Chicken/fish on a bed of potatoes and mushrooms

Back when I was courting my lovely wife (that makes it sound like balls and horse rides in the country. Being the early days of uni and share houses and uni, it wasn't.) I leant heavily on my two my most treasured cook books, The Naked Chef and The naked Chef returns. Ok, they were my only cookbooks, but they were probably the two best cookbooks I could have owned. In fact, if you are a horny 19 year old trying to impress your significant other with the magic of food, the good old Naked Chef is the book for you. 


I can't remember ever stuffing up a recipe from those two books. Considering I'd just started graduating from packet pasta and sauces from a bottle, those books must have been really well written for a rank amateur. The original recipe was for fish and I'd prefer to make it with fish. Something a bit oily with a skin that crisps up is awesome. But I also make this with chicken peices. You need skin on, so either cut up a whole chook or buy some skin on peices. Either way you need enough protein to cover the dish you are using. 

Slice up a heap of potatoes. Again, the amount will depend on A - how much you like potato and B - how much you can get in your roasting pan. Slice them thinly, toss with a little olive oil, some torn rosemary, basil or thyme and some chopped garlic until golden" turning occasionally so the bottom ones get a bit of colour. Then chop up a heap of mushrooms. A heap is a technical term I use a lot that means more than one. I usually use a whole bag. Cook them off in real butter, salt and pepper and once soft add the juice of half a lemon. Keep cooking till the shrooms take that liquid back up. 


Slash your fish or chicken on the skin side a few times and stuff a few more bits of herbs into the cut. Throw the mushrooms in with the potatoes and give them a shake then put in the fish or chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with salt. You want to mostly cover the potatoes and shrooms so that as the juices come out of the meat it doesn't evaporate away. 

Once the skin is nice and crispy (did I mention this won't work without the skin? If you won't eat fish or chook with skin on what is wrong with you? Go and cook something with lots of butter immediately) its ready to eat. The meat will be steamed from underneath and in the bottom of the pan will be a glorious gooey mess of all the combined flavours. A lot like 19 year old me was when I first got to cook this for Vanessa.


Back into it.

Shepard's Pie