Autumn is definitely here... The air has a crisp edge, the leaves are crinkly and golden and there's nothing like curling up with a cup of hot chocolate in the evening, looking out at the darkening skies.
Today at the supermarket I was greeted by sight of all of autumnal fruit and vegetables... Chicory (witlof), pumpkin, beetroot, carrots, pears, apples, brussel sprouts... And all cheap as chips precisely because of the fact they are in season.
Pumpkin is a personal favourite of mine. I love it. Pumpkin soup, roast pumpkin, worked into a sweet treat, or any number of ways. Delicious.
However, tonight's dinner wasn't about pumpkin. An often detested vegetable (if you believe the stories...) will be the feature of this evening's meal. Brussel sprouts are, I have to admit, not something that I buy often, simply for the reason that I never quite know what to do with them.
But at 69 cents a bag, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Another feature of dinner was: Roasted chicken thighs with sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic.
Now, I have recently revoked a long period of vegetarianism. Some may be surprised. Hopefully none of you will be offended...
(I can assure you, I buy exclusively free range, organic meat)
So maybe you could imagine how proud I was when that chicken came out of the oven, and it was roasted to PERFECTION. The skin was crispy and golden brown (and oh-so tasty) and the meat inside was so tender and juicy it very nearly melted in my mouth.
And this whole delectable dinner is dedicated to my brother Ties, who is going to graduate in a few hours from now... Massive congratulations to him!!!!
(Tiesy, I ate a few extra brussel sprouts in your honour)
And now for the recipes (and photos)...
Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts:
Brussel sprouts (as many as you like)
Olive oil for frying (I also added a dash of macadamia oil... That gave a slightly sweeter, nutty taste)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
A sprinkle of cajun pepper (I found that to be quite tasty, but don't add that if you're not too keen on spicy food)
Heat the oil in a frying pan on a high heat. The pan should be really hot.
Add the brussel sprouts, salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes each side. It's not a bad thing if they get a bit dark or burnt in some places.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Rosemary, Sage and Thyme
2 free range chicken thighs
One sprig of rosemary, sage and thyme
One clove of garlic
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (celsius).
Finely chop the herbs and put them in a small bowl. If you happen to own a mortar and pestle, that's even better.
Add the olive oil and crushed garlic to the herbs, and mix well with a spoon, pressing the herbs firmly. A mortar and pestle would be great here, then you can really infuse the oil with the flavours of the herbs and garlic.
Rub the oil/herb mixture into the chicken, covering each piece generously.
Place on a baking tray and season with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Put the chicken in the oven. After 30 minutes at 200 degrees, turn the heat down to 175 and leave it in for another 20-30 minutes, until the juices run clear.