No blog last week as we were on a week’s holiday in Portugal. There’s nothing worse than people showing you cheesy photos of holidaymakers smiling grimly at their holiday destinations, but none of that here. We were based in Faro which is in the far south east of Portugal, not that far from the Spanish border. Faro is a very historic town and the Municipal Museum has an excellent display of archaeological items and there is a magnificent Roman mosaic floor (Photo 1). The building itself was a former convent and has attractive cloisters (Photo 2), as well as an impressive array of 16th and 17th century paintings. Even more impressive is the town’s cathedral, with its magnificent clock tower and huge bells (Photos 3 and 4). You can climb the narrow stairway to the tower and get up close to the bells – one of which you can ring – and get superb views across the Ria Formosa, a natural park with lagoons, sand dunes and salt marshes. Another very interesting feature in Faro are the nesting cranes (Photo 5) which can be seen on lampposts, on the cathedral roof and on top of the entrance to the old town. Cranes are large birds which are very elegant when circling above you but less elegant looking when standing on their nests.
Just before going on holiday and inspired by my sister’s lunch cooking, I made chicken and chorizo for the first time. This is one of these dishes that is a traditional, rural all in one pot meal. I started with the Nigella Lawson recipe and added a red pepper and slices of orange to that recipe. It’s all very simple – just coat the chicken thighs, chorizo, red onions, and red pepper in olive oil, add the oregano, orange zest and orange slices and put it in the oven on a high heat for an hour, basting after 30 mins and turning the chicken, chorizo, potatoes and pepper. The photos below show the before and after dish. For a simple dish, it is very tasty, as well as looking good on the plate.