It’s been a busy time at the aferrarikitchen. I have had some great times serving up the delicate paring of fresh tiger prawn and zucchini pasta for a garden party on a mild autumn night and just as gratifying a time slow roasting Mediterranean spiced pulled pork, rich sweet juicy lamb shoulders with fresh and tangy pomegranate, radish and rocket salads for my clients on cooler nights.
Although I adore cooking for work, there is nothing more comforting that bringing home a whole chicken, putting down the stiff brown paper bag from my butcher, picking fresh herbs from my garden, getting my olives and stock from the fridge, heating the pan with olive oil, running to my closet to put on my old school, may I say vintage, Addidas trackies on and returning to the kitchen to get a family dinner happening after a day of work .
First I cut a couple of brown/red onions
and cook them in olive oil till soft, then I add my garden herbs: thyme, sage, rosemary and a couple of bay leaves, I take a deep breath of this Mediterranean mix, SERIOULSY I DO! EYES CLOSED TO! And then add my chicken (which has been previously sectioned into ten pieces by my butcher or myself). I move the herbs and onions to the side and make little spaces for the chicken and allow it to brown nicely on all sides((about 7-8 minutes) and season with salt and pepper . I then add a small glass of white wine to the pan and while it evaporates I pour myself a big glass and begin sipping away haaaaaaaaa relax.
Then I add enough stock to ‘almost’ cover the chicken and I put a lid over the pan to cook for about 20-25 minutes at low temperature. This gives me time to get some new season potatoes out, peal them, cut them into small pieces and set them aside. At this point I have a bit more wine while my daughter practices her reading out loud. She makes me so proud as she belts out the words for us while my son jumps all over me making gun/shooting sounds killing me over and over… boys!
I then get up, uncover the chicken put in the potatoes a hand full of olives (green or black whatever you have), then cover once again and cook for a further 20-25 mints until the potatoes are soft. Then we all set the table, cut some bread, sit and enjoy this family bliss dish.
Casa dolce Casa (Home Sweet Home)
A whole chicken (possibly organic free range)
Mediterranean Herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, bay leaf)
About 1 liter of chicken stock
A hand full of olives (black kalamata or green Sicilian)
Parsley to garnish (optional)