Sunday, November 27, 2016

Romesco Chicken with Kale Mashed Potatoes

Having a little comfort food doesn't have to mean foregoing nutrition and quality ingredients. In fact, I'm a firm believer that it enhances the recipe. I spent the afternoon catching up on new British murder mysteries. No better time to wolf down some nachos with fresh salsa, guacamole and chopped jalapeƱo, olives and sharp cheddar. And brownies. And beer. And some leftover Doritos. And more brownies. Even junk food can dig a fresh twist.

To continue today's theme we have Romesco chicken with kale mashed potatoes. Crispy skinned chicken thighs in a tangy pepper and tomato sauce with ground almonds (pumpkin seeds if you have nut allergies) and plenty of garlic. Comfort at it's finest, as long as you're willing to put the Doritos down long enough to make it.


Serves 4


  • 1 1/2lb yukon potatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 1lb chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 jar roast red peppers, drained
  • 1 15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped


Fill a large pot with water, a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 7-10 minutes, until softened. Throw in the kale and boil another minute. Drain the potatoes of water, add the chicken stock, yoghurt and mash with a fork or standing mixer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the chicken, heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Place half the chicken in the pan, skin side down and let cook for 5 minutes or until skin is browned. Flip and cook another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and cook the other half of the chicken. Once complete, set the chicken aside and wipe down the pan. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and the garlic and heat for 30 seconds. Add the crumbs and almonds, combining well with the garlic. Pour into a food processor or blender and add the peppers and tomatoes. Blend until well combined.

Return the sauce to the frying pan and place the chicken thighs on top. Add a little chicken stock to thin the sauce to your desired consistency and stir to coat the chicken. Serve on top of the potatoes with a little flat leaf parsley sprinkled over top.

Warm Lentil & Mushroom Salad

This salad is easy, tasty and good looking, particularly if you need a side dish for a party or just generally want to be gassy. It was only a few years ago that I was introduced to French lentils, a type of lentil that retains its shape and chewy texture, making it a good addition to casseroles and salads. Historically, the lentils I knew were added to soups or dahl and had a mushy texture. I appreciate the French version for their heartier dimension.

If you've got feta or another bold cheese on hand, crumbling a little overtop of this recipe would be a great addition.  Otherwise, just serve as is and enjoy!

Adapted from:

  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 1 lb mixed mushrooms (I used Portobello and button)
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t chili flakes
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


Prepare the lentils by rinsing them thoroughly and putting them in a pot with 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. The lentils should be chewy and still intact. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes if you prefer a more tender lentil. Remove from heat and drain if any water remains.

In a pan, sauce the mushrooms in two batches, with a tablespoon of olive oil each, stirring until they've softened; about 4 minutes for each batch. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic and onions. Add the chili flakes and stir until the onions have softened, about 2 minutes. Return the mushrooms back to the pan and combine well with the onion mix. Add salt, pepper and the lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a bowl, add the greens and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.