20 September 2010

Failed : Pan-roasted chicken dish

I thought it would be interesting to talk about the dishes that fail - and my thoughts on why they did so.

I had included on the menu for last night (Sunday) a pan-roasted chicken dish, gleaned from "A Glug of Oil" (see original blog post here).

Now before I go any further, I have to say that the failure of our dinner has nothing to do with Jan's excellent recipe.  Rather more, it has everything to do with the pathetic nature of Asda's frozen chicken portions - which was all I could get when shopping.

I set out to buy three chicken breasts, which I can't help but think would have been brilliant for the job.  Unfortunately, you needed to have mortgaged your house - or at the very least sold your car - in order to have been able to afford the fresh chicken breasts.  So my eyes turned to the frozen.  What a pathetic no-choice we had there!  It was either a monster bag of cheap-as-chips-full-of-salty-water-and-no-chicken pieces or a small bag of "chicken chunks" which were, at least, breast meat - even if they had a significant amount of the salty water injected into them.  *sigh*

I should have thrown the idea to the wind and gone for an entire chicken and just done a roast, but I had my heart set on the pan-roasted chicken thing.

I had a half a pack of streaky bacon, left over from an earlier dish, still in the fridge, so decided to wrap two chunks of chicken breast in each piece of bacon and pan-fry them as the recipe said.

Which was all very well, until I looked at the quantity I wound up with.  Let's say, it's just as well we had an enormous plum pie for dessert.

Oh, and I won't be bothering with adding shallots to my green beans again.  Can't see the point of that at all, as although the idea sounded good in practice it turned out to be tasteless and disappointing.

However, the real result of the whole meal was the Honey Roasted Butternut Squash (and a Parsnip, who crept in as an afterthought when it looked like we weren't going to get much for dinner).  Gosh, but that squash was good.  I'll definitely be doing that again!  :)


  1. How Honest....How Honest.....!
    I am a typical Virgo....Don't believe in failure.
    Perfectionist, Practical, Diligent, Reliable, Critical, Modest, Intelligent. (Don't know about that one), and Analytical. Earth sign...(carrots and potatoes).etc...etc...!
    I for one NEVER, NEVER, buy fozen. Food l buy or given to me, is always fresh, l will freeze food because being alone it's to much for me. And, of course it is used at a later date for a dinner party.
    I say this, day in and day out..."Food is NOT Expensive". It is cheep as chips. If you know what your do'in in a supermarket, it's easy.
    I like to buy Morrisons orange juice. Usually it's 87p..92p. Last Sunday week, l went in, it was £1:27. Did l buy it.......?
    I like to buy Morrisons apples. You usually get 8 in a bag for a £1. Last Sunday, they were £1:20. Did l buy them.......?
    Once a month, on a Sat, l go to Asda, like it their,
    breakfast, read the paper, get a trolly, and of l go, in store, AND do exactly the same thing.
    I can do it, l've proved it, to quite a few people now. "Food is NOT dear to buy"
    And, if your buying on a market, haggle, go for it....l do. Said it before...l love to shop...it's challenge.
    And bringing my daughter up, as l did, we had great fun shopp'in. Lots Of Laughs....!
    When we went to a supermarket, l used to give her a banana/apple to eat on the way round.
    I do miss her now though, can't go round the lingerie
    department any more.....! Ha!
    Remember Jenny, nothing ever fails, especially with food, always summat in the cupboard, to gee it up, and make it taste better.
    Thankyou for the birthday wishes, l'm on my second glass of Ruffino....and l'm hav'in a pizza later....One l made earlier....Anchovies..
    Viva Sicilia...Fantasticooooooo...! La Vita e' Bella....! :0) Saluti.....!

  2. What a shame it didn't turn out as you hoped Jenny. I have a chicken roasting as I type. Think I have a butternut squash, may just go & try the honey roast version, it sounds delicious.

  3. Not all frozen food is to be avoided. Frozen peas for example are the best that can be had unless you grow your own.

    As for food not being dear.....it's all a question of perspective. When your food shop costs the whole of your food budget then just a few small price increases can really mess up your day. Take this with the fact that the price of food is increasing overall on a monthly basis and the imminent arrival of the new VAT rise and you have all of the ingredients to make a scary pie.

