Austin360Cooks: Weekly lunches bring Bastrop family together

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Tim and Linda Dinnean. Photo by @dinntlt.

Tim Dinnean says that about three years ago, his mother-in-law went to live in a nursing home, which left his father-in-law, Marvin Neff, living alone in Bastrop.

Marvin’s four daughters, including Tim’s wife, Linda, decided that each of them would cook lunch for their dad at least once a week. “It quickly became apparent that everyone would show up for these lunches, and it became a family gathering,” Tim says. “When it’s our turn to cook, I tend to do the cooking and Linda is my sous chef. It’s been a great way to try new dishes and stretch our culinary legs.”

In the past few months, Dinnean has cooked — and posted to his Instagram, @dinntlt — chicken-fried chicken, chicken and sausage gumbo with grilled quail, bean and kale stew with pasta, braised short ribs, and roasted chicken adobo, which is pretty impressive considering how little Tim knew about food when he and Linda married in the early 1980s.

“We both had no kitchen skills but became interested in cooking through PBS cooking shows of the time,” he says, including Julia Child and Jeff Smith. “These days we get ideas and inspiration from the places we are able to travel to, the Internet, as well as cooking shows.” His new favorites are Anthony Bourdain and Lidia Bastianich. “We all enjoy cooking for each other and though we are not trying to out do one another, we do try to impress.”

Note: This post is part of an ongoing #Austin360Cooks project. Tag your photos on social media with that hashtag to share what you’re cooking with others and have a chance at seeing your recipe and story published in the Wednesday food section of the Austin American-Statesman.

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Portuguese Chicken and Potatoes with Sausage was one of the meals Tim Dinnean made for his father-in-law, Marvin, during their weekly lunches. Photo from @dinntlt.

Portuguese Chicken and Potatoes with Sausage

8 skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. paprika
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 large Portuguese linguica or Spanish chorizo, sliced
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 small jalapeño, sliced (seeds removed for less heat)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 small orange, zest and juice
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Combine flour and paprika in a large bowl, and then toss the chicken in the mixture to coat, shaking off the excess.

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, then remove to a large plate and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the pot. Add the sausage and cook until browned; remove with a slotted spoon and add to the plate with the chicken. Add the thyme, garlic, celery, bay leaf, jalapeño slices and onion to the pot and cook until softened.

Deglaze with the wine. Stir in the stock, potatoes, lemon and orange zest with juice and tomatoes. Return the meat to the pot and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and potatoes are done, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley to serve. Serves 8.

— Tim Dinnean


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