I see a group of girlfriends every few months – we go out for dinner or cook for each other. This time it is my turn to cook. They are a discerning bunch and always produce something delicious and, quite often, expensive. That wasn’t an option for me, so I have been mulling over what to cook that will impress without breaking the bank.
I decided on:
Tomato and basil soup (using a combination of the home grown tomatoes that I roasted and froze a few months ago, tinned tomatoes, and basil that I bought in a pot ages ago and repotted. It has been growing on the kitchen window sill ever since. I had all of the ingredients for this.
Maple roasted chicken with roast potatoes, mashed sweet potato and cabbage (recipe below).
Pavlova with whipped cream and fruit
I got the chicken recipe from an old Waitrose booklet. It is meant to be cooked in the slow cooker, but the bird I have bought is too big for mine, so I am going to slow roast it in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
1.8-2kg whole chicken
The finely grated zest and the juice of an orange (save the shells)
4 tbsp Maple syrup
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic
4 sprigs of rosemary (I have this in the garden)
I only had to buy the chicken and the orange as everything else was in the storecupboard.
Place the chicken on a baking tray and push the orange shells into the cavity of the chicken. Beat the syrup, mustard, orange zest and juice together and pour over the chicken. Make slits in the chicken and push the garlic into them, then tuck the rosemary in around the legs and wings. Cover with foil and cook on a very low oven for 4 hours, or until the juices run clear.
If you want to use your slow cooker, do exactly the same thing but cook on high for 6 hours.
I have also bought a bottle of Aldi Prosecco, which was on offer for £5.99 this morning, and I won a bottle of sweet dessert wine in the Children in Need raffle at work yesterday so I will serve that with the pavlova. The girls will all bring wine too, so let the party commence!
Have a good night, whatever you are doing.