It’s a myth that to make the very best versions of classic dishes, they have to be prepared from scratch. It’s actually a well-known fact in the food industry that chefs have always used shortcuts to create great food. But home cooks have not always been allowed the same privilege, and are often made to feel guilty about taking the easy route.
From her extensive experience, Rosie Reynolds has distilled over 60 much-loved classic recipes, such as eggs Benedict, spaghetti and meatballs, and lemon meringue pie, and applied every smart, time-saving tip, flavour boost and genius twist that she has learned along the way to produce failsafe recipes with no compromises.
This book is here to make your life in the kitchen bolder, brighter, and a whole lot easier. And this food isn’t trend-led: it’s tried and tested, world-over favourites that people love to eat and aspire to cook—but ready in a flash.
Smoky paprika chicken with warm cannellini beans
Prep 10 minutes, plus standing
Cook 50 minutes
Mayonnaise is used in this recipe as the base of a marinade for the chicken and also as the accompaniment to the dish. The great thing about using mayo is that it stays in place and doesn’t slip off as the chicken cooks and gets hot; it also keeps the chicken from drying out, as it forms a protective layer on the outside.
Try adding different ingredients to the mayo to flavour the chicken—here I have used smoked paprika and garlic, a twist on classic Spanish flavours.
Add vine tomatoes to the hot tray at the end of cooking to soften them, squishing a few to make a warm dressing for the cannellini beans. This really is a super-easy, one-pan meal that I am sure will become a family favourite.
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 chicken leg portions, scored 2–3 times
200 g (7 oz) cherry vine tomatoes, cut into small bunches
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
400 g (14 oz) tin cannellini beans, drained
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, smoked paprika and grated garlic, then remove two-thirds to a small bowl and set aside.
Spread the remaining mayo over the chicken legs, rubbing it into the scores. Lay the chicken on a baking tray (pan) and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/430°F/Gas 8.
Cook the chicken in the hot oven for 40 minutes, then remove it from the oven and add the tomatoes to the tray. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest.
Squash a couple of the tomatoes, add the vinegar and scrape up any juices at the bottom of the tray to make a dressing. Tip the cannellini beans into the tray, stirring to coat them with the warm dressing and any resting juices from the chicken. Taste for seasoning.
Spoon the dressed beans out into a serving dish, top with the chicken and scatter with the parsley. Serve immediately, with the reserved smoky paprika mayonnaise on the side.
Prep the marinade and rub over the chicken legs 2 days in advance and store in an airtight container.
Squashing a couple of cooked ripe tomatoes in the tray to make a dressing for the beans not only saves on washing up but instantly harnesses all those pan juices. Scoring the chicken legs ensures the marinade goes deep into the meat and speeds up the cooking time.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.