The shops were conspiring against me yesterday. I was unable to find bits for all four meals planned for this week. And it is not as if I was looking for foie gras or squirrel droppings – I couldn’t find spinach, cauliflower, parsley and fennel! Have you ever. And I even live in a city and everything!!!

So the chicken bake planned for tonight was had last night because I had most of the bits and pieces I needed.

They were: chicken breasts, broccoli, bacon, the usual oil, garlic etc, and cheese.

To start I put a whole head of broccoli (cut into pieces obviously) into salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drained it went into the bottom of an over proof dish.

I cut the skinless boneless breasts into chunks and browned them in oil and butter with a bit of garlic. I took themand  the garlic bits out with a slotted spoon and put it all on top of the broccoli. I had already fried some bacon bits to crispiness and scattered those over the chicken. You wouldn’t need to do this but the recipe is from the 70s and 80s so it is to be expected really. (Actually this recipe book includes bacon in almost everything – not that I am complaining.)

Using the same pan with all that lovely flavoured butter/oil I made a roux and then stirred in 250ml chicken stock, 200ml milk and 15ml lemon juice, all warmed up. Into this white sauce I put a little grated cheese and mixed herbs. I couldn’t find parsley so that bit of the recipe I pretended not to see.

The sauce went over the chicken, bacon and broccoli and the whole lot went into a 160 oven for about an hour. I then checked it to add a little more cheese and was worried it was a bit runny. I made boiled baby potatoes so we could smash them and soak up the juice. Good thinking that was, Batman.

15 minutes after the addition of the cheese the food was ready to go.

My camera is on the verge of collapse and is struggling to focus so this was as good a pic as I could get. Next time I think I may include some mushrooms, and serve with a green veg, assuming the shops are over their persecution of me and actually have what I need on their shelves.

Just cos you think they are after you, doesn’t mean they are not.