Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Herbs


How appetising does this look?

I think this recipe does rather count towards my healthy eating project. It’s cooked with a minimal amount of additional fat, and it’s easy to add plenty of vegetables. However, I didn’t choose it because of that.

I chose it because we are overrun with limes and I knew it was something I could prep in advance and just deal with the chicken at the last minute. We have recently extended our home grown herb selection to include oregano too (it’s an a pot and not only is it thriving, it looks great too!) so I liked that I wasn’t going to have to head to the shops to spend $3 or $4 on a packet of sad looking fresh herb.

The original comes from the excellent and reliable Delicious (UK) site. I substituted a lime for the lemon which I think is a good call, as even if you’re not drowning in limes, lemons can end up overpowering dishes like this whereas lime is a much more subtle flavour. Rather than using a whole head of garlic, I used a few cloves (skin on) and added carrots to my pan. We were going to steam some broccoli to serve as a side but you could also pop some broccoli florets in the pan for the last 10 or so minutes of cooking.

The beauty of cooking like this is that you do not have to worry about making a gravy or sauce to go with your meal. That magic just happens for you.

While this is not a true one-pot dish you could make it so by not bothering with browning the chicken. However, I urge you take the time to do so because not only does the finished dish look more attractive, I think it tastes better and the flavour of the self made gravy/sauce is much improved.

Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Herbs


  • 3 or 4 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into quarters
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, skin on (as many or as few as you want, really)
  • 1 lime, sliced (about 4 or 5 slices)
  • 2 sprigs of oregano
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • handful of pitted kalamata olives
  • ~ 100 mL dry white wine
  • olive oil
  • 4-5 chicken thighs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
  2. In a large, lidded baking or roasting dish, drizzle a little olive oil and then arrange the vegetables and herbs on top. This can be done in advance.
  3. On the stove, heat a pan with a little oil, season the chicken thighs and brown them on both sides.
  4. When the chicken thighs are browned, place them on top of the vegetables. Put on the lid and place in the oven.
  5. Cook until the chicken juices run clear and the vegetables are done - this will probably be about 30-40 minutes.
  6. Serve with additional steamed vegetables on the side and the sauce from the pan poured over the top.

Sausages with Lentils and Feta


We have recently taken to meal planning, which sounds dull as dishwater, but is actually working out very well. My little rule for each week is that one dinner recipe should come from my delicious backlog (or the internet) and another should come from one of my recipe books.

Even though I have a reasonable amount of cooking time available to me, it is always less than I expect so I keep a beady eye out for quick recipes. This one, for sausages and lentils, from taste, certainly fitted the bill. And we even had Puy lentils that probably needed using up. Of course, the taste recipe was a guide and what I actually did follows.

I’ll definitely be making a variation of this recipe again but when I do, I’ll throw a few vegetables (carrots, celery, for example) in the with lentils – it saves having to bother doing vegetables on the side.

For 2 people (with leftovers for the baby) I used 150g of Puy lentils which I cooked in advance in some beef stock. I recommend this – it adds great depth of flavour to the lentils. Puy lentils cook more quickly than the lentils you’d use in a dahl. Don’t cook them to a mush – you want them to retain their shape and some bite.

When we started to think about dinner, I grilled six Italian style sausages (that’s how many came in the pack – you’re unlikely to need them all but a cold sausage never goes astray).

I sautéed a finely chopped leek with a couple of cloves of garlic and then mixed that into the lentils (for reheating purposes they were on a low heat). I then fried up a couple of rashers of bacon (chopped) and added them to the lentils. I finished the lentils by adding a very generous teaspoon (or two!) or wholegrain mustard and a splash of red wine vinegar.

The recipe calls for dressing the plate with marinated feta. Seriously – have you seen how expensive marinated feta is? I made some of my own: buy some Australian feta from the deli counter in your supermarket. Chop it up and put it in a container with some extra virgin olive oil (naturally, also Australian) and add herbs and spices of your choosing. I used some dried oregano, some chilli flakes, some crushed juniper berries and some black peppercorns.

I only made the feta a day in advance so it hadn’t had too much of a chance to absorb flavours and rather than decorating the plate with it, I stirred it through the hot lentils. It gave the lentils a lovely creaminess and also added some much needed salt. Perhaps not as pretty as the picture you see on taste, but certainly tasty.

Serve the lentils in hot bowls, top with chopped sausage and some extra vegetables. Quick and healthy. Oh – if you want to be really healthy, swap the sausage for something leaner, perhaps a grilled chicken breast or lamb chop.

A quick storecupboard meal that’s also healthy. Marvellous.

Lemon Chicken Recipe


Sorry for the awful photo!  That’s what happens when you’re super hungry …

This is an absurdly easy (and quick to put together) roast chicken dinner recipe that was inspired by two recipes I found on The Good Food Channel’s website. The first, Mark Sargent’s lemon and herb roast chicken and the other, Rachel Allen’s leek and fennel roast chicken.

Naturally, my version of things doesn’t follow the script too closely and I wonder if I should really call it pot roast chicken … but no matter.

Preheat your oven to 200°C fan. In a roasting dish, which has a lid (this is quite important!), splosh a little light olive oil and arrange some chicken portions. I got the butcher to joint a chicken for us (by far the easiest way to buy chicken on the bone) and, for the two of us, I used the 2 drumsticks and the 2 thigh portions. You could buy marylands and halve them yourself.

Add 4 halved small new potatoes, 1 leek, cut into 1cm segments, 1 lemon or lime cut into quarters (we have an excess of limes to use thanks to my parents’ lime tree!) and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Sprinkle a little extra olive oil on top, cover with the lid (or tin foil) and place in the hot oven.

After about 20 minutes, give the meat and vegetables a bit of a poke and return to the oven for another 10 or so minutes, until the potatoes and chicken are cooked (that is, until you stick a knife into the thickest part of a chicken joint and the juices run clear – no blood!). The amount of time you actually need will depend on the size of the chicken joints, how tightly packed everything is in your roasting dish and, of course, how hot your oven actually is.

When the chicken is cooked, remove the lime quarters and thyme sprigs and return to the oven without the lid to crisp up the skin on the chicken. If you are not also trying to warm plates, you could pop things under the grill for a few moments.

Do try not to use too much olive oil because you want to be able to use the pan juices as an immediate gravy (rather than an oil slick!).

Serve on hot plates, with steamed vegetables.

No effort at all!