Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Cheap and Healthy Sunday Dinner

Occasionally I get a recipe that I adore. Courgette Carbonara is definitely one of them. Salmon with brown rice and baby veg is another. And these are meals I probably cook every other week. Not every week, as that gets a bit boring, but every other weeks means I'm sure I get a meal I really like, and also means I get the spend other evenings trying new things.

But I'm a bit choosy picky fussy particular about the quality of the food that I eat. I do not like junk food, but I cannot afford organic. Matt needs his carbs, but I am now gluten-free. So when I find something that's healthy, filling and cheap - it's by all means going to be a winner. Providing it tastes good, of course.

I first tried Nigella's Praised Chicken recipe back when Nigella Kitchen first aired in September and I got the book for my birthday back in September. It was okay. But it ticked all the right boxes so I had to stick with it.

This week, however, I cracked it. I'll be the first to admit that I had to leave out some of the ingredients because I just couldn't justify it. No wine is going into my food (I prefer to drink it) and it said I could use dried herbs - so I did - but they just didn't do it for me. I also do not own garlic oil and I am certainly not going to go out and buy it especially for this dish so I just didn't bother. And as you would expect when you don't follow a recipe correctly it turned out just okay.

So this time, I added some minced garlic (thanks to the amazing Garlic Twist that my mother bought me for Christmas) to the oil before adding the chicken. I also added a bay leaf and used some fresh herbs that I had recently bought, not used all of, and chucked them in the freezer. The fresh parsley to garnish was also a really good touch and something I will do again.

This result was much much better than my previous efforts. Matt really enjoyed it, as did I, and I had enough chicken and celery leftover to create a chicken salad thanks to a handful of salad leaves and a dollop of greek yoghurt! The chicken literally falls off the bones with this recipe and you seem to get so much more out of it than when you roast it - totally worth it for the sake of crispy skin!

A cheap, healthy Sunday dinner with enough leftovers to make a chicken salad, chicken soup or some chicken fried rice for the following day. Yum.

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