Rick Stein is one of my absolute favourite TV chefs. He seems to me such a good personality, with his never ending passion for food that it’s almost infectious. He also is great story teller, with a good sense of humour. I loved his ‘Long weekends’ episodes and after watching it, I discovered Bologna. My sister lives just an hour away from Bologna, but every time visiting her, I never considered to visit this place, thinking of it more like a ‘bus or a train stop’ on the way to Tuscany or further a field. And only after watching an episode on Bologna by Rick Stein we decided to pay a visit, and so glad we that we did.
Then again, inspired by his other trip, we went to Sicily and fell in love with the country and its FOOD.
By coincidence, a friend of mine gave me his book (‘Long weekends’) for my birthday, I was thrilled. Not only does it take me back to those wonderful locations from the series and my own travels, it’s also packed with amazing food ideas, tips and techniques.
One of my highlights from this book is this recipe below. It takes only a few ingredients and no time to prepare at all, mainly waiting for it to be cooked.
CHICKEN WITH PRUNES, SAFFRON & PAPRIKA
(from Rick Stein’s ‘Long weekends’ book)
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 litre water
pinch of saffron
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 red onions, finely sliced
1.5 tablespoon sweet paprika
20 pitted prunes
1 teaspoon salt
blask pepper to taste
- Place the chicken thighs in a saucepan with the water and the saffron. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to poach for 10-15 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
- In a large heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and gently sweat the onion util very soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the paprika, cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken thighs, about 700ml of the cooking liquid and the prunes. Season with the salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes, until heated through.
- If at the end of the cooking it remains very watery, remove the chicken, prunes and onion with the slotted spoon and keep it warm while you reduce down the sauce until desired consistency.
- Serve it with some rice dish of your choice. I also love it with plain buttery buckwheat.