Honey & mustard glazed chicken thighs with chunky parnips

This is a quick, & tasty, wintery dish which makes for a lovely Friday night dinner while it’s dark and cold outside. Don’t know why, it just is. Don’t be stingy with the parsnips, no matter how many you make, they’ll get eaten. Trust me.

Serves 4-5
Preparation time: 10 mins plus marinating time (30 mins)
Cooking time: 40 mins

2 packs (approx 1kg) chicken thighs
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp coarse-grain mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into wedges

Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish. To make the marinate whisk together the oil, honey, mustard, vinegar, thyme and seasoning. Pour over the chicken and turn gently to coat. Cover the dish and chill for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5. Cook the parsnips in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

Add the parsnips to the chicken, then toss to coast in the marinade. Transfer to a roasting tin in a single layer. Roast for 40-45 minutes, turning once during cooking, until the parsnips are golden and cooked through and the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat, with juices running clear. Serve with greens of your choice… with ginger beer or vintage cider.

Nutrition 569 kcals/31.3g protein/23.8 carbohydrate/15.9 sugars/38.7 fat/8.4g saturated fat/5.5g fibre/0.6g salt per serving

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Venison Sausages with Sweet Roasted Vegetables

Last weekend we got some lovely venison sausages at the Duke of York market from Wild about Game, together with the steaks for the previous recipe. I thought let’s do something more than just grill them and eat them with mash, venison deserves better. But, sadly, when the time came to put the sausages in the over, we discovered they were off, one day before the use-by-date. Not impressed. Fortunately, I had a back-up of Waitrose sausages, so all was not lost.

Ingredients

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp red wine
1 red pepper, deseeded and quartered
1 orange pepper, deseeded and quartered.
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and quartered
1 large green courgette, thickly sliced
1 large yellow courgette, thickly sliced.
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil.
1 1/2 teasp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 1/2 teasp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 Glenlyon Venison sausages
350g (12oz) cherry vine tomatoes, washed
A few fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Put the redcurrant jelly in a small saucepan with the red wine and heat very gently, stirring occasionally, until melted together. Set aside.

2. Arrange all the vegetables evenly on the prepared baking tray. And drizzle with all but 1 tbsp oil, turning the vegetables to make sure they are well coated in the oil. Sprinkle with the seeds and plenty of seasoning.

3. Arrange the sausages on top of the vegetables, then brush the sausages with the redcurrant glaze. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the sausages and brush with more glaze. Arrange the tomatoes around the edges of the baking tray, brush with the remaining oil, and return to the oven. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until tender and cooked through. Serve straight from the baking tray, sprinkled with fresh basil and accompanied with a green salad and some crusty bread. (I made some parsnip puree, which was similar to the celeriac one and tasted amazing with the sausages.)

Normandy pork with cider

Ok, I’ve been delia-ed. This is a Delia recipe and it works a treat. This is what she sayz:

I’ve always loved Normandy and the abundance of recipes that include apples and cider. That said, the cider produced in my native Suffolk is what I always use, not to mention the apples. What does genuinely come from Normandy, however, is the crème fraiche – something that we in England can never replicate and whilst the half-fat version is not quite as luscious, it’s fab for cooking.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

1 x 180 g jar Bramley apple sauce (Delia prefers Sainsbury’s one but I have used the Waitrose one)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb (450 g) shoulder of pork
8 fl oz (225 ml) Aspall dry cider
2 fl oz (55 ml) Aspall cider vinegar
salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 rounded tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325ºF (170ºC). Cut the pork into 11/4 inch (3 cm) cubes. Then, heat the oil and butter in a 9½ inch (24 cm) shallow, ovenproof pan or casserole and cook the onion in it over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Then increase the heat and add the cubes of pork and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes. The pork doesn’t need to be browned, just lightly coloured.

Next, add the cider, cider vinegar and a generous seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Bring everything up to simmering point and then transfer the pan or casserole to the oven and cook, without a lid, for an hour, by which time the liquid will have reduced considerably.

Then, stir in contents of the jar of apple sauce and the crème fraîche and return to the oven, again without a lid, for a further 15 minutes. New potatoes with butter and chives and some spinach with a squeeze of lemon would be a nice accompaniment.