I got the good news last week that my parents managed to book a flight and are coming to Australia for Christmas. While I’m feeling very excited for their visit, I’m also a bit apprehensive as I start to imagine the tug of war that’s probably going to happen in the kitchen while my Mom, the Blog Monster is around. We’re moving homes this coming Monday and there’s a brand new kitchen to play with. Given my Mom’s penchant for taking over all the cooking while she visits, I’m pretty sure she’ll want to keep me away from the kitchen.
Of course it’s great coming home to a meal cooked by my Mom everyday… but sometimes I just want to scream “Please! Let me cook this time!”
A typical conversation when I tell my Mom I want to cook dinner. “Of course!” she said, then adds “Can I help you prepare?”
“No Mom. It’s fine. I’m going to make a simple dish – not much preparation needed.”
“Ah okay. What are you making? Can I help you buy the ingredients?” She asks.
“No Mom. That’s okay – I’m going to buy everything after work.” I tell her.
“Are you sure? Can I made a side dish?” She insists.
“No need.” I tell her.
“Okay. I’ll make a pie for dessert!” She says.
Mothers! They always end up having the last say don’t they?
This chicken in brandy and pine nuts is my take on a dish my Mom makes frequently when she decides to lay claim on the kitchen. When she decides to make it, I gladly let her take over. It’s that good. She calls her dish Pollo al Ajillo (Chicken in Garlic Sauce) where the chicken is lightly browned and then stewed with a generous amount of garlic. I only had half the amount of garlic the day I wanted to make my Mom’s dish but I did have some pine nuts on hand which I thought worked particularly well. I like my version as much as I like my Mom’s. I certainly think it would give her a run for her money!
Chicken with Brandy and Pine Nuts
- 2 chicken marylands, thigh and leg separated
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 50 ml olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 50 ml brandy
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 2 to 3 parsley stalks plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 bay leaf
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 40 grams of pine nuts, toasted at 160c for 10 minutes or until golden (don’t go any higher than 160c as this will cause the nuts to burn on the outside while remain raw on the inside)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and coat with the two tablespoons of flour.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken over high heat around three minutes each side. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Turn the heat to medium and place the garlic pieces, fry them for around three to five minutes until golden.
- Add the flour and cook this off for around two to three minutes then the brandy and reduce, then and the white wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced to half again (the liquid in the pan should almost be like a paste now because of the flour). Add the chicken stock, parsley stalks, bay leaf and finally add the chicken pieces and simmer for around 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. If the cooking liquid is reduced too much, add some water while the chicken is simmering – the aim is to end up with a rich and thick sauce at the end of the cooking process.
- When the chicken is done, top with the roasted pine nuts and parsley.