Jamie Oliver’s quick crispy chicken with tomatoes and asparagus

If you were to compare the image alongside Jamie’s recipe to mine, you would not think they were the same dish. I did plate it differently, as well as far less elegantly, but the flavours were there!

I have to say that the standout thing on the plate is the basil, olive, butter, tomato and wine sauce. It is absolutely delicious. I will use it again with other chicken dishes.

This is a really good recipe, and actually works well adapted for lunches on top of some couscous, as it soaks up all the buttery/winey sauce.

Oh, and I added a poached egg to the asparagus because they needed using up!

You can access Jamie’s recipe, here.


Chicken madras salad

We had some madras paste and an assortment of salad vegetables from a fish curry to use up, so remembered a Jamie Oliver recipe and chucked a the ingredients together in the hope it would make dinner.

We were pretty happy with the result!

The dinner is a bed of spinach leaves, spring onions and cucumber ribbons. topped with griddled chicken in madras paste dotted with a load of feta cheese.

There is also a sprinkling of mustard and cumin seeds lightly fried in sesame oil.

We served this with some mango chutney (from a jar not homemade…)

This actually keeps really well for work the next day, as the cold chicken really takes on the madras flavours more.


Joe Wicks’ butterfly chicken and potato salad

Yep, this is a keeper!

Lovely slices of soft, grilled chicken with a hint of paprika (I might add some chilly next time) with the unmistakable, creamy comfort of potato salad with egg and a fresh, crisp salad to finish off each mouthful.

I won’t post the recipe (that wouldn’t be fair on Joe), but suffice to say the healthier version of potato salad is 100% a keeper. Far be it from me to alter Joe’s wonderful work, but next time I’ll run some fresh chives through the potatoes for a bit of extra zing.

Joe’s recipe has no oil, no frying and no mayonnaise.

Oh, and if you make double of this, it would be awesome cold in a lunch box the following day!



Chicken wings with barley, leaks and mushrooms

The latest from Nigel Slater’s excellent book, a healthy, delicious meal which incorporated the much undervalued leek.

I have to confess, when I read through this recipe I thought, what can possibly go wrong? It looks simply enough. But I did have nightmares, not least when I looked at the size of my chicken wings and thought I’d bought the wrong thing, and when I wondered if it would take until 2056 for the stock and juices to reduce.

However, all worked well, and my girlfriend, who hates aniseed (and therefore tarragon by default) didn’t even notice the herbs slipped into the sauce.

The good thing about this is if you have any of the leeky sauce left, it actually heats up rather nicely with a fresh piece of buttered bread for lunch the next day – waste not want not,  etc…



Jamie Oliver’s roasted chicken breast with lemony Bombay potatoes

Continuing with our exploration into Jamie Oliver’s awesome recipes, the NoviceCookingBlog had ago at Jamie’s ‘roasted chicken breast with lemony Bombay potatoes’. This Indian twist on a roast dinner allows the single novice cook the opportunity to enjoy roast chicken, lovely fluffy potatoes and those Indian spices we’ve all grown to know and love. All in one pot, so no stress washing up, either.

I copied the recipe exactly, but you could totally add some more chilli’s for extra heat if you wanted to, and make sure you serve up with some yoghurt or chutney to go with your lovely potatoes.

Roast chicken and lemony Bombay potatoes 2

Novice notes

Don’t worry about any rice or bread or anything extra, a ‘large handful of potatoes is exactly what it says it is – follow this recipe and you will have plenty for dinner!

Novice slow cooked chicken Korma

Novice cooks! It’s time to take our cooking to another level and purchase a piece of culinary equipment that is going to take our food to another level, while potentially reducing the amount of effort we actually have to put in.

For this recipe you will need a slow cooker, although to be frank you could actually adapt the method slightly and allow the sauce to thicken out by cooking off in a pan.

Finally, this isn’t just a normal chicken korma from the take-away that tastes like a curry-based dessert. This has flavour, so much flavour, and you will end up with a fresh, vibrant and delicious meal – the star ingredient being chicken that falls a part with the most subtle pressure.

