Saturday afternoons and evenings are my big cooking nights. Because I’m shuffling between two houses/cities/counties, sometimes the Saturday afternoon dinner shop is the only driving reason to get out of the house. Especially if it’s cold, wet and miserable, as 2010 seemed to be 24/7.
Last Saturday was quite eventful; after a failed attempt at a 9 am hair appointment, we wandered the retail park getting the hard sell on beds. Who knew there was so much to consider? And at base price of £450, so much to pay! Sticker shocked to the extreme, I got my hair cut. Unfortunately, in my attempt to recapture my 21-year-old ye-ye princess look, I went too young. My overly thick fringe (bangs, damnit. bangs) makes me look 12. The exciting bit of the day was yet to come though… rock climbing!
During our last South Africa trip, the Thoroughly Modern Male & I were taken out climbing by his brothers at an indoor wall. Low on blood sugar, but keen to impress my future in-laws, I dutifully climbed to the top of the wall, paying no attention to the route. I looked back, looked down, freaked out and started to cry. TMM had to (gently) talk me down. A candy bar later and all was well, and I had a blast.
Keen to take up this activity, so that we could gain some level of ability for the June trip down south (and so that I might tone up these bingo wings before the wedding), I found a climbing gym close enough to our house that we can take the bike in miserable weather. Fortuitous!
Four hours later, I was starving but really did not feel like cooking. With my allergies, a take-away or instant meal just isn’t going to happen, and I wanted a proper dinner. Wandering through ASDA, it came to me: chicken thighs and mushrooms, roasted in the oven and mixed through with fresh pasta. Quick, simple and (of course) cheap. I’ve been on a radish kick, finding them marked down in every store I go into, so I threw a package in the oven for some added vegetables.
Roasted chicken & mushroom pasta
(Serves four, or two + leftovers for Monday’s delish lunch. Quantities easily adjusted as needed!)
Pasta (I used 500g of fresh linguine)
2 portabello mushrooms, cut into eighths
100g button/chestnut mushrooms, halved
3 garlic cloves
4 to 6 chicken thighs
Thyme (fresh was on hand, dried is fine)
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper
Prepare vegetables, toss in roasting pan. Add olive oil, herbs and season lightly. Place chicken thighs on top of the mix, coat them with a bit more oil and finish with salt and pepper. Place in oven at 200/Gas 5. When the chicken is done (juices run clear), turn the oven off and put the pasta on to cook. Start earlier if not using fresh. Drain noodles and toss into the roasting tray. Mix well, top with minced spring onion (parsley and lemon would also be good, but I didn’t have them. Oops!).