Ottolenghi meets Italy

I’m a big fan of Ottolenghi and I love Italy, for many good reasons. In his last book “Simple’ I discover, every time I stroll around the book, new dishes to try. Today, on page 206, a dish with lamb gets my attention. We have guests tonight ( they are curious about our home cinema 😉), so I have a good reason to prepare this recipe, but with chicken instead of lamb.

Buy 1 good quality chicken. Use the beautiful meat for the stew and prepare at the same time a simple chicken broth for the freezer.

Chop the meat into smaller cubes ( total amount probably +/-500 -600 grams.

Heat a pan with olive oil. Bake the seasoned ( I used 1 table spoon of mixed chicken herbs ) meat first. Once crispy, add 1 chopped onion, 4 chopped garlic cloves and 500 grams of real local ‘gobbi ‘( cardi or thistles or family of artichokes, Ottolenghi uses 4 stems of white celery instead). Allow to simmer for approx 10 mins. Add 1 can of tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of spicy paprika powder and 1 table spoon of baharat spices. Allow to simmer for 30-40 mins.

Roast 60 grams of pine nuts. Add the pine nuts to the chicken dish. Taste, add pepper and salt. Finish with a handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Mix 120 grams of tahini with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 finely chopped garlic clove. Add water (100-200ml) to obtain a nice creamy consistence. Taste, add salt and pepper.

Heat the oven at 180°. Cover the stew with the tahini sauce. Bake in the oven, 20 mins covered and 30 mins uncovered.

Serve with rice and a fresh cucumber salad.

PS We started the first part of ‘meglio gioventù’ which offers us a perfect reason to organise another movie night soon😉

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