Seasoned Chicken with Asparagus Sauce.

Well, I finely managed to get a copy of Jane Grigson’s English Food. Thankyou very much Mr Brian P. for lending it to me.

This is the November book for The Cookbook Guru challenge.

Let me tell you, there are some pretty interesting recipes in there. I’ve bookmarked a few pages with recipes containing ingredients that I’ve never cooked with but am definitely up for trying.

Tonight though, I’ve picked something easy. Asparagus Sauce.

Dinner tonight is going to be free range chicken breast which I’ll season with salt, pepper, cumin, sweet paprika, cinnamon and sumac.


I’m going to pan fry the meat to give it a lovely golden colour then i’ll put it in the oven (200c for about 10 – 15 minutes) to finish cooking.

In the meantime I’ll be roughly chopping 2 bunches of fresh asparagus spears, leaving a few whole spears for garnish, and steaming them in a little water until they are cooked through. Then pop them in the blender, with a little of the cooking liquid, and purée.image

Once the chicken has finished cooking lift it onto a plate and keep it warm (I put it in the microwave oven and close the door), then pour the asparagus purée into the same fry pan that you cooked the chicken in. All those lovely spices and juices left behind end up flavouring the sauce. Add 30g butter and let it gently melt in.

Now, Jane’s recipe calls for sour cream but I don’t have any so I added some Greek style yoghurt instead, about 3 tablespoons.

Heat through gently and adjust the seasoning if you need to.


This meal went down well with a glass (or two) of  Four Sisters  Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.


Mum’s Chicken Noodle and Veg soup

Most people will say their mum makes the best chicken soup. I’m no different.


We grew up with the smell of this soup wafting out to greet us as we were coming home from school. It was always such a welcoming smell, especially with the celery and cinnamon.


Mum used to put some diced potato in the soup as well, to bulk it out, there was a lot of hungry mouths to feed.

We used to sit around the table, hovering over our bowls, dipping in rolled up pieces of Lebanese bread and shovelling the whole lot into our mouths.

I’d like to think that we’ve grown a little and developed some sort of decorum…..


This recipe should feed four, so I’ve used four pieces of free range chicken. (Drumsticks and thighs with the bone still in are best, lots of flavour.)

Put the chicken in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Be sure to put in plenty of water because you’ll be throwing all the veggies and noodles in there as well.  Cover and bring to the boil on a medium heat.  Skim the scum that floats to the top of the pot. Turn the heat down a little and let the chicken simmer for about 40 minutes.

Next throw in 1 medium brown onion that you’ve peeled, halved and thinly sliced, 1 small carrot – sliced, 1 stalk celery – sliced (stalk and leaves), 1 medium ripe tomato – cubed, and I add a little piece of ginger, but that’s optional, as is chilli. Season with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

imageCover and leave it to simmer for 30 minutes.  Lightly crush a couple of vermicelli egg noodle nests into the soup and stir them in. Cook for 10 minutes.

Finely slice some flat leaf parsley, and stir into the soup. (The parsley isn’t just a garnish, it’s a part of the soup and lends a really good flavour to the whole dish. And it’s very good for you)

Turn the heat off and it’s ready to serve.