We tried another meal tonight in my new kitchen experimentation plan. I'd been looking forward to making a lemon chicken, even though Dear Husband wasn't keen on fruity flavours with meat.
I'd looked at a few of the cook in bag kits to ease myself in, but a quick glance of the ingredients list and I saw that it was choc full of preservatives. Even for a domestically challenged person like myself, I figured I could do better.
I tried this recipe, and the verdict from both Dear Husband and me is that it wasn't great, but it has potential and is worth tweaking. I think it will end up on our regular rotation.
Here's what I actually did:
- two small chicken breasts, cut into large strips
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped chives (dried)
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsey (dried)
- 1/4 butternut pumpkin
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 sweet potato
- 3 medium potatoes
- avocado oil
1. Wash, peel and chop veggies. Parboil for five minutes. Toss in oil.
2. Put in oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes
3. Mix honey, lemon juice and herbs.
4. Chop chicken
5. Put one teaspoon of flour inside an oven bag and shake.
6. Put chicken and marinade into oven bag. Tie off and shake around. Continue to toss while veggies are roasting.
7. After the veggies have been in for 25 mins, add the chicken for another 20 mins.
What needs to change:
- I didn't preheat the oven, because things were toddler-nuts when I was putting it on and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get it started when I wanted to. This means that the actual cooking times were probably less.
- The veggies still aren't right. We've been experimenting with the roast veggies but each time I feel like the need to go in longer. Next time we will try cooking for 90 minutes or more to really crisp them up. It also needs some steamed green beans or something green and light - all the carb-y roast veggies are very heavy
- The chicken was cooked through but could use more time to crisp up. Another option might be to cook it uncovered, instead of in the oven bag.
What was good:
- The chicken was yummy! Dear Husband doesn't usually like fruity chicken meals, but he liked this one. If we crisp it up a bit it will be great.
- It's very easy to make. It's super easy to put it in the oven; actually I'm suprised that I was happy without a working oven for so many years. It's very toddler friendly to put something in the oven, block it off for safety and then eat later than it is to stand over the stove cooking something in the pan. It wouldn't be a good meal to do on a work day or when we were out all day - I'm not walking in the fdoor at 5:30 and starting a meal that will take hours to be finished. There was probably only about 15 mins of prep (max) but a lot of potential for things to go bad if there were any interruptions or delays. I'm a bit funny about freezing chicken meals, but it would be a good on-the-day meal. A good plan would be to 1) plan ahead so that I had the ingredients, 2) cut up the veggies, make the marinade etc at nap time and then 3) put the veggies on at 4:30ish , and then the chicken on an hour or so after that.
This is certainly an easy meal, but it would require planning. I think that we need to go back to meal planning, which is something that I stopped doing - pretty much because all we ever ate was spag bol and stir fry. I'm going to start planning again, and hopefully introducing a bit more variety. I'll still have my freezer stash of bolognese for crazy evenings (or weeks) as a fall back plan or a planned easy night, but hopefully they will stop being such a regular feature (although I do love spag bol - thank goodness!)
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