Tag Archives: asparagus

Summer Chicken Tray Bake

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Inspired from a recipe in the Hairy Bikers “Hairy Dieters” book. Their recipe included chorizo (75g, thinly sliced) which would have been a fabulous addition, alas none was to be found in my house. This is a really pretty and straight-forward dish and would make a great centre-piece for people to help themselves, on its own or accompanied by a leafy salad.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

4-5 chicken breasts (approx 600-700g) deeply slashed every inch or so
2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges
500g new potatoes, cut into inch cubes if large/left whole if small
8 whole garlic cloves, in their skins
4 large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
10 or so sundried tomatoes, halved
handful asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano/mixed herbs
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 peppers (colour of your choosing!) cut into 1cm thick strips
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Stick onions, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes in a large roasting tin. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt, drizzle with a little oil (I used the oil from the sundried tomatoes) turn everything over with a spoon or similar implement. Roast for 20 minutes. Mix the paprika, turmeric and oregano and set aside.

Put the chicken breasts on a board, season all over with ground pepper. Remove the vegetables from the oven, sprinkle over half of the spice mix, shake/turn to coat. Add the sundried tomatoes (and chorizo if you’re lucky enough to have some!). Lay the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix – open up the slices and try to get some in if possible. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the tin from the oven. Holding one corner (use oven gloves, obviously) tip the tray ever so slightly so the juices run down to the opposite corner. I recommend tipping it slightly away from you as if there are any spillages at least it will go toward the relative safety of the top of the oven and not all over you and the floor! Spoon the juice back over everything – concentrate more on the chicken. Add the pepper strips around the chicken.

Return the tray to the oven and turn up to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 for ten minutes. Remove and lay the asparagus spears over the top of everything. Return to the oven one final time for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Stab a couple of the potatoes to ensure they’re cooked through and serve.

J

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Easy Chinese Prawns, Asparagus & Rice

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So I’m not really a Jamie Oliver fan. Too much olive oil, too much salt, too many annoying cockney-isms. But his food is good and his 30 Minutes Meals book is pretty useful when you want to cook something tasty and new, knowing it’s not going to consume your whole evening. So we basically stole this recipe from there.

Serves 2

Ingredients

200g prawns
1 cup basmati rice
½ cup peas
½ cup sweetcorn
200g asparagus (9-10 fat sticks, 15-16 skinny sticks)
2 handfuls baby spinach
5-6 spring onions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp soy sauce
glug of sweet chilli sauce (or similar)
handful fresh coriander
1 tsp chinese five spice
1 chilli
2 cloves garlic

Method

Boil water for the rice. Add two cups of water to one cup of rice in a pan and cook to taste. Place the prawns in a sandwich bag, add a glug of olive oil and a glug of chilli oil/sesame oil/any interesting oil you have to hand, the chinese five spice, salt and pepper and give it all a good shake (make sure to close the bag first!). Stick some oil in a frying pan and add the prawns on a medium heat. Squeeze over the juice of ½ the lemon. If you fancy a sticky sauce, add a glug of honey or golden syrup.

Add the asparagus to a hot griddle pan with a sprinkling of salt and cook until “al dente” (approximately 7-8 minutes, we took one off to nibble and check). Wilt the spinach in a saucepan with a knob of butter. Check the rice – if cooked add the spring onions, peas, sweetcorn, egg, soy sauce, chilli sauce and the other half of the lemon juice. Allow time for the rice to steam and the egg to cook. You may have to whack on the heat for a minute or two.

A couple of minutes before you serve add a handful of flaked almonds to the prawns. Once everything is ready, plate up, drizzle with a dash of soy sauce, sprinkle with coriander and eat*!

J&W

*we had ours with the birthday champagne W bought. Lar-di-dar.