Brining a Chicken, a positive experience.

Looking through my recipe books I came to ‘Mushroom Butter Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes’ in Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes. This is not a book I use often as many of the recipes need a lot of preparation and/or marinating for 8 hours – not a process compatible with full time working and 3 children. Time has now moved on and as a retiree with an empty nest I can look differently at these books.

This recipe, for example, needs to start the day before you need to eat (at least – it can be then left for up to 2 days but as I am a ‘bit iffy’ about chicken I kept to the minimum time). Also, I have never even considered ‘brining’ a chicken so had no idea of the merits/consequences of such a process.

Brined, ready for the butter and mushroom mixture (the brine is in the large pan – you need a container that is both big enough to carry the chicken and will fit into your fridge, my pasta pan suited the task)

Following the recipe steps as directed it was very simple. Pushing the butter mixture between the flesh and skin was easier if you did first separate the skin with oiled hands (as advised), it was delicate and easy to tear.

It was moist and tasty – delicious. Definitely worth a try



Featured Image – Sink – Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

A madness in January

I have decided that trying to eat healthy in January is a waste – of time and food. Until recently we always declared January a ‘healthy eating month’ and from the 2nd of the month we would strive to starve ourselves back to our pre-Christmas weight whilst at the same time commencing some mad fitness regime which in reality was far too ambitious for the time of year.

And then, perhaps I had an epiphany, I realised how futile this was. The house would be full of tasty leftovers and foodie Festive gifts which we never managed to ignore so any sneaky trips to the pantry were followed by pangs of guilt and promises to increase the fitness regime to offset any further weight gain – who was I kidding? January is often our coldest, snowy and icy month so I would be very easily persuaded to avoid any exercise for fear of injury. What about the gym I hear you shout ‘surely its safe indoors to stretch and tone’? Obviously, it is but I would have to drive and the road conditions would not encourage that – so back to the fire and a book.

This year I decided that we would delay this routine and instead I declared February the ‘healthy eating’ month. It worked really well although I did not really think why until recently. Besides having only 28 days, by January 31st most of the foodie treats have gone, the days are slightly longer and the weather is starting to warm up so walking outside is more enjoyable. Yet, I think the main reason we were successful is that we had had a month of ‘normal’ behaviour – back to work, back to more regular eating patterns and when not under pressure to be active, going out in the winter sunshine takes on an encouraging pleasure.

As an added bonus the last day of the healthy eating is immediately followed by ‘weigh-in day, March 1st. (No, I have no idea why previously there was 4 weeks between finishing the regime and weigh-day, sounds cruel now I see it written down). Of course, in previous years, I would spend the 4 weeks fretting that I would not have reached the goal! This year all such anxieties were removed – went to bed Feb 28th, up on the scales March 1st – goal achieved, now where’s the cake ?

Photo acknowledgements:

Scales – Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash Featured Image

Tape Measure – Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash