It’s a cliche to say that my life over the past year has been getting busier instead of slowing down. As much as I love cooking I’m finding it more difficult to find the time on weeknights. I seem to be limited to setting aside a couple of hours on Sunday mornings during winter and doing a couple of slow cooked meals that will see us through the week ahead.
I’m also finding I’m tending to use cookbooks that are more attuned to those who are busy – my Women’s Weekly cookbooks, NMAA Cooks – Recipes for Busy Mothers, In the Kitchen, a bit of Ellen Sinclair, Margaret Fulton and Janelle Bloom.
This weekend I made ‘Mum’s Chicken Pot Roast’ from Homecooked Feasts, the second ABC cookbook of ABC local radio listener’s recipes. This is great little cookbook that provides tried and tested favourite recipes that are a doddle to make. I used to make this dish regularly but somehow it dropped off my repertoire. It’s a tasty spiced dish, great for when you’ve had enough of rich winter casseroles and stews and are craving something lighter yet still satisfying. It’s also good for those who are fructose/fructan intolerant as it uses no onions.
Mum’s Chicken Pot Roast
1 whole chicken, skin off and chopped into pieces
125ml white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cm piece of ginger, chopped
1 tsp tumeric
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1-2 chillies (the recipe specifies green, I used what I had on hand which was red)
Place chicken pieces in a bowl with the vinegar to soak. Heat the oil in a large pan, and saute the garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes. Add the other spices (except for the chillies) and cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring.
Remove the chicken from the vinegar and add to the pan, with the chillies, if using. Turn the chicken occasionally to brown. Lower the heat and cover the pan. The chicken will produce juices which cook the meat without adding any additional liquid. After 5-10 minutes, season with salt and stir well. Reduce the heat to very low and cook, covered, for 45-50 minutes. Check regularly and move the pieces to prevent them catching on the bottom. The result is succulent yellow chicken pieces with very little liquid left in the pan.
The chicken is lovely with steamed basmati rice and/or some salad. It’s also very good served cold.
Serves 4-6 people.
From Homecooked Feasts – Favourite Celebratory Recipes from Australian Kitchens (2008)