Pork is my favourite meat. I think people really underestimate it and its versatility.
A Sunday roast, to me, is not beef or chicken, but a succulent pork shoulder topped with salty, crunchy, bubbly crackling. You cannot beat it! And if we are feeding a crowd, mum and I love to slow roast a huge belly pork – 12 hours in the oven with apples, cider, fresh thyme, red onions and sage. (There are definitely bits I miss about home- and mums roast is one of them!) She also makes the most amazing apple sauce with fresh apples from the garden. In our new place we have a few really stunning fruit trees, and as well as a HUGE glut of gorgeous red cherries (h e l l o summer cherry pie!), we also have a tree full of sweet, fizzy Pink Lady’s – perfect!
Anyway- pork has only recently become more popular, and one of the most fashionable ways of serving up this gorgeous meat, is pulled into shreds and coated in a sticky, sweet BBQ sauce. Its heavenly! Unfortunately most of the shop bought varieties, and anything you buy from a food stall, is likely to be full of sugar. *sad face*. Pork is also quite a fatty meat, so all of a sudden, my favourite BBQ pulled pork has become a fatty, sugary treat.
However– don’t despair! My new student lifestyle (oh yes, I’m settling into this quite well!) has forced me to become more frugal with food spending, and in the process I’m trying to keep my healthy eating on track, so I don’t blow it with tasting all of those yummy morsels I’m sure we will whip up at Leiths.
So this weeks creation is a cheap, nutritious, veg-filled, and versatile meal! I’ve chosen to use chicken thighs here instead of pork- both are cheap meats but chicken is lower in fat and takes less time cooking to become tender!
How To: ( makes about 4 portions)
- Low fat cooking spray- 1 cal Fry Light or similar
- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 onion – diced
- 100g mushrooms – chopped
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp organic honey
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 chicken stock cube
- salt and pepper to taste
- Firstly, fry the onions and carrots in a pan until the onions are translucent and the carrots have started to soften. Then add in the mushrooms.
- Fry together for a minute or two, before adding the paprika, honey and herbs and stir for a few minutes until the honey begins to caramelise the veg and the paprika has been well distributed
- Add the chopped tomatoes, mustard and chicken stock cube and stir. Taste the mixture and add honey to sweeten, more paprika for a bit more of a spicy kick, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pop the chicken thighs in a small roasting dish and cover with the mixture. Top up with a little water so the chicken is covered and the mixture isn’t too thick- you want the chicken to absorb plenty of moisture so it doesn’t dry out.
- Put the dish in the oven- about 190 degrees for an hour.
- After an hour, get the chicken out and try to pull the fibres apart with two forks. If the chicken is tender enough it will pull apart quite easily. Remove any fatty/gristly bits and once the chicken is all pulled, give it a mix around with the bbq mix and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes.
This is a delicious dish, and so versatile! If the chicken hasn’t been frozen previously, you can package it into freezer bag portions and keep for up to a month in the freezer.
I have had it with quinoa and salad, but it would be just as good over basmati rice, or add another can of chopped tomatoes and stir into pasta for a dish to feed a crowd!
Another great idea is to make some potato wedges (sweet potato are the healthier, and tastier option!) and spoon the chicken over a bowl of wedges before popping under the grill for a few minutes- maybe top with a sprinkling of cheese!
Today I’m off to Richmond Rugby Fan Zone to watch the England game with a few ski-season pals, and to make sure I’m not tempted by a burger and chips when I get there, I have wrapped some BBQ chicken in a wholemeal tortilla with some fresh rocket! Yummy!
I hope you enjoy the recipe- its a brilliant student dish but I will be making another batch to have with tacos, guacamole and wholegrain rice for my next family feast at home!
For now, lets make sure everyone dons their England roses and tunes in to watch the game tonight- come on England!
Love and rugby hugs