Sunday, January 9

Herby chicken salad........and more pearls of wisdom

It's been a busy wee day, and after an early start (more on that later!) I was feeling a bit jaded at dinner time. Chicken thighs in the fridge, and lettuce in the garden said chicken salad, but how to zush it up? Herbs, mustard and lemon creates a tangy chicken and dressing all in one, easy. This started life as a Donna Hay recipe, Mr PK made it for supper a few months back with mash, but for these warm days a salad seemed much more tempting........yes I know it looks a bit flat in the pic, but I didn't want to kill my lettuce plants by stripping them bare!

Herby mustard chicken salad (inspired by Donna Hay)

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tsp mustard (I use one of wholegrain and one of Dijon)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp chopped herbs, I like rosemary, thyme & a little tarragon, but whatever you have is fine
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
plenty of salt & black pepper
4 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
Big squeeze of lemon juice

Combine everything in a bowl and leave to marinate for 1/2 an hour or so.

 Heat a non stick pan over med heat, and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side.
Assemble your salad ingredients, and when the chicken is ready, drain off any of the fat that may have come out of the chicken. There will be lots of lovely gummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan, add a big squeeze of lemon juice and let it sizzle for a couple of seconds,  this is the dressing for the salad.

Pop your chicken onto your greens, and pour over your dressing. A good grind of pepper, and maybe a little more lemon if you think it needs it and it is good to go....

This is so simple, but really zippy with flavour. I didn't bother with cheese, but a little sprinkle of feta would not go amiss. In cooler weather the chicken is divine over buttery mash with some steamed spinach on the side.

 I used my own baby cos lettuce, these grow like the wind, even with my slightly erratic watering....

Basil growing well, I smell pesto and homemade pasta, heaven.......!

I was a little tired today, but after an eventful start to the day can I offer a couple of pearls of wisdom?

If something crawls across your foot in bed at 5.45am, and your husband is away, assume it is the cat, and under no circumstances turn on the light to investigate. Ignorance really is bliss.
If you choose to ignore the above, don't look too hard.
If you do happen to see the huge Weta (for my overseas readers, think of the most terrifying scaly "grasshopper on steroids" type insect you can imagine and you are halfway there....) scurrying under the bed, try to avoid kicking the cat as you leap across the room. Also try not to grab the can of furniture polish living next to the can of insect spray in the kitchen cupboard....
If again you ignore the above, try not to spray the WHOLE room before you realise it is Pledge and not Raid....
Make sure you come back with the Raid, and spray so much under the bed the air in the room becomes toxic and you have to go and rest in the spare room to recover from the shock......
Make sure you have a brave sister who does not mind insects to check under the bed for you...

My Uncle Terry told me years ago not to be afraid of insects (I was being viciously attacked by a small ladybird at the time I think....) , that they are much more afraid of you than you are of them.
Utter crap.


  1. What a morning! I don't mind weta, as long as they're not tooooo near me. But at 5.45am what can you do??

    This recipe looks fantastic - always good to have more chicken inspiration!

  2. The herb combination sounds great and it really is so easy to make! Will definitely give this one a try. I hate bugs, especially when they have the ability of flight and/or jumping. Yuk!

  3. LOL Plum - all advice gratefully recieved!!!!

    Chicken dish looks delicious, just the thing for sleep deprivation

  4. How funny, I am always surprised being a city girl how these bugs do not bother me and watch on grinning when I see my Kiwi husband or friends squeam when they see them, maybe it is because I have no bad childhood memories of them. Although I do remember a plague of ladybirds covering my sandwiches at the beach in Wales one year and was distraught but probable because they had my food!

  5. Oh dear, havent weta's been around as long as the dinosaur? In which case Im not sure how much damage a can of raid or pledge will do to it! Dont worry, I wont report you to DOC. And as an amateur cook I can report that this dish is totally yummy and easy to make!

  6. Oh my. I can't imagine what your poor cat was thinking. I hate that creepy crawling feeling in the middle of the night! I also hate the feeling that somebody is watching you . . .

  7. That herb combination looks wonderfu.

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone, I can report the Weta has still not been located (hopefully found his way to freedom by now) but the toxic fug in my bedroom has cleared....although I have kept the insect spray by the bed.......

  9. Know how you feel. I had one huge weta in the outdoor sink as I went to water the basil. Had to shut the kitchen door (despite heat!) in case it jumped into the house (!) and wait for partner to rescue me when he came home. Believe it or not, the weta (or it's twin!) returned to the same spot a day or so later. It was removed again to a further post and I haven't seen it since.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to comment:)