Oranges and olives

Oranges and olives

One of my favourite recipes ever... re-purposed

I spent most of yesterday fiddling with a video on the theme of 'simplifying recipes'.

And this recipe for Orange and Olive Chicken popped into my mind - a recipe I encountered back in my 20s in Nigel Slater's first book Real Fast Food, and fell in love with his writing.

It's one of my favourite recipes of all time - full of vibrant flavours and easy to make - but one I have not made for years now. Because it involves chicken pieces, and I don't really cook with store-bought meat anymore.

And then it suddenly hit me: Why has it never occurred to me to switch the recipe around?!

I talk a lot about repurposing recipes to my students, but here I am not following my own advice... Sitting around thinking what a shame that I can't cook this anymore, instead of turning the recipe on its head and looking for alternative ways to apply its special something to another context.

To me, the twist of this particular recipe - its essence, if you like - is the combination of zesty sweet orange and sharp salty olives. Yes, it is lovely with chicken, but now that I'm thinking about it...

Maybe it will work with the pork chops? (We get pork from Moch Fedwen, quite literally down the road from us).

Maybe it could work in the slow cooker? (My home-raised farmyard roosters are super flavourful but far too tough to cook any other way).

Maybe the sauce would be nice with fried tofu? Or salmon? Or sweet potato? Or...?

Maybe I could use orange pieces and olives in a salad? Or even make a salad dressing with orange juice and olive paste?!

You see, once I get started thinking about it, I can come up with all sorts of creative ideas (and so can you!). It's just a matter of putting my mind to it... and I have no idea why I had not done this yet with this particular recipe!

I don't know which of these ideas will work - some of them maybe amazing, some maybe just so so.

Maybe other people are cooking them already - I will probably do a little online search to find out (I'm always curious, and I often find that what I come up with is already a 'thing' somewhere out there!)

But either way, now that I got the ideas flowing I have to try them all (one by one, not at once!).

I got started right away: We tried the pork chop version yesterday. It was good. So good I forgot to take a photo!

But... I still think I prefer the chicken version, so I'm trying the slow cooker next... stay tuned!

In the meantime, I encourage you to have a think for yourself:

What recipe you love has fallen off your menu?

How could you switch it around so you can bring it back to your table in a version that better suits your current circumstances?

Categories: (RE)THINK, COOK


We all have a cook in us! Sign up to our newsletter to unleash your own inner cook. Packed with practical tips, tasty insights, and food for thought to empower and inspire your cooking beyond recipes.
Come join us for your weekly dose of kitchen confidence!

We will never pass on your details. Obviously.
For more information see our Privacy Policy.