5 December 2012

DIY Christmas decorations


No sign of the Coca-cola ads yet which means Christmas hasn't officially started, but the street lights are up and the shops are packed with christmas presents and decorations. Last year, I made these delicious dried orange and cinnamon decorations, and here are a few other ideas that I'm keen to have a go at...

- these very pretty paper baubles


- a pine cone garland for an outdoors/indoor look

- something to make your Chrismas wrapping extra special 

- paper doily snowflakes to guarantee a white Christmas!

4 December 2012

Chicken with chorizo and beans

I made this recipe a little while ago, but for some reason didn't post it up. Now that it's heading towards Baltic conditions though, it seems very appropriate to be eating warm, hearty meals, and this one is certainly that.

It's a bit of a store cupboard recipe, so any kind of beans will do (I used haricot). If you don't have any chorizo, you could swap in pancetta or bacon, and if you have fresh tomatoes or peppers that need using up, feel free to throw those in too. 

Chicken with chorizo and beans 
Serves 2

2 chicken legs
50g chorizo, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 garlic cloves
400g tinned haricot beans (or any other kind)
100ml white wine (or chicken stock, if you don't have any wine open)
Couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium sized, oven proof frying pan. Add the chicken legs to the pan, skin side down, and fry over a medium heat, turning once or twice until golden brown on both sides (probably about 10 minutes in total). Remove the chicken from the pan and put it to one side. 

Using the same pan, turn down the heat to low and add the whole, unpeeled garlic, the chorizo and the thyme leaves. Fry gently for a couple of minutes until the chorizo is just cooked. Add the beans and the white wine and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs on top of the beans and put everything in the pre-heated oven. (If you don't have an ovenproof frying pan, just transfer everything into any oven proof dish).

Bake for about 25 minutes, checking every now and adding a splash more wine if the beans look dry. When it's cooked, the chicken will start to come away from the bones, the skin will be crispy, and the juices will run clear when you test the meat with a knife.