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Spachcock Chicken recipe - Eat wel on Unoversal CreditOK let's dispense with the myths. Yes you can buy a Spachcock Chicken for £7 in the Supermarket. It's be nicely presented with a couple of sticks crossed through it and an oil and herb marinate. But it will generally be the size of a Sparrow!
So why bother? Don't!
Spachcock is an old Saxon word which basically means spread-eagled. Realistically if you have a pair of kitchen scissors and any bird you are good to go.
Birds , fowl, whatever you choose to call them, are basically an empty box with the good stuff on the outside. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, the.... well everybody before us knew that this is not the best physical structure for roasting. You know that Christmas Turkey with the dried breast meat and the thighs and wings which were always the best bits? There is a reason for that. Even in the best fan assisted oven and covered with foil the top of the bird is going to cook quicker than the parts in the tray and doubtlessly dry out.
So the fix?
Get a cheap Chicken (Ours was £2.59 for nearly 2Kg).
With a pair of kitchen scissors cut from the rear to the front, taking out the spine. 
Now think of somebody you don't really like and spread the bird out. You might hear a few little bones breaking. Just continue thinking about that person you don't like!
Lay in a baking tray and oil well. Add Salt and Pepper and seasoning to your choice. We used Chilli flakes and Garlic salt.
Roast as you would normally but for about 10 minutes less, depending on the weight.
Remove from the oven, cover and let  rest for 10 minutes or so.
Serve with..... Well whatever you have really. Your Chicken will be the star of the show anyway. Moist, succulent and evenly cooked.
We'll probably get 3 meals out of this Chicken, for two humans and Buster The Dog! 

Gluten free DIY Bread BunsYou've probably seen our buns, well Sue's Buns to be fair. Because we follow a Gluten Free diet due the Sue's health condition we find bread a bit of a problem. The mass manufacture supermarket stuff is full of holes, smells and tastes a bit odd and is only good for...... Well nothing really.

So here is our alternative, which is great for Garlic Bread etc.








240g Plain GF flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Salt

240ml Milk

4 tbsp Mayonnaise




  1. Mix
  2. Add to bun tins
  3. Cook in a pre heated oven at 200C for 15 minutes


It couldn't be easier really and they cost less than 5p each!


Mackerel & Chickpea Risotto recipeAnother of our little finds in the local Polish Deli. 300g tins of Mackerel in Tomato sauce at £0.99. It's fair to say Sue did look a little sceptical when I appeared with it and it has sat lonely in the cupboard for a couple of weeks. But try this concoction, it's actually really good!
1 large tin of Mackerel in Tomato sauce
Salt & Pepper
Chilli flakes
Cuppa soup mix (We used Szechuan, as it Gluten free)
8 button Mushrooms, quartered
3 mixed thin peppers (Or one bell pepper if you prefer a milder taste), sliced
3 cloves of Garlic, grated
8 cherry Tomatoes, halved
Grated Italian style cheese
Kale (Savoy Cabbage will work, or any similar greens to add a bit of colour), sliced
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Rice (We used Basmati, but really it should
Oil to fry
(1) Fry the Rice, Chilli flakes, Salt & Pepper for 5 minutes.
(2) Boil a pan of water.
(3) Slowly add the water and simmer. Try not to stir too much at this stage at you don't want to release too much starch from the Rice.
(4) Add the Garlic.
(5) Add the remaining ingredients excluding the Cheese.
(6) Simmer for a further 20 minutes.
(7) Add Cheddar Cheese, stir in to melt.
(8) Serve with the Italian style Cheese sprinkled over the top.
Salami Pasta recipeWe often “Raid” the fridge at our local Polish Deli. They generally have a wide selection of cured and smoked Pork Sausages. Don't worry about not being able to read Polish, they are pretty self explanatory. 
Pasta. We used Fusilli but it really doesn't matter which shape you choose.
Salami, sliced or chopped
I large Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, grated
Onion Salt
Chilli flakes
Red and yellow Peppers, sliced
Cheese Sauce (Margarine or butter, Milk, Flour)
Italian style grated Cheese
Mushrooms, sliced
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Mixed Chilli, sliced
Parsley to garnish. (Not essential, but why not if you have some?)
(1) Fry the Onion, Peppers, Mushrooms, Garlic, Paprika, Chilli flakes.
(2) Season with Salt, Pepper and Onion Salt.
(3) Add the Salami
Cheese Sauce:-
(1) Melt the margarine or butter in a pan.
(2) Add the Flour and mix over a low heat into you have a smooth paste.
(3) Gradually add the Milk a little at a time mixing constantly, until you have a runny constancy.
(4) Season with a little Salt and Pepper.
(5) Add the grated Cheese and mix thoroughly so you end up with a smooth sauce.
(6) Add extra milk if the sauce is too stiff and mix thoroughly.
Bringing everything together:-
(1) Boil the Pasta until tender.
(2) Add the fried ingredients to the Cheese Sauce.
(3) Add the sauce to the drained Pasta and mix through.
(4) Garnish with Italian style grated Cheese and a sprig of Parsley.
We served ours with home made Garlic Bread.
Home made Quince and Lime Pickle recipeIf the have some Quinces or happen across a bush they make a great DIY Lime Pickle.
500ml Spirit Vinegar
400g of Quinces, quartered and deseeded
2 Limes, cut into eights
½ a tube of Tomato Purée
2 tbls of Olive Oil
3 tbls Chilli flakes
(1) Open a window. The Vinegar can be a little strong.
(2) Simmer the Quinces in the Vinegar until the start to break down.
(3) Add the Chilli, Tomato Purée and oil and simmer for 20 minutes.
(4) Reduce the heat and add the Limes. Only simmer for 2 minutes so the limes are heated. through but not effectively cooked. .
(5) Allow to cool and the empty into airtight jars.
The pickle increases in flavour over time and will keep for several months.

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