I had another of those weekends when I craved comfort food through the week, mostly due to the cold and rain, and went looking through my books and magazines for some inspiration.
Recently I was given Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food, and boy were there some great recipes in there! Most of them need time, and thats what I had on Sunday afternoon.
One of the items on this weeks menu was going to be his Chicken, Broth and Pesto. It really is one of those recipes that takes time to cook, and I wanted to have it the next night for dinner. So, I made it almost to the end, then just let it sit overnight and reheated tonight.
Yum. So good. I wasn't sure about the pesto, but it was fabbo and really topped off the dish!
After I'd served it up my darling husband asked "are we having hot water with chicken and veg for dinner tonight". Not the most appealing description. Pah to him! Saying that, all the family slurped it all up until their bowls were empty. It was especially good for boy number 1 who was feeling poorly. Nothing like a good chicken soup to make you better!
So cook, enjoy, and it really is good warmed up the next day!! Don't get put off by the lengthly looking method...its actually really very simple. I slightly altered the recipe with my changes in brackets and this suited the 4 of us perfectly with a little bit left over for my lunch.
Jamie Oliver's Chicken Broth, Veg & Pesto
1 x whole chook (1.6kg)
2 bulbs of fennel (I used 1)
1 celery heart
6 baby turnips (couldn't get these so used 2 swedes and 1 potato peeled and quartered)
2 large handfuls of seasonal greens (such as kale, cabbage, spinach etc)
1 bunch of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, thyme etc
1 clove of garlic
1 handful shelled walnuts (I used a mix of walnuts & brazil nuts as thats all I had!)
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley and tarragon
50g cheddar cheese
1 tblspn jar or fresh grated horseradish (I used jar)
1 tblspn cider vinegar
6 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
Put the chicken in a large deep casserole pan (I had to use my stock pot as my casserole dish wasn't big enough!). Trim and halve the fennel bulbs & celery hearts, peel the carrots, peel and trim the turnips (or the potato/swede). Pour in enough cold water to cover everything and add a teaspoon of salt. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering reduce to low and simmer away for 1hr 15min, skimming the surface when necessary.
(This is where I stopped. Turned off the stove and let it all cool. Then once cool tucked it into the fridge. I put back on the stove on low about an hour before serving to warm up)
Make the pesto - peel the garlic and smash up with the nuts in a mortar and pestle. Pick or finely chop the parsley and tarragon leaves, grate the cheese and add both to the mix with the rest of the ingredients. Muddle and mix together then season with salt and pepper to taste.
When your broth is ready, add the greens and took for 5-10 mins. To add more flavour, tie up your herbs into a bunch. Have a taste of the broth then dip the herbs in, swooshing around, for about 10 seconds. Taste the broth again and continue until its to your liking.
To serve - carefully lift the chicken out of the pan into a large bowl(don't worry if it falls apart, mine did!) discarding skin and bones. Lift out the veg and cut the larger ones into chunks. Divide the veg, greens and chicken into your bowls. Ladle over that lovely broth and finish with a dollop of the pesto.
Serve with warm crusty bread on the side.
Thanks Jamie! We loved it!