Weekly Meal Plan #7: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Chicken. What, generations ago used to be a rather pricy Sunday roast treat is now probably the most common animal protein that we’re all obsessed with eating. It is easy and delicious to cook, so therefore I see absolutely no reason not to enjoy chicken for dinner every single night next week. A few notes on the chicken you buy: always make sure your birds are free-range (this is the minimum welfare standard you should accept) and preferably British to support British farming. Basically, get the best you can afford.
I know roast dinners are the more traditional thing to have at the weekend, but carve out an extra half hour to make one on a Monday, and you’ll have enough leftovers to make salads and sandwiches to take to work throughout the week. I’m not big on using lots of different pots and pans to make traditional blanched veggies to go with (especially now I no longer have a dishwasher!) so I prefer to do potato wedges and salad. I also love a good bean laden salsa for another protein source, to help the chicken go further!
While Middle Eastern food is usually great for delicious, flavourful veggie dishes, they also really know what they’re doing with chicken. When I’m after authentic but accessible recipes I usually turn to Rick Stein, and this Oven-roasted Chicken with Sumac, Pomegranate Molasses, Chilli & Sesame Seeds from Rick Stein’s Venice to Istanbul is so easy to throw together from store cupboard ingredients, and is the sort of thing you can make during the week, but also would not be out of place as part of a dinner party spread.
Wednesday: Homemade Chicken Fajitas
I know I keep on banging on about my Homemade Chicken Fajitas, but they are one of my favourite recipes I have ever developed, they’re so quick and easy to make, you can add so many different things like homemade salsa, guacamole, soured cream, cheese, black beans. They also represent everything I believe in for a recipe, that it should show you how to make a cheaper, easier, healthier and more delicious version of something shop brought: if you’ve never tried these before, please do and let me know how you get on!
Indian food is the one cuisine that I struggle to make at home, unless I’m putting together something vegetarian. For some reason whenever I add meat to the mix the end result always ends up a lot fattier than I intended. This is where this easy weeknight dish comes in: marinate skinless boneless chicken thighs in a fresh sauce, and serve alongside quickly cooked, spiced veggies and brown rice. Delicious, colourful and healthy!
Friday: Cheeky Peri Peri Chicken Burgers
Friday is treat day, so you should plan a burger night with my Cheeky Peri Peri Chicken Burgers. People are usually so shocked when they hear that I’m not a fan of Nandos and I’d rather not eat there, but one thing I do enjoy to celebrate the end of the week (with a casual glass of prosecco, because why not?) is a homemade Peri Peri Chicken Burger. This is another one where a fresh, delicious sauce from an independent brand without any nasties in comes in to make something quick and easy. I promise you’ve never had a chicken burger this juicy in your life!
A few more ideas for the weekend: we’re properly in spring now (thank god!) so I’m craving everything light, bright and green. On Saturday night why not have a steak night with my Steak with Pickled Jalapeño Relish and perhaps my Pea, Feta and Avocado Salad on the side? Or if you’re weekend brunching, I don’t think you can do any better for a savoury option than my Creamy Mushroom Savoury Dutch Baby Pancake. If you’re in the mood for getting ahead, why not make some Homemade Sushi Ginger for salads and open sandwiches, or a big pot of my Light Tzatziki to use as a sauce for practically everything spring-like?