Italian Chicken with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes

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ITALIAN CHICKEN WITH BASIL AND CHERRY TOMATOES

Ingredients:

4 chicken legs, halved through the joints

Olive oil (approx 4 table spoons)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 bay leaves

100 ml white wine

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dry oregano

250 g cherry tomatoes

25 g basil leaves, torn into pieces

125 g mozzarella cheese

salt & pepper

Method:

1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the chicken pieces until brown. Drain to a plate.

2. Add the onion and celery to the pan and gently fry for about 10 minutes, add the garlic, bay leaves and fry for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the wine, can of chopped tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat, return chicken pieces to the pan and cook very gently, uncovered for about 40 minutes.

4. Then place cherry tomatoes around the chicken, put on top torn half of the basil, following by torn pieces of mozzarella on top and cook for 20 minutes under the lead.

5. Stir in the rest of the basil leaves just before the serving and check for seasoning. Enjoy!

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Tomato Tart

Hi Guys, sorry for my absence, – things got a bit hectic recently. Also, we had our dear friends from Italy staying over for a while, so were busy entertaining. Italian inspired, here is the Tomato & Mozzarella Tart for you. This is very simple yet extremely tasty tart made with rich shortcrust pastry, topped with slice of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, and enriched with olive oil and basil leaves.

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TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA TART

Ingredients:

150 g mazzarella (sliced)

4 large tomatoes (sliced)

2 tablespoon good quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)

basil leaves

salt & pepper

For the pastry:

115 g plain flour

50 g butter or margarine

1 egg yolk

salt

Method:

1. To prepare the pastry, mix together the flour and salt, then rub in the butter and the egg yolk. Use a splash of cold water to make the dough to come together, kneading lightly on a floured surface. Wrap in a clining film and chill in a fridge for about 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C. remove the pastry fro the fridge and allow about 10 minutes for it to return to room temperature. Roll out into 20 cm round. Press into the base of a 20 cm flan dish or tin. Prick all over with the fork and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until firm but not too brown. Allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C.

3. Arrange the mozzarella slices over the pastry base, then spread the basil leaves. On top, arrange a single layer of the sliced tomatoes, overlapping them slightly. (I found if I place ingredients in this order, basil releases much more flavour).

4. Scatter the garlic on top, drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the tomatoes are well cooked. Serve hot.