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The Chicken Feed!

CHICKPEAS & PUMPKIN SOUP – Starter (Serves 4)

This heart warming soup includes some of the best vegetables in season for November, it is a real treat on a rainy night.

Ingredients
600g pumpkin
100g chard
1.5L of chicken stock or vegetable stock
400g chickpeas (tin will do fine)
100g of finely chopped onion
2 bay leaf
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation
1. Begin by cutting the pumpkin in half, with the help of a sharp knife remove the seeds and the skin. Once clean, cut the pumpkin into cubes and put them on the side. Next wash the swish chard and cut it into strips.
2. Take a large stockpot and place it on a medium heat, then add some olive oil and the onion. Cook the onion until it becomes soft, then add the pumpkin and after 5 minutes the stock. Let it cook for a further 5-6 minutes.
3. Now we can add the chickpeas, the Swiss chard, the bay leafs and season it with salt and pepper. Finally add all the stock and let it cook on a moderate heat for 15 minutes with the lid on, then a further 15 minutes without the lid. Remove the bay leaves and add a bit of olive oil before serving. Enjoy this delicious soup!

Recommended Wine: Beaujolais (France)

CHICKEN À L’ORANGE – Main Course (Serves 4)

Ingredients
500g of chicken breast
40g 00 Flour
40ml Grand Marnier or any orange liquor/Triple sec
120ml orange juice
20g butter
25g live oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Granish
400g cherry tomato
1 clove of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
25g olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Start by preparing the garnish, wash and then dry our cherry tomatoes. Pour some olive oil in a medium fry pan and the garlic clove until it starts to fry, then add your cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes on a medium heat. Turn the heat off, add the 2 sprigs of thyme and cover it with a lid.
2. Now let’s get to the main dish, this is a variation from the real famous French dish Duck a L’Orange. Sometimes I prefer this version as it’s much lighter than the original and duck can be real strong flavour for many people.
3. Begin by flouring the chicken breasts, place the butter and the olive oil in a large frying pan and place it on a low heat. Once the butter and the oil is hot, place your chicken breasts in and cook until both sides are golden brown.
4. Now this can be a bit of a tricky part! Add the orange liqueur and then with the help of a kitchen lighter or long matches light it (that’s what French call the ‘Flambé’!). NB: Just be careful keep the pan far from your face, the flame will last less than a 1 minute as the alcohol will evaporate very quickly. Add the orange juice and cook it on a medium heat for 15 minutes, turning the chicken every 5 minutes to keep both sides moist, add salt and black pepper.
5. You’re now ready to serve. Place the cherry tomatoes on the base of the dish, cut our chicken breasts in to slices and place it on the top of the tomatoes, then finish it off by pouring the orange sauce on top. Enjoy it!

Recommended Wine: Chablis (France)

SOFT PUMPKIN PIE – Dessert (Serves 4)

Ingredients
500g clean pumpkin
40g white sugar
3 eggs
150g brown sugar
75g almond flour
16g yeast
150g chocolate chips
150ml seeds oil
175g 00 flour
100ml milk
Dust of cinnamon and icing sugar

Preparation
1. Cut the pumpkin into medium size pieces and lay them in a oven dish. Cover the pumpkin with the white sugar and roast them in a preheated oven at 180c or mark 5 for 1 hour.
2. Once the pumpkin is cooked and soft, mush it with the help of a fork and remove any remaining water. In a large mixing bowl add the 3 eggs and the brown sugar, then with the help of an electric whisk mix it until the sugar is completely melted.
3. In a small bowl mix the 00 flour and the yeast, add to the large mixing bowl the almond flour and the mix you just prepared in the small bowl. Keep mixing with the electric whisk to incorporate all the ingredients.
4. Now slowly add the seed oil and to incorporate it keep mixing. Finally add the mush pumpkin, the dust of cinnamon and gently pour the milk. Keep mixing to make sure the mix is smooth. Once all the milk has been absorbed add the chocolate chip.
5. Prepare a cake mould, one that is around 9inch would be ideal. Grease the mould with butter, pour your mix in and place it in a preheated oven at 180c or mark 5 for 40 minutes. Once ready let it cool down and then dust it with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Recommended Wine: Prosecco Treviso (Italy)

Quote of the month
“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child

SIMONE CONTI

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