There seems to be some kind of battle raging between autumn and winter currently. Winter dawns with crisp, frosty mornings, a light fog settled over the country and steam rising from every surface, confident of its victory over autumn. Next day autumn returns with a vengeance, gales and storms, wind and rain battering the country proving it’s not over yet, before snow falls in the Highlands, as if to make a point. While they sort out their differences outside (personally, my money’s on winter to win this fight) I could do with some kind of pick me up in the food department.
Apt though the flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove are at this time of year, “warming” cakes and hearty soups do tend to get old after a while, so I thought I’d intersperse them with something a little different, a little fresher, a bit more summery. This tastes almost Mediterranean, with the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil, yet the ginger adds an essential, yes, warmth, which makes it totally fitting for an autumn/winter’s evening. I ignored the suggestion to serve it with bread and instead spooned it over creamy mashed potato so the juices soaked into the potato; it was a good combination. Warming, filling but with a scent of summer days lurking underneath.
1 medium white onion
2 cloves of garlic
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1 tablespoon Thai basil, finely chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
Salt and pepper
4 chicken thighs, boned and chopped in half
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
2. Chop the onion and place in the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish. Add the minced garlic, ginger, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, white wine and salt and pepper. Mix everything together well.
3. Place the chopped chicken thighs in the middle of the vegetable mixture, nestling them amongst the veggies and spooning some of the liquid over the top of them. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Makes 2 large, or 3 small portions, when served with mash or big chunks of bread.