crispy lemon chicken

Utterly delicious and so simple to prepare, my CRISPY LEMON CHICKEN is the perfect meal, for any day or occasion.
With a few simple ingredients and only a few minutes of prep time, you can have a delicious meal on the table in less than an hour. And since this meal is another great one pan wonder, you hardly have any clean up to do.
For extra flavour, marinade the meat for at least 30 minutes or overnight in a little oil, lemon juice, herbs and chicken rub.

Serve this beautiful, fragrant dish with couscous or baby potatoes and a side of vegetables or salad and extra lemon wedges.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
8 chicken pieces (i used thighs and drumsticks)
2T olive oil
2T butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 medium white onion, diced
1/4C fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1C chicken stock
1/2C dry white wine
2t dried oregano
handful fresh thyme, leaves only
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper
fresh coriander, to garnish

method
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Rub the chicken pieces with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet, and brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 6 minutes. Turn and brown for a further 3 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
In the same skillet, without wiping it clean, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and butter and sauté the onion until glossy. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bits off the bottom. Reduce by half. Add the oregano, lemon zest & thyme and cook for one minute.
Pour the chicken stock and lemon juice into the skillet, bring to a simmer, season with salt & pepper and place the chicken pieces back into the pan.
Carefully transfer the skillet to the hot oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the chicken pieces are cooked and the sauce have thickened slightly.
Remove the skillet from the oven and add the chopped parsley.

Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon slices or wedges.


brisket & veg mash pie

Because brisket is a tough cut of meat, it yields the best results when slow cooked or braised for a couple of hours using a slow cooker or in your oven, at a low temperature.
Cooked right, brisket is rendered soft with incredible flavor. The meat falls apart and easily shreds, which makes this the perfect cut to cook in advance and freeze to use for pies, quesadillas, tacos or served on top of baked potato or mash. I also often use pulled brisket to serve with pappardelle pasta in a red wine & garlic sauce.

My inspiration for this dish came from a favorite in my home, Shepherd’s pie. I used pulled brisket from my freezer that I cooked for 4.5 hours in a delicious home made BBQ sauce and added chopped, streaky bacon to enhance the flavor.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
600g cooked brisket, roughly chopped or pulled
1 white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
200g streaky bacon, sliced
2 large carrots, cubed
3 leeks, chopped
2 stalks rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
1C frozen peas
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 can crushed tomato
2T Worcester sauce
2T tomato paste
2C beef stock
1T brown sugar
1/2t salt
1t black pepper
2T olive oil
1T butter

for the mash
6 medium potatoes, cubed
1 garlic clove, halved
4T butter
1/3c sour cream or normal cream
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and fry the bacon until almost crispy. About five minutes. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil & butter in the same skillet and saute the onion until glossy. Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute.
Add the carrots, leeks, garlic, rosemary & bay leaf, stir to coat and cook for a further two minutes.
Tip the cooked brisket into the pot and stir. Add the crushed tomato, Worcester sauce, sugar, salt & pepper and simmer for about five minutes while stirring.
Pour the beef stock into the pot and bring to a light boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for the mixture for about 20 – 25 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the carrots are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Remove the pot from the heat, stir the frozen peas through the mixture and set aside.

For the mash
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the cubed potato and garlic clove until very soft.
Strain and tip the potatoes back into a dry pot. Place the pot on medium heat and dry the potatoes for about four minutes, tossing every now and again.
Add the butter and sour cream or normal cream and mash everything together.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
To remove small lumps, rapidly whisk until smooth.

Spoon the mashed potato onto the meat mixture and smooth it out with a spatula. Use a fork to make grooves/patterns in the mash.
Place the pot, uncovered, into the preheated oven and bake for about twenty minutes until the surface is lightly browned.

Serve with a garden salad.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


creamy paprika & tomato chicken thighs

For this dish i used skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which was perfect as it soaked up all the beautiful flavours while cooking .
Paprika adds such amazing flavour to food! Here it gave an amazing earthy flavour to the food that complimented the tartness of the tomato beautifully.
I served this with a side of fragrant Jasmin rice and buttered green beans.
If you are on a tight schedule then this recipe is perfect for you!

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
3T olive oil
1T butter
deboned, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped or sliced
2t paprika
5 thyme sprigs, leaves only
dried mixed herbs
dried oregano
2 medium carrots, grated
200ml chicken stock
100ml cream
1 can chopped tomato
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2t salt
black pepper

Heat olive oil & butter on a medium heat. Sauté the onion until glossy, about 4 minutes. Carefully drop the chicken thighs into the skillet and brown on all sides. Add the paprika, thyme, oregano, mixed herbs & grated carrots, stir through and cook for about three minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and reduce by about half.
Add the chopped tomato, stir through and cook for about two minutes.
Pour the cream into the skillet and leave to simmer on a low heat for about five minutes until thickened.

Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x



lamb casserole with mustard dumplings

I love a slow cooked meat stew packed with vegetables, taste & earthiness and a lot of love. The secret to any good stew or casserole is time, patience and attention.
I had a fair amount of cooked leg of lamb in my freezer, which was perfect for this dish. The meat cooked slowly at a low heat in a thick beef & wine broth with a mixture of carrots, leeks & celery.
Good substitutes for the leg of lamb are lamb shoulder, stewing beef, lamb neck and even brisket.
The dumplings make the perfect accompaniment here, soaking up all that wonderful flavour and bringing that extra little something to an already perfect meal.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
900g cooked leg of lamb (or any other cut, raw)
3T olive oil
3T butter
350ml good red wine
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, sliced diagonally or 200g baby carrots
3 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
2 large leeks, halved and sliced
3T tomato puree
3T all purpose flour
3T worcester sauce
6 sprigs thyme
2T brown sugar
500ml chicken or lamb stock
1t salt
1t black pepper

dumplings
150g self raising flour
130g plain / Greek yogurt
1.5T english or dijon mustard (or a mixture)
handful parsley, finely chopped
handful chives, finely chopped
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Slice the cooked lamb to the desired size and set aside.
Alternatively, if using uncooked meat, cut it into the desired size. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the meat all over. Remove and set aside.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet. Fry the onion until glossy. Add the carrots, celery & leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree, stir and cook for two minutes.
Now add the flour and stir through. Deglaze the skillet with the red wine and cook the mixture for about two minutes, while stirring. Tip the meat back into the skillet and stir to mix.
Add the worcester sauce, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper & brown sugar. Stir.
Pour the stock into the pot and bring the mixture to the boil.
Turn the heat down, cover with a tight fitting lid and carefully place the skillet into the preheated oven for two hours.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings.
Mix all the ingredient together to make a wet dough. Roll the dough into equal sized balls and set aside.

Carefully remove the casserole from the oven. Place the dumplings on top of the meat mixture and cover with the lid. Place the skillet back into the oven and cook for a further 20 – 25 minutes.

Garnish the dish with fresh parsley or chives or thyme leaves and serve with a side or couscous or rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




pork belly – soft and deliciously crispy

i will be lying if i said that this is an old recipe of mine and a dish that i regularly cook as this was my first taste of pork belly in a little over a decade…or two.
admitting that i have missed out on very delicious food for a very long time. i have so many new dishes to look forward to!!
a relatively cheap cut of meat, pork belly is best cooked low and slow. i love the meat juicy and tender with the perfect crackling dressing the meat like a protective hat.
use a good, drinkable wine for this dish.
serve the pork belly with creamy mash, buttery vegetables, roasted sweet potato or asian slaw.
leftovers are great in pasta or with baked potato or wrapped in asian rice paper with coriander and a spicy sauce.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
2kg pork belly
4tbs olive oil (not extra virgin)
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, quartered
1 garlic bulb, cut in half, skin on
4 celery ribs, roughly chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
few sprigs fresh thyme
500ml good white wine
2c chicken stock
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp fennel seeds
2tsp coarse salt
black pepper
chives or spring onion (optional)

how to do it
preheat the oven to 250 degrees C. place all of the vegetables into a large roasting tray with the thyme. set aside.
in a pestle & mortar, grind the salt, pepper, fennel & coriander seeds together until fragrant but not fine. using a sharp knife, score the skin of the belly in diamond shapes, taking care not to cut into the meat.
drizzle the olive oil over the belly and lightly rub it into the skin. now rub the salt & spices mixture into the skin and incisions. place the pork belly on top of the vegetables. place the roasting tray into the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes.
carefully remove the tray from the oven and turn the heat down to 170 degrees C. pour the white wine and chicken stock into the tray taking care not to wet the skin. the liquid should come up to the skin so that the meat is submerged but the skin untouched. if you need a little more liquid, add a little more water.
any leftover juices can be kept aside to use when making the gravy.
carefully place the tray back into the oven taking care not to wet the skin of the belly and roast for 2 hours.
after two hours, turn the heat back up to 230 degrees C and roast the belly until the skin is bubbling, browned and hard to the touch. about 20 – 30 minutes.
carefully lift the belly out of the roasting tray onto a cutting board and leave to rest while you get on with the gravy.
pour the vegetables and juices into a blender and blend until smooth. (or use a handheld blender.)
strain into a saucepan and bring to a boil. turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. check seasoning.
if desired, add more water for a thinner sauce or add a teaspoon of cornstarch and water to thicken although i doubt either will be necessary.
turn the pork belly onto its skin and cut as desired. (this makes it easier to cut through the crackling skin)
garnish with chopped chives or spring onion.

serve with the jus and your choice of starch, veggies or salad.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x