Braised octopus

This dish is great as an antipasto or a main course. The octopus is cooked until it is really tender. Try and find ready cleaned and tenderised octopus, you’ll save yourself a lot work. Serve hot or cold.


1 or 2 large octopuses (about 1kg) — cleaned and cut into pieces
500     grams  tomatoes — chopped
2          bay leaves
1          shallot — chopped
olive oil
dry white wine
handful of parsley — chopped

  • Fry the shallot and the bay leaves gently in the oil.
  • Add the octopus and fry until it is nicely coloured
  • Add a good slug of wine and let it reduce to almost nothing
  • Add the tomatoes, season and cook over a very low heat until the octopus
    is very tender.
  • Add the parsley and serve.

Serves 4 as a main course or many more as an antipasto.


Stuffed chicken legs with Parma ham.

This dish looks quite tricky to prepare but is actually very easy. It’s been a favourite of mine for a while now. It turns an ordinary chicken leg into quite a show off dish. Serves 4

Stuffed Chicken Leg ingredients

Stuffed Chicken Leg ingredients

  • 4 whole chicken legs — leg and thigh
  • 4 slices parma ham
  • 50 grams bread crumbs — freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon parsley — chopped
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg — grated
  • 75 grams mortadella — chopped
  • 1 clove garlic — chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • pepper
  • Bone the legs. This is a bit fiddly but not too difficult. You should get one roughly rectangular shaped fillet from each leg.
Boned fillet

Boned fillet

  • Mix together the eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, mortadella and nutmeg to make the stuffing. Season with pepper. Don’t add salt because both the mortadella and the parma ham are quite salty.
  • Place 1/4 of the mix along the centre of each leg fillet.
Fillet with stuffing

Fillet with stuffing

  • Roll up to form a sausage shape and then wrap with a slice of Parma ham. If the slices are quite small then you might have to use two. It is easiest if you place the ham flat on a chopping board, place the chicken on top and then roll up.
stuffed chicken leg ready to cook

stuffed chicken leg ready to cook

  • Place on an oiled baking tray and roast for 20 minutes at 200°C 400°F or gas mark 6
  • Allow to rest for a few minute and then slice into thick rounds.
Stuffed chicken leg finished dish

Stuffed chicken leg finished dish

Note. The is my version of a recipe by Antonio Carluccio. The original used back bacon instead of Parma ham. If you use bacon you will probably have to tie the fillets with kitchen string. You will also need to brown them in olive oil before roasting