Chicken & Leek Stroganoff
I took a look at the bottom of my bookshelf this week seeking some food inspiration. It’s easy, regardless of diet, to get into the habit of repeating the same meals each week (I’m looking at you paleo chilli). We don’t have a massive selection of cookbooks, most were brought pre-paleo so a selection of Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsey, Nigella and a few by Jamie Oliver.
I quite like the cheeky Essex lad. His Italian book is still one of my favs and his chicken cacciatore is one of the best things I’ve cooked. It’s nothing fancy, a hunter’s stew, but it’s packed with robust flavour. I’ve no idea how true it is to it’s Italian origins but I like the imagery of hunters returning from the hills to share the days spoils.
I didn’t cook much while living at home so once I moved out, books like these were my first port of call. I actually pulled out his Ministry of Food which is the most basic of his book I own. The premise is to teach people who have never cooked how to create some easy dishes. While there are some chapters which take the quick meals theme too far (the Indian chapter is a glorified Pataks advert) on the whole it’s full of simple food that focuses on good flavour combinations.
That’s what I like about Mr. Oliver’s stuff. He gets maximum flavour out of an ingredients list which isn’t overwhelming. It’s not high-brow cooking by a long shot but I’ve yet to discover a bad recipe of his. Most are easy to paleofy which is always a bonus. We could do with more chef’s like him on TV making healthy cooking accessible.
I haven’t seen much in the way of British cooking this year in the media which inspires. Cookery shows are less and less about the food and more about the hosts or z-list celebrity contestants. There are more stories about the “great organic rip-off “than there are championing local food. Most chefs seem to eventually cave to the food behemoths and lazy cooking habits. Even my mate Jamie has got his face all over Young’s frozen fish. C’mon son.
While I’m not expecting a paleo culinary star to emerge, it would be nice to see some GB representation. The USA have their caveman food trucks, Copenhagen has it’s Palæo restaurant. Nothing for us just yet on this front but there may be a glimmer of hope…
Swedish-born Mikael Jonsson was recently award a Michelin star for his Chiswich restaurant Hedone. As a young man he suffered so severely with food allergies he had to give up his dream of becoming a chef and instead trained as a solicitor. It wasn’t until he adopted a paleo diet that he became well enough to get back in the kitchen. Within 14 months of his restaurant opening he earned the coveted award.
While Hedone isn’t a paleo restaurant the menu does look delicious and they do accommodate to allergies so maybe a full primal experience is possible. Certainly a place to try one day. Here’s hoping he goes on to open a fully fledged paleo joint.
So this post’s recipe is a paleofication of a traditional chicken stroganoff from Jamie Oliver’s book. The dish uses coconut milk and white wine to achieve a lovely light sauce, something I miss since cutting out dairy. This is perfect with a good serving of cauliflower rice to soak it all up.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 large leek
- a big handful of chestnut mushrooms
- a knob of grass-fed butter
- a small glass of white wine
- a bunch of parsley
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 lemon
- sea salt and black pepper
- Cut both ends of the leeks, quarter, slice lengthways and then chop
- Slice the mushrooms
- Slice the chicken breast into thin pieces
- Add the butter to a large pan on a high heat
- Throw in the leeks, white wine and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- Cover the pan loosely in foil and let the leeks cook for 5 minutes
- After 5 mins, remove the foil and add most of the chopped parsley, chicken, coconut milk and mushrooms
- Stir well, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 mins
- Once finished add a squeeze from half a lemon
- Plate up with some cauliflower rice. Scatter the rest of the parsley on top and serve with a wedge of lemon