Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Carry On Camping

After a weekend of presenting to over 600 good folk of Gateshead at the beautiful Saltwell Park Festival this weekend gone, I appeared to trail home with more than I went with. And that takes some achieving, what with every cooking utensil and condiment under the sun in my possession, as well as 2 huge portable cooking hobs. It is a little bit like Carry On Camping.

At any event like this, there is always a huge amount of preparation to be done, and this was no exception. In 2 days, I was presenting 3 sets of 3 course meals. No room for mistakes, I ensured there was ample product and ample preparation. So at the end of the weekend, I found myself coming home with a large container or two full of chopped onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and haricot beans. What was I to do with all of this lot?

With a chicken carcass from the Sunday dinner left to pick, it took all of 30 seconds to decide what this evening's supper was going to be. This is what I call 'no brainer' food, the kind of food that anybody can do and perfect for when time is against you but good hearty food is required. Camping food of the highest order! My Le Cruset was overflowing with enough stew to feed Gateshead let alone my family. Okay, a slight exaggeration, but the freezer now has half of it ready for the next stripped chicken. We ate this with plenty of crusty brown bread and a bottle of spicy Riocha, and what a simple treat it was.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Casserole
Feeds 4

olive oil
2 tins tomatoes
2 tins haricot beans
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
Pinch chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1tbs dried or freshly chopped thyme
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 tbs wholegrain mustard
100ml stock
Left over chicken from your Sunday roast

1 - In a large casserole dish, heat the olive oil then add the onion, celery and carrot. Stir until softened and slightly coloured, approximately 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli, paprika, thyme and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute.
2 - Add the tomatoes, beans and mustard, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture has slightly reduced.
3 - Finally, add the stripped chicken and heat through thoroughly. Serve in large bowls with crusty bread and optional gutsy wine.

1 comment:

ca said...

I was wondering how to make half a roast chicken more interesting and tried this recipe. Used sweet potato rather than carrot but otherwise kept to the recipe. It is really delicious. Nicely spicy and richly flavoured. It made a bit pot full so plenty for tomorrow as well. I can imagine making this as a soup with a little more stock, and of course with different meat- or indeed no meat at all. Thanks very much.