Chicken thighs & steamed treacle sponge
These are two great everyday dishes which make for a lovely family meal. The spiced chicken is a wonderful alternative to a roast dinner at the weekend or even your Saturday night curry, as it has lots of spice and flavour.
I don’t know many families these days who have a dessert during the week, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t have one! Treacle sponge is a brilliant dessert for the whole family – sweet, sticky, much loved and nostalgic.
Both of our children take school dinners and so they are very used to having dessert during the week, whether it’s a fruit salad with yoghurt or a sponge cake and custard. They love the old–fashioned desserts that we would remember having at school, so making something like a steamed treacle sponge never feels like too much of a chore in our house because it always gets devoured, with plenty of ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’!
One pot chicken thighs with spices (Serves 4)
2 tablesp olive oil
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon stick
2 onions, chopped finely
100g pancetta, chopped into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, choppped
2 portobello mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
8 pieces of chicken, thigh and drumsticks
4 chillis, 2 sliced and 2 whole
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
200g new small potatoes, halved
2 tablesp paprika
1 tablesp garam masala
1 small bunch coriander, rough chopped
Start by pre heating the oven to 180C. Place a large pot on the hob on a medium heat and place the oil into the pot. Add in the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and after a minute, add in the onions and allow these to soften for approx. 5 minutes.
Next, add in the pancetta and cook for a further 5 minutes until the onion and bacon is cooked to golden brown. Add in the chopped mushrooms and garlic, the chilis and allow this to cook for at least one minute.
Move the onions and pancetta out of the way of the bottom of the pan and place the chicken skin side down and leave for a few minutes until the skin crispens.
Once the chicken takes on a golden colour on the skin, add in the tomatoes, chicken stock, the potatoes and the paprika and the garam masala. Give the ingredients a good stir and place a lid on the pot. Transfer to the oven for 40 minutes.
When ready to serve, you can crispen the chicken skin up again by bringing the chicken to the surface of the pot and placing under the grill until the skin is crisp and golden.
Serve with the chopped coriander.
Steamed Treacle Sponge (Serves 4)
250g unsalted butter, softened
4 tablesp golden syrup
1 vanilla pod, seeded
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
125g strong flour
1 tablesp baking powder
To make fresh custard:
30g caster sugar
4 eggs yolk only
200ml double cream
½ vanilla pod, seeds only
Grease a one litre pudding basin with butter and place 2 tablespoons of the golden syrup in the bottom. In a food processor, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds slowly. Add in the beaten eggs.
Sieve the flour and baking powder in and place back onto the processor and beat the mix until it is all combined. Place in the pudding basin and create a grease proof lid for the top of the basin.
Place the pudding in a steamer over a pot of boiling water and cook for 90 minutes. Do not let the pot of water go dry and keep topping up with more boiling water if necessary.
Once cooked turn out onto a warm plate, heat the remaining golden syrup in a pan and pour over the sponge. Serve with the custard.
To make fresh custard start by beating the egg yolks and the sugar together. In a pot, heat up the cream and vanilla pods on a gentle heat. Once warmed pour over the eggs and mix together then return to the heat and mix well until the mix thickens up.
Pour over the sponge and enjoy!