Chicken With Curried Fennel Sauce
15g. / 1oz. butter
4 chicken breasts
2 large fennel bulbs
3 cardamom pods
2 large garlic cloves
2.5cm. / 1 inch piece of root ginger
1 fresh red chilli
1 tsp. gd. coriander
½ tsp. gd. cinnamon
½ tsp. gd. cloves
1 tbsp. plain flour
150mls. / ¼ pt. natural yoghurt
8 tbsps. lemon juice
1 ½ tbsps. tomato puree mixed into 300mls.
½ pt. water
Handful of fresh coriander leaves
- Set the oven to gas mark 4 / 180. Heat the oil and half the butter and add the chicken pieces and brown them all over. Put the chicken into a large casserole.
- Cut off the base and stalks of the fennel and remove any marked outer parts and cut the bulbs into 6 – 8 pieces each. Blanch the pieces in boiling salted water for a few minutes to soften slightly.
- Put the fennel in the dish around the chicken. Roughly crush the cardamom pods and scatter them in with the fennel. Peel the garlic and ginger and chop finely. Cut the chilli open lengthways and discard any seeds and slice very thinly.
- Put the frying pan back on the heat, adding the remaining butter. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and the ground spices and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and continue to stir for 1 minute. Stir in the yoghurt in one direction only, add the lemon juice to the tomato puree mixture and stir into the fried spices.
- Bring to the boil and stir until the sauce thickens, season to taste with a little salt. Pour the sauce over the fennel in the casserole dish. Cover and cook for one hour. Serve with basmati rice and a green vegetable.
You will require an apron and tea towel, a large frying pan and a large casserole dish plus foil to cover and clingfilm.
The reason for telling you to stir the yogurt in one direction is that it can split. Adding a teaspoon of cornflour to your yogurt prevents this. You could, of course, use creme fraiche instead of yogurt if you are worried. I have never known that to split ever.
Plum & Hazelnut Cake Or Pear & Walnut Cake
8 – 10 large red plums, halved & stoned or 3 pears
125g. / 4 ½ ozs. soft butter, plus extra for greasing
100g. / 3 ½ ozs. caster sugar, plus 1 extra tbsp.
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100g. / 3 ½ ozs. self-raising flour, sifted
100g. / 3 ½ ozs. toasted hazelnuts ground or walnuts
2 tbsps. whole milk
- Cut each plum half into 3 slices or the cored pears into about 1 cm. / ½ inch thick slices. Butter a 20cm. 8 inch springform tin and line the base with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
- Put the butter, sugar (minus the extra tablespoon), eggs, lemon zest, flour, nuts and milk into a food processor and whiz until smooth. Spoon the batter into the tin and arrange the plum or pear slices, cut-side up, in circles on top. Make sure you pack them well together. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. caster sugar (or more if the plums are very tart) and bake in an oven preheated to 180C / gas mark 4 for 40 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
- Let the cake cool in its tin for 15 minutes, then remove it, peeling off the greaseproof paper on the bottom, and put it on a wire rack to cool completely.
You will need a 20cm. / 8 inch springform tin, apron, teatowel and baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
Bentleys Fruit Farm near Newent have lovely plums which they say will be available until well into September.