I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Taste of Veneto (A Taste of Venice)


What a week it has been!  I have been so busy that I haven't had time to scratch myself, let alone write a post.

The week started off badly last Saturday when one of "The Darlings" broke his arm at rugby - that of course has meant several trips to the doctor during the week - getting the X-rays, then the temporary plaster on, then the fibreglass cast, and then of course the check up to check the cast!!!!     ..... But wait, that's not all..... the dog had a stroke on Sunday/Monday - so that has meant many, many trips to the vet during the week (having  a "special needs" child that is very attached to an animal confounds, and confuses the issue so much - what is the right and moral thing to do by both the child and the animal - it has been an incredibly emotional week - for all of us).  We have brought the dog home today, but I am still in a quandary as to what is the right thing to do.  So being unable to make a decision, I now find myself the nursemaid to an invalid animal - what a joy that is, as I am sure you can imagine!

In that mix there has also been the fact that my Thermomix business has taken off with a flying start - I have demos booked left right and centre - which is great - but - wow - I need a little time to breathe to take it all in.  Several people have bought, and that has meant that I need to go and spend time with them, making sure that they are confident and happy with their new little buddy in the kitchen.  That is not hard though, as I love Thermie and I want them to love theirs as much as I love mine!!!

So you see, life as we know it has sort of ground to a halt in this house this week.  Food has come and gone - some meals has been microwaved frozen leftovers, others have been - well, just fling something on the plate and hope for the best.

It seems a lifetime ago, but last weekend I made a lovely Italian Style Roast Chicken Dinner.  In the current edition of Good Taste Magazine Guy Grossi has a  segment called "Taste of Veneto"  - it is basically a whole Italian Feast - I simply took the components that I wanted, to produce our meal. I made the roast chicken with a "bread" sauce and a side dish of peas.

Pollo Arrosto with Salsa Veronese Peara
Adapted from Good Taste Magazine - Recipe by Guy Grossi - August Edition

Serves 5-6

1 1.2kg whole chicken
1 x drumsticks
1kg kipfler potatoes, peeled thickly sliced
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, trimmed, coarsely chopped
9 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
10 fresh sage leaves
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 lemon, quartered
500ml (2 cups) white wine

Salsa Veronese Peara
300ml chicken stock
90g (1 1/4 cups) fresh breadcrumbs - made from day old bread
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
20g butter

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.  Rinse the chicken (inside and out) and drumsticks under cold running water.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Place the potato, onion, celery and 6 of the garlic cloves in a large roasting pan.

Remove the leaves from 2 rosemary springs.  Finely chop the rosemary leaves and half the sage leaves.  Peel and finely chop the remaining garlic.  Combine the rosemary, sage and garlic with the oil and chilli in a bowl.  (Or place all ingredients in the Thermomix and pulse on Turbo until chopped to desired consistency).  Rub the oil mixture over the chicken.  Place the chicken on top of the potato mixture in the baking dish.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Insert the lemon, remaining rosemary and sage in the chicken cavity.  Pour the wine into the roasting pan.

Roast, basting occasionally, for 1 1/4 hours, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

Meanwhile, to make the salsa, place the chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to the boil.  Add the breadcrumbs, oil and butter and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low.  Simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes, or until thick.  (you may need to add a little of the liquid from the peas to the salsa to make the mixture a less stodgy consistency).

Serve the chicken with the roasted vegetables,  peas,  and the salsa.

Piselli con Pancetta
(Peas with Pancetta)

1tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
100g pancetta, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups frozen peas
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
4 fresh mint leaves, chopped
sea salt flakes

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the pancetta, onion ans garlic, stirring for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

Add the peas, stock, sage and mint.  Cook for 10 minutes or until the peas are heated through.

Season with the sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

I really loved this dish, it seemed to add a whole new slant on the usual roast chicken.  The salsa veronese peara was quite a nice change from the traditional gravy that we usually have.  Although I did find that it was quite thick, so I added most of the liquid from the peas to thin it down a little.

I really liked the peas - I make my "Italian style peas" in a similar way - with chicken stock, onions and mushrooms - but adding the pancetta made them a little more special.   I highly recommend trying this next time you are thinking of making a roast chicken dinner!

So now we head off into another new week.  What will this week bring??  Let's hope it is not as hectic as last week!!!  I am counting the fact that my washing machine died a week or so ago into the equation, so I figure the series of three things happening, has happened to me and that I should be home free now!!!

So tell me Dear Readers do you find that when one thing happens to you, that you have a series of misadventures?  Or is it just me????  Please tell me it is not just me!!!!


  1. You have had a big week, hope things settle down for you.

  2. Cate this recipe sounds fantastic, but if you have no time to post we will understand and we will all be here when you have the time. As if you have not enough problems, broken arms and unhealthy animals are an extra strain. Take care and keep healthy yourself. The thermomix business sounds like it is going well, but where do find the time? Diane

  3. I hope life settles down for you soon! Although having lots of demos booked is a good thing!

  4. "If it rains, it pours" isn't that the saying.

    It's the same in our house, it is never just the one mishap, it is a snowball.

    I hope things get back on track for you. Its super you are getting plenty of demonstrations booked!!

    I adjusted my "Little Fish" story to add a link to your site, I meant to do it last night ;)

  5. It looks perfectly Venetian and I had no doubts about the fact that it tasted really awesome as well.