Three meals in one – great for busy weeks

Three meals in one

The kids are on half-term, so there is little time to cook in between activities and playdates. Tonight we had Roast Chicken with plenty of root veggies and crispy roasties. Tomorrow we’ll have a creamy soup made with the leftover root veggies and some chicken stock for lunch and for dinner, a super-quick chicken and mushroom pie. I love this recipe, it takes little effort as the oven does most of the work (I even programme it ahead so dinner is ready when we get through the door in the evening!), it yields two more nearly cook-free meals and you waste nothing – even the chicken bones can go into the stock!

MEAL 1: tart with the Roast Chicken and Root Veggie here!Roast-Chicken-and-Root-Veggies-/c7al/NewsPostsItem1_i5depcwc326_1 but double the amount of veggies you use and add more seasonal veggies such as some candy-stripe and golden beetroot.

MEAL 2: Put the leftover roasted veggies including any garlic cloves out of their skins in the blender with enough water or chicken stock to obtain a dense, creamy consistency. Once you are happy with the texture, add a good handful of herbs (basil is great with sweet potato and carrots but parsley works better if you are using beetroot) and even a couple of  tablespoons of cream-fraiche. Chill until needed and serve piping hot with chunky bread and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

MEAL 3: Chicken and mushroom pie is such an old-time favourite but it tends to be too heavy on the cream and pastry side. Here is my version for 6 people: Ingredients: leftover chicken, 500g shop-bought all-butter puff pastry, 1 beaten egg, 1medium onion, 1 medium leek, 2 sticks of celery, 1 carrot, 2 tbsp whole-meal flour, 2tbsp olive or rapeseed oil, 250g mushrooms, 1/2 white wine |(optional) and approx. 1Lt chicken stock (*) First, pre-heat your oven to 190C or to the temperature recommended in the puff pastry pack. 1- Finely chop a medium onion, the white part of a leek, a stalk of celery and a carrot.2- Gently fry the chopped veggies in 2 tbps of olive/rapeseed oil until soft but not browning.3- Add 2 tbsp of whole-meal flour and fry for 30 seconds stirring all the time. Add 1/2 glass of white wine or chicken stock.5- Add 250g of cleaned and chopped mushrooms and cook for a minute.6- Add the shredded leftover chicken and enough chicken stock to cover the meat and veggies.7- Cook for 10min adding more stock if the mix is looking a bit dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper.8 – While the pie filling is cooking, roll the puff pastry and cut sticks about 1.5cm wide and slightly longer than the pie dish. Transfer to a lined baking tray, lightly brush with beaten egg  and put in the hot oven until slightly puffed up and golden.9- Once the puff pastry is ready, transfer the pie mix to individual pie dishes, arrange a few pastry sticks on each dish and serve straight away with steamed green beans or broccoli.

TIP: if you have little chicken left-over, you can bulk up the filling with some creamy canellini beans.  (*) You can make your own stock boiling the chicken bones in a large pot of cold water with an onion, 2 bay leaves, a carrot, a stick of celery, a couple of garlic cloves, a leek, a parsnip, a few peppercorns and a few springs of parsley.Boil for 1.5hrs skimming any scum that rises to the top and adding more water if it evaporates too quickly. If you want to make gut-friendly #glutamine-rich #bonebroth, add a tbsp of white-wine vinegar to the pan and boil for 8-10 hours if you have the patience (or in a pressure cooker for about 3 hours)