Tuesday, 14 July 2015


England really is the most beautiful country - however we have more than our fair share of  crap weather - even in July.

I know you can't tell from this picture but it is actually raining and you'll have to trust me when I say it feels like the middle of November!
So when planning a Bar b Q in the UK  you need to be flexible. When the rain starts, head inside & here's what you do.
As I don't eat meat, to be honest I'm a bit scared of cooking chicken. I always think I will undercook it and posion people or I will overcook it and it will be inedible. 
I spent ages online googling cooking times and found differing opinions from 20 mins to an hour - not helpful - so I went for halfway inbetween.
I've done this twice now, and both times it took 40 mins in my oven & everyone said it was perfectly cooked. if you poke a skewer into the thickest part the juices will come out clear when it's cooked.
Although if you're a meat eater you probably know more about it than I do!

This amount is for 2 people - double or triple the amounts to serve 4 or 6.

For the chicken

4 chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon light olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup

preheat the oven to 200c
mix the marinade ingredients together.
place the chicken drumsticks in an oven proof dish and pour over the marinade. make sure the chicken is evenly covered in the sauce.
place in the oven for 40 mins - turning half way though to make sure it's browned on both sides.

for the rice salad

200g cooked rice  (about 75g uncooked weight)
100g cooked sweetcorn (fresh, from a can or cooked from frozen)
half a cucumber (diced)
handful of raisins
handful of cashew nuts
25g of mustard cress, chopped

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon light olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
black pepper to taste

Cook your rice as per instructions on the packet. You can use white, brown, basmati - any rice you like - cooking times will vary depending on which type you use.
when its done, drain any excess liquid off, give it a rinse under some cold water and mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the rice.
For the dressing - whisk the olive oil , lemon juice & mayonnaise together & season with a little black pepper. Stir into the rice so that it's all well combined.
Serve with the drumsticks.

This rice salad could not be easier - and if you're having people round for a bar b q its great because you just prepare it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge - leaving you with more time to spend with your guests. It's a bit of a staple for me when I have visitors, and I'm always amazed that something so easy & simple is always such a big hit.
what I love most about this recipe is that it's so versatile. you can use red peppers instead of cucumber, pumpkin seeds instead of cashews, spring onions instead of sweetcorn - the only limit is your imagination - use what you have to hand or what you love the most.

British summertime! You can't beat it!

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