Another week has flown by already. I’m pretty sure life in lockdown is on some kind of superfast speed setting. It’s nearly four months since lockdown life started and last Saturday (super Saturday as it’s been referred to) saw the hospitality sector finally able to open back up – albeit tentatively. For someone like me who has spent a large part of her life frequenting coffee shops, it was like Christmas.
Ever since I was a teenager, I fell in love the romantic notion of a mystical ‘cafe culture’! How very way out I was ….not! Cosy and quirky places where you sipped real espresso made in ‘proper’ espresso machines, ate delicious home baked cakes and ‘hung out’ with your friends whilst music played in the background. In my head, these cafes were painted in rich, warm colours and yes – way before Friends, I wanted sofas in there too. God – I was ahead of the game! When I moved to London at the age of 19, I found myself in coffee/cafe heaven. Cafe culture did exist (and actually it wasn’t just in London.)
So I’ve eaten a ton of amazing cakes this week – purely in support of my local cafes I might add (see socia media). Tonight’s recipe is one that’s packed full of vegetables, lovely juicy chicken, swathed in garlic infused olive oil and topped with lumps of lovely of goats cheese. It’s something that I put together myself and to be honest, you can put what ever vegetables you want in it. I love using aubergine as it soaks up the garlic and olive oil but that’s just me. This is so easy and you can literally throw it together (ok so not literally – that would be messy and silly). Seriously though, its one for bunging in the oven, getting on with other things – like prepping a large ice cold gin or whatever! 👌 Welcome back hospitality – I’ve missed you.
Chicken, Chorizo, Roasted Vegetable and Goats Cheese Bake (serves 4)
- 3 chicken breasts cut into 2cm chunks
- 100g of chorizo sausage, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves of garlic (less or more, whatever your preference)
- 1 leek (thinly sliced)
- 1 aubergine (cut into small cubes)
- 1 courgette (cut into small chunks)
- 1 tin of Italian cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- A handful of black pitted olives
- 150g of hard goats cheese in thin slices
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180C
- Gently brown the onion and leeks in 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and the chorizo, letting all the paprika from the chorizo ooze out and flavour the onions and leeks.
- Add the chicken
- When the chicken has a little colour, transfer it all to a large oven proof dish. Add the remaining veg.
- Crush the garlic into a bowl and pour over the remaining olive oil, mix well and add salt and pepper.
- Pour over all the chicken, chorizo and vegetables.
- Open tomatoes and pour, gently mix in. It should all smell lovely. Dot the olives around the top.
- Place in oven and bake for 25mins.
- Take out of oven, lay over the thin slices of goats cheese and return to oven for another 5 mins until the goats cheese has melted and browned.
- Hey presto – it’s done! Serve with a crisp green salad or pasta or crusty bread, depends on how hungry you are (no judging here!)
Enjoy. Let me know how you get on and please feel to share your recipes and ideas with me. xx