I feel I must apologise right from the get go with this recipe reacharound for Instant Pot (don’t worry, non-pressure-cooker method also included) lemon and garlic chicken stew: if there are far more spelling errors and lapses in grammar than you might expect, then blame Paul. Our Mac keyboard, after years of fighting bravely against splashes, spurts and sploshes, has given up the ghost. Well not entirely, but the enter key has stuck down and is refusing to budge. Paul, in the absence of me clucking around and making recommendations, ordered a new keyboard which ‘is just as good’. It isn’t. It’s like he’s bought it from Fisher Price. The keys are tiny and rounded and just terrible. This may work when you have the deft twiglet fingers of Paul Anderson, but I don’t so much type on a keyboard as fist it into submission. It’s left me typing like my Nana sending her first email and to top it off, the keys don’t squelch like the old one did. It was like typing on a sauna sponge towards the end.
It serves me right for leaving him unattended, of course. But needs must: I go away for a few days every month to stay with friends in Liverpool which gives Paul a chance to enjoy an unadulterated bathroom floor / marital bed, which he does so enjoy. He pays lip service to our eternal love by sending messages to say he misses me terribly but we both know he has the time of his life without me, even if most evenings seem to end with him sobbing into a rough effigy of me made from my back hair and dipped in beef dripping.
One of the best things about these little trips away is that I get to have a good long drive, and all the fun that entails. I’ve said it before, and been loudly and angrily reminded at least nine times a week since, that I enjoy driving. That’s not a lie. But see I also very much enjoy willies, yet if I were to have sausage every night I might switch to a fish supper. Too much of a good thing can be tiresome, but luckily the 180 miles or so to Liverpool is just the right amount of road to cover off all my favourite driving moments.
I should open by saying that I am, these days, a very considerate driver, or at least I do try my very best to be. For a few years after passing my test I drove everywhere as though I’d just stolen the car but nowadays I’ve come to the realisation that you’ll get where you need to be far less stressed and with fewer cyclists to peel off the bonnet if you just stick to the rules of the road. The same seemingly doesn’t apply to other drivers however, and there’s two patches of the A1 where this becomes a problem. For a local example, just outside of Durham there’s a four mile patch of roadworks where switching lanes is forbidden and there’s a strict 50mph limit.
That doesn’t stop seemingly every single regional sales director in the North East getting into their company-owned BMW or Audi (and listen I know that’s a lazy stereotype, but tell me I’m wrong) and appearing two inches from my back bumper, waving their arms around dramatically as though they’ve just opened the glove box to find a box of wasps swarming out. Given I’m generally behind another car and therefore there’s nowhere immediately apparent for them to dash into, I find it bewildering, and it’s honestly all I can do to remember not to take my foot off the accelerator and let the car slow down just a shade. This seems to excite them even further and obviously must be discouraged. And hey, I’m not averse to having an angry man rammed up behind me, but I do ask that they buy me a drink first. I mean I don’t but I’m trying to sound classy.
180 miles, according to Google, should take around three and a half hours: but it never does, and I’m never quite sure why. Four hours can pass and I’ll be no further than Darlington, looking bewildered at Waze to see if I’ve somehow routed myself through Aberdeen via a selection of farm tracks. I blame service stations: they’re like the sirens of the motorway to me. For those interested, you’re looking at stopping at Durham, Barton Park, Wetherby and Birch Services if you’re wanting a cup of tea without the chance of diphtheria to keep it spicy. Barton Park is a good one because no-one ever uses it, presumably put off by the fact the owners have set the prices of fuel as though they roleplaying in a Mad Max movie. I digress.
I love it all me. The chance to get indignant with the ladies in WH Smith when I buy a can of Monster and a Freddo and have to hand over my car keys in part-exchange with a promise to settle the remainder after. The truckers all wandering around in filthy hi-vis gear looking like they’d punch you through a wall if you dilly-dallied for a moment at the Greggs counter. The opportunity to peruse the absolute tat they inexplicably sell alongside the fags and chocolate: a light-up beanie hat, a book about equine diseases, a DVD boxset of walks around Kromer. Hell, I even like a quick toilet stop (any excuse to stretch my legs) (up past my ears) because there’s always a degree of joviality and hur-de-hur whilst waiting in the queue to do some 3-D printing. Plus, I refuse to smoke in my car so if anything, I treat the rare bursts of driving as a break from smoking rather than the other way around. Explains why I’m always gasping for air by the time I’m circling J22 on the M62.
Still, if I get bored on the way down, whoever is in charge upstairs (or more realistically, no-one) will throw some dramatic weather at me for the drive. I could leave my house in the middle of a heatwave and inexplicably end up peering owlishly through a snow-covered windscreen by no later than two hours in. It’s as inevitable as day following night: I don’t think I’ve had a single journey westward where I haven’t thought of calling Paul to finally tell him the PIN on our bank cards just in case I lose control of the car and tumble away into the fields. I mean, it would give me the opportunity to press the big red SOS button that sits behind the interior lights – I’ve been itching to do it but I’m petrified that it’ll automatically call the emergency services and they’ll dispatch an air ambulance out to me, only to find me perfectly alive and furiously trying to light a cigarette in the helicopter’s downdraft. Though to be fair, knowing my car, it’ll probably just start playing ABBA Gold.
That’s the other thing I enjoy: the chance to listen to my music and have a right good singalong as I do. If I have Paul with me he’s always tutting and clawing melodramatically at his ears with forks whilst I effortlessly segue between Steps, Billie Eilish, Muse, some Swedish Eurovision entry and Chapter 42 of Red Dragon narrated by Alan Sklar on Audible. When I’m by myself I get to go full me and I can’t deny it is amazing. Many a time I’ve been caterwauling away as I leave a car park to the bemused faces of coaches full of people clapping and wondering whether I’ve got a fox shredding through my back tyres. The world is a stage! By the time I arrive at any destination I’ve got a voice like I’ve been gargling glass but it’s worth it.
There’s a whole another entry to be written about the other things I do in the car to entertain but I shall save that for a couple of weeks from now, because LORDY this is a long one. For the record, it took me a modest five hours twenty-eight minutes to get home today, and that’s not bad going at all.
To the recipe for the lemon and garlic chicken stew then. This is a rare reacharound where we haven’t had to change too much for the recipe – indeed, all we have done is up the onion content to make the sauce a bit more ‘stew-like’, but this is a genuinely delightful dinner that must be recognised.
Only 370 calories for this lemon and garlic chicken stew with rice too!
Definitely use chicken thighs for this – cheaper, and it flavours the lemon and garlic chicken stew perfectly
Five photos and this was the best one: Paul loves his lemon and garlic chicken stew
lemon and garlic chicken stew
Yield 4 servings
Now look, if you don't have a pressure cooker you mustn't fret because this is easy enough to make in the oven, and we've catered for your failures in the recipe bit. But if you do have an Instant Pot at home, this is the perfect recipe for it: you chuck it all in and let the machine do the hard work. And if you're the nervous sort who pales in terror at the idea of a pressure cooker fret not: we are going to do a guide to them shortly. We were gifted our newest Instant Pot by the company, but you'll see from previous entries that we have been long-term devotees. Let's do this.
- 750g of chicken thighs
- 1tsp salt
- two onions, chopped finely
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 185ml chicken stock
- 1tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp paprika
- juice from one lemon
- 4 tsp cornflour
- white rice - we used about 100g each
- select saute, add a bit of oil and chuck in the onions, cook for about 5-10 minutes or so until they start to brown
- add everything else to the pot save for the cornflour and give everything a reet good stir
- put the lid on, make sure the vent is set to ‘sealing’ and press the high pressure and select fifteen minutes
- when finished, release the pressure (it's perfectly safe)
- cook the rice however you want it
- scoop a cupful of liquid out and stir the cornflour in, making sure there's no lumps
- remove the chicken using tongs and add the cornflour mixture into the rest of the liquid, stirring until the sauce is thickened
- serve the chicken on top of the rice with the sauce poured over
No pressure cooker
- saute the onions in a casserole dish, then add everything (plus another 50ml of stock) bar the cornflour and cook on low for about two hours in the oven
- once the chicken is cooked, add the cornflour and allow the sauce to thicken
- just one note - don't be tempted with chicken breasts - you want thighs. If you're fussy, you can buy the boneless and skinless thighs in all supermarkets now
- we've done some terrific things with chicken in our second cookbook which you will love: order yours here!
- and wait til you see what I do with my cock in book one: click here to order
- we've also got a planner: here
- we honestly can't fault the Instant Pot - we use the Instant Pot Pro because it does everything we need and doesn't look like Sputnik - you can find it here but other variants of the Instant Pot are cheaper still
- get yourself a good set of silicone-ended tongs, they'll steer you well and they are perfect for cheekily grabbing your partner's nipple during frolics and fun times - we use these
Disclosure: the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Which is handy, as my mother is demanding a decent care home when she hits ninety. She won't be getting one, but the fuel to get my car down to the river to push her in ain't cheap.
Courses stew, instant pot
Cuisine under pressure
I know! What a hero. Now if you want to take a quick look at what other Instant Pot recipes we have, and listen lady, you simply must, you can take a look by clicking here!
I’m like a dream within a dream that’s been decoded!