I am not sure if I envy the friends who spend their Sunday morning preparing their meals for the week. Carefully portioning each meal into containers and storing in the fridge to be re-heated as planned. However planning is essential. I remember only to well the task of menu planning for a four day weekend with the scouts many years ago. Meticulous planning was essential as we were to camp in a remote part of Essex with no pop to the corner shop for emergencies. Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch and Supper all cooked on an open fire and no refrigeration. The shopping list seemed endless. Indeed it was a task but all worked to perfection and nobody went hungry or suffered from an upset tummy.
Today many still rely on the classic “Panic Management” in the kitchen. The obligatory store cupboard items like cereals and toast for breakfast and then oh my goodness it’s
5 o’clock and hungry mouths to feed what will it be? The worst of all those mouths are asked what they would like and the a la carte menu goes into play. The slave to the kitchen and stove sets sail to oblige or suggests the simplest such as take away or throwing something readymade into the oven or under the grill. Is it any wonder that people’s palates are jaded or stifled to boredom, continually consuming the same old?
Kitchen Management as many have professed before is far the better gallant knight. A few moments scheduled to plan a structure of Menu and variety as well as preparation and cooking planning, can make a week’s catering pass with a breeze. Though deciding what is on offer will no doubt cause concern to those who expect the usual a la carte choice of familiarity. Persevere and life will become simpler and meals taken together and all the same will soon create better harmony all round.
This below can be cooked in advance and reheated but is simple and flavoursome as well as being budget efficient. Enough for 4 – adjust the number of Chicken Thighs accordingly.
Moroccan Style Chicken
8 Skinless Chicken Thighs
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
¼ tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Onions peeled and sliced
½ Lemon – Sliced, deseeded and quartered
1 tbsp Cornflour
400g Tin of Lentils drained and rinsed
Bunch of Chopped Coriander
- In a Pestle and Mortar pound the spices together and then add 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. Put the Chicken Thighs into a freezer bag and add the spiced paste. Roll it all together and leave to marinate for about an hour or overnight in the fridge (turning from time to time)
- Warm some Oil in a pan and sweat the onions. Add the Chicken, add the remaining marinade and Lemon slices – cook till golden brown.
- Stir in the Cornflour and mix well. Add enough water to half submerge the Chicken. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the Lentils and most of the Coriander – heat through – check the seasoning.
- Garnish with remaining Coriander and serve.