So winter has arrived here in Ireland, the days are wet and cold and it has started to get dark at 8pm and do you know what I really don’t mind! I know I’ve complained a lot about the weather on this blog but it’s just the bad summers that get to me, it’s just that every year we have this great expectation that this is the year we will have the “scorcher” and then we all get so disappointed that it doesn’t happen. Will we accept that it won’t happen next year??- of course not, someday we’ll show those Italians with our flower filled terraces where we dine “al fresco” and eat the sweetest tomatoes and the ripest fruit sitting with our bronzed “famiglia” drinking local wine because the grape harvest has been so good as a result of the scorching temperatures and dipping our crunchy bread into locally produced olive oil – we can dream I suppose:)

I suppose the reason why I enjoy the winter here is that Ireland is actually a great place to be in the winter, we have been to Atina in the winter and it’s pretty dismal. Italians tend to hibernate during the winter whereas the Irish come into their own, the bbq is put back in the shed, the patio table is put under cover until next summer, the lawn mower is put away( yahoo says Bruno) and we all tend to start eating and drinking out again, we’ve gotten over the depression of the summer and we all accept Ireland as it is supposed to be – wet and grey. We can eat what we want again because we don’t have to worry about getting into the bikinis or swim shorts for 2 weeks plus we need a little extra padding for the cold nights ahead:)

Winter to me also means Christmas, family and lots of food. I love winter food – soups, stews, roast meats, real hearty peasant food and so easy to prepare. I have 3 sisters,  I know,  my poor father and believe me they all talk as much as me;) and the only time we are all together is Christmas and this year there will be 2 new additions – the princess and her little cousin so it should be a good one. My dad now has to listen to 7 women – God help him!!! 

This is a really nice roast chicken dish from Aldo Zilli for those cold, wet evenings:)


  • 4 chicken breasts on the bone or chicken legs – Superquinn are now doing a new corn-fed chicken range!!
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary chopped – the recipe calls for 2 tbsp but we don’t like too much herbs so I used a little less.
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper


 – pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

 – mix the herbs and garlic with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

 – season your chicken and rub them with the herb mixture.

 – heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and fry for 2 mins on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a roasting tin.

 – add the wine to the pan juices and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil for 3 mins and then pour the wine over the chicken. Roast the chicken for 40 mins until cooked through and serve with the cooking juices spooned over the top. Don’t forget the bread for the “scarpetta”!! 

 – Serve with roast potatoes – peel and cut into large chunks,  season and pour over some olive oil- you don’t need any herbs or garlic as there is enough in the chicken so keep the potatoes plain and simple!!


P.S. To make the changes of seasons easier my question to you this week is “WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WINTER”???