• Chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 700g red tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 3 or 4 short sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

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Adapted a Delia Smith recipe, her take on an Italian classic ‘Chicken Cacciatora’. I had different ingredients, veg that needed using etc. She inspired me to follow yet tweak her recipe. Great with rice or mash. A lovely winter warmer.

Begin by washing the chicken pieces, patting dry and placing on a plate. In a bowl mill salt and pepper, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the sprigs of rosemary. Pop the pieces in ensuring that each one is covered in the oil. Cover with cling film and place in fridge to marinade. You don’t have to do this part – you can start cooking.

Use a casserole dish with a capacity of 6 pints and a lid. Place oil in and over a high heat add the chicken pieces, cooking in batches ensuring it’s browned well on both sides. Remove onto a plate and cook the next batch, letting them rest on the plate. Now add the chopped onion (thickly sliced) and the leek and turn the heat down and cook for approx. 8 mins. Then add the chopped garlic.

Meanwhile skin the tomatoes. I placed them in a metal pan, poured a boiled kettle worth over and let them stand for 1 min, then I drained the water and let them stand to cool for approx. 1 minute before peeling off the skins. Chop into small pieces. Add these to the casserole, as well as a carrot cut into thickish pieces. Now add the rosemary (used to marinade the chicken earlier on and a couple of bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Now add the sherry
(Delia used white wine), and puree and bring to the boil and then let is bubble and reduce which should take around 15-20 mins uncovered. Next pop in the chicken pieces, give it all a stir and pop into the oven with lid for approx. 40 mins gas mark 6.

I then made dumplings that cooked for a further 20 mins in oven on gas mark 2