A Quick Supper...and an Even Quicker Preserve

Some days I like to spend an hour or two preparing something fantastical for us to eat for supper. Usually though, after a long day at work I think quick. Often pasta. This is a recipe I adapted from a Nigella Lawson cookbook. And no pasta.
Put a chicken breast (or two or three or...depending on family size) into the oven to roast. Remember to dollop on some butter and lots of seasoning. Cover with tinfoil. Oven at 180c. About 45 minutes roughly.
In the meantime, slice a large white onion thinly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 10 minutes over a low heat until lightly coloured and very soft. Add some diced chorizo and cook until the spicy sausage has released it’s paprika infused oil, colouring the onions smoky red. Add a tin of drained Cannelini beans, stir well until warmed through. Finally add some tomatoes, cut into quarters (or halves if cherry toms), some chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted chicken breast on top, a lovely leafy salad or some briefly boiled curly Kale or spring greens or sprouting broccoli and some crusty bread. If you aren’t all that peckish, omit the chicken and greenery altogether. Or, if you like it really spicy, finely chop a red chili and add that to onions with the chorizo.

And if you thought that making preserves was a time-consuming procedure or too fiddly, these are so quick that you could knock them up during the adverts of Coronation Street. Well, almost.
Preserved Lemons are the perfect condiment with Moroccan or African flavoured dishes. They also spritz up a summer salad a treat and are wonderful with fish. Not only are they versatile but they are also dead easy to make.
Take 4 lemons (or as I did 2 as I only had one of those stumpy little Kilner type jars in the cupboard), slice lengthways into quarters but leaving them joined at the stem end, in other words so you can open them up with your fingers like a flower but so they stay in one piece. Take a cup of maldon salt and add the salt with the lemons to a large bowl. Open the lemons up and fill up with the salt, making sure you get in between each cut edge. Close them up as tightly as you can and put into the jar with the remaining salt. Add the juice of two lemons, a Cinnamon stick, a Bay Leaf a couple of whole cloves and seal tightly in your sterilised jar. Shake well to amalgamate. For the next week, store in a cool dry place and shake once a day. After this, place the jar of lemons into a fridge for four weeks. After this time they will then be ready to use. The lemons will keep in the fridge for about 6 months. Remember to rinse them before use. A real taste of summer!

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