I was first introduced to The Good Mood Food Blog back in August, 2008 when my friend Nicole of For the Love of Food ran across this fairly new, colorful Irish food blog with amazing photographs and interviewed Donal about it. I was intrigued and checked back every so often to see what was happening. Since then, Donal's world has taken off by leaps and bounds! He is doing cooking demonstrations all over the place, including a huge one in Paris at the end of the month; is interviewing and cooking for publications and talk shows; is in a band; and has published a cookbook! It's all so exciting!
Naturally when I found out about the cookbook, called Good Mood Food: Simple Healthy Homecooking, I had to get my hands on a copy. Not only are Donal's recipes fresh and beautifully photographed, his philosophies on food and healthy eating are in line with my own. He's also planting a bigger garden this year, so that will be fun to follow as well.
It's also fun because my heritage is mostly Irish, but honestly I don't know much about the country. (some day we'll get over there). And he's just so cute and enthusiastic about whatever project he's got going!
The cookbook is in English, with metric measurements for the most part, so you've got to do some converting. And realize that a "tin" of tomatoes means a "can," that sort of thing. It's quite fun to read, and easy to follow.
The first recipe we tried is called Chicken Thigh Supper. I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand. I started a bit late for a school night, but that's my own fault, and it was worth the wait!
I love the bacon in the dish, it adds so much flavor, and it was heavenly smelling the onions, garlic and herbs cooking. This is an excellent dish, and you all should try it tonight. I am even including it in my Chicken in a Fabulous Sauce category! (and you know it's got to be FABULOUS to join those select few recipes!)
We'll definitely be preparing more recipes from the cookbook, but be sure to follow Donal's blog for new recipes, and pick up the Good Mood Food cookbook for yourself!
*I've converted the measurements to their U.S. equivalents, and put the ingredients in order of use; as usual notes in italics are my addition*
Chicken Thigh Supper
adapted from Good Mood Food cookbook
2 tablespoons olive oil
6-8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in--we used 8)
about 1/3 pound pancetta or bacon, diced (we used bacon)
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 red onion, chopped in half moons
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (I used about 1 tablespoon dried because my rosemary plants didn't survive)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons English mustard powder (I used ground mustard)
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine
In a large deep frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the chicken and pancetta, until you get a nice colour on the thighs. Set chicken and pancetta aside on plate covered with kitchen paper. (I couldn't decide what "kitchen paper" was, paper towels? waxed paper??, so I just used a plate).
In the same pan, add the rest of the oil (I didn't add more oil) and fry the garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme for 2 minutes. (this is the moment you want to smell what's cooking!) Sprinkle over the mustard powder and stir through.
Add the tomatoes and red wine, and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and pancetta pieces back to the pan, turning the chicken pieces to coat.
Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes over a low heat or until the chicken is cooked through. You may need to extend the cooking time depending on the size of the chicken thighs. I don't add salt to this recipe as the pancetta can be quite salty, but make sure to taste it and add seasoning if needed. (ours didn't need anything at all--just perfect!)
Serve with a tasty salad and some hearty wholemeal bread.