More things should be cooked in butter

Chicken drumsticks. Not my favourite parts of a chicken, if I’m honest. Too many bony sinewy bits make them more hassle than they’re worth and, as such, I very rarely buy them. We did get some in our meat box, though, so I decided to treat these happy chicken drumsticks with a bit of time, care and attention. They turned out beautifully, and I don’t think I would want them any other way!

Confit chicken drumsticks with a tomato and red pepper sauce

For the chicken:
5 chicken drumsticks (or any number you want to cook!)
1 tbsp salt
About 400 g butter (depending on pan size)
3 large cloves of garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp whole black peppercorns

For the sauce:
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 sweet pointed peppers, roasted (from a jar), sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp tomato purée
6 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 tin chopped tomatoes)
200 ml white wine
1 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
Salt & pepper to taste

Generously salt the drumsticks and leave them in the fridge overnight or for a few hours (I salted them in the morning and cooked them in the afternoon). When you’re ready to cook the drumsticks, wash off the salt marinade and pat the drumsticks dry with kitchen paper.

Pre-heat the oven to 100°C.

Melt about half of the butter in an oven-proof pan that’s just big enough to hold the drumsticks. Add the drumsticks, garlic, thyme and peppercorns.


Add more butter to the pan until the drumsticks are fully submerged. Bake in the oven for about 3 hours (but they can be left longer, this won’t hurt!).

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the onions and garlic until soft (5-10 minutes), along with the chilli flakes. Add the red peppers and fry briefly. Add the tomato purée and cook out for a minute.


Add the tomatoes and mixed herbs, and cook until the tomatoes start to break down (about 5 minutes). Now add the wine and cook on a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the sauce as is, but I puréed it using a hand blender because I didn’t bother peeling the tomatoes!


Serve the chicken drumsticks with a generous amount of the sauce, along with some veggies (dressed with some of the butter from the chicken pan).


The chicken will be lovely and soft and should come away from the bones with very little effort!


Chicken & peppers

I love me some peppers. This dish is super-easy to prepare and super-tasty. If you use chicken that’s on the bone it will stay moist (well, you have to try not to overcook it either), and you will have some lovely crispy skin to chew on, as an added bonus (and it’s cheaper).

Serves 2, with some left-over pepper goop for tomorrow’s dinner.

2 part-boned, skin-on chicken breasts (or you could use chicken pieces)
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
400 g can chopped tomatoes
200 ml chicken stock
150 ml white wine
Salt/pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter/fat for frying

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat the butter in an oven-proof dish. Brown the chicken breasts and set to one side. In the same pan, fry the peppers, onion and garlic until softened. Add the mixed herbs and seasoning. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes and enough stock to cover the peppers. Place the chicken breasts, skin-side up, on the top and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of your chicken pieces), until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.


Serve with some creamed spinach.


Garlic and chilli roast lamb

Garlic. Chilli. Lamb. ‘nough said.

Serves 2 hungry people.

1 small boneless leg of lamb joint (ours was about 400g)
3 large cloves of garlic
3 red chillies
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground peppers
1 red pepper, chunked
1 green pepper, chunked
100 ml red wine
2 medium leeks, sliced
2 tbsp creme fraiche
50 g butter

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Using a blender or food processor, blend together the garlic, chillies, rosemary, olive oil, salt & pepper into a paste. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the lamb joint and flatten it a bit by hitting it with a rolling pin or the like. Spread the paste over the lamb, and roll it up into a lamb sausage, securing with string. Spread any leftover paste on the outside of the lamb. Sear the lamb in an oven-proof pan, and place in the oven for 30 minutes per 500g (for slightly pink lamb).


20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, put the peppers in with the lamb, along with 25g of butter.


After 10 minutes, pour the red wine over the lamb and peppers.

When the lamb is ready, remove it from the pan and let it rest in foil whilst you prepare the creamed leeks.

Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and add the leeks (I had some chilli and garlic paste left-over so I added this as well). Season with salt and pepper. Sweat for a few minutes until the leeks are soft, then add the creme fraiche. Stir, and simmer for 2 minutes.


Slice the lamb, and serve with the leeks, peppers and pan juices.