Our local Co-Op had special offers on chicken last week – two packs of diced breast for a fiver, and the same for whole breast. I picked up two packs of each and stowed them in the freezer, not least because I’m trying to cut down my red meat consumption.
There was also a head of fennel in the fridge; I love fennel, but tend to forget about it and just lob it in the soup, so I wanted to actually, you know, make something with it deliberately.
In the morning, I took half of one pack of diced chicken – it was in a plastic tray divided into two, so that was simple, and I stuck the other half into a poly bag and replaced it in the freezer.
This evening, I cut the chicken into slightly smaller chunks, and browned it in some olive oil. Put it in a brown bowl, then added sliced fennel and a chopped red onion to tha pan. Sauted the veg until soft, then added a spoonful of Dijon mustard and stirred it round. Added a knob of butter to the pan, and when melted, returned the chicken, and added about a wineglass full of cider, and some seasoning.
Stuck a lid on the pan, and left it for about 12 minutes, then took the lid off and reduced the liquor down, finally adding a little double cream. We ate this with pasta – my share of that was about 35g, which ain’t too bad.
No idea of the calorific value of the rest of the meal, but as Pete and I went for a 6 mile walk this morning, I reckon I’ve earned it 🙂
We had a lovely free range roast chickie! on Bank Holiday Monday, which has pretty much dominated our food this week. Last night – risotto.
As I always say, 5oz risotto rice and 1pint of liquid feeds two hungrish folk. The liquid last night was a mix of lemon juice, rice wine and the indispensable Marigold veg bouillon.
Chopped the fennel and a red onion, and fried very slowly in butter and olive oil until the fennel was cooked. Added the rice, and stirred it round. Added the liquid bit by bit, each time waiting till the rice absorbed the liquor. When it was almost all added, popped in some seasoning, and some shredded cooked chicken, then finished off the liquoring.
Quick, simple, tasty. Try it.
As my regular reader will know, we eat a lot of risotto, but curiously I haven’t made one for ages. We roasted a duck over the Easter weekend, and when I boiled up the carcass for stock, quite a lot of meat came off.
Meals for the next few days had been sort of planned, so I stuck the meat in the freezer for a rainy day. It didn’t rain yesterday, but there was a bulb of fennel that needed eating up, so the duck was pressed into service.
For two people, use 5oz of risotto rice to 1 pint of liquid. For this one, I used the juice of a lemon, some rice wine (well, it was handy!) and water to make it up, with a good pinch of Marigold vegetable powder.
Sliced the fennel fairly thinly, and chopped a red onion, and set them to sauté in some oil and butter. When they were soft, I added the rice and stirred it around to coat it, then started to add the liquid a slosh at a time. Stir it around until the rice has absorbed it, then add more. Strictly speaking, you’re supposed to keep the liquid simmering, but I generally don’t bother. I seasoned with salt and black pepper at some point during the proceedings.
The duck got added with the last slosh of liquor. The whole process took about 20-25 minutes. It was very nice.
using up: a piece of fish, a bulb of fennel, the last third of the bag of spinach.
We’re having a fairly traumatic week, and the reason for this was the cause of the existence of one not very big fillet of anonymous white fish. One of our cats, our beloved Bada, has been and remains exceedingly ill, and a pair of fish fillets was bought to tempt her (it didn’t work).
When I’m unhappy, I cook, and I don’t like to waste food as you know, so here’s what I did.
I poached the fish in milk and water and a little black pepper for a few minutes, then set it aside on a plate to cool. I put the chopped up fennel in the fish water, and simmered it for, oh I don’t know, maybe 12 minutes with no lid, so it cooked and the milk reduced down.
Then I made some white sauce, chunked the fish, and added fish, fennel, and a pack of prawns from the freezer. Put that in an ovenproof dish^H^H tin (the lasagne dish is broken, remember). Piled a layer of spinach on top. Boiled some potatoes, and mashed them with Red Leicester cheese, and added that.
Baked at gas 5 for 25 minutes. Scoffed – gorgeous comfort food.
Using up: cold roast chickie!, old potatoes, spring onions from a friend’s garden, cream bought for supper on Saturday and not eaten (due to circumstances beyond our control)
This is a real bitsa one – I’m pleased with it, because it was lovely.
Chopped some very elderly potatoes into slices about 1/4″ thick, and layered half of them into an ovenproof dish. On top of that went the chopped spring onions, and the chickie! from the carcass I boiled up for soup a couple of days ago. Added some cream and seasoned, grated a little gruyere cheese onto it, then layered the rest of the potatoes on. More cream (you need quite a lot, really), more seasoning, then cut more gruyere into very small dice and scattered them over the top.
I gave it 5 minutes in the microwave to get it started, then it had about 40 minutes on gas 5. Should you try this, make sure you put the dish on a tray in the oven, because ours oozed a bit.
We had it with a bulb of fennel, sliced up, put in a little casserole dish with some of the chicken soup broth, and cooked in the oven alongside the potatoes, to save gas. I really must think more about gas consumption when I’m cooking.
Using up: fennel, courgette, potato
Chopped a courgette into chunks, and the other half of the fennel into thin slices, and chopped an onion. All into a frying pan with some olive oil, and left to sauté down. I left it for 20 minutes, but I think it would have been better to either put a lid on it, or left it another ten – the end result was quite crunchy.
While this is going on, I boiled some spuds for mash,
Added a tin of tomatoes to the vegetable mix, a dash of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and cooked for another 6-7 minutes.
The spuds were mashed with a combination of Red Leicester and gruyere cheeses (that’s odd – why did I capitalise the red leicester and not the Gruyere?), with some reserved for the topping. With hindsight, I thought it was too much cheese – either in, or on – but Pete thought it was just right. We also added some chopped chives to the mash.
Veg/tomato mix into an ovenproof dish, top with mash, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook at gas 6 for about 20 minutes.