This week I was down to three petits chefs due to sporting commitments and illness but the smaller number did not mean less enthusiasm. The boys were raring to go at 3pm and in a way I was glad I had chosen a recipe that supposedly took only 19 minutes as it was more than do-able for my little chefs! (in fact, it took about 30 minutes but given I was giving instructions along the way and we were in a science lab turned kitchen, I think that’s pretty good going).
The boys worked with raw meat for the first time (I have dealt with it in previous weeks) and I was impressed to see how matter of fact they were about it. Raw meat is not my favourite part of cooking, but the boys seemed very nonplussed and made sure to slice the chicken into same-sized pieces so they would cook evenly. We sliced and washed leeks, juiced a lemon and chopped parsley whilst the rice cooked – I used a mix of wild and long grain rice. I forgot to bring mushrooms this week which the recipe called for but it tasted just fine without it. Me? I will be making this dish for Neil and me and am excited at the idea of different varieties of mushrooms and the earthy flavour they would bring to the dish.
Jamie Oliver’s Chicken and Leek Stroganoff
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g long-grain or Basmati Rice (we used long grain and wild)
1 Large Leek
Big handful of Chestnut or Oyster Mushrooms (ooops – forgot these…)
2 Chicken Breasts
a knob of butter
A glass of white wine (we used water)
A bunch of fresh parsley
285ml single cream (I used about half this – perhaps because there was less bulk due to the missing mushrooms)
Cook the rice according to the packet instructions in salted boiling water. Drain the rice.
Cut both ends off the leek, quarter lengthways and then slice across thinly, then wash well under running water. Slice the mushrooms. Slice the chicken breasts into finger size pieces.
Put a large frying pan on a high heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the knob of butter. Add the leek to the pan with the white wine and a small glass of water, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Let it bubble away for 5 minutes loosely covered with a piece of foil (I covered it with the lid half on). Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley, stalks and all. Remove the foil and add the chicken strips, most of the parsley, the cream and the mushrooms. Stir, and bring back to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
Just before serving, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the stroganoff. Season to taste. Spoon rice onto each plate, and top with the stroganoff. Scatter with the remainder of the chopped parsley.
Once again I had barely taken the picture before the forks were out and digging in.
Never mind chefs in the making, I think we might have some Food Network stars in our midst. Charles had the quote of the day when he tasted the dish for the first time, he proclaimed: “Those flavours? Surprising. Surprisingly GOOD!”. Love it!
I can’t not mention how chuffed the boys were at their 15 minutes of fame last week. First off, Jamie Oliver himself retweeted my tweet about their encounter with the Daring Bakers when they made Jamie’s microwave steamed puddings. Then, on Sunday, we were featured in the Independent on Sunday newspaper (UK) in this article.
As Liam said: “When did cooking club get to be so famous?” and Oliver wondered if “everyone in the world” knew about Les Petits Chefs. Nearly, Oliver, nearly!