stay connected

While restrictions have eased in Victoria, many of us are still working from home or have friends and family interstate/overseas. Video calls have truly become the new way for all of us to connect whether it's for work or leisure.

At Lucas, it's not always just about the work. Maintaining strong relationships and keeping in touch with each other is just as important. One of our favourite team bonding activities is to cook together via Zoom. It's the perfect way to wind down after a busy week and have a laugh together.

One of the regulars to host the cooking night is our self-proclaimed Master Chef, Kong Tran. Today he shares one of his most popular recipes with everyone so you can try it for yourself. If you're looking for a new way to spice up your food as well as your video calls, then definitely give this a try! We'd love to hear from you if you do!

Kong: As many of you already know, I love to cook! During our lockdowns, I found myself exploring and trialling a lot more new recipes at home. Some were good and some were awful but the ones that were a hit, I shared with the Lucas team during our Zoom cooking get-togethers. It's not only fun but a great way to stay connected and much more affordable than ordering out. Whether you decide to use this recipe or one of your own, the key to a successful cooking class is to stick with a simple recipe. Keep the cooking time less than 30 minutes and recipes with ingredients that are household staples. Any longer or anything too complex, you might find yourself dealing with a hangry audience.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. fresh cranberries (dried cranberries also fine)
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sprigs rosemary
2 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken skin-side down and cook until the skin is golden and crispy - about 4 minutes. Remove chicken from heat and place on plate, skin side-up.

2. Melt butter in the same skillet then add cranberries, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, and orange zest. Return chicken to skillet and scatter herbs all around. Simmer until the liquid begins to thicken and the cranberries start to soften - 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Transfer to oven and cook until the chicken thighs are cooked through, 18 to 25 minutes more.

4. Optional – If chicken skin is not crispy to your liking, put it back on a fresh pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil skin side down until the chicken skin is crispy. 5. Serve and enjoy!

It's always good fun whether you nail it or fail it. Just make sure you have the local pizza shop on speed dial should you be unlucky enough to get it wrong. The margarita pizza at Renzo’s located on Newquay promenade is always a winner!