It’s been a tough few months for my husband at work. He has a new job and it comes with some pretty hefty responsibilities. I was talking to mama about this and she said ‘well, we’ll need to make something extra special for dinner tonight’. And this is the essence of Palestinian thinking; that food makes things better. It nurtures, celebrates, rescues, transports, warms and cheers up.
Growing up, Mama would always make special meals for us if we were sad, happy, celebrating or ill. She said her mama did the same for her. It really is the simplest of ways to take care of someone and to show them that you care. And so tonight, we took care of Christopher and helped lift his spirits with this delicious dinner and a cold bottle of beer when he finally made it home for work.
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 large on-vine tomatoes, chopped
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
Handful of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 tsp tomato puree
2 pints vegetable stock
10-15 new potatoes, halved
A few glugs of extra virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs, skinned
1 heaped tsp mixed spice
1 heaped tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
- Put all the ingredients for the chicken in a bowl and marinade in the fridge for a few hours
- Make the sauce by adding the onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil. Once soft, add the peppers and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaves and tomato puree and stir. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes (adding water if necessary throughout the cooking.
- In a hot frying pan, empty out the chicken bowl and fry chicken until golden brown turning regularly. Once cooked, add the chicken thighs to the sauce. Put some boiling water in the frying pan you cooked the chicken in and add those juices to the tomato sauce too.
- Cover and cook in the oven or on the hob for 20 minutes.
- Serve in pasta bowls with a warm piece of bread to mop up this delicious sauce.