The flexibility of a chicken

Roast chickenSometimes you’re walking past the last day shelf in Tesco and a chicken for 2.50 just leaps out at you, you just can’t avoid it!

You think “I can get at least four meals out of it for the two of us!” And you do! As an example meal plan:

  1. A proper Sunday roast. Beautiful crispy roast potatoes, some fresh seasonal vegetables or two. I still haven’t cracked the secret to lovely crunchy potatoes here, but given a variety like King Edwards, they will still be tasty. It’s summer so we just picked up some broad beans from the farmer’s market. Don’t forget the gravy! I should pontificate at length on gravy at another point.Leftover chicken
  2. Then do something with the leftovers. In this case a chicken pie but I was too lazy to make the lid ? This one had some frozen peas, and chopped red pepper in. And obviously, that thing that makes everything better, sweetcorn. You can put in pretty much anything you like. Chop up a leek or throw in left over vegetables. Swede on the side is a nice touch, and fry up left over roast potatoes. Obviously, with the bones, you’ll get between a pint and a litre of stock. You can either just boil the bones or throw in some garlic, chopped onion, carrots, celery, herbs and so on.
  3. Then, with that stock, make soup! Possibly with some leftover gravy added for extra flavour. This soup has noodles, an egg mixed in, some veggies and a soft boiled egg. We get through the eggs in this house! Cantonese chicken and sweetcorn has been perpetrated in this house and that’s good too,
  4. Last but not least, you’ll probably have a chicken breast left over. That’s easy to dispose of: a chicken sandwich. Me, I like nice fresh bread and mango chutney. That’s the right combination of solid and savoury. The other option is to load it up with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and mayonnaise. Either way.On the bread note, we mostly make our own. Either from the components or supermarket mix, and throw it in the bread maker. Good fresh bread for half the price.

And that’s how you get four meals out of some discounted chicken!

Some good links out there:

There’s plenty you can do with a chicken: lemons, put vegetables in the roasting tin. Me, I put smoked paprika and garlic salt on the skin before rubbing with olive oil. The skin is the best bit. Or just buy the thighs and roast them!

The quest for BBQ spare ribs

BBC Barbecue spare ribsSaturday was a win again at the farmer’s market. As well as scoring some excellent broad beans and lovely Crafty Devil beer, Charcutier Ltd again had an offer on their spare ribs so the quest was on to cook them even better! This time, I went for this recipe from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sweetstickyspicyribs_85067

I’m now a big fan of poaching ribs before cooking. It makes the meat so tender!

The sauce in the recipe was fine, ketchup and soy sauce being the base of most of this kind of sauce, however, I spruced it up with:

  • 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

And probably some other bits (cumin?) that I forget. The result was a sauce with a slightly more complex flavour and more depth.

Will definitely use this recipe as a base again!

 

 

 

Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic PestoFor some reason, I bought some wild garlic from the farmer’s market on Sunday. At a loss to know what to do with it, I made pesto.

  • Bunch wild garlic
  • Similar bunch of parsley
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 60g parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil

This is a minimalist version of the Great British Chefs recipe.

As an addendum, with some local input, I’ve found a vast area of wild garlic locally and now have a small carrier bagful to do things with. The BBC seems quite light on recipe suggestions. Got any?

IMG_1159 IMG_0199

BBC Good Food Show 2013, Whoop!

BBC Good Food Hall

Historically, I’ve avoided these things like the plague, imagining they’re dominated by big brands with a few little fish round the edge. Turns out I was wrong. Whoop!

 

I know for next time how to play it:

  • Avoid the booze at the start like the plague. Yes, gin at 11 in the morning is lovely, but a hangover at 12 can really put a crimp on the rest of your day.
  • Pace yourself. You don’t have to sample all of the things. I was feeling a bit wobbly after we’d done the floor and couldn’t really face anything by the time we got to the balcony. The girl throwing up outside had clearly overdone it.
  • Start savoury and build up to sweet. Don’t mix them!
  • Take your TIME. There’s all day.
  • Drink water.
  • Learn to blank out Jamie Oliver
  • Chillies are big. Save them for the last of the savoury.
  • There’s a whole wine thing upstairs which you’ll miss if you’ve overdone the craft gin!
  • Fancy tea and coffee is a big thing.
  • Craft gin distilleries are springing up all over the country. And vodka. There’s a distillery bar in the City.
  • There are lots of cookery courses.
  • Every man and his dog is doing chutneys, sauces and condiments. It’s getting very hard to differentiate now.

So here’s a list of the companies that stood out to me.

Food:

  • Farmison do deliveries based around Saturday Kitchen. Not completely sure how useful this is, but it’s a good tie-in.
  • Simply Cook More recipe-based box setness
  • Hellofresh Another recipe-based shipper!
  • Lemporia Very nice array of Italian artisan food. They have a place on Maltby Stret Market on Saturday. Worth a visit. Interesting alternative to Borough.
  • The Japan Centre That is all. Our supermarket in central London.
  • Mr Todiwala His pickles and chutneys stood out in a very crowded market.
  • Black Acorn do very tasty pork things.
  • The Pelagonia Range do interesting and tasty Macedonian goodies!

Drink:

  • Equalitea Huge tea importer. Biodynamic so it’s nice magic is involved.
  • Tea Studio. More tea. Cute postcards!
  • Cupari wines I like Argentinian wines. That is all.
  • Sea Island Coffee Weird and rare coffee from around the world. Want to try the Hawaiian!

There is so much more and something for every taste. Maybe there’s a case for going in with a mission, say, preserved meats, smoked foods, cheese or condiments and when you’ve exhausted that, go back and revisit things that stood out on the first lap. Certainly next time I’m going far better prepared!