I missed blogging last week because I didn’t feel all that well. No, nothing to do with the dreaded virus, but I’ve had a strange disjointed week, though the writing picked up a little with the least written being approximately 1,300 words. I’m working on the draft of a horror novel, so everything else remains shelved. I’m into the third quarter so don’t expect the end to be too long off now. Though I stress I’m saying ‘draft’. I’ll be doing a lot of rewriting on this and shelving it at least a month before I do, but that will give me room to consider writing something else new and maybe re-releasing an older work early next year. More news as and when.

For this week’s blog, I thought I’d leave you with something beautiful to watch:

Simple but Delicious

I’m doing something different today, offering one of the simplest recipes that will feed one, or two, with plenty leftover chicken and sauce to use for other meals (to me ‘leftovers’ is another word for ingredient), or a full family or visitors. Apologies, there’s no picture. I cooked this the other week but didn’t think of posting, so didn’t take a photo. You’ll end up with tender chicken and a red, richly flavoured gravy. Cook this in a large pot on the hob, in a casserole dish in the oven, or, if you have a slow cooker large enough, that’s an even easier option.

Provencal Pot Roast Chicken

Some ingredients I list are flexible. This is your dish, cook to your taste!

1 medium to large chicken
A few cloves up to a whole bulb of garlic depending on how much you like
Salt and pepper
Parsley or chives or whatever herb you like
1tsp Herbes de Provence
1 red pepper quartered, stalk and seeds removed
1-2 carrots, peeled if necessary, halved in the middle or cut into three chunks depending on size
1 onion peeled and quartered (optional)
1tbsp tomato puree
Approx. 500ml (half pint) of water — this will increase as the juices from the veg and chicken run out, so allow for that with the pan you’re using. Also depends on how many you’re feeding. You can make a little or a lot. If you want more juice, add a little extra veg, etc.

Place all this in the stovetop pot, casserole, or the slow cooker. Yes, put the chicken in whole!

Simmer for around two hours on the hob, or bake on 375f/Gas 5) in the oven, or for about 5 hours on high in the slow cooker. If doing in a pan or slow cooker, I turn the chicken halfway through.

Once the chicken is done, remove ready to carve for serving. I sometimes find this the hardest stage, as it can literally fall apart. For the sauce, allow the ‘gravy’ to cool until you can whizz it all up in a blender, or, better, if you have a handheld blender, being careful if the liquid is still hot, you can blend right in the pan/casserole dish/slow cooker. Serve with potatoes and veg of choice, or pasta.

You could also do this with chicken portions, though the recipe works best with chicken on the bone to create the stock, so use thighs and drumsticks. You can also cook it the day before and simply reheat.