Brown Chicken Stew

Following on from my lunchtime Jerk Chicken, I rather fancied some more. So, about five o'clock, I put more chicken pieces together with some jerk seasoning and set it aside to marinate ...

Well, when it came to seven o'clock it looked a bit meagre so I set about something else ...

Brown Chicken Stew

I'm sure this is actually called Fricassee, or something French, but given the spicing it's Brown Chicken.


Jerked Chicken
Palm Oil
Large Onion
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Tomato Purée
Green Pepper
Dried Thyme
Palm Sugar*


In a large skillet, melt some red palm oil and soften a shredded onion. Once starting to caramelise, add in the garlic and ginger, the allspice and the chicken.

Fry off until the chicken has taken on a little colour, add a good squirt of tomato purée and top up with water.

Bring to the boil and add in a chopped green pepper, sliced tomato, a sprinkle of palm sugar and a good sprinkle of dried thyme.

Set to reduce over a medium flame and when it's reduced, it's ready.

Yeah, you could serve with coconut rice, or something, but it's best just to have a huge bowl of the stuff as is ...

*You spotted it. Sugar.

Well, palm sugar is the sweet sap of the palm tree, crystallised. It is largely sucrose based, so low in fructose and scores relatively lowly on the GI index. Used in strict moderation, it's one of those "primal" sweeteners, like honey ... and in this dish brought a real roundness, which allowed the full flavour of the chillies to be tasted without overly burning.

Check out Mark Sissons' article on sugar.

Jerk Chicken

I'm all for simplicity ...

I'm all for authenticity ...

I'm of the belief that all these "authentic" recipes are actually simple rustic, low-brow food cooked simply, over simple flame by regular people for regular people.

Recipe lists as long as you arm, methods which read like a Haynes manual, nah ... not for me.

I stumbled over a simple preparation which happens to be quite simply, Jerk Chicken ...

I have a glut of chicken wings, so chopped into mini-drumstick, wing and tip, I simply marinated it in my jerk seasoning for a couple of hours.

Jerk Seasoning

Scotch Bonnet Peppers
Scallions/Spring Onions
Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Amounts, I'm unsure, but blend a bunch of spring onions with a couple of Scotch Bonnet peppers, a handful of fresh thyme, then add in the salt, pepper and Allspice.


Yes, done.

... as in that's all, folks.

Jerk Chicken

So, we have chicken and we have the seasoning, so slop a load of the seasoning into a bowl with the chicken pieces and massage together.

Leave it a couple of hours, then pop into an oven spread out on a tray at, say, 180C and let it go for 30-40 minutes.

Here's fun ...

Leave the tips in for another hour!

The tips will dry out and you can eat them whole, bones and all ... it'll just crunch away. Easy. The rest, of course, you eat after 30-40 minutes.

Yum! I wolfed it down without any thought for you guys, so sorry ... no picture.


Cabbage & Chorizo

Nothing simpler than a plate of pork and cabbage, here, Chorizo; smoked paprika, pork and fat, in a sausage ...

Cabbage & Chorizo

Steam some white cabbage and leek, shredded.

In a skillet, warm through some chorizo. Keep the heat medium so as not to fry it too harshly.

Once the cabbage has steamed a little, toss it in the skillet with the chorizo, adding poppy seeds for a little interest.

Serve out, eat and enjoy.

Walnut & Mushroom Curry

After yesterday's lovely breakfast curry, I rather fancied another today ...

So, what do I have in? No meat, no fish. That'll be another vegetable curry, then. I have some mushrooms, some fresh peas in pods, an onion, some spices and a store cupboard can of coconut milk. I have a lovely large plum tomato.

That'll do ...

Walnut & Mushroom Curry
Walnut & Mushroom Curry
If you were after a formal set of ingredients, here's the best I can do:


For two people

For the curry ...

Small Onion
Ghee/Coconut Oil
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
Half tsp Fenugreek
Half tsp Asafoetida
8-10 Chestnut Mushrooms
Handful Peas
Large Plum Tomato
6 Medium Green Chillies
Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

For the sauce ...

Handful Walnuts
Half Can Coconut Milk
Couple Cloves of Garlic
Piece of Ginger

... and garnish:

Boiled Egg


... I mean, Method.

I say Madness, since that was pretty much what it was. I often begin cooking with no real idea how it will turn out. Seeing what happens to the ingredients as I go, feeling my way with where it will go and just going with flashes of insanity when they happen ... that's ancestral cooking.

