Cooking for Friends

Magdalen Christie 3 May 2015

Whatever mental state you’re in, with exams a distant memory or a future panic, nothing is more enjoyable and relaxing than taking a comprehensive study break to cook and relax with friends. Here are a couple of dishes that you can make easily for a group of people without compromising on flavour.

Chicken and chorizo bake

This delicious Mediterranean inspired dish is warm, spicy, and filling, as well as being a fantastic way to use up various vegetables that have been lurking around your fridge. The best thing about this dish, though, is that it’s hassle free; everything can be muddled in one dish and popped in the oven, where all the delicious flavours mingle together. I love this served with crusty white bread and a really big green salad on the side.

Ingredients  (To serve 4 very generously, 5-6 more ordinarily)

Approximately 1/3 of a link of chorizo

8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on

3 peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky pieces

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli powder (optional)

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1 pack of cherry tomatoes, rinsed

Optional extras: courgette, aubergine, olives, halved baby potatoes, cubed sweet potato, or anything else you have floating around!

Method:

Simply place all the ingredients in a very large baking dish, then add approximately ¼ of a cup of olive oil. Use two spoons or your (clean) hands to mix everything around until all the ingredients are well coated in the spices and oil.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until chicken is cooked through (no pinkness in the middle) and vegetables are soft.

 

Chicken itame

This is a homemade version of the famous Wagamama dish, and can quite easily be made with store-cupboard staples, making it convenient as well as tasty. This is also an extremely filling vegetarian/vegan meal if you take out the chicken.

Ingredients

1/2 pack of rice noodles

2 tablespoons green Thai curry paste

1 can of coconut milk (I use the Sainsbury’s own brand; it’s really great quality)

2 cubes of chicken stock (or to taste)

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

¼ cup flour

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)

1 pack of stir-fry vegetables

Coriander (to serve)

Method:

Fry the two tablespoons of green curry paste in a large pot. After a couple of minutes add the can of coconut milk and the two cubes of chicken stock dissolved in approximately one liter of boiled water.
Roll the chicken in the garlic, then in the flour, before stir frying it in a separate pan.
After the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and stir fry the vegetables.
When ready to serve, quickly boil the rice noodles (they require very little cooking so watch them carefully!), and serve by ladling a large portion of soup, then placing in the rice noodles, chicken, and vegetables.

Serve topped with a large handful of coriander.