I have been furloughed for two weeks now and due to living in an old Victorian Terrace, I have had numerous jobs to keep me busy and keep me sane, however the time at home has also allowed me to spend a little more time in the kitchen.
The problem with this has been the lack of produce. I am a daily shopper, working long hours and deciding what to cook day by day and popping into shops on the way home.
The first week of April bought extra issues, with hardly anything on the shelves, so when I saw a chicken on the shelf in Morrison’s it was like hitting gold.
I wasn’t going to waste this beauty and thankfully I had been meaning to try a chicken and chorizo pie that I had spied in a new book by Julie Jones, named The Pastry School.
The recipe calls for a whole chicken to be roasted and uses a mixture of leg and breast meat, so what do do with the rest.
I started to pull every last piece of meat from the chicken and placing it in a container – putting the bones into a pot and simmer away to make a chicken stock.
The pie was a wonderful success, half was given away and half was eaten by us, great hot and cold.
On day two, India requested a fried rice. Rice being something we have ample of, buying it in 5kg bags.
For a fried rice, cold precooked rice is the way to go. So I boiled this in the morning and allowed to cool.
A couple of shredded eggs, some of the chicken, sliced spring onions and lots of soy sauce made a simple but really tasty second meal.
Day 3 came and I still had chicken left – what else but a curry.
For chicken curry I have a go to, that utilises the whole spices I have in the cupboard along with a tin of tomatoes.
Starting with onions, garlic and chilli I fry them off – I would usually add some fresh ginger, however without any to hand, I add a little ginger powder later on.
I gently toast the dry spices, (Cumin, Coriander Seed, Cardamom Seed, Clove, Curry Leaf, Star Anise before grinding them up, making into a paste and then adding to the mix.
Add a tin of tomatoes, some cubed potatoes (or chickpeas) and a tin of water and gently simmer away, only adding the chicken near the end to warm it through.
Day 4 – A Chicken Orzo
With still a little chicken remaining and a now very rich and tasty chicken stock, I would have opted to have used it up in a risotto, however with no risotto rice in the cupboards, I spot some Orzo.
This is a pasta, which looks a bit like large rice grains and is used in Greece to make youvetsi, one of my favourite Greek dishes.
I decided to cook it in a similar way to a risotto, using the chicken stock, oregano, some bacon plus finely diced carrot and onion.
I start by frying the carrot and onion gently, allowing it to sweat down. I add the bacon and cook that through, before adding the dried orzo and oregano.
Covering with the stock I allow it to gently simmer for around 30 mins, topping up the stock as needed. 5 mins before its ready, I add the chicken and heat through – throwing in some Parmesan Cheese once its cooked and stir threw – a very satisfying dish and the fourth that I managed to get from the one chicken.