There are days when the prospect of chopping and mincing and browning and cooking is just too much. Like Tuesdays. The weekend seems like a distant horizon, there have already been one too many conference calls, and Silent Witness is back.
On Tuesdays just throw everything in a dish and bung it in the oven. And if you really feel like a treat, get Tall Hungry One to whip up a batch of his now famous Honey Chicken.
This has become a trusted ally in our arsenal of quick fire meals (quick fire in prep sense, it does need a good 50 mins in the oven…) for when visitors stay a little longer than expected, or for when I go on kitchen strike and collapse *not* so dramatically across the sofa, coat still on and moan incoherently about the trials of trains.
Mum recently introduced me to a little local deli – one of the perks of moving closer to home – which stocks the most delicious honey, complete with a chunk of honey comb. Somehow, don’t ask me, I have thus far managed not to sit and eat the entire jar with a spoon Winnie the Pooh style.
First whack the oven on to 190 degrees celsius and find your favourite oven proof dish (mine is not a Le Creuset, I wish it was a Le Creuset, if only it was my birthday soon…).
Grab enough new potatoes to feed your baying crowd and chop accordingly, in the words of Tall Hungry One “use your common sense”.
You’ll need to butterfly the chicken breasts, carefully please, nobody wants a finger tip with their potatoes.
Pop them in a mixing bowl and add the dijon mustard, shallots, honey, salt, pepper, chopped thyme, and a good drizzle of olive oil.
If you are a tidier cook than me at this point you will choose your favourite wooden spoon and carefully mix until the chicken is fully coated. I prefer to dive in hands first, massaging and mixing as I go. Once you’re satisfied/the worktop is covered layer the chicken across the potatoes and cover them completely.
Then whack into the oven and leave to do its thing for 40 mins.
Meanwhile, I suggest the following time wasting activities: a slightly too hot bath filled with detox salts you picked up from TK Maxx which make you sweat and feel slightly delirious; a fun game of “ok darling, I’ll go and tidy the guest room” but really lie on the only relatively clear spot on the bed reading old magazines until you get caught; boldly declare you are going to clear out your drawers only to end up wearing three different sequined tops, a pair of slightly too tight joggers and some dinosaur socks you swore you had lost; or simply pull up a chair and stare at the glorious chicken as it bubbles away.
After 40 mins give the whole dish a stir (with the spoon, not your hands – trust me) and crumble plenty of Stilton over the top and put back in the oven for 10 minutes or until melted and delicious looking.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 3 chicken breasts
- One enchalion shallot, chopped
- 4 table spoons of dijon mustard
- 2 table spoons of honey
- A spring of thyme, chopped
- A glug of olive oil
- Stilton, as much as you desire (I used potted Long Clawson)