    I think a big part of the solution to this problem is to change our eating habits to place much more emphasis on local, seasonal food, instead of what Jenny and I witnessed in ASDA last week.....namely Samphire flown all of the way from Isreal!!

  4. Oooh the samphire thing! Can I join in please? I spotted the Israeli samphire the other day! I got very confused about it. Why does anyone NEED samphire for now, immediately, that it comes in from Israel? Is there some great food conspiracy I've been missing out on for years with samphire at the heart of home gastronomy? I just don't get it! Israel. Samphire. Here. Why?

    I've fallen fowl(!)of the chicken thing too. A few years ago the other half decide to buy meat from local farmer's markets to keep the price down (and theoretically put the quality up). The chicken was so water-spun it was impossible to cook. The chicken breasts were in the oven for hours and hours and were still wet through. After that we started using a lot of tofu instead but the price of that has shot up over teh last six months. Again no idea why. Is there a world tofu shortage? It's gone up over a pound a block. Food prices are getting so scary at the moment, and as Chilli says, what with the VAT increase next year upping the price of sundries, this is not good :(

    Which is why I love this blog sooooo much! Inspiration! x

  5. Willie : I don't see any point in being anything other than honest! LOL I figure that blogs that just show the successes make one believe that these people never have any failures, which can't be true.

    Food not being expensive depends entirely upon your own situation, I think. For instance, if you are in the happy position of being fairly well heeled, i.e. you've a little in the bank to pad out those leaner times, I don't think you have any understanding of the pressures of what it is like to have to spend virtually all your "spare cash" on food, to make every penny go as far as possible, yet still eat well and as healthily as possible. Not saying you're like that, Willie - just citing that as an example. :)
    Something I haven't touched on in any blog as of yet is my Mobility issues. I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which makes it virtually impossible - these days - for me to walk around a supermarket. I certainly don't have the muscle power to go from shop to shop looking for the best deals, much as I'd like to! So for us, if it doesn't come from Asda (or Sainsbury's, or sometimes Aldi if we're going that way), then we don't get it. Gosh, I'd love to shop from local markets but I just can't do it - not unless I have a mobility buggy fall off the back of a lorry into my arms, one day! LOL

  6. Noreen - well, we live and learn! I should have, as I said, abandoned the idea when I couldn't get the right meat - which is a definite lesson for the future! How did your Squash turn out?

  7. Chilli - I still can't get over the Samphire from Israel - and not only that, but just under £2 for a handful. Shocking.

  8. Tincanmountaintop : Hiya! By all means join in the discussion. I wish more people would comment, as I love comments both good and bad!

    I reckon the samphire is down to it appearing on various t.v. shows like Great British Menu and Masterchef. Because it has figured large on these shows, the supermakets' buyers aim to be one step ahead of the demand and as such have provided it for those lucky ones amongst us who just HAVE to have the "in" food of the moment.

    I'm so happy you're finding inspiration from the blog - that's why I started it! *grin*

  9. Tincanmountaintop : the penny has just dropped as to who you are! :) Mind you, I had to go look at your blog, in order to work it out. LOL Thank you for the glowing entry on your Blogroll. :)

  10. I'm having an online identity crisis at the moment! I usually comment just using name and URL, but I tried to be clever and do it under Wordpress ID, but it used the blog name instead of me! I didn't realise until popped back to see your new meal planning posting! Bah! Then of course I couldn't edit the post.

    (As an aside, when I got the mystery word test to authenticate my posting on this here site, the word it gave me was 'tastery'. Very apt! x

    (Let's see what I come up as this time, I'm hoping for Jane!)

  11. There you are! :) Cracked it. LOL Oooh, "tastery", eh? Eeeh, it's almost as if it knows ... lol. :)

  12. Hi Jenny, the squash was delicious (well I liked it), my eldest, & v fussy, daughter thought it was carrots! (it was gone midnight when she got in from work), so she had a bit of a shock lol. One slight problem I had with the roast chicken though - my youngest asked how long til tea, I told her the chicken was ready, then realised I had forgotten to put the potatoes in to roast! Woops, slight delay, but the chicken fell off the bone lol

  13. Hiya Noreen! Yes, I can see how she might think it was carrots, at that time of the day (or night!), lol. Oh dear, I expect your youngest was chewing the cutlery forlornly by the time the spuds were done. *chuckle* Bless!


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