I’m not proud. I get my inspiration from just about everywhere and anywhere. I browse through markets and menus; I trawl newspapers, magazines and cookbooks; I attend presentations, exhibitions, conferences and classes.
But I have to admit I’m not that hot on social media. With one exception.
I’m a huge fan (or should I say ‘follower’) of Lindsey Dickson.
Lindsey Dickson runs an Instagram feed called The Eating Tree. She lives on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border and writes about living in the country, her garden, her staffie….and food.
She offers the most visually rich, truly beautiful images. I asked her once, what equipment she used, expecting her to say she had some huge and massively expensive type of camera. She told me, “I use a my iphone or a Sony A6000. It’s not a DSLR or anywhere near the top of the range mega expensive one. I have very small hands and I find those massive DSLRs too uncomfortable to use. This is a small mirror less camera, I’m really happy with it – I’m a firm believer you don’t have to have a Canon 5d or similar to take a good photo, it’s the composition that’s important. I’m sure lots would disagree but I’m quite content with my little Sony.”
One of the most useful things about composition that I’ve learnt from her is her love of trays – she uses them everywhere, and they do, indeed, give structure and interest to her photographs.
But I digress! On the food side of things she has a refreshing no-nonsense, why complicate things type of approach. Often what she shows us she is eating that evening is more of a concept than worthy of a precise recipe.
This is a perfect example of that!
You could add grilled peppers………….green olives…..celery….any number of things.
Recipe for a simple chicken, fennel and lemon supper inspired by The Eating Tree
• 6 chicken thighs
• 2 fennel bulbs
• 1 lemon
• Olive oil
• A few sage leaves
• 250g/8 oz baby potatoes – I think the purple kind look fabulous in this
• Salt and pepper
• 60 ml/¼ cup/4 tbsps dry vermouth
1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
2. Season the chicken thighs.
3. Oil the bottom of an ovenproof dish, place the chicken thighs skin side up in the dish.
4. Trim the fennel, save the fronds for garnish, and cut vertically into wedges. Tuck around the chicken.
5. Cut the lemon vertically into wedges, take out any pips. Tuck around the chicken.
6. Cut any potatoes much larger than their fellows in half so all the potatoes are broadly the same size (this will ensure they all cook evenly). Tuck them in neatly with everything else.
7. Snip over the sage leaves
8. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil.
9. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, and adding in the vermouth in the last 15 minutes.
For a post on composing for food photography, follow this link.
This post is dedicated to Lindsey Dickson.