Today, I made Hunter's Stew. This is Jamie Oliver's version and it looks pretty darn good. I've made two dishes, one with the olives and anchovies and one without...no point antagonising the children. I've made many different versions of this stew, also known as chicken cacciatore and this is a version I wanted to try for a while. It looks lovely but like all stews, I let it get cool and reheat it for later as it tastes oh so much better that way. This is a brilliant dish to make for a big party-just double/triple up on the ingredients.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (1 crushed, 2 sliced)
½ a bottle of Chianti
flour, for dusting
Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
Handful of green or black olives, stoned
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and the crushed clove of garlic and cover with the wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust the chicken pieces with flour and shake off any excess. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of olive oil and a little butter, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and put to one side.
Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon) and the chicken pieces with their reserved marinade. I used two pans, one with the anchovies and olives, one without for the kids. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid or a double thickness layer of foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.
Skim off any oil that’s collected on top of the sauce, then stir, taste and add a little salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.
Jamie recommends that this is served with a salad, or some cannellini beans, and plenty of Chianti. I serve it with mashed potatoes & pureed, spicy cannellini beans...boiled in mild stock with a pinch of chilli flakes until soft enough to mash with a little butter and cream, salt and pepper....and crusty bread. Mmmmmm.
For afters, I made a classic apple pie dish. this will be served with home-made vanilla ice-cream.
For the pastry:
255g/9oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
140g/5oz hard margarine or butter
6 tsp cold water
For the filling:
3 large Bramley cooking apples, chopped, stewed in simmering water until soft and cooled
A tablespoon of sugar or more to taste
Caster sugar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cold water to the flour mixture. Using a knife, mix the water into the flour, using your hand to firm up the mixture. The pastry should be of a suitable consistency for rolling.
Divide the pastry into two halves. Take one half and roll it out so that it is big enough to cover an 20cm/8in enamel or aluminium plate. Trim the edges with a knife using the edge of the plate as your guide. Cover the pastry with the stewed apples and sprinkle with sugar to taste.
Roll out the other half of the pastry. Moisten the edge of the bottom layer of pastry and place the second piece on top. Press down on the pastry edges, making sure that they are properly sealed. Trim off any excess pastry with a knife in a downward motion, again using the plate as your guide. Flute the edges with a pinching action using your fingers and thumb.
Prick the surface of the pastry lightly or make a few holes, decorating with any leftover pastry, i.e. leaves, before placing the pie in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Dust with caster sugar and serve.