This post is sponsored by Lindeman’s.
The moment the leaves fall from the trees and the cooler weather approaches I crave slow cooked meals. Soups, casseroles, stews; all the hearty dishes that don’t get a mention when summer comes around. Even the smell that fills the house when cooking a hearty winter dish brings with it a kind of winter comfort like no other.
This dish was inspired by two things. Firstly my Mum. She is the best cook I know. I gather everyone says the same about their mum’s cooking, but I really mean it. She can cook a Malay curry to rival the most authentic. She once created an Italian spaghetti sauce that had some family friends asking for the recipe. They are Italian. And she can make a good old Aussie BBQ just like a born and bred Aussie, although she is Nordic. I don’t think anyone has walked away from sampling her cooking and not claimed it to be phenomenal. So when I thought of making a hearty slow cooked chicken dish, I of course consulted her for ideas. She has long been the master of delightful baked dishes, and I wanted in.
The second source of my inspiration is the Regional Series Wines from Lindeman’s. These classic single varieties are each made from a blend of two complementary regions. For instance in the case of the Chardonnay, the Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills play host to the flavours that compliment it. So what produce do we get out of these two regions you may wonder? *opens google* Well the list is abundant with fresh produce but I spot olives and I can’t look away. So there starts my recipe inspiration. (By the way, after my two hours spent browsing the fresh produce from the Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills, I think I need a long overdue trip over east.)
This slow baked chicken just falls off the bone. You could do it in the slow cooker but I just love oven-baked heartiness. Load it up with delicious cherry tomatoes and leave the garlic whole, don’t even bother peeling it. If you’re not a fan of thyme take it easy, otherwise load it up. And a little tip for when it’s done, let it sit for five minutes. The sauce thickens and you wind up with this delightfully rich tomato/garlic/thyme heart-warming sensation that just screams comfort.
Ingredients // serves 4
4 chicken drumsticks, trim skin
4 garlic cloves, whole
4 anchovy fillets
1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes
1 tin (410g) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup mixed pitted olives (I used a Mediterranean mix)
1/2 cup red wine
A good handful of thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C.
Place all ingredients into a baking dish with a lid (or use foil to cover), season well, cover and bake for 1 hour.
Remove cover, increase heat to 200C and bake for a further 35-45 minutes until chicken is golden in colour.
4-5 medium potatoes
Milk (enough to give a smooth texture)
100g goat cheese (or brie works too), crumbled
Salt and black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain.
Peel potatoes while hot (my Mum holds the potato on her fork and peels the skin off with a knife) and place into a bowl. Add butter and mash. Add milk in small doses to get a nice creamy texture. Add goat cheese and stir in well.
Season to taste, and add more butter if need be. Don’t skimp on the butter, never skimp on the butter!
If this doesn’t get the heart warmed up and you feeling comforted then I don’t know what will. You could scoop up the remainder of the sauce with a nice slice of crusty bread too. Gee I am good to you.