There’s always so much to do. Rarely a moment of peace, and it appears going on holiday for two and a half weeks exasibates this situation. Yes, despite being back from holiday now for a little over a week I’ve utterly neglected the blog. With so much to catch up on there hasn’t  felt like a minute to do it – I’ve not even sorted through all my photos yet, with the snaps from the road trip languishing in iPhoto totally unseen.

A guy’s gotta eat though, so there has been food made since my return – but mainly a hurried meal in between making vague attempts to get through mounds of washing, doing some exercise (how can Americans eat so much all the time? And why am I incapable of ignoring the Bad Idea Bears when they say ‘keep eating!’?) and generally trying to sort my life out. Oh, and fulfil the biggest craving for fruit and veg I’ve ever had – the South may love its Fifty Shades of Beige, but I did miss the healthy stuff (not something I thought I’d say). From the dull and unexciting meals I’ve had there is one that was pretty decent, it was chicken brought to life – metaphorically, I should add – with chilli and lime, scattered with parsley and wilted spinach. Sadly though the light is still really bad in the evenings, so the photos don’t give it nearly enough vibrancy.

Whilst I acknowledge there’s a time to let it sit and marinate, that can be done hours in advance (before going to work, say), I still think this an excellent little number to go into my ever-expanding selection of Dinner in a Hurry recipes. What do you think?

Chicken Chilli & Lime

Chicken with Chilli & Lime

Bourne out of another ‘what’s in the fridge that might work together’, this is an original The Usual Saucepans recipe. There are loads of adaptations that could be made to it, and if you like things with a little more kick add in some more chilli. It serves two.

Ingredient

4 chicken thigh fillets
1 lime
1 chilli
1 clove of garlic
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 handful of parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
Rice to serve

Directions

Using a sealable bag or tupperware container spread out your chicken in the bottom and season with salt and pepper. Using a very sharp knife thinly slice your chilli (leave the seeds in for some heat, remove for less power) and then trim the strips so they’re about 1 cm long and half as wide (or less), crush the garlic using the flat side of the blade and then dice up – add in on top of the chicken.

Grate half the zest of the lime over the top of the chicken and then slice the lime into wedges. Squeeze the juice from most of the wedges then toss them into the bag, but remember to keep a few aside to serve with. Add in the oil. Get your hands into the mix and rub it all in together making sure all the chicken is covered in the marinade. Seal the bag/box/whatever and shake a little for good measure/fun. Leave to marinate for at least 45 minutes, but the longer the better.

When you’re ready to cook, chuck the marinated chicken onto a roasting tray and spread each piece out as far as it will go (this will help to cook it faster). Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at about 180ºC and leave for about 12-15 minutes before checking. Continue roasting until the juices run clear.

Cook your rice on the hob whilst the chicken’s in the oven, and to economise on the power a little steam your spinach above the rice.

When it’s all done serve the chicken on a bed of rice surrounded by spinach and with a few lime wedges nestled in on top for extra zest.