oh claudia

Do you ever cook food that is so simple and yet so SPECTACULAR that you can’t actually believe you made it just for 3 naughty children (being my children, and actually they’ve been pretty well behaved today) and a perpetually exhausted mum (that’s me) and a dad who will be home at some stage … but you are not quite sure when … because he said something in the morning about being late, but you weren’t listening properly because you were making lunches and cleaning up after breakfast and brushing hair all at the same time, and now his phone is going directly to messagebank? (that’s Clive obviously).

Anyway … I was thinking about  Greek menu ideas for Community Lunch next Friday at work, and was thumbing through Claudia Roden’s ‘Mediterranean Cookery’ (published way back in 1987) for ideas, when I spotted this recipe and was inspired to make it for dinner.

Not Greek but Spanish.  But man!  Those Catalans know how to eat!

I served it with a freekah salad that included grated zucchini and lentils and red onion, rocket and coriander … and a lemon, garlic and pomegranate dressing.  It was perfect.

Seriously, do yourself a favour and rehydrate those skanky raisins at the back of your cupboard in a cup of dry sherry and prepare to be AMAZED!

Here’s the recipe.

Pollo con Pasas y Pinones (Chicken with Raisins and Pinenuts)

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons of raisins (be generous)
  • 175 ml dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 750g chicken thighs, chopped roughly 
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts or slivered almonds (be generous)


  1. Soak the raisins in the sherry.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and when it sizzles add the chicken.  Cook for a few minutes until lightly browned, turning at least once.
  3. Lower the heat and add salt and pepper, sherry and raisins and simmer gently, covered for 20 minutes.  Make sure the bottom doesn’t stick and add water if necessary. 
  4. Dry fry the almonds or pine nuts in another frying pan until lightly coloured, then stir into the chicken.
  5. Serve hot.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … oh Claudia, I love you!


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