Rosie’s Recipe

Taxi for Rosie – as she learns a new recipe on the way home from Por­tu­gal

Airgun World - - Contents -

Rosie trans­forms a hum­ble woodie into a Por­tuguese de­light

Ihad an hour jour­ney by taxi from where I was stay­ing in Por­tu­gal to Faro air­port and I wasn’t look­ing for­ward to it be­cause I had quite se­ri­ous back pain. I cer­tainly didn’t feel like mak­ing po­lite con­ver­sa­tion, but I was re­as­sured by num­ber one son.

“He’s a lovely bloke,” Dave told me. “You’ll like him, and he speaks good English.”

My driver wanted to prac­tise his ex­tremely good English, ap­par­ently, be­cause he didn’t stop talk­ing. It turned out that he was an as­pir­ing cook, so the con­ver­sa­tion turned to food and we’d swapped quite a few recipes be­fore the Faro con­trol tower ap­peared in the near dis­tance. This is one of them, but I’ve sub­sti­tuted pi­geon for chicken. As we all know, pi­geon meat is more like steak than chicken, but I used chicken stock and it works very well.

Of course, some of the ‘sou­venirs’ I brought home were food-based, so I used Por­tuguese gar­lic, olive oil and the most amaz­ing oregano I’ve ever tried. Sold in bunches, it is far su­pe­rior to the stuff you can buy in jars. I was told that it grows wild, so it’s har­vested by hand and then air-dried – don’t know if that’s true, or not, but it doesn’t mat­ter be­cause the flavour is won­der­fully in­tense and aro­matic. Usu­ally, I ad­vo­cate us­ing fresh herbs when­ever pos­si­ble, but this dried va­ri­ety is su­perb. You’ll have to make do with the stuff from Tesco, un­less you can get to the Al­garve – or Greece, where it grows on the moun­tain­sides – and so will I, once I’ve used it all. I couldn’t force any more stuff into my suit­case, or I’d have bought a year’s sup­ply.

Any­way, please try out this take on a Por­tuguese rice dish – it’s ‘boa al­i­men­tação’ – ‘good to eat’ – you’ll no­tice I learned the im­por­tant words!


Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pan. Fry onion gen­tly for a few min­utes, un­til ten­der. Then the gar­lic and fry for one minute. Add the pi­geon breast and cook for a fur­ther two min­utes. Chopped toma­toes, oregano, and sea­son­ing go in next. Add the rice and swish it around so that it’s coated. Fi­nally, pour in the hot stock, cover and sim­mer for 15-20 mins. Check it after 10 min­utes and if it looks too dry add a lit­tle boil­ing wa­ter. Stir it in gen­tly so that you don’t break the rice grain. Serve with flat bread.

Serve with flat bread.

2. Oregano, olive oil, gar­lic and honey – edi­ble sou­venirs.

1. Olive oil, onion, gar­lic, pi­geon, toma­toes, oregano, rice.

3. Fry onion un­til ten­der.

9. Al­most all stock ab­sorbed.

4. Add gar­lic and pi­geon breast.

7. Pour in the stock.

8. Cover and sim­mer.

6. Add rice and coat with the mix­ture.

5. Chopped toma­toes, oregano and sea­son­ing.

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