It’s been a while since last posting.  A few weekends spent with friends and not the usual routines.   A great time, though probably too much wine.  What the heck,  it doesn’t happen very often.  Tonight was a winter evening,  not too cold, but gloomy.   Definitely called for some comfort food.  So a quick search through the world of google,  and I decided on an Annabel Langbein recipe, with potatoes and a fresh cos salad.    A few changes to the recipe – of course – and very definitely a repeater…..

photo (9)AL’s recipe was for six, so I halved it as there was only Mr MWCED and myself.   We still had enough for a left-over dinner another night.   Cooking time is about 1-1/4 hours.
3 tbs butter
1 leek and medium banana shallots, thinly sliced (AL used only leeks, but I quite liked the mix)
salt and ground black pepper
6 skinless chicken thighs – original recipe suggested boneless – but ours were bone-in and I think they are tastier. Plus my package only had 5. As it was, we ate 2 – so go with whatever you think you need.
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup chicken stock – original calls for either cream or stock. We rarely, if ever, use cream in cooking, so no contest. But you might like it.
1 recipe Provençal Crust (see below) – not sure I can call my version Provençal as Mr MWCED doesn’t like anchovies so they were omitted

Heat butter in a heavy pan, add leek and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring now and then, until softened and no longer bright green (about 15 minutes).

While the leek and shallots are cooking, place chicken in a bowl with mustard, worcestershire sauce, cayenne, thyme and salt and stir to combine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while the leeks cook.

Remove cooked leek and shallots from heat and mix in chicken stock. Spread evenly in the base of a large, shallow baking dish. Arrange chicken thighs on top then cover with Provençal Crust. The gratin can be prepared in advance to this stage and chilled for several hours until needed.When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180°C. Bake until chicken is fully cooked through and crumbs are golden (about 1 hour) – maybe slightly longer with bone-in.  Our oven tends to need more heat, so I whacked it up to 220 C, which was fine. 

Provençal Crust

Prep time   10 mins
Makes        2½ cups – you will only use about half of this

½ loaf day-old rustic bread
4 cloves garlic
2 handfuls parsley leaves
1 tsp coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons (or so) of olive oil (this is instead of anchovies and butter). I used a local chile infused oil from – which I purchased a couple of weekends ago as couldn’t resiste the beautiful bottle shape
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup coarsely grated parmesan

Break bread into rough chunks, removing crusts if they are
very hard. Put into food processor with all other ingredients. Pulse until crumbly.
Provençal Crust will keep in a container in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen.


photo (10)Ingredients
4-5 medium sized potatoes, or as many as it takes – we had a lot of little babies which were fine
2 T Olive Oil
2 T Butter
Salt and pepper
Pan Roasted Potatoes Directions
1. Wash and dry potatoes (I didn’t peel)
2. Cut potatoes up in small cubes, about 1/2 inch pieces
3. Heat non-stick pan on medium heat on stove top for a few minutes before adding oil and half of the butter.
4. Add potatoes, stir to coat with oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir potatoes every 5-10 minutes, adding rest of butter as they cook.
6. Cook about a total of 30-45 minutes, or until they are browned to your personal satisfaction.

It worked out to be a great combination, and totally delicious.  Now,  what shall I cook for Sunday night?