Chicken to pep you up – Chicken with pancetta, mushrooms and vegetables

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I was feeling tired… this delicious chicken dinner has made me feel all warm and cosy, as well as full of “good stuff”.

Ingredients (serves 2 generously)
4 chicken thighs (no bones, no skin)
2 tbsp plain flour
10 small white mushrooms, cored, peeled and cut in half
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic (I used more, but I’m a bit of a garlic fiend)
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
25g panetta cubes
125ml chicken stock
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
25g frozen peas
small handful chopped parsley
1 cup quinoa

Method

1. Peel the carrot and the shallot, then chop carrot, celery and shallot.
2. Melt some butter in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes. Then add the mushrooms and leave to soften gently. (If you’re avoiding butter or don’t like garlic or are pushed for time, skip this step. Just add the mushrooms to the main pan at the same time as the pancetta, carrot and celery. It won’t be as buttery and garlicky though…. just warning you!)
3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Dust the chicken thighs with flour, salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in the oil and then set aside.
4. Add the pancetta, carrots and celery and cook for about 5 mins on a medium-high heat. Hopefully the carrots will start to caramelise a little bit, which will add lots of flavour later! Set the pancetta, carrots and celery aside with the chicken.
5. Add a tiny bit more oil, and cook the shallots until soft (about 4 mins). Once soft, add the stock and vinegar to de-glaze the pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for a minute.
6. Place the chicken back in the pan, then arrange the bacon, mushrooms, carrots and celery around the chicken.
7. Rinse your quinoa and put it in a pan with 2 cups water. Cover. Leave the quinoa and the chicken to cook for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken at least once during this time. This is when I do the washing up so there’s less at the end, but you could also use this time to have a cup of tea, set the table, read a book or whatever you fancy!
8. Add the peas and parsley and cook for two mins more.
9. Drain the quinoa. Serve and enjoy!

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This meal really filled me up… in fact I didn’t even eat both of my chicken thighs. I’ve put it in the fridge and I think it is going to be used in a Tom Kai soup experiment tomorrow. Watch this space!

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