Famous for her fantastic cookbooks when Ireland's best-known chef Darina Allen tells you how to cook a truly good meal in a simple and efficient way you should listen up.
'One Pot Feeds All' is Allen's first one-pot recipe book and the focus this time is to make those lazy nights in doable. Did I mention that they are also as economical as they quick?
Featuring 100 tempting dishes, the recipes range from light meals to hearty fare like stews and curries. With chapters divided into eggs, poultry, meat, fish, vegetables, rice, grains, pasta, and sweets you know whatever mood you're in Allen has you covered.
You don't have to be a star cook or baker either to assemble and make these tasty dishes, but you do have to be well-traveled and well versed in the cooking arts to put them together in one book and that's what makes One-Pot Feeds All such a success on its own terms.
Here's a dish that Allen swears her family and friends love her to cook for them. I've tried it out and reader I think its a hit. A whole roasting tray of crispy chicken and potatoes, perfumed with rosemary and thyme leaves makes this irresistible.
Roman chicken and fries with rosemary and thyme recipe
- 4 ½ pounds of organic, free-range chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings
- 2–3 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 1–2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 2 ½ pounds (about 10 large) potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- 9 ounces of onions, sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Season the chicken heavily with salt and pepper. Put into a large bowl and scatter with the thyme leaves and chopped rosemary, reserving some for the potatoes. Toss well.
Peel the potatoes and cut into half-inch thick fries. Dry and season well with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the reserved thyme and chopped rosemary. Add to the bowl with chicken. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss once again.
Scatter the sliced onions over the base of a roasting tin, approximately 14 ½ by 12 ½ by ¾ of an inch deep.
Arrange the chicken and potatoes haphazardly on top, making sure that the potatoes are popping up. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
Roast for 45 minutes to one hour or until the chicken is cooked through and the chips are crispy at the edges. (Organic chicken pieces are larger, so cooking time can be up to 1¼ hours.) Serve from the tin, family-style, with a good green salad and several vegetables of your choice, if you wish.
A good dinner deserves a good dessert and again One Pot Feeds All has you covered. Here's Allen's recipe for a chocolate pudding that should be moist and gooey in the center, so don’t overcook it or it will be disappointing and dull. This one is surprisingly good served cold too.
Chocolate fudge pudding with toasted hazelnuts and Frangelico cream recipe
- 2/3 of a cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 5 ½ ounces good-quality chocolate (I use 52% cocoa solids)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus two tablespoons of warm water
- scant ½ cup caster sugar
- 4 organic, free-range eggs
- 3 tablespoons self-raising flour
powdered sugar, to dust
scant 1 cup of softly whipped cream mixed with 1 tablespoon Frangelico
A few toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease a 1 quart pie dish with a little butter. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt with the butter in a Pyrex bowl set over a pan of hot, but not simmering, water.
As soon as the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir in the warm water and sugar and mix until smooth. Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the sifted flour, making sure there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and then gently fold them into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture into the buttered dish.
Put the dish in a bain-marie and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 315 F for a further 15–20 minutes or until the pudding is firm on top but still soft and fudgy underneath and saucy at the base.
Set aside to cool slightly before dusting with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts with Frangelico cream alongside. It's heaven.
* One Pot Feeds All by Darina Allen, Kyle Books $24.00.