly my little Force Ten oven and I regularly fall out over roasts so why ruin the peace?

For my mate Liz who has 4 children, 2 of which are babies, I’m doing the easiest, put-it-in-a-pan-and-run-away method of Sunday supper; and for my mate Liz, it only has 2 ingredients. I first saw this recipe in ‘The Flavour Thesaurus’, by Niki Segnit, an amusing and very interesting book. I have made wee adjustments to the recipe in the book but essentially it really does just have the 2 ingredients. This also makes this a great recipe for any strenuous, rough-seas cooking on a boat too and it is surprisingly delicious. I just had a huge bowl-full to prove it for you. Aren’t I good?

For a Sunday meal of chicken and bell peppers for 6 you will need;

8 Chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (I had 4 thighs and 2 large breasts and it worked just as well)
6-8 red and yellow large bell peppers
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)

  • Begin by heating a very large, non-stick pan with a dash of olive oil and browning the chicken pieces, a few at a time over a medium heat. They just need to be lightly browned all over. Once they have all been browned, set aside.

  • Deseed and roughly chop the peppers. Add some more oil to the pan and turn the heat to high. Add the peppers to the pan and let the peppers start to sizzle. After a few minutes add the chicken back to the pan.
  • After about 8-10 minutes the peppers will begin to release their lovely oils and juices. Give it all a good stir, adding the roughly chopped garlic then put the lid on and turn the heat down to low, letting the chicken and peppers cook for another 40 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, I took the lid off and turned the heat up for another 8-10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce a little. It’s surprising how much sauce there is. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  • Serve with some fluffy rice and lots of bread to mop up the juices. I made some paprika sautéed potatoes with lemon and red onions and would have added some spicy chorizo if I had any. All good things to serve with the easiest dish in the world.

In Niki Segnit’s book, she does literally say to put the chicken and peppers in together without browning the chicken first, which did work very well and is even easier. But next time I cook this it will be as the recipe above.

I think that may well have been our last weekend off for a while. By Friday we’ll be in Palma for our next regatta. I think I’ve just about recovered from the last one…

Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Thanks for reading.


P.S Apparently it isn’t a good idea to use a roll of kitchen paper towel as a makeshift tripod for your camera near a naked flame…    Who’d of thought?