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Dinner tonight tasted horrible. Where did I go wrong?

(62 Posts)
BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 21:50:57

Got the recipe off YouTube!

Basically, browned some chicken thighs - then removed from the pan to soften some onions & garlic, added two tins of chopped tomatoes, pinch of sugar then re-added the chicken & into the oven for 30 mins.

It has an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. Did it need a bit more sugar do you think?

One thing that is worrying me slightly - I used a new cast iron pan that I haven't seasoned. Would that have caused it?


Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 10-Sep-13 21:53:13

No idea, sounds lovely!


WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Sep-13 21:58:10

Did the onions/butter burn?

zgaze Tue 10-Sep-13 21:58:33

Cast iron gets REALLY hot <stating the obvious> Might you have burnt the garlic or onions?

BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 21:59:20

It should be lovely, right? Wasn't though grin

This is what I did....

EmpireBiscuit Tue 10-Sep-13 21:59:48

I find tinned tomatoes need more than a pinch of sugar to take away the bitterness - I always add a scatter (very technical) from the bowl.

icecubed Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:07

Sounds like you might have caught the garlic?

ZacharyQuack Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:43

Maybe the tomatos themselves were bitter, and it wasn't your fault.

That's what I do anyway, blame the ingredients.

BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:43

Nope - nothing burned.

Although - skin on chicken got very dark (not quite burned, but not far off) so maybe oven was too hot & tomatoes were overcooked?

BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:55

Nope - nothing burned.

Although - skin on chicken got very dark (not quite burned, but not far off) so maybe oven was too hot & tomatoes were overcooked?

steppemum Tue 10-Sep-13 22:08:31

I never add sugar to tinned tomatoes, never heard of that. But I do think they need to cook for a while. So does tomato puree, heard on a cooking program that tom puree needs 20 minutes to cook.

I think the taste is the pan actually.

shrinkingnora Tue 10-Sep-13 22:11:51

Did you crush the garlic or chop it?

BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 22:14:04

I think the taste is the pan actually

Really? Haven't poisoned us, have I? shock

One thing I didn't do which the recipe says to (for laziness reasons) was boil down the tomatoes before putting the chicken back in. I just emptied in the tins, plonked on the chicken & stuck into the oven.

Big mistake?

BringBackBant Tue 10-Sep-13 22:14:58

I crushed the garlic, peeled it then put them whole into the pan. They came out yummy & soft, as did the onions.

HometownUnicorn Tue 10-Sep-13 22:15:15

garlic takes seconds to singe and go bitter if put into hot oil, especially if crushed

Msbluebozooka Tue 10-Sep-13 22:15:42

Definitely more sugar needed, and did you give it a really good stir ?

barleysugar Tue 10-Sep-13 22:16:21

It's salt you need to reduce the bitterness of the tomatoes, not sugar!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 10-Sep-13 22:17:21

Meh tinned tomatoes are yuk...use fresh and a little bit of tomato paste next time.

steppemum Tue 10-Sep-13 22:19:12

Why oh why would you add sugar to a chicken dish??? Enough excess sugar in our diets as it is!

I think it is the pan, because new pans often have a coating of some sort. I would always wash them well, and with a frying pan, would probably heat some oil and tip it out, let it cool before I cooked in it.

I often do a chicken dish like this, have never used sugar or had any problems with bitter taste, so that is why I am guessing the pan?

shrinkingnora Tue 10-Sep-13 22:20:39

Garlic can be really bitter if you crush it, especially if it has any green shoot starting.

Mintyy Tue 10-Sep-13 22:22:27

I think 30 minutes cooking time in the oven was not enough for a dish containing two tins of tomatoes. I would have given it at least an hour, even after the pre-cooking. And I would definitely have brought it all up to simmering before transferring to the oven (because otherwise you are just cutting down cooking time even further). You need 1 tsp of sugar per 2 tins of tomatoes, salt, pepper, fresh herbs if you can. But not all tinned tomatoes are very nice tbh! If you can afford it, go for the pricier Italian ones.

Mintyy Tue 10-Sep-13 22:23:29

Steppemum - it is completely traditional to add a small amount of sugar to cooked tomatoes. Did you really not know that?

bigwellylittlewelly Tue 10-Sep-13 22:25:19

Never in all my cooking years have I added sugar to tinned tomatoes. Never. And I've been cooking twenty years or so.

My money is on the pan and insufficient cooking time.

Mintyy Tue 10-Sep-13 22:28:53

I believe Hugh F-W knows a thing or two about this cooking lark

MadameDefarge Tue 10-Sep-13 22:34:25

Adding a pinch of sugar is a tried and tested way of balancing the acidity of some canned tomatoes...

tinned tomatoes as a sauce do need to be cooked down to obtain the deep sweet tomatoey flavour and consistency...

trust me, I'm a pro.

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