Do you hate washing dishes? me too. What I do love are simple one pot recipes that you can throw in the oven and forget about.
If you haven’t come across orzo before, its a type of pasta that looks like big fat grain of rice. I discovered it by accident ages ago when I wasn’t concentrating in the supermarket and thought it was rice. It’s fantastic in soups and stews because it’s smaller than other pastas, but you can treat it like normal pasta.
You can tweak this dish to suit what you have in the fridge. I used thyme and dill because I had some in my window box, but use what herbs you like. The thyme, dill and lemon gives it a really nice flavour that reminds me of Greek dishes.
1 large, or 2 small chicken thighs per person (I use ones with skins on and on the bone but boneless ones are fine too)
2 Stalks of celery
350 Grams Orzo (dry weight)
800 ml Chicken or vegetable stock
2 Lemons (juice of one lemon, and the other sliced)
2 Tbsp Herbs (I used dill and thyme)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, and heat an oven proof dish on your stove top before adding the chicken thighs
Seal the chicken on each side, and then remove the thighs and set to one side.
Add the vegetables (chopped into 2cm chunks) to the pan (if using skinless thighs, add a tablespoon of oil to the pan) and fry gently for 5 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed
Add the orzo, lemon juice and stock to the pan and stir well to make sure any delicious chicken brown bits from the bottom of the pan are stirred into the stock
Place the chicken back into the dish and top with the slices of lemon and herbs.
Cover the dish and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes
I love the flavours in a burrito bowl, and knocked this up one evening when I was craving some Tex Mex. You can adjust the chilli depending on how much heat you like.
This is full of great colours and flavours, and loads of protein. For vegetarians, this is also a super tasty meal without the chicken.
I topped this with some grated cheese, but it would also be fantastic topped with some avocado or sour cream (or all three if you’re straying into pure filth territory).
This is also a one pot dish, so less washing up is a win win.
Chicken thighs (8 small or 4 large)
1 Onion (sliced)
1 Red pepper (sliced)
400 Gram Tin of black beans
100 Gram Sweetcorn (I used frozen)
1 Tsp Smoked paprika
1 Tsp Chilli powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Cloves of garlic (minced)
300 Grams Rice (I like basmati)
Handful of chopped coriander (optional)
Heat a large flat bottomed pan (you will need one with a lid or that you can cover)
Add the chicken thighs (skin side down first), cook until brown, turn and seal the other side
Add the onion and peppers and cook for another 5-10 minutes
Add the spices, garlic, corn and rice to the pan and stir well
Add the passata and a little water, cover with a lid and simmer for 5-10 minutes
Stir the mixture adding more water if it needs it (the rice should absorb all the liquid, so if the rice still isn’t cooked keep adding water (a little at a time, until its absorbed and the rice is cooked)
Stir in the coriander if you’re using it (I know some people detest it, so please yourself). Serve in bowls with your favourite topping or just as it is
This takes a bit longer than my normal recipes, but since we’re all stuck at home, time is the one thing we all have plenty of.
In my bid to use up what’s been hanging around my cupboards I found some pearl barley. I was craving carbs and since selfish wingnuts have cleared the super market shelves of rice and pasta this made a nice change. It takes a bit longer to cook, but is worth the time.
I used chicken thighs with the bones left in, and removed the skin to make “chicken crackling” . I know this is probably not especially healthy but sometimes a little indulgence does no harm, it’s not like you’re going to eat it everyday. If you want to give it s miss, this still makes a really delicious and satisfying meal.
150 Grams Pearl barley
4 Large chicken thighs
10 Grams Dried mushrooms
100 Grams Fresh mushrooms
250 Grams Spring greens (you can use broccoli, spinach or any other green vegetables you like)
250 ml White wine
250 ml Chicken stock
Large sprig of rosemary (finely chopped)
2 Cloves of garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp Oil
Large knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Soak the dried mushrooms in a small amount of warm water
Heat the oil and butter in a pan
Roughly chop the onions and mushrooms. Add to the pan and fry until soft. Remove from the pan and set to one side
Remove the skin from the chicken, and set to one side
Add the chicken thighs to the pan and seal on both sides
Add the barley, dried mushrooms and the water they soaked in, wine and stock to the pan. Cover with a lid, bring to boil and simmer over s low heat for 30-40 minutes (check the cooking instructions on the packet of barley, and cook for the recommended time
Trim the chicken skin and flatten on a baking sheet before sprinkle with salt. Place another baking tin on top of the chicken skin to keep it flat and bake in an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees for 20-30minutes, or until golden brown
if using Spring greens, remove the stalks and roll up the leaves, cut these into 2cm strips
After 30 minutes of cooking, check on the barley, adding more water if necessary
Add the garlic, rosemary, and spring greens to the pan, cover again and cook for a further 10 minutes until the barley is tender and has a creamy consistency, and check the seasoning (a bit like a risotto)
Serve chicken and barley with shards of the chicken crackling, you can also crumble it across the dish
Moroccan food is amazing, and healthy to boot. I had a proper tagine pot (authentic clay pot with a cone shaped lid), for all of 3 weeks before breaking it. The good thing is that you can make in any pot or dish with a well fitting lid. I cooked my tagine on the stove top, but can bake it in the oven if you prefer.
Tagines are slow cooked stews, and can be made with a variety of meat, and vegetables. Authentic tagines often use dried fruit such as prunes or apricots to add sweetness to balance out the heat of the harissa. I didn’t have any dried fruit, but this is still delicious. This is pretty hot, if you can’t handle alot of spice use less harissa or do what it did and add a dollop of yoghurt to cool things down.
8 Small Chicken thighs
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Large carrot
1 Large onion
1 Large courgette
1 Red pepper
1 Tsp Ground cumin
2 Cloves of garlic (minced)
1-2 Tbsps Preserved lemons (I made these myself, but you can also buy them from most supermarkets
1 Tbsp Harissa Paste (Again I made this myself, but you can buy this in supermarkets)
500ml Chicken stock (I used a stock cube)
400gm Can of chickpeas
In a large pan with a lid, add the olive oil, and when hot add the chicken thighs and seal
Cut the vegetables into chunks (I like this quite rustic)
Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes
Chop the preserved lemons finely and add to the pan along with the other ingredients and stir
Put the lid on to the pot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 45 minutes