QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
If you want a quick, delicious recipe look no further: Mustard chicken with leeks on rice from Yiannis.
Head straight to the recipe.
A few words about you and where did the quarantine find you?
I’d been living in London for a bit more than a year and just over 5 months at my new job, which is at an electronics’ retail shop. Due to the coronavirus, there was a confusion in the air, and you could already see that the people were expecting the measures to be announced from on day to the next. As employees at the store, we were experiencing a crazy growth in commercial activity.
The shops were emptied of movies, games and consoles and of any type of electronics that one would normally use to pass their free time. Despite the governmental complacency, the people were seeing what had preceded in countries like Italy and Spain and were taking measures for the possibility they’d need to stay at their homes for a long time. Therefore, on Friday (2 days before the announcement of the measures) you could already see that in retail shops such as ours, the selves had already been emptied. There was already a sense in the air that the measures about to be announced on Sunday would be like the ones announced by the rest of the European states. So, Sunday’s government announcement came as no surprise.
Therefore, the “quarantine” found me chilling after work on Sunday night, after I had changed clothes and put on my slippers, waiting for my Monday day off. And thus, my day off extended from a day to a couple of months…
What did it change for you ?
Before this “quarantine” thing, I used to work 5 days a week, spending 12 hours a day away from my home. Thus, I felt the change immediately. I suddenly had time for reading, keep company to my girlfriend, cook, watch movies and play video games. However, I also felt trapped, because in contrast with a day off or vacation, I had to spend all this time in the house. Which meant that I was missing a great pleasure one that lives in England usually enjoy, the pleasure being walking in the park or sitting at a pub.
These things were now out of reach. One thing that also drastically changed, was shopping, especially at the supermarkets. Queues that lasted for thirty minutes at least, making an everyday process feel like torture. Apart from this, I have to admit that I am of the lucky ones that applied for the scheme “furloughed work”, which actually means that you stay at home and your work status is not suspended, but the days you do not work are paid at the 80% of your normal salary. This was a significant stress relieving factor. However, stress is still present, because no one really knows when, if and how the stores will open again, how many of us will be back at work and what the general situation will be like after all this is over.
Comfort food, mustard chicken with leeks
Staying indoors, I rediscovered how much I enjoy cooking and eating in my spare time. However, due to my laziness and greed, I tend to choose recipes that do not need much time. One more discovery I made for myself was how much I like leeks. So, the recipe I am going to share has become one of my favourites, because it is easy, it needs few ingredients and does not take much of time.
Head straight to the recipe.
Mustard chicken with leeks
- 2 Chicken Fillets
- 2 lemons
- 2 large Leeks
- 4 teaspoons wholegrain Mustard
- 1 table spoon of Salt flakes
- 1 table spoon of dried Thyme
- A pinch of ground pepper
- Half a glass of long grain rice
- 1 ½ glasses of water
- A pinch of fine salt
- Start by finely slicing our leeks and as soon as we warm some olive oil in a deep pan, we add the leeks and cover with a lid to keep in some moisture. While the leeks are being sautéed on a low heat, we put the rise in a pot to boil with water and some ground salt and start cleaning out chicken. If we chose to use fillets, we’d better slice them and then put them in a bowl. Now it is time for our lazy sauce, for which we squeeze the lemons and add the olive oil, the salt flakes, the pepper and the dried thyme. We will use half of this sauce now to marinate the chicken.
- As soon as the leeks are softened and transparent, we add the chicken on it. We then cover with the lid and adjust the heat a bit hotter. 10 minutes later we will have to turn the chicken around, add the rest of the sauce and taste a bit in case it needs more salt and we cover the pan once more for 10 more minutes. The rise should be ready when the chicken is ready. Both chicken and rise, it should be ready in 20-25 minutes. What is now left, is serve by placing the leeks and chicken mix to the one half of our plates and the rise filling the other half. It is worth mentioning, that this dish offers very pleasing to our nose and for its simplicity. The total time needed should take no more than 25 minutes if you are accustomed of multitasking with the pan, the chopping board and the pot. For these reasons, I do this recipe once a week.
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
How do you cope?
Chilling with my girlfriend, after a very intense year full of changes, maybe this lockdown thing’s given us time to chill and enjoy simple things.
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
Haven’t any plans yet, but I think I will go find a descent Pita-Gyro.
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
So, keep yourself well fed and I hope that we’ll soon find Summer.
from London with love,
PS: I hope you enjoy this post! You can be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries too. If you want to share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby