Tuesday, 20 July 2010

One pot meal: Chicken with courgettes and green olives

This is one of those handy little recipes which kills a few birds with one stone. It's all done in one pot, which I'm a big fan of (less washing up) and it's a good use for courgettes of which there is already a glut (and they've only just got started.) It's also fairly low fat and children like it.

I bought a wide cast iron pan with a lid from Aldi and it is such a lovely thing to cook meals in. (The posh, the rich and those with generous friends who bought them one for a wedding present will have similar pans made by Le Creuset.)


1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
glug of olive oil
Four or five courgettes
1 pack of chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) - about 250g to 300g cubed chicken
1 cup (about 200g) rice
Pinch of saffron
1/3 cup sherry
1 and 2/3 cup water or chicken stock
handful of pitted green olives
fresh thyme


  1. Chop the onion and garlic and soften in the olive oil.
  2. Chop the courgettes and add to the pan.
  3. Use scissors to snip the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces straight into the pan.
  4. Add the rice, saffron and sherry and bubble until the liquid is reduced.
  5. Pour in the water or stock (I use half a Knorr chicken stockpot) and add the chopped thyme and the green olives.
  6. Put the lid on and leave over a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken and the rice are cooked through.
  7. When it's cooked leave to rest for about 10 minutes. Then check the seasoning and grind over some black pepper before serving.
This makes a nice big pan full and serves four to six people.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Baking on the Edge...

I love a competition me, so imagine my joy at news of the delicious Miss English Mum's latest Big Bakeoff: Baking on the Edge baking competition with the fabulous prize of a Green and Blacks choccy hamper.

Of course I had to get my oven gloves on and have a bit of a bake. The rules are that there are no rules. Excellent. I like things to be clear from the start.

So here goes.

Entry number one:

This is a piece of the Millionaire's Shortbread I made for the Brownies' end of term party. Look at the way it is rudely sticking its little toffee tongue out at you, daring you to eat it. Cheeky thing.

Entry number two:

Coalition cake. I have previously blogged about this cake having first made it just after this year's General Election. It's basically a chocolate and vanilla marble cake, but until further notice I'm calling it Coalition Cake. 

The amount of coalition depends on the current political climate and this one, for some reason, was slightly heavy on the Conservative (represented by the rich, dark chocolate cake). The fragrant, vanilla Lib Dems are obviously not having such a good week this week. It is smothered in vanilla icing, an addition requested by my children. It  has already been on charity duties where it was declared "lush" and raised £14.50.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Bake off!

That title almost sounds rude doesn't it? But it's not, it refers to English Mum's Big Bakeoff which has the rather fabby prize of a stonking hamper from Green and Blacks.

The rules are that there are no rules, you just have to bake something and email it (a picture, not the actual thing!) to English Mum by the end of July. So I will.

Hmmm. The question is, what to cook?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Wild strawberry and orange muffins

We had these for breakfast this morning, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. The garden is full of wild strawberries at the moment - mostly the tiny alpine variety, but also some that are bigger fruited, ripe when pale pink with red pips and with a lovely fragrant taste.


225g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
grated rind of 1 orange

100g (4oz) melted butter (or same weight of sunflower oil)
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
the juice of the orange topped up to 125ml (4 fl oz) with milk

approx 1 big handful of wild strawberries or chopped ordinary strawberries (or other berries).

  • Combine all the dry ingredients. Whisk them with a fork to get some air into the mixture.
  • Combine all the wet ingredients, then add with the strawberries to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir briefly to make a lumpy batter, then spoon into muffin cases and bake at Gas 5 (180 deg C) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Eat while still warm!