Spiced Roast Lamb

It took me a while to realise this but lamb really is the best meat to roast!  It is great by itself, but even better with this spice rub placed on the top before going into the oven.  I used a butterflied leg of lamb from the supermarket (the one that begins with a W!) which was perfect for “Family B” – 2 adults and two kids.  The benefit of this smaller cut of meat without a bone in is that it cooks in under an hour which is great for a midweek dinner.

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So, what did I do?  This is so simple you can’t really call it a method, I just took 2tsp coriander seeds, 2tsp fennel seeds, 2tsp cumin seeds, pinch chilli, salt to taste and smashed the seeds in a pestle and mortar a bit.  I like to leave it fairly coarse as the seeds look really attractive – and seems to be less likely to burn in a hot oven as it would be if you ground them into a powder.  I then added a glug (very scientific measurement of course!) of veg oil to make a paste then spooned it over the top of the lamb as the picture above.

I then put it into the oven, 190oC fan for 50 minutes and took it out for about ten minutes before carving into thin slices.

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It’s hard to tell from the photo but this was cooked medium/well done, if you like it rarer then just take it out of the oven a bit earlier.  I served this with some lentil dhal (recipe to follow on a future blog post) and a few tortilla wraps – chapattis would work really well too.  This quickly resulted in clean plates all round which is always a good result!

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Chicken with Tarragon

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A really simple chicken dish that cooks in well under half an hour but also tastes great, based on the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s “Kitchen” book.  You really can’t go wrong with chicken and cream together.  Given that it is easy to slightly overcook chicken breast (particularly as you need to make sure it is properly cooked through) the cream helps to hide this a bit, as well as providing richness to the sauce.  The tarragon itself provides a mild flavour which is all you need as you don’t want to detract too much from the subtle flavour of the chicken breast.

Serves                                2 Adults + 2 kids

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Freeze-dried tarragon
  • 200ml Double cream
  • 1 glass white wine
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Few leaves of fresh tarragon (optional)
  1. Cut the breasts in half lengthwise and fry in a splash of oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes, or until it has started to brown a bit.
  2. Turn the breasts over and sprinkle over the tarragon, followed by the salt and pepper. Fry for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the wine and let it bubble down until there are a few tbsp’s of liquid remaining. Then add in the cream.
  4. Once the cream starts to thicken and bubble it is ready – just cut into the thickest part of the chicken to check no pink meat remains, this will tell you that it’s all cooked through.
  5. Serve with your choice of potatoes and vegetables. I love this dish with mashed potato to mop up all that creamy sauce and some crunchy sugar snap peas to add some texture.  You could add a few chopped tarragon leaves at this stage if you wanted.

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