One Pot Chicken, Veg & Rice.
Chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks or quarters)
Roasting veg, I tend to use peppers and carrots and baby corn.
Stock or water.
Put the dry rice on the bottom of a large (lidded) oven proof dish. chop the veg into big chunks, later on top of the rice, then the chicken pieces on top of the veg. Pour the stock or water on top and cook at Gas 4 for 1-2 hours.
For the rice:stock ratio I weigh the dry rice, 2oz per adult, 1 oz per child. then I dump it into a measuring jug, I make it with 4 oz which is ¼ pint of dry rice, for white rice double this and add ½ pint of stock, for brown rice add just under ¾ pint of stock.
Garlic & Herb Focaccia style bread sticks
These are another soup accompaniment. Very tasty, and pretty quick, for bread!
A heaped teaspoon of white sugar
1 (7g) sachet of dried yeast
3 fl oz warm milk (or water)
10 oz flour (I use Doves Farm Gluten Free White Bread flour, with half a teaspoon of baking powder added)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped finely
herbs or your choice, dried or chopped fresh
A glug of olive oil
Salt for garnish
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the milk, leave for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and frothy. Mix in the flour, garlic and herbs, add a little extra milk or water to make a slightly sticky dough, but one that holds it’s shape, not soggy!
Pour a glug of olive oil into a medium sized dish, drop the dough into it and roll to coat with oil. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes. It should rise a fair bit, but may not double in size like wheat dough does.
Turn out and knead for a minute, just to make it smooth, then divide into 8-10 portions, shape into batons, score the tops and brush (or spray) with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake at 250c (500f/Gas 10) for 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden.
I made these with sage and thyme to go with the chicken and sweetcorn soup, they were stunning!
Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup
Left over roast chicken (the whole thing, bones, skin, the lot!)
1 or 2 leeks
1 medium/2 small potatoes
Two or three handfuls of sweetcorn, tinned or frozen
This is more of a chicken and veg soup really, but my girls refer to it as chicken & sweetcorn! I make this with the left overs from a roast chicken, once the majority of the meat is gone I shove the carcass into a pan (or the slow cooker) cover it with freshly boiled water and boil it gently for 30-60 minutes (or all day/several hours in the slow cooker). Strain out the bones and strip off the last bits of meat once it’s cooled off a bit, keeping the stock for the soup.
Roughly chop leeks and sweat in some olive oil until soft but not browned, add a clove or two of crushed/chopped garlic, then after a couple of minutes add the stock. Into this add a couple of potatoes, maybe a parsnip (all peeled and roughly chopped) and a couple of handfuls of sweetcorn. There should be enough veg to nearly fill the pan, but be covered by the stock. Simmer this for about half an hour, then blend with the hand blitzer until it’s all smooth. Add back the chicken meat (cut or shredded if it’s in big pieces) and another handful of sweetcorn. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sage & thyme.
Cranberry & Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 oz butter
5 oz soft brown sugar (like muscovado)
4 oz self-raising flour
2 oz cocoa powder
1 small pack of chocolate chips (about 4 oz)
2 oz dried cranberries
Soften the butter in the microwave, until it’s very soft, but not liquid and melted. Add the sugar and egg, mix well. Mix in the flour and cocoa powder, then the choc chips and cranberries. Put heaped teaspoons of the mixture on a baking tray (I can generally get two dozen cookies, spread over two baking trays, they rise and spread, so not too close together) and bake at gas 4/350f/180c for 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before handling/eating.
Be creative with this, start with a basic mix of 4 oz butter, 5 oz sugar, 1 egg & 6 oz flour and add what ever you fancy. I do a spiced cranberry & orange version at christmas, adding ginger & cinnamon, and dried cranberries and mixed candied peel instead of chocolate chips. Plain ginger works well too, add candied/glace ginger and a good teaspoon of dried ginger to the mixture, and of course theres white chocolate & raspberry, or almond, what ever you like best in a cookie. I find the more “lumps” you have in the mixture, the less it spreads, and vice versa, few lumps results in a wider, thinner cookie, but to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever bakes two identical batches, but they always taste really good!
A quick note
I’m no Nigella, these are just the recipes that keep me and my children fed with as little fuss as possible. I have Coeliac Disease, so when I say Self Raising flour, I’m using Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour, and dried pasta is gluten free from the Free From shelves of my local supermarket. However, you don’t have to cook these with gluten free flour, normal wheat flour (or pasta) works exactly the same, just do what works for you.
I don’t claim to have invented these recipes, I’ve gathered them and modified them here and there, but they aren’t “mine”. I’m just sharing them.
A One-Pot quick meal
1 pack of good sausages
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2-3 heaped teaspoons of red pesto
veg of your choice, chopped up small enough to cook fairly quickly, our favourite is mixed peppers
Dried pasta shapes (I think penne works really well) enough to feed 2-4 people.
Cut the sausages into bite sized pieces (or squeeze chunks of the sausage meat out of the skins) and, in a large pan, cook these in a small amount of olive oil. Add the onion (chopped) and garlic (crushed or chopped) and cook, stirring to stop it sticking, until the sausage balls are browned and the onion is soft. Add the pasta and veg, tinned tomatoes and pesto, and just enough water to cover the pasta. Give it a good stir, put the lid on and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.
I use nice meaty sausages for this, 97% pork, like Debbie & Andrews or The Black Farmers.
Chocolate Banana Cake
My best ever cake recipe.
4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
2 medium bananas
4 oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 oz cocoa
Soften the butter (in a microwave) until it’s very soft, but not runny and melted, add the sugar, eggs and bananas, and blitz with a hand blender until it’s completely smooth. Mix in the flour, baking powder and cocoa, pour into a lined cake tin, or muffin tins and bake at gas 4/180 for 30 minutes for a cake, 20-25 minutes for muffins.
Cheese Dunking biscuits
These are brilliant with soup, especially tomato based ones.
6 oz grated cheese
4 oz Self Raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz butter
Put flour, baking powder and butter into a food processor and blitz til like breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and give a quick whiz, then add the egg and process into a dough.
Roll out on a floured surface, cut into chunky strips and place on baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes at Gas 6/200c until lightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.
Tomato, butter bean & chorizo soup
1 leek (or large onion)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 small tin of butter beans
1 red pepper
6-8 slices of chorizo sausage
About a third of a red, orange and yellow pepper, chopped.
Chop the leek, and garlic, soften in olive oil, add paprika, tomatoes, butter beans and (chopped) red peppers, simmer gently for 20-30 minutes. Take off the heat and blitz until smooth, then add chopped mixed peppers and chorizo cut into small pieces. Cook gently for another 5 minutes or so, add water if it’s too thick for your liking, and season with salt & pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese.