Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lovely lemony Garlicky Chicken

This last week has been a bit stressful. Hubby was away, travelling for work, and while he was gone we had a number of mishaps. Nothing too serious - we ran out of gas on Monday, which we use for cooking; then we ran out of oil on Tuesday, which we use for heating the house and water; and on Tuesday night the car refused to allow me to refuel, leaving me stranded at home with no transport. All of these problems were easily fixed, by contacting (and paying) the right people. But it was a stressful couple of days. 

Great then that we didn't have to worry about our delicious dinner on Tuesday evening, prepared in the crock pot! At the time of preparation, we only knew about the first issue, with no anticipation of the more complicated evening ahead!

Lovely lemony garlicky chicken comes from the Skinny Slow Cooker Recipe Book. It took just a little bit of preparation on Monday evening, when everything was assembled in the crock pot and left in the fridge overnight. 


I cut up about 450g chicken breast into small pieces. Re-reading the recipe, I think it calls for the breasts to be left whole, but I was already distracted from the gas incident. It worked with chicken pieces anyway. I put the chicken into the crock pot with 3 large garlic cloves, crushed; two lemons, sliced; and one onion, chopped quite small. I added 500ml chicken stock, made from a cube, and 1 tsp honey. Then I put a bunch of fresh basil on top, very roughly chopped. Lots of flavour there, then. 

The next morning, I set up the pot and reminded the au pair to switch it on about 1pm, expecting to eat at about 6:30. Little did I know that at 6:30 I would be calling a plumber to come and bleed the boiler after a delivery of heating oil!

The Result

As I panicked that evening about the cold in the house and the lack of hot water, I was somewhat comforted by the aroma of the chicken cooking with garlic, lemon and basil. As the plumber worked on the boiler, I prepared a large pot of mashed potato. We sat down to eat just a little later than expected, safe in the knowledge that the heating was fixed. We didn't know yet about the car!

Indeed, the chicken was full of flavour! The garlic could have been stronger, but the lemon was not overpowering. The long, slow cooking had mellowed the flavour and the rind was softened so that it could easily be eaten with the chicken and potato. The basil had cooked down into a delicate, gentle accompanying addition to the overall dish. I had worried that all the tastes would be competing with each other, but this wasn't the case. 

Unfortunately, in all the panic, I forgot to get a photo of the end dish!

The Verdict

I thought this dish was pretty good, and will make it again. The sauce was very thin, but I didn't add the recommended cornflour - maybe I will do that next time. 

The teenager was quite keen on the chicken, but refused to eat the tiny bits of onion, any of the lemon rind or the basil. No surprises there! Ms Fussy Eater had some chicken and potato much later in the evening, served by the au pair, because I was preoccupied with the car. So, I am not sure of her reaction. 

The au pair loved the dish. I suspect the basil and lemon combination may be fairly familiar for her. She has no trouble eating the lemon rind. 

So, overall, a good result. We had a little bit leftover, by the way, but not enough for another portion. 


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