A dream of Scotland in a new album and a homely dish to take me there - Chicken in tomato and vegetables

I am at this precise moment sitting here writing this post while I am considering new chapters for my novel, and listening to - finally!! - Saor's new album "Guardians". It does not disappoint, let me say it up front. In fact, it far exceeds expectations and is better than the two previous ones. The mood is so Scottish I feel I'm transported immediately to the highlands, I feel like I'm a character in "Outlander" or "Braveheart", and because a character in my novel has been raised in Scotland, it makes me want to write a few more chapters about his youth in the highlands.

I wasn't even going to publish this particular recipe, today, but as I was listening to the music and browsing through my photos, the tartan on that background caught my eye and it made perfect sense that I should indeed publish this today, if only because I'm listening to bagpipes and songs about Scotland and celtic pride. I always say that inside me lives an Italian mamma, a drunken Irish and a Scottish witch, and she awakes at the sound of this album and wants to make some magick - but the only magick I know how to make is either in the kitchen or in my writings!

If it weren't for the spaghetti in this dish, I could claim it has influences of long gone eras and distant lands that are seeped in mist and drizzles, where the eye can be cast into a never ending world of mossy greens and milky greys, where the cold makes you crave a cheery fire and a wooven blanket, a glass of mulled wine and a bowl of earthy stew, filled with herbs and veggies that has bubbled away slowly over a heat source, bubbled away in a pan pretty much like a witch's cauldron bubbling away a potion or two that will infuse your body and heart with a homeliness and a sense of hearth.

It's a pretty easy dish to achieve, not compicated at all, but full of flavour and scents, it is a comforting dish and can do without the pasta, but let's be honest, somedays pasta makes all the difference, and this was one of those days. I can imagine it being quite delicious as well with only a thick slice of crusty bread do dunk in the sauce as side dish, because this is packed full of vegetables, it's quite earthy and rustic, but I do like my food rustic, like a memory of other times when people lived simpler lives. I wish I could content myself with living a simple life, but I'm pretty complicated myself, and have a hard time being satisfied with all I have, without dreaming of having a bit more.

So here's how you can get a bolw of this earthy, homely, comforting chicken:
  • half a free range chicken, cut into chunks
  • 150 gr mushrooms chopped - you can use canned as well
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 8 medium ripe tomatos, diced
  • 1 pack of fresh spinach leaves - you can use frozen, you'll need about four chunks
  • turmeric, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to season
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
Start by sizzling the onions, carrots and garlic in the olive oil, inside a large pan. When the onions are translucid and tender, add the chicken and let it get some colour, and then add a teaspoon of turmeric, blending well. Now add the tomatoes and stir. Pour in the red wine and let it come to a boil, before seasoning. If it looks like it's a bit dry, add some water. Cover with a lid and let it cook until the chicken is nearly done. Now add the mushrooms and check the seasoning. Let them cook slightly, if they're fresh, if they're not add the spinach and once these are wilted, turn off the heat but let it rest for a few minutes. Serve warm, with any kind of pasta or rice, or simply add a chunk of bread. Pour yourself a glass of a nice red and there you go, a warm meal to hit all the spots during Autumn's chillier evenings!


  1. thats the perfect combo right there, specially the scottish witch part! :D


    1. aha, scottish witch that was burned at the stake, actually.


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