My lifestyle and living away from home doesn't always lend itself well to being able to cook well every day so I really do need to plan ahead and get prepared. Occasionally I'll catch myself out after a lot of travelling, a long day, training and at the end having no fresh food to lean on to refuel the best way I can.
One pot dishes are my saviour and I often end up eating the same meal several days in a row just for convenience. The only way you can do that without getting bored is by making sure it tastes awesome.
Say hello to my Fennel, Olive and Chicken One Pot.
Leeks, fresh tomatoes, spinach, cannellini beans, chicken thighs and punching with flavour from garlic, fennel and olives. Love, love, LOVE. This recipe serves 4 so it's enough for a hungry family, prep ahead meals or an emergency supply for the freezer. I actually think these flavours would work incredibly well with salmon aswel. If you used salmon, I would either chop into chunks and add 5 minutes before the end of cooking or steam the fillets whole separately and serve with the sauce all over the top.
Fennel, Olive and Chicken One Pot
1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
2 Leeks, sliced
8 large tomatoes, quartered
2 tsp garlic puree (I really like garlic)
1 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
Freshly ground pepper
200ml dry white wine
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp. tomato puree
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 chicken stock jelly dissolved into 500ml water
500g bag of spinach
340g jar pitted olives (green or black, whichever you prefer)
1. Heat the oil in a large, deep, non-stick saucepan or casserole dish (hob safe) on a medium heat.
2. Sauté the leeks for 3-4 minutes until soft.
3. Add the quartered tomatoes, fennel and garlic and season well with black pepper (I don't use salt in this recipe because of the olives and stock). Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously until the tomatoes start to soften. Turn up to a high heat, add the white wine and cook down for 2 minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock, tomato puree, cannellini beans and stir into the leek and tomatoes until combined. Add the chicken thighs and push down into the liquid so they are smothered in the sauce.
5. Reduce back to a medium heat, cover with a lid and leave on a low simmer for 30-35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Give it a stir every 10 minutes or so and keep and eye on the liquid. Top up with a little boiling water if needed.
6. Drain the olives and add to the sauce, tip in the bag of spinach, replace the lid and let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes before giving it one final stir.
7. Serve in bowls and enjoy! If you're feeling extra hungry, this would be delicious with some garlic bread too!