Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
THERE is always something delicious and comforting about a stew, especially when things are a little quieter, and all of the hustle and bustle has calmed down. It’s a great dinner to make too as it really is quite simple, all the work goes into a few stages at the preparation, and then it’s just a slow cook and forget about it! This chicken stew is fresh and zesty and sure to make you feel better on a cold winter’s evening. The focaccia is a great bread to tear and share, serve it with the stew and enjoy!
Italian Chicken & Lemon Stew
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
250ml chicken stock
1 small swede
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 onions, chopped
4 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs
1 tbsp. plain flour
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
100ml white wine
Peel the swede and cut into large dice. Place in a pan of water, and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes before draining.
Zest and juice the lemons and set aside. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper, then dust in the flour. Heat the oil in a skillet or casserole dish and brown the chicken legs on all sides until golden. Using a tongs remove the legs from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the chopped onion into the hot pan and sauté for 5 minutes, turning the heat down to medium. Then add the garlic and season with a little more salt and pepper.
Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, then stir well. Reduce for 2 minutes on high heat then add the swede and chicken back to the pan with the chicken stock. Cook on high heat for 15 minutes until the liquid is back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes take off the lid and add the lemon juice and zest. Cook for a final 5 minutes, and serve with some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley. Delicious!
450g plain or 00 flour
1 tsp. salt
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp. sugar
250ml lukewarm water
60ml olive oil
6 sprigs rosemary
Coarse sea salt
Start by activating your yeast with the sugar and sprinkling into a small bowl of warm water. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes until it begins to foam. Meanwhile sift your flour and salt into a large bowl.
Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks and roughly chop it. Add half of the rosemary to the flour and set the rest aside for the top of the focaccia.
Add the yeast to the flour and mix well to form a dough. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead into a ball for about five minutes. You need to get the dough smooth and quite elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly greased plastic bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
Tip back onto a work surface and knead the bread out into a 12” round. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray, cover with a sheet of oiled baking paper and leave to rise for a further 45 minutes.
Scatter the top of the focaccia with the remaining rosemary. And using your fingers, poke about 10 holes into the top of the focaccia. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and scatter with the sea salt.
Bake in a preheated oven at 220oC for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 190oC and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack and allow the bread to cool completely.