Cooking for family and friends, 240pp.
by Joe Wicks
Bluebird, Pan Macmillan, London, 2017
Cooking on page 32
Joe Wicks—also known as the Body Coach—is a British fitness coach, TV presenter and author, specialising in cooking and fitness books. His first published cookbook Lean in 15: 15-minute meals sold more than 900,000 copies in 2015. Some of his other books include workout programs, but this one is solely recipes.
Chapters cover reduced-carb dishes, food for after workouts, side dishes, starters and snacks, and smoothies and sweets. Page 32 is a reduced-carb meal.
Chicken, chorizo and cauliflower bake
2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken breasts (skin-on)
1 cauliflower, florets only (roughly 500g)
1 red onion, cut into 12 wedges
150g cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm pieces
4 sprigs thyme
16 cherry tomatoes, on the vine
2 large handfuls baby spinach
Preheat your oven to 190C° (fan 170C°/gas mark 5).
When the oven is hot, pour the oil into the roasting tray and slide it into the oven. Leave the tray to heat up for 10 minutes.
When the oil is hot, carefully slide the tray out of the oven and lay the chicken in it, skin-side down. Tumble the cauliflower florets around the breasts and put the tray back into the oven to roast for 10 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and scatter over the red onion, chorizo and sprigs of thyme. Return the tray to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes.
Take the tray out again, flip over the chicken breasts and give all the vegetables a bit of a stir. Place the tomatoes on top of the mixture and give the whole lot one more 10-minute blast in the oven.
Remove the tray from the oven and, while it is hot, drop the spinach on top and carefully stir it through so it wilts a little in the heat. Serves 4.
How it played out
We prefer dark chicken meat, so I made this with 8 small chicken legs (drumsticks with skin-on). I followed all the other ingredients and instructions, although I don’t know what cooking chorizo is supposed to be—I used the ordinary chorizo we can buy here.
I resisted the temptation to throw in some cloves of garlic, a couple of chopped chillies, some chopped coriander or even a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.
Guess what? The balance of flavours of the original recipe was so perfect I was glad I didn’t go chucking in a lot of other ingredients.
This dish is delicious just the way it is. It’s so simple to make and so flavourful. I liked that the oil and roasting pan were heated before the cooking began. The best part is that the recipe calls for ingredients I usually have on hand.
We’re big fans of trying new foods in new places. Check out one of the markets where we dined in Ecuador. Chorizo was on the menu.