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Recipes

SPRING - SUMMER - AUTUMN - WINTER

Italian chicken with ham, basil & beans

Ingredients

8 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
8 slices prosciutto
or other dry-cured ham
2 tbsp olive oil
2 whole heads garlic
800g tomatoes
(a mix of smaller yellow and red tomatoes looks good)
175ml dry white wine
400g can cannellini beans
or other white beans, rinsed and drained
large bunch basil

Method

Season the chicken thighs all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pinch off 8 sprigs from the basil (about 3 leaves each per sprig) and lay one on top of each chicken thigh. Wrap each thigh in a piece of ham, with the ends tucked underneath.

Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large roasting tin over two of the burners on the hob. Add the chicken and fry for about 4 mins or until the ham is just crisped and the chicken is lightly golden. Turn and repeat.

Meanwhile, cut the garlic bulbs in half around the middle and halve the tomatoes if small, quarter them if they’re big. Pick the leaves from the rest of the basil. Once the chicken has browned on both sides, add all of the tomatoes, half of the basil and the wine. Season then cover with foil and leave to cook slowly in the oven for 40 mins.

Take out of the oven and turn the heat up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the foil from the pan and stir the beans into the tomatoey juices. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 30 mins until the tomatoes, chicken and garlic are starting to crisp around the edges and the chicken is very tender. Just before serving, tear the remaining basil roughly then stir through or scatter over the pan.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients

500g cubed braising beef
200g smoked bacon lardons, or similar
110g small whole chestnut mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
180g pack borettane onions in balsamic vinegar, drained if necessary
6 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 heaped tablespoon sauce flour or plain flour
425ml red burgundy wine
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

This is what you might call an all-in-one recipe – just place the first 8 ingredients in a medium-sized flameproof casserole and season well with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle in the flour and, using both hands, toss it all around till everything is lightly coated with flour.

Next pour in the wine, give it a good stir then – ignoring the unpromising sight before you – put a close-fitting lid on the casserole, pop it into the oven on the centre shelf and leave it there for 3 hours, and look forward to the minimum-effort, maximum-result supper that awaits.

To serve, it needs lots of fluffy mashed potato, which you can by all means buy ready-made, and then add extra butter and milk or cream.

 

 
 
 
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