Recently life seems to be getting increasingly busier. I love to meal plan and I love to cook but sometimes it’s just impossible, impractical or I really don’t have the time. When The Boyfriend and I are on different schedules it can also be really difficult cooking for one without wasting ingredients or cooking too much. It can be all too easy to reach for the takeaway menu or even if I pop to the shops on the way home, because I’m hungry I’ll end up buying way too much. We’ve begun to tackle the problem by batch cooking more It’s hardly a new found revelation, many people do this, but it’s a new practice in my household. On the days when we do have time or if we happen to be cooking something suitable, we’ll double up the amount we cook and portion it up into homemade ready meals for the freezer. So far so good, this habit has been working brilliantly for us. Also to avoid storing endless amounts of tupperware we’ve found that buying cheap takeaway style foil containers works much better for us, they take up less space, they’re cheaper and they’re recyclable.
So many recipes work well for freezing. Stews, curries, pies and ragu type dishes work best. We freeze them in individual portions, get them out to defrost the night before or in the morning and 30 minutes in the oven at around 180ºC to reheat works perfectly for most things. My favourite freezable batch dinners that we’ve made so far have been bolognese, individual cottage pies and a Thai green chicken curry.
Whether you’re embracing my new batch cooking philosophy or you simply just need to feed more people than I do, this Moroccan chicken stew is a great dish. Packed with veggies (always a bonus in my book) and delicately spiced so as to add an enhance flavour, but without taking over the whole dish, I think it’s a real crowd pleaser. Serve with rice or cous cous or simply in a bowl this is a really nice warming winter dish.
8 boneless chicken thighs, diced into chunks
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, peeled & finely sliced
1 courgette, sliced
100ml orange juice
1 tbsp honey
300ml chicken stock
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper
Bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- In a pestle and mortar grind the coriander seeds and cloves until they form a powder.
- In a casserole dish, on the hob, add the coconut oil on a med-high heat before adding the chicken, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until chicken is lightly browned.
- Add all the remaining spices and ensure all of the ingredients are well coated.
- Add the carrots, courgettes, honey, orange juice, and chicken stock.
- Put the lid on your casserole dish and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh coriander.
- Serve with rice, cous cous or spoon into bowls and/or freezable containers. If freezing, ensure food has cooled fully before putting in the freezer.