Chicken, Peas and Roast Piquillos

I’m on a pea jag at the moment, popping them out of their tight little cases, pinging into a bowl in the garden. I always cook too many because they are a perfect leftover; versatile in salads and a good bulk ingredient to anything from an Itsu miso easy soup sachet (with leftover rice, splash of sweet chilli sauce and soft herbs) to stewy dishes like this one. Roasted red peppers are another useful thing to have on standby. I often buy several from the £1 counter of my local fruit and veg stall, roast them (laid out on shallow roasting tin, roast at 200C for 15 minutes, turn and repeat, cooking til skin blackens and puffs, then to a plate, cover clingfilm for 20 mins, remove skin and seeds) and stash in a poly box in the fridge. Alternatively, buy them in jars. The Spanish varieties – piquillo – in olive oil are the best. This lovely slop could be piled over bruschetta, pasta or cous cous. I served it with the last of my Cornish earlies (sob).

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 30 min

1 onion

2 tbsp olive oil

5cm piece rosemary

2 garlic cloves

1 small lemon

3 chicken thigh fillets

1 roasted red pepper or piquillos from a jar

150ml white wine or

chicken stock

150g boiled peas

    Halve, peel and finely slice the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious sauté/frying pan and stir in the onion. Cook over a medium heat, stirring and adjusting the heat so it softens rather than browns. Meanwhile, strip the rosemary from the stalk and chop the leaves to dust. Peel the garlic and slice wafer-thin. Stir the rosemary and garlic into the softening onion and microplane (fine grate) half the lemon zest over the top. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is sloppy but hardly coloured. While the onion softens, slice the chicken into chunky batons. Slice the pepper into similarly sized strips. When the onion is soft, increase the heat slightly and add the chicken, stirring as the pieces firm and turn from pink to white. Allow about 10 minutes for this. Add the white wine or stock, establish a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, stir in the peas, heat through and serve now or later.