With the end of summer bringing the last of our gardens wares, this month I would like to introduce you to a very simple, yet quintessentially Greek chicken and tomato stew.
But first, let’s address the time limitations that can often catch us out at dinner time. By putting together you’re own batch of pre-made tomato sauce or stew you’ll not only save yourself a huge amounts of time, you’ll also have everything you need to make a quick, easy and hearty five a day meal for the entire family. And who doesn’t love a good stew this time of year!
(For making the perfect tomato sauce/stew)
- 1 white onion
- 2 small carrots
- 1 celery stick
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Dry oregano
- 1tbsp sugar
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 tbsp of white wine vinegar
- Chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 1 lemon
- Chop the onion, carrots and celery
- Heat some oil in a saucepan and pan fry the veg with the fresh thyme
- Season lightly
- Let them soften and then add the vinegar and let it bubble
- Whether you are using fresh or canned tomatoes, cut them roughly and add them to the saucepan
- Add a tablespoon of sugar and the bay leaves
- Make sure to leave on medium heat to allow the veg to add a sweetness to the sauce as they become infused with the herbs
- Taste and season as you see fit
- When cooking is over and while the sauce is still warm, blitz through a blender
- Then pour the sauce evenly into sterilised jars
- Finish each jar off with a squeeze of lemon; to add a fresh zing to the taste and help naturally preserve your sauce
- Once cooled down, close the jars and seal with sterilised lids
- Make sure to seal them properly and for increased longevity boil some water and place each jar, upside-down in the water for a few minutes. This will seal the jars and stop any air getting through
- Once removed from the water let them stand to rest for a while before storing away
To use your sauce to make a quick chicken stew, heat some olive oil and butter in a saucepan, using whole thighs, dust some flour over them and pan fry until the chicken is light brown. Season with salt and pepper, depending on how rushed you are and what you have to hand, remember you can always add extra veg or beans to further bulk out/stretch the dish, just remember to let them soften and blend with the meat juices.
Pour your fresh, homemade, tomato sauce over the lightly fried chicken thighs and voila (or ‘etsy’ in Greek) your family’s dinner is ready in around 15 minutes.
Go vegetarian by using Quorn instead of chicken.