I've always thought that January was a rotten time to make resolutions. In particular those involving eating healthier. January is such a miserable month - cold, damp, grey and uneventful when compared with the joyous month of December. I always crave comfort food at this time of year, not salads. Save the salads for spring and summer when the sunshine puts one naturally in the mood for these kind of lighter meals. The British seasons understand this perfectly - I don't see any lettuces or tomatoes flourishing in the garden at present. Comforting root vegetables and tasty game are flavour of the month instead. I'll save my salad days for when the salad actually tastes good!
Yesterday, I took a trip to my local farmers' market, just of the Abbeville Road in Clapham South. It runs very Sunday from 10am to 2pm (very civilised, I've always thought). Though quite small, there are always a good selection of tempting stores. Just look at this bread for starters...
I picked up a whole goody bag of game - some pheasants, a couple of wood pigeons, a pack of pheasant breasts and some diced venison. All are safely stowed away in the freezer for the time being, but you can expect some nice game recipes in the weeks to come. I've not cooked wood pigeon before - if anyone has any bright ideas, then do let me know. I generally cook for one so thought they would be the perfect size.
Anyway, I had a chicken breast to use up before I started on the game. I decided to use a recipe of my mother's that I've not eaten for a long time. The sauce may be on sweet side for some - it depends on the brand of grape juice you use - but I think it is rather delicious. As usual for the mid-week, it is very speedy and easy to whip up. I'm not quite sure where it came from originally - it is one of those written in a splattered kitchen folder that I have.
Chicken and Chives - serves 4
4 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon oil
8 fl oz white grape juice
6 1/2 fl oz double cream
handful of chives, chopped
1 tsp cornflour
1. Fry chicken in butter and oil to seal in a non-stick pan.
2. Pour on grape juice and simmer 15-20 minutes.
3. Blend cornflour with cream.
4. Pour cream into pan and heat until almost boiling. Snip chives over the top and mix well.
5. Serve chicken breasts with the sauce poured over the top. Good with mash and green beans.