A change is as good as a holiday

Chicken salad was swapped to Apricot Chicken tonight. A good decision. What a wonderful day of steady rain. We have corrugated perspex outside and the sound of the rain on it is just lovely. Possum and I had a fun day together at swimming, plus she is mobile enough now to follow me (very slowly) when I go to another room. This new found mobility (in the form of a semi commando crawl) also means she sees me at the stove and wants to hang out at my feet. Not so great when you’re browning off chicken legs and there’s hot fat spitting everywhere. Thankfully tonight’s dinner was a slow and steady concoction which allowed play time, reading the same book 10 times in a row, singing songs, and cuddles in between chopping 6 onions (yuck!), slicing and deseeding 4 chillies and handling raw chicken. Needless to say I have washed my hands more times today than I would working in an intensive care unit.

Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Feed meat to 5 people for $10? Done! Thankfully apricots were on special this week, which I why I did the old swaperoo with the chicken salad.
Time Factor : LOW. Probably quicker if you don’t have a 9 month old baby/shadow. I reckon you could make this a “chuck it all in the one pot in the oven” wonder though. I always drastically under estimate the length of time it takes to brown meat and soften onions.
Complexity : LOW. Not much more to say on this one.
Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. This was delicious!! I am a big fan of the meat and fruit combo though (think Persian). Tweaked the original recipe a little, they said to take out the meat, olives and apricots to thicken the sauce. I thought “but that’s all the best bits!”, so only took out some of the apricots and let the rest turn to jammy mush. Win.
Mess : MODERATE. One pot. Lots of onions, lots of chilli seeds, lots of oil splatter.
Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. After having “lighter” meals the past few nights this was a nice hit of protein and carbs. Very full!
Possum Friendly? MODERATE. I would be happy to peel the meat off the bones for her to try. But no good veg options tonight.

Would I make it again? Yes, but would try just throwing it all in the pot together.

Possum ate way more curry and salmon than i expected today. Must remember to err on the side of ravenous…

Apricot Chicken Serves 6 (from Cuisine Magazine January 2014 pg 54)

12 chicken drumsticks (I used 10)

1 tsp ground cumin

3 Tablespoons olive oil

6 onions sliced

6 mild red chillies, deseeded, sliced (I used 4)

3 stalk of oregano

1/2 teaspoon of salt (does anyone actually measure??)

9 apricots, halved, stones removed (I used 10)

100g pitted green olives (guesstimated)

2 cups chicken stock

  • Heat a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat and brown the chicken pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in the same pan then add the onions, chillies, oregano, cumin and salt. Turn the heat down to low, cover and fry gently for 5 mintues, then uncovered and continue frying, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes or until very soft.
  • Nestle the chicken, apricots and olives into the onion mixture then pour in the stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes, then uncover and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  • At this point, remove the chicken, apricots and olives and keep warm in a low oven then bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to thicken. Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken and remove the oregano stalks before serving.
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Freezer Surprise

Ah sweet freezer surprise. You are always welcome in my home. As I sat with my baby and patted her to sleep, my mind wandered to my stomach. And to the silence coming from the kitchen meant Lego Man wasn’t cooking up a solution to my quandry. The kitchen is not the natural habitat of Lego Man. Outdoors, yes. Man Cave, yes. Office, yes. But this week was a week of no plans. No recipes on the counter. No plan on the fridge. Back to old ways. Back to eating somewhere between 8 and 9pm. Thank goodness for freezer surprise.

And behind Door Number 1………..!

Stuffed Eggplant Mousaka and Tuna Pesto Pasta. Not often freezer surprise is a two course feast. In order for the eggplant to be defrosted we did need to press “Auto cook” on the microwave about 15 times. I remembered they weren’t fab first time round so added some things that would hopefully help. Salt, pepper and cheese. It helped enough to make it much easier to eat. I thought I had a photo of the meal for you but one was really out of focus and the other my finger is taking up half the photo… this is what happends when you’re a hungry mummy!

Thank goodness tonight is planning night.

The plan and weather is looking a bit like this:

MONDAY/ rain 21 

Baked Farro Risotto with Lamb Chops and Vegetables

TUESDAY/ early shower 22

Winter Veg and Tofu Korma with brown rice and quinoa

WEDNESDAY/ partly cloudy 26

Broccoli Crunch and Salmon with brown rice and quinoa

THURSDAY/ sunny 20

Grilled Chicken Salad with pineapple, macadamias and chilli (taste Magazine Jan 2014)

FRIDAY/ partly cloudy 17

Take away, freezer surprise or BBQ

SATURDAY/ weather forecast not available yet…

Take away, freezer surprise or BBQ

Thankyou to my facebook page (just search for pea fritters) for the baked risotto idea. I was trawling one of my favourite sites, 101 cookbooks, when I saw she had a baked farro risotto. Perfect! Thursday’s chicken salad is a dish I made a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. Will write out the recipe for you later in the week.  I’m also hoping to make a Brown Butter Spice Loaf to get us through the move. It’s spicy buttery goodness.

No scale for tonight’s dinner sorry.

Though here is a cute photo of Possum’s happy feet while she ate her dinner of Possum Love Puffs, avocado and apple. She and I had a lovely time at baby wearing yoga today.

Happy Possum Feet

Happy Possum Feet