This has been my husband and my ‘go-to’ meal whenever we want something healthy and delicious and easy to throw together. We found it in NZ ‘House and Garden’ and have kept the torn-out magazine page for nearly 15 years. It’s a one-pot wonder full of fresh, sunny goodness and always reminds us of New Zealand. It helped us get through some of the long, grey days in London when we were both working all hours. The recipe normally uses kumara so I have replaced it with sweet potato as kumara is hard to find in Europe.
1 bunch silverbeet, trimmed and torn into pieces
1 large onion, peeled and cut into eighths
1 large leek, cut into short lengths
4 – 5 small courgettes, washed, trimmed and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons mustard power
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
6 – 8 chicken pieces, skin and fat removed
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and thickly sliced
A handful of new potatoes (this was my addition for my potato-loving daughter)
4 medium-thick slices butternut, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
½ cup fruity white wine
¼ cup water
Large sprig fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Scatter silverbeet, onion, leeks and courgettes in a casserole dish with a lid. Season with salt and pepper and half the mustard and chilli. Add chicken, more salt and remaining mustard and chilli. Cover with sweet potato and butternut and new potatoes if using. Sprinkle with sugar and orange zest. I also left the rest of the orange shell on the top for added 'oranginess'.
Heat wine for a minute or two, uncovered, to reduce and pour into casserole with orange juice and water. Strip tarragon leaves and sprinkle over chicken. Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover and bake 1 – 2 hours. Uncover during the last 20 minutes to allow chicken and sweet potato to crisp.