If you haven’t got a copy of Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals it should definitely go on your Christmas wish list. A lot of people have complained about the fact that the meals actually take longer than 30 minutes to prepare, because when Jamie does it he has all of his ingredients laid out and all of the equipment ready. But, to be honest, this doesn’t really bother me that much – as with any recipe it takes time to become familiar with it, and I have got much quicker at the preparation side of things!
This does make an excellent mid-week meal and you could also use pasta instead of pastry to make a yummy, creamy pasta bake. And it won’t break the bank either! The recipe below is my adapted version of Jamie’s recipe.
4 x 180g skinless chicken breasts
A knob of butter (leave this out if using bacon or chorizo – see optional ingredients)
A bunch of spring onions
150g button mushrooms
1 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 heaped tbsp low fat creme fraiche
300ml chicken stock (I use a stock cube)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme (or a tsp of dried mixed herbs works well too)
1/3 a nutmeg, grated
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
Optional ingredients: 2 rashers smoked bacon/100g chorizo, chopped into small pieces/1 leek instead of spring onions
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/400°F/Gas mark 6. Cut the chicken into chunks (I use my kitchen scissors for this – so much easier!). Put a lug of olive oil and butter into a hot, large pan. Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes until sealed. If adding bacon or chorizo, wait until the chicken is sealed before adding to pan.
2. Meanwhile, make the stock and then wash and trim the spring onions (or leek) and slice. Cut the button mushrooms in half before adding to the pan with the onions. Leave for 2 minutes before adding 1 heaped tbsps of plain flour and creme fraiche. Stir well.
3. Add the chicken stock and stir again. Add the herbs and the nutmeg, and season. Leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes or so.
4. Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish. Roll out the pastry (luckily, my dish is just the right size for the pastry so I don’t need to do any rolling out) and place on top, tidying up the edges. Beat the egg and brush a little over the pastry.
5. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Serve with some steamed vegetables and enjoy!