Lots of great recipes but having just been given a slow cooker I might give this Mexican Beef Stew a go. Normally I cook in a casserole on our wood burner top so it will be interesting to see what, if any, difference a slow cooker makes. Feel free to let me know any slow cooker ideas below!
I’m always a fan of food that minimises the washing up so one pot or one tray dishes are great. We had some chicken breasts in the freezer that I wanted to use and so the tray bake idea appeared. Chorizo is currently one of my favourite foods and definitely made this more enjoyable than some of my previous one pot chicken dinners.
4 chicken breasts
1 chorizo link
1 tbsp paprika
10 or so shallots
1 sweet potato
First of all, if you use carrot (or anything that takes as long to cook as normal potatoes) either parboil it or chop it small, I thought I’d chopped up the carrot enough but it needed another 10 to 15 minutes cooking.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5. Peel the shallots but leave them whole, place in a large roasting tin. Remove the skin from the chorizo, slice into rough 1cm (ish) chunks and add to the tin. Keep the peppers reasonably chunky but the carrot and potato need to be smaller (no more than 1in square for the sweet potato and keep carrots around half that size) – cut the tomatoes in half and scatter everything round the tin before drizzling with oil and scattering over the paprika. Nestle the chicken in the veg and bake for 20 minutes.
This can use up pretty much any veg you have lying round and is really easy. The chicken, chorizo and paprika partnership works (and was even nicer heated up for lunch the next day) and the Other Half deemed it delicious so it was a win all round. Now to find some more dishes I can use chorizo in, suggestions welcome!!
It’s most unusual for me to cook for just myself but small person is away and the Other Half is out for the evening. At this point I either normally have takeaway or kids tea (chips, beans and some form of frozen, breadcrumbed meat) but as we had some defrosted chicken, plus a couple of lemons that needed using up, I decided to do some sticky chicken.
The recipe (adapted from one on BBC Good Food) is pretty much one pot for cooking although I did have to use a bowl for the marinade, which consisted of:
2 lemons, zest and juice
3 tbsp honey (use clear/runny honey if possible)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp black pepper
This was mixed together and chicken breasts (slashed on one side) were dunked, rolled and generally smothered in it. I stuck this in the fridge for 2 hours but you could do anything from 20 minutes to overnight.
When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to Gas Mark 7 and halve some new potatoes (I used about 200g for just me which was a little too much) into a roasting tray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add it to the tray. At this point I melted about 25g of butter and added this to the marinade before pouring it over the chicken and potatoes and mixing well. Cook for half an hour in the oven (I added peas for the last 5 minutes) and make sure you serve with the pan juices.
Talking of pan juices, I really didn’t think there was enough and the honey was a little strong for me so next time I’ll halve the honey and double the butter. I also paired this with a French Sparkling Chardonnay which worked with the lemon tastes but was completely overwhelmed by the honey. Someone far more knowledgeable than me, on the Naked Wines website, suggested a Vermentio which could have worked well. They also did not like the effect of the marinade on the potatoes (although I don’t think they used butter which altered it slightly) but the recipe would go just as well with some parmentier potatoes or rice. Another wine suggestion was Rioja Blanco which I also think could work well.
All in, not a terrible disaster, plus we still have some lovely chicken for lunches this week and the washing up was minimal. Besides all that, I got to drink a whole bottle of bubbles and watch frothy girlie films to myself for an evening!