Serve up saag aloo and chicken thighs for a cosy Saturday night in

In Jess Murphy’s last recipe column, she cooks up a trio of wonderful winter warmers

 

Here comes the rain again. The darker nights are rolling in, and nothing is more comforting than a kale and chickpea saag aloo around this time. I serve it with beautiful Velvet Cloud sheep’s yogurt flatbread that is perfect for scooping it up, so no cutlery needed.

Here too, I give you my all-time favourite miso-marinated chicken thighs. These can be made so quickly on a Saturday night in, dress code being an oversized hoodie, cosy knitted socks and some kind of stretchy activewear that has probably seen better days. 

This is my last recipe column in these pages, so thank you all so much for the online love (especially for that sausage casserole), for the great photographs of the recipes you recreated and for the positive feedback. It has been so much fun meeting you all – the lovely women from Kilkenny who came up for their special birthday, our treasured regulars, the people who called in for the chats, and those who asked for advice.

As I look back on my year of writing in these pages, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of equipping you readers with some fantastic simple suppers and lip-smacking marinades.

GLAZED GINGER AND MISO CHICKEN THIGHS

Serves four

Ingredients

10 boneless chicken thighs
3tbs white miso
2tbs soy sauce
2tbs toasted sesame oil
1 thumb of ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp red pepper flakes
4tbs honey
2tsp black pepper
A few chopped spring onions and sesame seeds to garnish

Method

1. In a large mixing bowl, add the miso, soy and sesame oil. Whisk together till the miso has loosened and has fully mixed with the soy and sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and honey. Mix again and finish with black pepper and chilli flakes.

2. Set half the mix aside. Add the chicken thighs to the remainder in the mixing bowl and ensure the chicken is well covered in the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least one hour, but overnight in the fridge is best.

3. Heat a skillet on a low-medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan and fry on either side for 10 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Add half the set-aside marinade, continue to fry and turn the thighs for a further eight minutes.

4. Add the remainder of the marinade. The sauce should have rendered down and become sticky and coated the chicken thighs.

5. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and pour the excess sauce over the thighs.

6. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.

KALE AND CHICKPEA SAAG ALOO

Serves four

Ingredients

50g curly kale, stalks removed, chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained
2 white onions, chopped
1 thumb ginger, minced
5 waxy new potatoes, halved
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
2tsp ground cumin
3tsp curry powder
1tsp ground coriander
2tsp ground fenugreek
1 cinnamon stick
2tbs tomato puree
1 vegetable stock cube
2tbs honey
3tbs Greek yogurt

Method

1. Start by heating a small bit of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the spices – curry powdercumin, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon stick and ginger. Fry until the onions have softened. Add the tomato puree and cook down for a further five minutes, stirring frequently. 

2. Add the chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes and honey.

3. Add the stock cube, turn down to a medium heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes have softened. Five minuted before the end of this cooking time, add the kale.

4. Finish with the fresh coriander. Take the pot off the heat and then stir in the yogurt.

5. Serve with flatbread or rice.

VELVET CLOUD FLATBREAD

Serves four

Ingredients

200ml Velvet Cloud sheep’s yogurt
50ml water
20ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp baking powder
400g plain flour
Extra flour for dusting

Method

1. Put the yogurt, olive oil, salt, coriander and garlic in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

2. Add a third of the flour and the baking powder. Mix with your hands, incorporating the flour into the yogurt mixture. Add the remaining flour and the water. Continue mixing the dough until it stops sticking to your hands. If more flour is needed, add a little at a time until the dough stops sticking to your hands. Be careful not to over-mix the dough as you don’t want to overwork the gluten – this will make for a dense and chewy flatbread.

3. Cover the dough with clingfilm and allow it to rest for one hour, or overnight in the fridge.

4. Dust your work surface generously with flour and turn out the dough. Roll into 20g doughballs (roughly the size of your palm).

5. Heat a griddle or frying pan to a high heat. Do not add oil.

6. Roll out the flatbread to about 7in circles and place on the pan. You will notice bubbles starting to pop up from the dough. Fry on each side for about three to five minutes.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with grilled meats or curry.

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