Roast chicken with orzo

A variation on one of my most-cooked recipe’s from the amazing Diana Henry. In her version, Diana stuff’s the chicken with a feta and tomato mixture – it’s delicious, but I didn’t have time or the ingredients to do that this time.

Prepare: 5 minutes
Cook: 80 minutes
Serves: 6

1.8kg whole chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp za’atar (optional)
225g orzo pasta
500ml hot chicken stock
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or oregano

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Put the chicken into a 30cm cast iron ovenproof dish or roasting tin.

2 Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and season well with salt, pepper and za’atar, if you have it.

3 Roast in the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the orzo around the chicken and pour the stock over the orzo. Put the tray back into the oven to cook for 20 minutes more. Check during this time to make sure the orzo isn’t drying – there should be enough stock, but top it up with a little boiling water if needed.

4 Once the 20 minutes are up the chicken should be cooked – check that the juices run clear, with no trace of pink meat – and the orzo should be tender. The stock should also have been absorbed. Stir the fresh herbs into the orzo. Serve the chicken straight from the pan. A dressed green salad is all you need on the side.

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Burn’s Night

Burn's night supper - haggis, neeps & tatties, whisky sauce by Waitrose

January 25th is Burn’s night.  Time to celebrate all that is Scottish and of course all that is haggis.

I think haggis is really delicious, so I will be cooking up a quick Burn’s Night mid-week supper to mark the day, as I do every year.  It’s always so easy – haggis is a most amazing ready-meal.

It’s warm and hearty and takes minutes to cook in the microwave if you’re in a real hurry.  If you have more time you simply put it into a preheated oven in a dish with a little water and leave it to heat through thoroughly.  So it couldn’t be easier.

A drizzle of whisky over the top just before serving will make all the difference, as will a simple whisky and cream sauce to spoon alongside.  If you want a guide give this tried and tested Waitrose recipe a go – as seen in their photo above.

Neeps and tatties are a traditional accompaniment.  Neeps actually refer to swede rather than, as the name might suggest, parsnips or turnips.  Mash them up with some butter and maybe a dash of cream, a little nutmeg and seasoning and you’re ready to eat.


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