I was not in a very good mood yesterday because I had to make a trip to the citizens advice bureau regarding the photographer. I also spoke to consumer direct who have instructed me what I need to do next. I need to send a letter stating that they are in breech of contract and that I need a full breakdown of costs. I have to give them 14 days to do this and take it from there.
As soon as the second lot of wedding pictures I'm waiting on to arrive I can get the thank you cards sorted. I'm sure all our guests think we are rude not sending out thank you cards but we are planning to people, we just need the wedding pictures in order to do it!
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced
1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8ths (we used 2 x packs of 4x chicken thighs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy (we used brandy)
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound frozen small whole onions (we used whole shallots)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced (we used closed cup)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.
- Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
- Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot.
- Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
- Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions.
- In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew.
- Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.
1 lb potatoes (thinly sliced)
150ml Double Cream
2 x Cloves Crushed Garlic
Salt & Pepper to season
Nutmeg - Grate some fresh nutmeg in for extra flavour (we didn't add any as Sue is allergic to nuts)
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas Mark 6.
- Put the milk, cream and garlic into a large saucepan.
- Add the potatoes and season. Simmer for 10 minutes but be careful you don't break up the potatoes.
- Stir in the nutmeg if using
- Spoon them into a shallow oven proof dish.
- Dot on some butter
- Bake for 30 minutes