“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Winter weekends seem naturally predisposed to long lazy food preparation and slow sensual cooking. Stews and casseroles can simmer for hours, aromas wafting through the house, embracing visitors with smells that evoke memories of family meals and happy homes. Warm ovens filled with loaves of fresh bread or seasonal fruit crumbles add a welcome layer of warmth and sweetness and firmly banish the damp and cold from a steaming kitchen.
Unfortunately, during the week, the time from pantry to plate needs to be a little shorter and yet, cold and tired from a long day, I am not always willing to relinquish the comfort factor that makes winter food something special. Like a hot water bottle on cold sheets, a tasty, piping-hot meal somehow smooths the edges of a long day and makes everything a little more bearable.
Tonight’s dinner is my perfect workday evening meal, as the preparation is rapid but there is no compromise on flavour. While the dish does take an hour to cook, the oven does literally all the work. Pop it in and use the time to do whatever else needs to be done – tonight this included glamorous Monday evening jobs like softening some apples and cinnamon for tomorrow’s porridge and sorting out the laundry.
The recipe is a slight variation on Nigella’s Spanish Chicken and if it’s good enough for The Domestic Goddess, well it would be crazy to think it would not be good enough for me.
Ingredients (makes 3 portions):
- 6 Chicken thighs
- Chunky slices of chorizo
- Baby potatoes
- Red onion – cut into chunks
- Zest of a Lemon
- Sprinkle of Dried Oregano
Simply preheat a fan oven to 200 degrees (or equivalent). Place the chicken, chorizo, potatoes and red onion in a roasting dish. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Grate the zest of the lemon over the top and sprinkle the dish with dried oregano. If you like, quarter the lemon and pop it in the roasting tray as well. Bake for an hour, tossing or basting occasionally. Serve with some steamed greens or a green salad. So, so simple. Enjoy!!