This week I took a few hours off the campaign trail to cook my “Italian winter dish” (Baked Herbed Chicken and Cannellini Beans) at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre.
I love cooking and had a great time but the serious message here is that cooking and eating healthy, delicious food is one of the best preventative health measures you can take. Our Neighbourhood Houses play such an important role in developing communities and they bring people together to connect, to learn and contribute. A big shout out and thanks to all who keep our community centres going and thanks for having me there to cook this week.
Peter Whish-Wilson's "Italian winter dish" - Baked Herbed Chicken and Cannellini Beans
Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 20-30 minutes, cost per person - $5 to $7 depending on whether herbs can be sourced from the garden.
• 300-500 grams of free range chicken thighs or onions, zucchini and field mushrooms or carrot if vegetarian
• 3 large eggs
• ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• 200 grams pine nuts
• 4-6 large garlic cloves
• Herbs from your garden - 1 cup of chopped parsley, 1 cup of basil, 1 cup of chives and 1 cup of spring onion and 2 cups of rocket
• Cannellini beans (1 can for fast cooking or ½ cup of dried beans boiled if you have more preparation time)
• 1 large lemon
• 1 cup rice
• ¼ cup of olive oil
1. Put the eggs on to hard boil.
2. Squeeze the lemon and use the juice to rub into the chicken.
3. Cool and peel the eggs when done.
4. Pan roast the pine nuts and garlic on a medium temperature until pine nuts are golden brown. Watch this carefully as it is easy to burn the pine nuts.
5. Combine half the olive oil with the herbs, garlic, pine nuts and boiled eggs in a bowl and blend with a hand held blender, or mix in a food processor until the ingredients make a sauce.
6. Use the rest of the oil to coat the bottom of a large deep baking tray. Place the chicken in the tray, layer the beans on top, spread the sauce over the beans and top the dish with parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
7. Cook the rice and serve chicken on the rice when done.