Pinching the pennies – the end of the week!

After the turkey pilaff disaster I was desperate for my penny pinching week to end on more of a high note…so I decided to make a change on my meal planner. Knowing how much my hubby doesn’t like duck, I decided that I would keep that in the freezer and instead of having it for tea on the Friday night, we’ d have the left over Cowboy Casserole with baked potatoes. At least it would be something that everyone would enjoy and eat!

My chicken paella plans for Saturday, however, went ahead!

The recipe I use has been adapted from a recipe I used to cook from a Weight Watchers cookery book. It uses chicken breast, bacon, onion, garlic, peas, red pepper, risotto rice and chicken stock plus paprika, turmeric, some herbs and seasoning!

It’s really easy to cook as it’s a one pot thing…

You start by frying the diced chicken breast, bacon, onion and garlic until brown. I used 2 chicken breasts, a pack of the frozen bacon, 1 largish onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Once brown you add the diced red pepper and fry for a further couple of minutes, then add the risotto rice. I use a mug full for the four of us…

Once this has ‘sizzled’ui for a few moments you cover it with chicken stock – I make sure there’s about a centi-metre of liquid above the ingredients in the pan. Add 3 tsps paprika, 1 tsp turmeric and the herbs (I use 1tsp of marjoram, but mixed herbs will do). You then need to give it a good stir and simmer it, covered, for about 10 minutes only stirring once. If it seems to be running out of liquid, you simply add a bit more chicken stock!

After the 10 minutes, you add the peas – a couple of handfuls should do – stir it again, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn of the heat, season to taste, then leave to stand for a further 5 minutes before serving! And that’s it – one pot, simple, easy and tasty!

And the best thing is that it’s something that the whole family love to eat!

This week has certainly been a success – and I’m so pleased that, in the main, we’ve managed to stick to my plan. I’ve learnt that cooking rice in the slow cooker may take a bit of practice (there certainly isn’t going to be a turkey pilaff repeat anytime soon) and I’ve also discovered that with some careful planning, cooking on a budget can be achieved.

Good job really…’cos I’ve another week of it to come!


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