Nigella’s Spanish Chicken – Olé!

It’s fiesta time in our house tonight!  Well, not exactly.  It’s been a long day and I needed to cook something easy, quick and very tasty.  This recipe is all of that – shove the ingredients into a roasting tin and pop it in the oven for an hour.  Out comes the delicious flavours of Spain!
I halve the recipe and modify it to fit with what is in the fridge, so here is how I made tonight’s Spanish Chicken (based on the Nigella recipe in ‘Kitchen’ which is infinitely more eloquent and probably more delicious).
Add a slug of olive oil to a roasting dish and add 4-6 chicken thighs/legs.  Rub them in the oil and place them skin side up.  To this add one large onion roughly chopped, 225g of baby new potatoes, 100g of chorizo cut into 4cm chunks and a sprinkling of dried oregano.  Then sprinkle the zest of one orange over the top and bake at 220ºC (or 200 fan) for about an hour.  I baste the mixture every 20mins to keep it moist.  Serves 2.  You can have it with a green salad, but usually we just eat it as is, or with some crusty bread.  Oh, and a nice glass of rioja of course!

All Hail Nigella!

It is with much giggling I must tell you about the Power of Nigella!

Last week, circa Shrove Tuesday, I replied to a Nigella tweet, extolling the virtues of her pancakes.
Nigella retweeted this (gawd bless her).
My humble blog only averages about 20 hits a day.  After that retweet, in 24 hours, I had 953 blog hits!
This has kept me smiling all week.
I am, naturally, back to normal now.  And this blog is, as I state to your right, just a little outlet for me and my questionable cooking.
So sincere thanks to my loyal followers and hello to the near thousand of you that checked in and promptly checked out again!  And, of course, thank you to the lady herself ;)

Birthday Cake

After much humming and hah-ing about what cake to make for my daughter’s 2nd birthday I came up with a grassy knoll….

Not very exhilarating you may think, but atop it will be plonked, er carefully placed, Ben & Holly’s castle.  I was going to make Gaston the ladybird from the same series, but there is no way I am going to be able to get to the shops for black and red gel in time unless Waitrose get here tout de suite.  So grassy knoll it is with a few toadstools and perhaps a mini Gaston to decorate.
If you don’t have small children you will have no ides what I’m talking about, but suffice to say it’s a pre-school TV program that is funny enough for adults to enjoy (due to a very sarcastic Nanny Plum) and Littlest loves it.
The recipe I am using is an old favourite – very easy to make and it really is the most moist, scrummy chocolate cake ever.  At every birthday party, people can’t believe I made it.  I am never sure whether to take that as a compliment or not…
Anyway, it is, of course, a Nigella recipe from her book Feast.  I am wont to cheat and when time is tight use Betty Crocker instead of the given icing recipe, but shhh!  Don’t tell!

For the cake:

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
40g best quality cocoa
175g soft, unsalted butter
2 large eggs (free range please!)
2 tsps vanilla extract (NOT essence!)
150ml sour cream


Preheat oven to 140ºC/gas mark 4.  Line two 20cm cake tins.

Bung all the ingredients into your kitchenaid/food processor and mix until you have a smooth, thick batter.  Divide between the two tins and bake for about 35 minutes but do check according to how your oven bakes (Mine new oven seems to cook very quickly and I take them out about 20-25 mins!).  I also put a small dish of water in the bottom of the oven to keep the sponge moist.
Leave to cool for 10 mins before turning them out of their tins and cooling on a wire rack.

I fill with 1/3 tub of Betty Crocker choc fudge icing and then splat the rest over the top.  Then leave as is, or decorate with flowers, mini-eggs, whatever takes your fancy!

My Easter cake, decorated by the kids!

Or, I have smoothed over some warmed apricot jam and then rolled icing to make a variety of party cakes.


Ah-ha!  I think I hear the soft rumble of a Waitrose van….Let the cake-making commence!