One pound meals: Two quick and cheap chicken recipes

Posted on: 18th Mar 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Here we are firmly into spring and the daffodils are in full bloom in our gardens. It’s a busy month for me. 

I’m now gearing up for the first of my new cookery courses back home in the beautiful Abruzzo region which take place at the end of the month. 

If you’d like to join me and Celebrity MasterChef finalist Jodie Kidd on the trip you can book via my website. Or follow me on Instagram.

I do love Instagram to see what people are cooking. Miguel Barclay, the author of this week’s book, One Pound Meals, started off by sharing pictures of his cooking this way. What made his dishes so popular was they all cost less than £1 to make, they look good and taste amazing. I’ve picked two chicken dishes for you to enjoy.



Salt and pepper 

1 chicken thigh, de-boned

Olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

A few baby carrots (or chunky diced carrots)

A few small potatoes, roughly diced

1 tsp plain flour

1 chicken stock cube

250ml water

80g self-raising flour

1 tsp butter




Preheat your oven to 190°C/374°F/Gas Mark 5

Season your chicken thigh, then gently fry it skin-side down in a small casserole dish with a splash of olive oil. When the chicken is nicely coloured on both sides, remove from the pan and add the onion.

Deglaze the base of the dish, using the onion pieces to scrape off the chickeny goodness. Once the onion has softened and is starting to brown, add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for a couple of minutes while you chop the pan-fried chicken into several chunky pieces, return the chicken to the dish, season well, then stir in the plain flour. Crumble in the stock cube and stir in the water. Remove from the heat and set aside while you make the dumplings. 

To make the dumplings, grab a bowl and simply mix the self-raising flour with the butter by crumbling it between your fingertips until it has the texture of damp sand. Season with salt and pepper and then – by just adding a splash of cold water – the mixture will come together like a dough. Shape the dough into 2 balls.

Top the stew with the dumpling balls, transfer to the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, until the dumplings are golden brown.


2 chicken drumsticks

Salt and pepper 

Olive oil

A few small tomatoes

¼ yellow pepper, roughly chopped

½ red onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

Chunks of stale bread




Preheat your oven to 190°C/374°F/Gas Mark 5.

To make the finished dish look extra lovely on the plate, deeply score the drumsticks to the bone in the middle and at the narrow end. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil, then roast in the oven on a baking tray for about 15 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and add the tomatoes, pepper and onion. Season well and drizzle with more olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Cook in the oven for a further 25 minutes, throwing in the bread about halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through.

Mop up all the juices with the toasted bread and enjoy your chicken panzanella salad.