I know. Long time no see. Don't pretend you've missed me.
If you're British you've been at the beach soaking up the rays of the first heatwave that the UK has seen since 2006. If you're from the rest of the world I have no clue what you've been doing. I just hope you were enjoying it, and if it wasn't legal you didn't get caught.
Me... I... have been with the rest of the UK. Enjoying the Summer. It really has been such a long time since we've had one. My oldest niece is five in September and this has been her first experience of what a British Summer can feel like, and how differently we all behave when the sun shines for more than a day or two at a time. Everyone has soaked up "the happy" to a point where even the British Economy has finally begun to surge in the right direction (upwards).
I've been in the garden. Barbecuing stuff. Then eating the barbecued stuff. There are no photos of barbecued stuff. We ate the barbecued stuff. Very quickly. We have also drunk copious amounts of wine, got drunk with the neighbours (very, very, drunk), been paddling in the river Tamar with Isla Joy (oldest niece), admired Zoe Valletta's (youngest niece) sun glasses and her amazing ability to eat a million plums (Glad I didn't have to change that nappy!), been swimming in an English sea (first time in 10 years), been out to dinner (A LOT) and generally had a holiday at home.
It has been heaven, but now the heat wave has passed and though it's still warm and occasionally sunny, the magic is fading.
My blog has suffered because I've hardly cooked in the past month. I haven't had time. Maybe if I was earning an income from it, I would have paid it more attention. But I'm not. It's a hobby. So I shall warn you now - if we get another heatwave this year... HIGHLY UNLIKELY... I may well disappear again.
I have actually missed cooking (little bit), and this Chicken Cacciatore was the perfect meal to cook on the stove in a warm kitchen with all the doors and windows wide open to let the air in. It doesn't take too long to cook and is absolutely GAWJUS with a glass of red wine...
... or three.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 20 minutes
Total time - 35 minutes
You will need
A large frying pan/skillet with lid.
A pot to boil pasta in.
1 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken thighs - skinned, boned and chopped into 1cm chunks
4.5oz/125g smoked streaky bacon - finely sliced
9oz/250g chestnut mushrooms - roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 tsp dried) - chopped
2 anchovy fillets
2 red peppers from a jar
1 small handful stoneless black olives (I use Kalamata)
1 red chilli - deseeded and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 fl oz/60ml red wine (your choice, just don't put it in your food if you wouldn't drink it from a glass)
1 bunch fresh basil
7oz/200g dried spaghetti (gluten free works fine here)
- Heat the olive oil in the pan, throw in the chicken, bacon and mushrooms. Give it a stir.
- Add the rosemary and anchovy fillets and tear the peppers up and put them in too, along with the olives.
- Turn the heat up a little and cook, stirring, until the bacon begins to turn golden - about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chilli, wine and passata to the chicken mixture and stir it in and bring to a simmer..
- Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions.
- Pop the lid onto the chicken pan and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Tear up the basil and throw most of it in, reserve some for garnish.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the chicken pan, stir it all in and serve immediately - scattered with remaining basil and grated parmesan (optional).
Adapted from Jamie's 15-Minute Meals