Sunday, 15 July 2007

Boiled chicken and vegetables for church lunches

Two large chickens, about 4lbs each
a bunch of carrots
four onions
two cloves of garlic
bay leaf and other fresh herbs
about six pints of water
salt and pepper

7 lbs courgettes

22 baking potatoes, and butter to serve.

Use the largest stock pot available.
Wash the carrots and cut into pieces if they are large (otherwise leave them whole).
Peel and slice the onions.
Put the onions, garlic, carrots, water, salt, pepper and herbs and seasoning into the stock pot and turn up the heat to maximum. Add the two chickens. Bring to the boil before the service starts.

Turn down the heat and simmer for two hours.

Put the baking potatoes on trays in the oven and turn on the oven (190-200ºC) about an hour and a half before serving.

About fifteen minutes before serving add the sliced courgettes to the top of the stew. Test the seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.

To serve, remove the potatoes from the oven and serve on trays, with the butter served separately. Lift out the courgettes and serve in a serving dish. Lift out the chickens onto a large plate and dismember them, removing the bones. While one person is doing this, another should take two pints of the stock or so, and thicken it with three tablespoons of plain flour, and heat to boiling in a saucepan on the stove.

Keep the rest of the broth for soup on a later day (or if a three course meal is required, keep the chicken warm while serving a soup made with the broth).

Serves not more than 22 people.


1 lb self raising flour
3 oz butter
a pinch of salt

  1. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients.

This dry scone mix can be stored ready for use.

To mix and use:
A quarter of a pint of milk, milk and water or milk and egg for every 8oz of flour
  1. Mix quickly, and roll out on a floured board.
  2. Cut into rounds and place on a greased baking sheet
  3. Bake at 230º C, gas mark 8, for about 12 minutes

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Best seafood pie

Serves three

One pack of mixed ready-cooked seafood from tescos
a few anchovy fillets

One onion, peeled and chopped
1 oz butter
1 tbsp flour
half a pint of milk
salt to taste

scant 1 lb new potatoes
fresh basil leaves
  1. scrub or scrape the potatoes till they are pretty naked.
  2. boil them in salted water until just done but not fragile.
  3. drain them and tip them into a bowl
  4. chop them roughly with the basil leaves. Add a knob of butter.
  5. melt the 1 oz of butter in a pan.
  6. fry the chopped onion until it is translucent.
  7. add the flour to make a roux, cook gently and then slowly add milk to make a white onion sauce.
  8. add chopped anchovy fillets and the seafood. Season with further salt if required (but the anchovies are salty).
  9. Put the seafood mixture in a small oven-proof dish. Spread the crushed basil potatoes on top. Dot with further butter and bake in a moderate oven until piping hot and crispy on top.
  10. Serve with minted peas, and additional new potatoes if required.

Gooseberry crumble

1 1/2 lbs gooseberries

6 oz flour
2 oz butter
4 oz sugar

  1. Top and tail the gooseberries.
  2. Add a spoonful of water and some sugar and bring to the boil or microwave till they are soft. Test for sweetness, and add more sugar if necessary. Don't make them too sweet.
  3. Put them in a greased dish.
  4. Heat the oven.
  5. Put the flour and butter in a mixing bowl and rub in.
  6. Add the sugar. Stir till sugar is well dispersed.
  7. Pour the crumble over the fruit.
  8. Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour.