Tag Archives: quick chicken dish

Chicken, orange and fennel traybake and ringing bells

There are people who set off alarms bells — figuratively and metaphorically —and there are people who don’t. Obviously I fall into the ‘set off loudly’ category. A few years ago, I ended up having to ask our Mayor to intervene with a letter to the area Chief of Police because I was being stopped virtually every single time I left the house. It wasn’t all bad though: I once had a very enlightening conversation, pre-Brexit, with a sandwichless picnic type of police officer who took the time to explain, quite condescendingly I thought, that my GB driving licence was not valid in France because Britain was not in Europe and never had been. There’s not a lot you can say to that.

My perennial aura of culpability follows me everywhere, including security and  customs, both of which I seem incapable of negotiating without a full body search and scan and lengthy interrogation.  I was once detained for some time at the Eurostar terminal in Waterloo while they searched my luggage at length. Bizarrely, this included going through and watching a load of perfectly innocent films on videotape that I had brought with me from France. This was before mobile ‘phones and my mother, imagining that I’d missed my train, gave up and went home without me.

A few days ago, Gatwick airport gave me a chance to flex my wannabe hooligan muscles once again when my baggage and I were stopped no fewer than three times. Poor Léo, who had gone ahead without a single hitch, had to wait for me on The Other Side, and was forced to explain, rather long-sufferingly, that if he was still hanging around it was because he was waiting for his ‘anarchist mother’; they immediately took pity and even offered him a chair.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 chicken thighs

2 spring onions, peeled and sliced

2 bulbs fennel, roughly chopped

2 chilli peppers, sliced

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 handful sage leaves

1 large orange, peeled and cut into segments

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

1 tablespoon honey

Pre-heat oven to 220C. Arrange all the ingredients in a baking tray, drizzling olive  oil over everything and seasoning with salt and pepper, fennel seeds, curry powder and honey. Cook for 40 minutes, squeeze the garlic from its skins and serve. Delicious with rice, fresh pasta or new potatoes.

Chicken with bacon and white wine and the latest dog horseplay

chickenwhitewine2

As I have absolutely no wish to linger on last weekend and Léo’s ‘totally cool skis that go backwards as well as forwards’ (this, according to the man in the rental shop, was a selling point), I’m going to talk about the dogs and their latest antics. Hugo and Java are a generation apart in dog years. While Hugo certainly isn’t averse to a bit of television (Scooby Doo being his favourite), he doesn’t really ‘do’ computers. Java does, and she apparently has strong opinions on graphics; yesterday she took unusual and hysterical exception to the screensaver that Léo had installed. I don’t blame her really – it was a sort of Grufallo monster menacingly yielding a leg of lamb. Anyway, she was ear-splittingly inconsolable until the offending image was replaced with something more serene. Meanwhile, Hugo was outside digging the World’s Biggest Hole. He was gone a couple of hours and, after frantic searching, I found him stranded 2m below ground level, covered in mud and sand trying to ‘liberate’ an unidentified, and no doubt petrified, small animal. He looked quite relieved to see me and my sturdy rope because I think he realised there was no way he was getting out on his own. In future Hugo: When you’re in a hole, stop digging!

This dish is quick and easy to make, but no less delicious for it. It is adapted from ‘Nigella Express’.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, washed and cut both ways

1 onion, chopped

4 mushrooms, sliced

4 rashers bacon

4 chicken escalopes (approx. 125g each)

100ml white wine

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the olive oil in the frying pan and heat. Add the leek, onion, mushrooms and bacon and fry until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Fry the chicken until cooked through (a couple of minutes on each side). Put the bacon back into the pan, add the wine and cook until the wine bubbles. Season to taste and serve with rice and a salad or green beans.