A couple of things people often say to me when they find out about my alter-ego as a dinner snapping food enthusiast is that they would love to cook but ‘don’t have time’ or that it’s too expensive to buy all the ingredients these days.
I try and smile in agreement, but inside I’m wrestling with the urge to reply “bullshit”. I don’t of course, it would be rude, but the point stands that preparing decent food doesn’t have to be expensive, nor time consuming.
I swear other than a little bit of marinading, this took no more than 25 minutes (with a little attention) and cost no more than a fiver. We got two dinners and lunch out of it so that’s £1.66 per head. Now if people say they can’t be bothered, then fine, I respect that it isn’t for everyone, but this is very doable.
This warm salad, much like the Monarchy has a distinct Greek accent with yoghurt, lemon, oregano, tomato and olive oil but I’m not sure it features in any Taverna. I worry about these issues too much though as I was actually quite pleased with the outcome and think the balance of flavours was just about right. Healthy too if you go steady with the salt.
The superb honey I used was a gift to Helen by her colleague James, whose folks keep bees, so a gratuitous plug is due:
The rice, with a bit of kettle boiling, takes the longest to prepare. I will stick my neck out though and recommend that if time is tight, you could always use one of those pre-cooked packets. Before you start pelting me with cries of “hypocrite!”, the plain varieties are mercifully just rice, oil and salt….
A little yoghurt and mint dressing and some of the warmed honey drizzled over the top finished it off nicely.
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
- 100g brown rice
- 1 red chilli
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- A couple of handfuls of broccoli
- 3 garlic cloves
- Dried oregano
- Thyme (dried or fresh)
- 3 or 4 tomatoes, diced
- About 100g feta cheese, finely diced
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 heaped tbsp yoghurt
- 1-2 tsp mint sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- Oil for frying
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
Marinade the chicken in the juice of half of the lemon, a little olive oil, the garlic (sliced thinly), salt, and about 1 tsp each of oregano and thyme. 20 minutes should do as a minimum.
Meanwhile cook the rice in salted water.
Prepare the vegetables, and the mint dressing (just mix the yoghurt and mint sauce with a little salt). Set aside.
Precook the broccoli a little by steaming a pool of shallow water until softened (but still firm). Leave to cool. Drain the rice and rinse under the cold tap
In a large pan or wok, fry the chicken/marinade ingredients in hot oil until coloured. Add the vegetables and season. Cook until the chicken is just done. Add the broccoli and rice to heat through. Taste and season some more if needed.
When just done, add the tomato, and other half of the lemon juice.
Mix well and plate up. Sprinkle over the feta and drizzle with the yoghurt. Heat the honey in a small milk pan and spoon a little over too (not too much or it will be too sweet). A final dusting of oregano and a little decent olive oil finishes it off.
See, not too bad?