Lemon Olive Chicken & Boiled Spiced Potatoes

‘I’d eat the hind leg off the Lamb of God and not feel guilty,’ Kashmira declared when we got in from school yesterday. Given that she’s a vegetarian atheist, this alarmed and amused me in equal measure.

 

Kashmira and Ishthara were both starving – and I wasn’t far behind them – so it was one of those days when we needed something quickly. It was also one of those days when I found there was less under the stairs (where I keep ‘spares’ – a poor person’s pantry, if you will!) than I had thought. So, in the best of stone soup traditions, I cobbled this meal together:

 

Lemon Olive Chicken

1 Onion

4 Garlic cloves

500g Quorn chicken-style pieces

2 Tablespoons of flour

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of Saffron

2 Teaspoons of Ras-al-Hanout

or

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1  Teaspoon of Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander

1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika

Pinch of Salt

450g Jar of Green Olives

2 Preserved Lemons (or zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1)

 

Peel and roughly chop the onion.

Peel the garlic.

Drain the olives.

If using preserved olives, chop each one into eights (quarter them, then halve the quarters!).

Blitz the onion and garlic together. Add a drop of water, if necessary.

Put the flour into a ziploc bag and add the ‘chicken’ pieces. Shake the bag to coat the ‘chicken’.

Heat the oil over a medium flame.

Add the ‘chicken’ and the onion-garlic mix.

Saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the saffron and spices.

Add in about a cup of water (I’ve managed to break my measuring jugs and am only using cups to measure liquids at the moment!).

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Take lid off, add the olives, the lemon pieces (or zest and juice), salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another five minutes.

 

Boiled Spiced Potatoes

1 kg Baby Potatoes

1 Onion

4 Garlic Cloves

2 Fresh Red Chillies

1 Teaspoon of Grated Ginger

1 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Turmeric

1/2 Cup of Water

Oil or butter for frying

 

Peel the onion and chop roughly.

Bash the ginger and garlic (or grate if you don’t have a mortar and pestle)

Melt the butter (or heat the oil) over a medium heat.

Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic, and spices.

Saute for a further 3 minutes or so, until the ‘raw’ smell goes off the garlic and the spices release their fragrance.

Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and toss the spuds in the spices until well covered with the mixture.

Stir in the water (I would have added a tin of tomatoes instead if I’d had them) and cover.

Bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat.

Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

The liquid will reduce and become more gravy-like.

 

 

 

Harissa

Harissa is a lovely, hot, paste associated with North African (particularly Moroccan) cuisine. The first time I had it, I ate it with just plain rice, and was delighted with the resultant tingle on my tongue.

 

It’s a quick, easy and cheap recipe that brings a bit of zing to many dishes. I have spread it on Quorn chicken-style fillets, mixed it with roast vegetables and spread it on bread and cheese sandwiches.

Harissa

 

24 small dried chillies

8 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of ras-al-hanout (optional)

5 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Soak the chillies in hot water for about 30 minutes.

Peel the garlic.

Blend all the ingredients together.

This will keep for a few months in the fridge if you keep a layer of oil over the top.