Patricia Scanlan's A Time For Friends is a whopping 600+ page read so it makes sense that I found several recipes that I wanted to recreate in it. The central character Hilary is a busy working mum so her "life-saver" recipes are quick, throw-it-all-in-and-let-it-get-on-with-it dishes that are perfect when you're lacking in time or energy, which is most of the time when I'm at work ! I knew I'd be trying this one as soon as I read the description !
p259 " 'Well, that was tasty, son. Very tasty indeed - you're a dab hand at the cooking', Nancy praised, wiping the last bit of sauce from her plate with a piece of Vienna roll. Although she had enjoyed the chicken dish, her stomach was unsettled at the thought of what was to come.
'It's so simple to prepare and it's all cooked in the one dish', Jonathan explained, scoffing a crispy potato quarter. 'Just line a dish coated with olive oil with sliced onions and mushrooms and a few lemon slices. Put the seasoned chicken breasts on top. Mix a couple of quartered spuds, some trimmed green beans, garlic, seasoning, and a drizzle of oil. Cook for fifty minutes and Bob's your uncle. Actually it was Hilary who gave me the recipe. It's one of her "life-saver" dinners as she calls them.'"
I had a couple of preserved lemons in a tub cluttering up the fridge so I decided to use those up. Everything else was already in the fridge or the freezer too, which was a bonus.
Hilary's all-in-one lemon chicken dish
drizzle of olive oil
4 chicken breasts
herbs and spices of your choice (I used sumac, thyme and lemon pepper)
1 large onion
handful of mushrooms (I left these out as we'd run out)
a pack of mange-tout (in place of the green beans)
2 preserved lemons
I quartered some potatoes, preserved lemons and red onions and popped them in the dish. I love the vibrant colours.
Next I scattered over the mange tout.
Seasoned the chicken.
Popped that on top.
And that's it. Fifty minutes in the oven and dinner is ready. I made up some gravy to go with it because I thought it would be a bit dry without it and it was very tasty.
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