The below method is for two people, and assumes you are using a 3.5L slow cooker (I know that is not useful, but this is still a novice blog, right?!)


  • Approximately 500g boneless chicken chunks
  • Two tablespoons of oil
  • Three tablespoons of korma paste (not sauce, paste, OK?!)
  • 125ml of stock (preferably chicken)
  • One onion (finely chopped but leave a some behind for garnish at the end)
  • Between half an inch to an inch of finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • One green chilli (without the seeds) finely chopped. You can of course add more chilli for a kick if you wish
  • One diced tomato
  • 100g of coconut cream or milk
  • One fistful of coriander
  • Salt and pepper to season


This is gonna cost about £10-£15 depending on how much you shop about. The chicken obviously has the bulk of the cost.


  • If you are about to start cooking this, don’t. Go back and check the ingredients, and for anything that says ‘diced’ or ‘cubed’ or  ‘finely chopped’, do it now – trust me.
  • Add the oil to a frying pan and when heated up, add your chicken. Fry the chicken until it is browned off and add it to your slow cooker, making sure the oil remains in the pan.
  • In the same pan with the chicken oil, add the onions (leaving some behind) ginger, chilli, coconut cream and korma paste. Stir this in and season with the salt and pepper. Cook for two – three minutes ensuring you don’t burn any sauce.
  • Add your stock and stir in, after a minute add some torn coriander leaves. Cook for a further couple of minutes and then spoon this beautiful sauce over your chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on a low heat for 5-6 hours and get on with your life.
  • Some time later…
  • Stir the chicken korma and serve on a plate/in bowls/one big bowl as you wish. Top with some chopped onion and diced tomato and some fresh coriander
  • Delicious, and so pain-free!

Novice paella with chicken and chorizo

Think cooking a delicious paella is difficult? Think again old bean! You can make a paella in about half hour, in one pan, that’s going to put a massive grin on the boat race of up to four people by following the recipe below.

Of course, as with every famous dish, the origins and specifications are up for debate. Valencians believe that seafood should be nowhere near a paella, whereas most of us relish the sight of a few king prawns on top of the rice while overlooking the sea. There are also debates over how to cook this dish, from wood burning fires to oven cooking, as well as the ingredients and even the time of day that the dish should be eaten.

My recipe is simple, to prepare, cook and even wash up, so lets get cooking amigos!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 110g chopped chorizo sausage (chuck in more if you want, why not?)
  • 2 diced chicken breasts (as with the sausage, if you want a bit more chicken, who’s stopping you?)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 300g long grain rice
  • 1l hot chicken stock
  • 200g frozen peas


This is going to set you back around a tenner. Perhaps more if you need to buy turmeric.


  • Get your onion and meats sliced and diced where required to begin with, have everything out ready to go.
  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok and soften your onion without browning.
  • Next add your chicken for a few minutes before adding your chorizo. Fry the sausage until it releases its oils.
  • Now you have the onion, chicken and chorizo all mixed up in the oil, whack in your turmeric and rice until coated by the oils. Don’t be gentle with this, get all the rice covered in the oils so everything is orange. At this point, pour in the stock. Bring the paella mix to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that this is simmering, but that the heat isn’t too great on the pan, you don’t want to lose most of your dinner to the bottom of the pan.
  • You will notice after around 15 minutes that much of the moisture has gone fro mthe mix, and at a taste you should notice that the rice is now softening up. Tip in the peas and cook for a further five minutes, stirring occasional until the rice is cooked.
  • Taste and season well before serving.

Novice notes

  • If you are planning on making this recipe as it id, for four people, you will need a deep frying pan, or wok. A standard frying pan simply won’t hold the ingredients and stock in their uncooked form.
  • Don’t skip the turmeric if you haven’t got it at home – it’s vital.
  • It sounds silly, but if you half this recipe for two people, don’t forget to have everything, including the stock!