Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Tonight is one of my favourites sausages which I always love. There are so many different types for sausages so choose which you like for this recipe.

 I am using wild garlic and black pepper sausages. These I bought the other day from our local farm shop. These I am going to cook with green lentils, chopped rosemary and red wine.

I am using dried lentils which because of their long cooking time are ideal for a thermal cooker where they can be left to slowly soften.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 to 12 of sausages of your choice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes. chopped
  • 16 juniper berries
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried chilli, crushed
  • 185 ml red wine
  • 20 ml water
  • 2 x 410g  tins of green lentils
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat the oil in the inner pot.
  2. Add the sausages in batches and cook over a medium heat until they are browned on all sides.
  3. Remove the sausages and keep warm.
  4. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened.
  5. Stir in the rosemary and tomatoes and cook  for 5 minutes until the juice is thickened.
  6. Add the juniper berries, nutmeg, bay leaves, chilli, wine and water.
  7. Bring to the boil and then add the sausages and lentils.
  8. Stir and bring back to the boil.
  9. Put the lid on and turn down the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container and shut the lid.
  11. Thermal cook without power for a minimum of 2 hours.
  12. Serve with crusty bread.

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Tonight I am going to cook vinegar- poached chicken in my thermal cooker.

This simple Italian dish will benefit from using a free range or organic bird as they have much more flavour. It is an ideal recipe to cook in a thermal cooker and would be great to impress your friends at a diner party.

I am going to serve it with small boiled potatoes and broccoli.

Nothing is wasted in this recipe even the left over poaching liquid can be used as the basis for a soup or kept for stock.


  • 1.5kg chicken, cut into pieces or you can use chicken pieces if you wish.
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • bouquet garni
  • 1½ tbsp of sugar
  • 500ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 175ml chicken stock


  1. Add the carrot,celery, onion, sugar, bouquet garni, white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar to the inner pot.
  2. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the chicken pieces in the inner pot.
  4. Add water until the chicken pieces are covered.
  5. Bring back to the boil and skim off any impurities from the surface.
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container and shut the lid.
  8. Leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 2 hours.
  9. 10 minutes before you are ready to serve melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  10. Add the flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute stirring all the time.
  11. Gradually add the the chicken stock while stirring to avoid lumps.
  12. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
  13. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the poaching liquid.
  14. Taste and add more until you get the flavour you like. This will probably be about 125ml.
  15. Bring slowly to the boil.
  16. You are now ready to serve. Put one or two chicken pieces on a warmed plate. Add some small potatoes and some nice fresh green vegetable. Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken and enjoy.
  17. You are now ready to serve

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This classic Italian dish, also known as hunter’s stew was originally designed as an easy dish that could be cooked outside. The dish was adapted by individual hunters and was sometimes made from rabbit or sometimes chicken.
Chicken cacciatore is an ideal meal to make in Mr D’s Thermal Cooker as it is easy to prepare and benefits from slow long cooking.
This dish should be served with rice or pasta and some crusty bread to mop up the wonderfully rich sauce.


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 kg chicken portions, legs and thighs
  • 40 g seasoned flour
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 125 ml chicken stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 100 g stoned black olives
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • salt & pepper to season
  1. Rinse chicken, pat dry and dust with the seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the inner pot on medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the onions to keep for later.
  4. Add the garlic and ½ the chicken pieces, skin-side down. Cook until the chicken skin is golden brown, then turn pieces over and brown on the other side.
  5. Once brown, remove and keep for later while you cook the remaining chicken pieces until they also are golden brown on both sides.
  6. Add the first batch of chicken pieces back into the inner pot.
  7. Add the onions you cooked earlier.
  8. Add the white wine, white wine vinegar, chicken stock, the tin of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, brown sugar, stoned black olives and anchovy fillets.
  9. Mix everything and bring to the boil.
  10. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  11. Turn off the heat and put the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  12. Shut the lid and thermal cook without power for a minimum of 2 hours.
  13. Before serving check the seasoning adding salt and pepper if necessary.
  14. Serve with pasta and crusty bread.

Serves 4-6.

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