We don’t eat loads of meat in our house, there’s no particular reason why but I was veggie for 12 years as a teen and early 20s and maybe its habit not to immediately think of steak or bacon sandwiches as food from the gods.

Charlie is a real boy and loves meat but Poppy who used to eat “anything with a face” as the phrase goes, now really only likes chicken. I can fob her off with salami (though not Peperami) and ham if I take the “skin” off – by which she means any fat or crust.

Occasionally we try other meats which I refer to as chicken but to avoid major tantrums at meal times I generally opt for real actual chicken.

Slow-cooked meat is my thing but, let’s be honest, most of the time I am not organised enough to prep. Roasting is definitely my preferred way of eating chicken as long as it’s not dry as old boots.

I buy free range because I dislike intensive farming, however I appreciate it’s more expensive and do kind of hate it when people get all judgy about what you “should” eat. The bottom line is to just get the best food you can which fits your budget. I think they call me a flexitarian. Google it.

Roast chicken is fab for three reasons:

1. It makes your house smell amazing
2. The crispy skin from the top is lush sprinkled with a bit of salt
3. You can get three meals out of one bird which actually makes it really cheap, the average free range bird being about £7 for a largish one. Do it. Do it!

I roasted a chicken the other day, so this week we will eat some of it with vegetables, very simple. Then I will make my cannelloni and kale chicken and thirdly I will get some stock on the go and make classic Leftover Chicken Soup. See? It’s good, innit?

Chicken is warm and comforting and great for this time of year.

When roasted for a family lunch I usually accompany it with tender stem broccoli as its poppy’s favourite, this avoids the whole battle of making her eat stuff she hates. I also shove one of those ready-cooked rice pouches in the microwave. I know this may be controversial and the height of laziness but, that’s the reality of my kitchen. The only brand I really buy is Tilda. They come in all sorts of flavours: lemon and herb, coconut and lime, and aromatic spices – but my current go to is their basmati sunflower and pumpkin seeds.Tilda rice

As my mum says: “They are not mucking about with food.” All the ingredients are pretty straight forward and there are no weird flavourings, E-numbers or glugs of palm oil.

I just find the Tilda packets have good sized portions, I don’t get loads leftover and more importantly I am just rubbish at cooking rice. It either ends up too sticky, too dry, too wet, stuck to the bottom of the pan … and I regularly end up accidentally cooking more than I intend. Doesn’t everyone? (Note that Tilda aren’t paying me)

If you have any fail-safe rice cooking suggestions please do let me know or write them in the Comments below.

TOP TIP: if you are feeling too lazy to make chicken stock from the carcass, remove all meat from the bone and wrap it up in foil and stick it in the freezer for when you are in need of fresh stock – it only takes an hour or so to boil up on the hob so you can drag it out of the freezer when you’re in the right mood to cook but NEVER THROW IT IN THE BIN!

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