Take a large skillet and melt your fat - ghee, for me. If one of your vegan friends was round, you could make this vegan with coconut oil and omit the egg at the end. Scatter in the chopped onion and lower the heat so the onion can cook through slowly and caramelise.

I like to pour my spice mix in at this point, so, in with the turmeric, ground coriander, fenugreek and asafoetida.

Now, make up the sauce ...

When I opened the cupboard to get a can of coconut milk, I noticed the half bag of walnuts which really wanted finishing. Mushrooms and walnuts go together. What could go wrong?

So, into a receptacle, put a handful of walnuts, a couple of cloves of garlic and a bit of ginger. Pour in half a can of coconut milk and blend it up - I use a stick blender and found half a can was about right for a thick, but pourable stodge which form the sauce for the curry.

Walnut & Mushroom Curry
Walnut & Coconut Sauce
Back to the curry ...

Drop in the mushrooms, sliced; and a handful of peas, stir through, add some black pepper and some sea salt.

Pour in the sauce, wetting up with a little water.

Scatter in some poppy seeds and a good bunch of parsley, rough chopped. Parsley works better than coriander. Besides, I used my coriander yesterday and I have parsley today. Trust me, parsley works better.

Top and tail the tomato, cutting into a large dice. Add to the curry.

Raise the heat a touch and reduce.

Take your chillies, slit down the side and toss them in whole while the curry reduces. This will release some heat into the dish and cook through for those who like to eat whole chillies. Yum!

Meanwhile, boil an egg and prepare some rice, if that's the way you swing. I do, so I'm happy to do so. Steam off some cauliflower and crush - it makes a presentable and fast Cauliflower Rice.

Ready to eat?

Serve out a mound of rice or Cauliflower Rice, spooning the reduced curry alongside.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley and your boiled egg, cut into segments.

Did it work? Damn straight, it did! What a wonderful curry! Walnuts are good for you, mushrooms are good for you, eggs are good for you, coconut milk is good for you, spice is good for you ... what a great meal!


Settling Vegetable Curry

While I was out being wined and dined at the very excellent Prashad, Mrs made herself some pancakes ... with regular flour. Nice, I'm sure, but this morning she was paying for it after a bad night and continued stomach pain ...

Time for a healing Curry!

Having enjoyed Britain's absolute finest vegetarian curry myself the previous night, I was very happy to continue. Mrs does not like "Curry" so I presented it jokingly as an Ayurvedic Breakfast ...

Settling Vegetable Curry

Nothing planned, just a case of selecting a few vegetables. Spur of the moment.

I began softening a large onion in ghee, added in some turmeric, sliced garlic, black pepper and a little smoked sea salt. Softened, I continued with some shredded fennel, chillies (shredded) and ginger (minced), finally some sliced courgette.

Splash of water and cook on for a few minutes before adding in chopped tomatoes.

Cook on for a few more minutes, adding in poppy seeds and fresh chopped coriander.

Meanwhile, I made up a little green salad of rocket, avocado oil and cider vinegar, crunched up with some pine nuts.

Served out, the curry alongside the salad and complimented with a couple of avocado segments.

Breakfast served, tummies healed, the day ready to be got on with ...



Steak, Red & Green

... a bit of a use-up meal.

I bagged a couple of decent sized medallion steaks from the discounted section of the supermarket a while ago and they've been sitting in the freezer for the right time to come along.

Tonight was the night ...

What with some rocket which needed eating, some red cabbage which had been sitting around for too long and the dog end of a carton of double cream.

Mmmm! I'm selling it to you aren't I?

Boil the red cabbage, sear the steak all around in a skillet and just cook through to rare, dress a plate with rocket and scatter the red cabbage over.

While the steak is resting, in the skillet, pour in some double cream, add a little sea salt and add some green peppercorns. Pick up the meat flavours into the cream and reduce ever so slightly.

Slice the meat and lay over the red cabbage. Pour the peppercorn sauce over.

Too gorgeous!

Steak, Red & Green


Swordfish Curry & Armadillos!

I've said it once, I've said it many a time ... ancestral eating is simply a case of putting good food together and enjoying it. What grows together goes together; what grows at the same time goes together.

Local and seasonal.

Sometimes though, food combinations come together in the strangest of ways; flashes of genius, even if I say so myself ...


