A half baked chicken

So there I was helping out at a photo shoot for a forthcoming new parenting magazine (watch this space…), when I got a text from J asking if we were “still on for tonight”. I had no idea what she was talking about. She maintained there was an email exchange on the subject. It turns out that she was right, but I clearly hadn’t read to the end of a lengthy message that covered many very important matters.  As luck would have it, I had sort of prepared a chicken dish in advance for Missy B and myself, knowing that we’d be at the shoot at least till early evening. As luck would further have it, Missy B ate so many of the sandwiches, crisps, cakes and biscuits that were laid on, she didn’t need much to eat when we got home. And so I was able to present J with a proper dinner, almost as if I have been expecting her all along. I had made the sauce in the morning – a couple of big tomatoes, roughly chopped; a handful of olives; four cloves of garlic, peeled and squashed a bit; some olive oil; the juice of most of a lemon; a couple of sprigs of thyme; seasoning. All I had to do was griddle the chicken breasts a little on each side, then put the whole lot in a roasting tin and cook at about 200 C for around 40 minutes. So it wasn’t really half baked, but it was more or less prepared in advance and that will be the name of the dish henceforth. J gave it a very good review: “I liked the dainty olives and I ate all the garlic. It was lovely”. And Missy B took the whole “there’s no actual dinner for you” affair quite well. I served the chicken with some steamed broccoli and an emergency fougasse from the freezer, as you do.

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J and I accidentally drank a glass (or two) too many, so this was my restorative brunch at a little cafe in Finchley the next morning (after an attempted exercise class)… Lovely!

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