Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meals for new mums

It was really lovely to read a comment from Lisa at Sweet Georgia and the Crafty Squirrel recently saying that some of the recipes I have put on my blog have become family favourites-they are mostly my hubby's recipes as he is a far better cook than I am!  It's been a while since I shared a recipe on here but this one by NZ chef Ray McVinnie is one I've been meaning to share for ages as it's a real goodie.

Chicken Fricassée by Ray McVinnie

There are 5 reasons why I love cooking this meal for a friend who has just had a baby.

1.  It is all cooked in the one pot.
2.  A whole meal- meat, potatoes and veges- is in this dish so all a new mum or dad has to do is heat it up- there's no need to add anything.
3. Toddlers and children will eat this meal as well- well mine luckily do and my friends' 19 month old did as well!
4. If you break it up with a fork it's also a great meal for a baby- Jack loved it tonight (being on the tramp with his crazy sisters for nearly an hour might have helped him build up an appetite though!)
5. The chicken, bacon, baby potatoes and creamy sauce make it a really tasty dinner which is a nice treat for new parents.

This recipe comes from Ray McVinnie's cookbook 'Everyday Sunday' (his collected recipes from the Sunday Star Times 'Sunday' magazine).  
I have found it enough for 4 adults and 2 or 3 children +baby as well. There are a lot of ingredients but it is an easy meal to cook.

"Fricassée is a French term for a traditional dish of white meat like chicken or veal in a creamy sauce with vegetables."

3 tbls olive oil
3/4 tsp dried tarragon
3 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 stick celery, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
5 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
300 g button mushrooms, halved
6 skinned and boned single chicken breasts, each cut into 3 across the grain of the meat
125ml dry white wine
12 baby waxy potatoes, well scrubbed
750ml chicken stock
3 tbls cornflour mixed with 3 tbls water
250ml fresh cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsly chopped chervil (or parsley), plus exta for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large, wide, deep pan over moderate heat. Add the tarragon, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, leek, bacon and mushrooms. Fry gently, without browning, for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft.
2. Add the chicken and mix well, letting the chicken colour all over. Add the wine and let it bubble then add the potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender.
3.  Bring back to the boil and stir in the cornflour slurry to thicken the fricassee.  Stir in the cream and bring back to the boil again.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the chervil and mix well. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes so the chicken absorbs the sauce.
5. Serve sprinkled with extra chervil.

Other meals I can think of that are good to take around to new mums are lasagne, shepherds/cottage pie, meatloaf, chicken soup, chicken pie, sausage, bean and tomato stew- would love to hear of more ideas- (maybe you have a recipe on your blog and could put a link to it?)

Megan x
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