Armadillos? Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside!

I have some cottage cheese that wanted finishing. So, what to do? Shallow fried? Why the hell not!

Mix together your cottage cheese with tapioca starch (or manioc flour, or polviho azedo, or whatever you call it in your language ... I guess rice flour would do at a push). I kept adding flour and mixing until it made a stodgy puck.

Swordfish Curry & Crunchy Chewy Cheeseballs!

Add in some flavour - I went with asafoetida and a minced chilli. In retrospect, a little salt would have been good.

Into about an inch of hot coconut oil drop balls of this mixture in and let it fry off. The balls will rise to the surface as they cook. Retrieve onto a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the excess fat and enjoy!

They puff up, crisp up and have a gorgeous crispy, chewy texture.

Swordfish Curry & Crunchy Chewy Cheeseballs!

Swordfish Curry

Delicious as the cheese balls are, they're not a meal ...

Swordfish Curry & Crunchy Chewy Cheeseballs!

I made up a main of roasted red peppers, red onion, garlic and chilli, blended to make a wet sauce into which went quartered cherry tomatoes, pieces of squash and pieces of courgette to cook through.

Once reduced, I stirred through cubes of swordfish, added a few peas, some ground coriander, fresh coriander, poppy seeds, black pepper and celery salt for a vibrant punch of flavour.

Garnish with fresh coriander, serve with the cheese balls and a light rocket salad of leaves, thin sliced cucumber, poppy seeds, cider vinegar, splash of olive oil, a little sea salt and some pine nuts.



Sea Bass with Sauté Potatoes, Chorizo, Fennel & Onion

Not a million miles off the Scallop & Chorizo dinner I made the other evening ...

Sea Bass with Sauté Potatoes, Chorizo, Fennel & Onion

While some sliced salad potatoes par-boiled, over a low heat I warmed through some chorizo in a skillet. Once the fat started to wet up the pan, in went some chopped onion, sliced garlic, shredded fennel and then the potato slices. Freshly podded peas, too, and finally, some cherry tomatoes just to warm through.

Serve out onto plates.

Butter in the skillet, sea bass fillets fried off skin-side down for a couple of minutes, flipped and flesh side cooked through in the residual heat for maybe a minute, serve on top. Garnish with herbs - chives, in my case.


Savoy Cabbage Pilaf

... a little puzzle.

I have a Savoy cabbage to eat and visiting family. Vegetarian visiting family, which on the face of it is simple: cook the cabbage, dinner done! While delicious, it's not especially nutritious and so, time for something fringe ancestral yet highly vegetarian.

I have a bag of "Broth Mix" which would appear to be a mix of spelt, lentils and peas. I also have regular white rice. With a few other ingredients, a well rounded dish with good macronutirent distribution can be made.

... and so I made up a sort of spelt, rice and lentil risotto, cabbage, avocado and tomato stirred in.

Savoy Cabbage Pilaf

Start out with some good fat, coconut oil in my case, into which you soften a chopped onion and a few cloves of crushed garlic. Add the dry ingredients, add some bouillon, black pepper and water to cook through.

When the risotto is soft, stir through shredded cabbage and cook through for a few minutes.

Just prior to serving, stir through some chopped fresh parsley, cubed avocado and chopped tomato. Garnish with a good blob of soured cream and some paprika.


Scallop & Chorizo Salad

Monday ... back to work after a great weekend and I'm not much into a heavy or complex dinner, so how about a quick plate of salad?

Scallop & Chorizo Salad

Lettuce leaves, delicious tomato, radish, boiled egg, squirt of salad cream, capers, black pepper and a little Icelandic ash salt.

Now, the rest of it ...

Chorizo gently warmed through in a skillet, par-boiled salad potatoes sautéed in the oil from the chorizo and in another skillet, some butter and scallops just cooked through, 60 seconds or so.

Dinner is served!


Guilty Pleasure ... Doritos, Cheese & Guac!

Fuck it all, Friday night!

It's hot, work was hard, here's to a weekend of fun, frivolity and relaxation, and what better than a few slugs of Tequila and a face full of fun?

Guilty Pleasure ... Doritos, Cheese & Guac!

Bag of Chilli Heatwave Doritos, grated Mexicana cheese, grill, serve out with bowls of guac.

Paleo? Not even close! Ancestral, barely! Worthy of a post here? Abso-fucking-lutely!