Warming Winter Goulash – Chicken and bean

Winter is closing in and that means the yearly escape to Wales is nearly here. I’ve written on here before about the warming beef stew they serve and there are a few other items on the menu that I’ve been dying to try out.

Chicken goulash with chips is one such item on the menu. Succulent chunks of chicken in a rich tomato sauce with lashings of paprika; what’s not to love. Traditional Hungarian versions of the stew are made with beef, but variations exist which are made from chicken, lamb or even beans.

In my version of Goulash I’ve gone for chicken but added in some beans and used three different types of paprika for added warmth. With lots of added veg you could even argue this is a healthy dinner option. The addition of hassleback potatoes and homemade wraps to soak up the sauce make a lovely winter feast.

 

Goulash

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Ingredients

  • 6 Large Chicken thighs
  • 2 Tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 Large peppers
  • Onions, Carrots, Celery and Garlic
  • Paprika (Smoked, Sweet and Hungarian)
  • Haricot and Cannellini beans
  • Coriander
  • Chilli, Caraway seeds and bay leaves

 

As per usual start by taking a photo of all the ingredients together. I still maintain this is an important part of life, not just for blogging.  I have to move loads of stuff around each time to take it.

Once the photo has been taken you can put all the kitchen back together and start browning the chicken. It’s best to leave the skin on and bone in place, it adds to the flavour and can be removed later.

Once browned, remove from the pan and add in the chopped carrots, onion and celery. This time I have to confess I cheated slightly and used a pack of frozen veg. They come in handy after a long shift.

After the onions have softened, add in the peppers. Again you could use frozen but fresh are better. Once cooked, add in the chopped garlic. Adding it in early risks it burning which creates bitterness, so be careful.

With all the veg cooked out, add in the chopped tomatoes, spices and beans. Bring up to the boil and add back in the chicken. Place the lid back on the Le Cresuet and simmer for an hour.

With the chicken cooked, remove from the Goulash and strip the meat from the bone. This can then be returned to the pan to soak up the tomatoey goodness until the rest of the dish is ready.

Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1lb Strong bread flour
  • 1oz salt
  • 2oz Caster Sugar
  • 5g Fresh yeast
  • 1oz Butter
  • 320ml Water

Wraps are very easy to make as it turns out. Measure all the ingredients out and transfer to the bowel of a mixer with a dough hook. My favourite is a kitchenaid but I’m biased.

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On a medium speed, mix in the water and knead for 5 mins until a smooth dough has been formed. Once done, proof for 2-3 hours. Perfect time for a coffee

With the dough proved, form into balls and then roll out flat. Try to make them look like wraps, but be creative.

Cook in a hot pan with just a small amount of oil, flipping over after 2mins – this should leave you with a lovely brown mottled pattern.

Lets Eat

Right, that’s about it I think.

I like to serve the goulash with some fresh coriander and also a hassleback potato. These are easy to make, just make some cuts almost completely through a potato and then bake in the oven. You can top with some paprika as well to add to the flavour.

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog as much as I enjoyed the goulash. But saying that, what’s not to like about chicken, paprika, wraps and crispy potatoes.

 

Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs with homemade pitta

‘I’ve never seen him this angry……. Well you say you hated beer, what did you expect’

Sometimes it’s good to act out. This happened whilst I was out having a drink with a surgical SHO  and his girlfriend. She was stunningly pretty, but nothing can excuse that comment – I just had to leave.

In true Cox fashion I jumped into my Alfa, put the hood down and ignored the texts and calls asking if I was returning. I was not!! About 30mins later I found myself in a country village; it was cold, dark and I was hungry. To my good luck the village had a wonderful little Mediterranean bar, so I got a kebab and a beer and ate them on the boot of the alfa – it’s like a table anyway.

Why a kebab – well the girl was a personal trainer – so that, plus beer seemed like a moral win. Of course, I suspect that she might approve mildly. This is no normal Kebab; made with fresh ingredients, homemade pitta, chicken thighs and of course cooked on a rotisserie which helps remove fat (ish)…………

Chicken Shish

This is nothing like the 3am kebabs we remember from Uni, less greasy and a lot more tasty

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Ingredients

  • 8 Chicken thighs
  •  Olive oil
  • 2 lemons – Zest and juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • Honey

Start the day before you intend to make the kebabs, it allows the meat to marinade overnight.

Start by prepping the chicken thighs. You can either use breast or filleted thighs if you don’t fancy removing the bone yourself. Otherwise, use a pair of scissors, a knife and your fingers to remove the bone.

Cut the chicken into chunks and add to a large bowl. Then marinade, combining the spices, garlic, oil, lemon and honey. Use your hands to get the chicken fully covered.

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Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to infuse overnight.Whilst this happens phone a few people about buying a LHD MGTF and parts to convert it to an RHD………..

Right, it’s time to make a BBQ, everything’s better cooked over the coals after all.

Cooking the kebab couldn’t be easier. Just put on the BBQ when the fire’s ready (BBQ rules apply) and start cooking. It should take around 20mins. The alternative is to cook  in the oven at 200C for around 15-20mins on an oiled baking sheet.

Once the chickens cooked, take off the heat and carve into strips. All you need to do is have something to eat them in.

Pitta Bread

I’ve been making Pitta bread for years, it goes so well with Hummus. In fact I might well blog that later for you all – I stole the hummus recipe of TS during one long night.

 

 

 

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Ingredients

  • 9oz white bread flour
  • Fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 160ml water
  • 2 tsp olive oil

(olives to nibble on)

Start by mixing the flour, salt and yeast in your mixer. Add  1.5tsp of oil, I’m using a garlic infused oil for extra taste..

Bring the dough together and then add the remaining oil and water a little at a time till the dough is soft and smooth. Then knead for around 10mins.

You should end up with a pliable soft dough, which needs to proof for an hour or doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock back the dough and divide into 6 equal balls. Roll out into an oval approx 4mm in thickness.

Bake on a pre-heated tray in the top of the Aga or an oven at 250C for 10mins or golden brown.

Lets Eat

All that remains is to take some of the succulent chicken and stuff the pittas with lettuce, peppers, onion and homemade chilli sauce.

To finish the picture, all you need is a beer, some chips and the boot of the Alfa to eat it off.