Donal Skehan

Angie’s Skehan Family Irish Stew


Angie looked after my dad when he was growing up, and when I first started going to school she used to walk me home and give me lunch, which was regularly Irish stew. Her Irish stew is legendary in the Skehan family, with my dad’s five siblings and my eleven cousins all having been brought up on it. Angie always knew how to feed an army of hungry mouths, so I hope this version of the recipe does hers justice!

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Fragrant Thai Chicken Stew

This is very similar to a Thai green curry but it’s a lot lighter in terms of spices, sticking mainly with the fresh ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. I use Kaffir lime leaves here, which some supermarkets carry in the herb section, Asian markets are also bound to have them. Improvise with finely grated zest of lime. If you haven’t used lemongrass before it’s a fantastic little ingredient which is responsible for giving this dish that wonderful light and fragrant flavour. To prepare, slice off the woody ends and the root, you should be left with about 2-3 inches. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the paste ingredients until they’re as fine as you can get them.

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Tasty Chicken Hotpot

This is the dish you can make when you invite the parents around to show them you really can make it on your own, and that you don’t need your mother to wash your socks anymore! Chicken thighs are a good, cost-effective cut of meat and will hold really well in the freezer, so pick up a few packs.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 chicken thighs
2 red onions, sliced into thick slices
5 carrots, cut into rough chunks
3 celery sticks, cut into rough slices
400g tin chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons English mustard
1 teaspoons dried oregano
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, high-sided pot until it’s really hot. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. There should be enough oil and fat left in the pan, but if not just add another little drop.

Add the red onions and fry until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook for three to four minutes, stirring every now and then.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and stir though with the mustard and oregano. Add in the browned chicken and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and place the lid on and simmer gently for 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve in deep bowls with some thick, crusty bread to soak up the juices.

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Duck Confit and A Tasty Bean Stew

I absolutely love duck confit and this little dish is a perfect compliment. If you don’t order online you should be able to pick up some in most gourmet food stores, but beware they can be pricey so do shop around.

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